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The Supersensible in Kant’s «Critique of Judgment»


Julie N. Books

In this close analysis of Immanuel Kant’s aesthetics in his Critique of Judgment, Dr. Julie N. Books, explains why Kant fails to provide a convincing basis for his desired necessity and universality of our aesthetic judgments about beauty. Drawing upon her extensive background in the visual arts, art history, and philosophy, Dr. Books provides a unique discussion of Kant’s supersensible, illuminating how it cannot justify his a priori nature of our aesthetic judgments about beauty. She uses examples from the history of art, including paintings by Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Rubens, and Constable, to support her views. This book will make a significant addition to courses on the philosophy of Kant, aesthetics, philosophy of art, metaphysics, the history of Western philosophy, ethics, psychology, and art history.
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, I will explain some of Kant’s most fundamental tenets, such as his transcendental idealism, and his other ideas that are relevant to this book, such as how we have knowledge of objects through his mental process of three-fold synthesis. In Chapter 1, I will discuss Kant’s judgments about beauty, judgments about the sublime, and judgments about the agreeable. In Chapter 2, I will discuss Kant’s four moments (or features) of pure judgments of taste about ← 1 | 2 → beauty, including their universality and necessity. I will also discuss his reasons for believing aesthetic judgments about beauty are synthetic a priori judgments. In Chapter 3, I will discuss the aesthetic views of David Hume, who believed beauty is relative to the perceiver. Kant was reacting against his views, for he said Hume awakened him from his “dogmatic slumber.” I will also show how standards of taste and beauty vary over time by giving some examples from the history of art. In Chapter 4, I will explain how Kant thinks his concept of the supersensible solves his antinomy of taste. I will also discuss how his nature of aesthetic judgments as involving a free play of our mental faculties and his faculty of common sense fail to provide a credible basis for the necessity and universality that he believes aesthetic judgments about beauty have. In Chapter 5, I will discuss how the supersensible fails to provide the ultimate basis for his a priori nature of our aesthetic judgments about beauty. In Chapter 6,...

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