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Mistaking Judgments of the Agreeable and Judgments of Taste

Keywords: Immanuel Kant , aesthetic judgments , Critique of the Power of Judgment

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Abstract:

In the Critique of the Power of Judgment, Kant develops a rigorous formulation of aesthetic judgments, in which he makes a sharp distinction between judgments of taste and judgments of the agreeable (both of which are, I claim, types of aesthetic judgments) if only to dismiss judgments of the agreeable as worthy objects of study. Kant is primarily concerned with judgments of taste, the main example of which is judging something to be beautiful (whether it be a work of art or a natural object). He asserts that such judgments are subjective, universal, necessary, disinterested, and do not presuppose a purpose. The other type of aesthetic judgment are judgments of the agreeable, “which are the kind of judgment expressed by saying simply that one likes something or finds it pleasing.” These are judgments of what, in Kant’s words, please “the senses in sensation” as opposed to pleasing ourcognition in reflection.

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