CJ: Analytic of the Beautiful: 4th Moment: Modality: Necessity

Comments and Questions to: John Protevi
LSU French & Italian
Protevi Home Page

Classroom use only. Do not cite w/o permission.

Course given at University of Warwick Fall 1995

18: Modality of a J taste

19: Subjective Necessity Attributed to a J taste is conditioned

20: This condition is idea of a Common Sense

21: Basis for supposing a Common Sense

22: Subj Necessity of Universal Assent presented as obj via c.s.


General Comment on First [Book] of Analytic of Aesthetic J

18: Modality of a J taste

K: three types of modality: 1) possibility of pleasure connected to representation for any rep.; 2) actuality of pleasure w/ agreeable; 3) necessity of pleasure w/ beautiful

straight from the CPR

K: but this necessity is not theoretically objective, so it doesn't suffice for prediction; nor is it practically objective, so that we could know that we ought to act in a certain way

1) on one level, beauty is not the business of science or morality;

2) however, re: science, we should note the forgotten pleasure underlying all cognition, as noted in the Intro [AA 187]

3) in #59 beauty is symbol of morality

K: rather, it is exemplary: everyone out to assent to such a judgment, which is an example of a unstatable universal rule

unstatable bcs. non-conceptual, thus non-linguistic [but based on feeling]

K: necessity is not based on universal empirical agreement

from Hume, K has learned that necessity must be a priori

19: Subj Necessity of J taste is conditioned

K: subjective necessity is a conditional "ought": solicited on a common basis

1) earlier, K says we can demand or require this assent; here it is a matter of a conditional solicitation

2) the condition is the idea of a common sense

K: possibility of incorrect judgment [see above, AA 216], means we cannot count on [rechnen] this assent

20: Idea of a Common Sense as condition of necessity of J taste

K: cognitive objective principles can claim unconditional necessity [because reasons can be given]; J taste of sense have no principles, hence no necessity

K: J taste must have subjective principle [by feeling, thus non-conceptual], yet be universally valid [unlike agreeableness to sense]

K: such a principle could only be a "common sense"; this is not same as "common understanding" which is also called common sense (sensus communis), for this judges not by feeling, but by [usually] obscure concepts

K: so we must presuppose a common sense, [a sense common to all] as effect of free play of imagination and understanding

not a separate faculty, but special state of the faculties

21: Do we have a basis for presupposing a common sense?

K: concepts and judgments must be universally communicable, so that we can harmonize w/ the object

1) avoidance of skepticism: what we would call intersubjective verification is dependent on Copernican Revolution: conditions of possibility of experience are c. of p. of objects;

2) K is after why we can/must presuppose a universal make up of cognitive powers; he argues backward, asking what explains our evident experience of objectivity as universal intersubjective agreement

K: working backward, K now says that if individual judgments are shareable, then the attunement of cog. powers necessary for any cognition must be shared

1) in order for understanding to rule theoretically, and reason to rule practically, there must be a prior attunement of the faculties whereby they are in free play, and hence open to rearrangement

K: this attunement occurs through inducement of object through the senses: first imagination combines the manifold, then imag. in turn induces understanding to provide unity through concepts

K: one attunement must be most conducive to mutual quickening [Belebung] of cognitive powers; we can only feel this attunement through feeling the quickening [pleasure as increase in feeling of life]

K: the attunement, and its feeling, must be universally communicable [shareability; Mitteilbarkeit]; this presupposes a common sense [similar ability to acheive such attunement in all people because of similar makeup of cognitive powers; in other words, K's view of "human nature" AA 290n]

K: this demonstration is not psychological, but transcendental

22: Necessity of Universal Assent is Subjective, but presented as Objective by presupposing a Common Sense

K: common sense cannot be empirically based, if it is to be used to ground necessity of universal assent; rather it must be an ideal standard, of which we claim our judgments are examples

K: is common sense constitutive or regulative? is it original and natural, or an artificial goal, the demand that we work toward such agreement [through a pedagogy of taste]?

K: if it is regulative, the ought is only sign of possibility of reaching agreement; J taste would only be example of using principle of possible agreement


General comment on first [book] of Analytic [of Aesthetic J]

K: taste is ability to judge an object [reflectively] in reference to [in Beziehung auf] free lawfulness of the imagination; this free lawfulness is not in relation to any one determinate law, but is a lawfulness w/o law.

K: two implications: a) imagination is here productive; b) object offers itself as if it were designed by imagination in harmony with understanding's lawfulness in general

K: only understanding gives the law; in ordinary cognition, the imagination is compelled [genötigt] to proceed according to a determinate law

NB: the politics of cognition here

K: two conditions of imagination in J taste: lawfulness w/o law; subjective harmony of imagination and understanding; these are both needed to be compatible w/ free lawfulness of understanding [=purposiveness w/o purpose]:

1) lawfulness w/o law [way object offers itself such that the productive imagination would have formed it thus if it were left to itself to harmonize w/ understanding in forming the object]

2) subjective harmony of the imagination w/ the understanding [w/o objective or conceptual harmony]

K: privilege of symmetry and regularity for utility does not hold in taste, where understanding serves the imagination; thus English gardens or baroque furniture carry imagination to the verge of the grotesque, divorcing production from any constraint of a rule [but see AA 319, the discipline of taste in constraining genius]

K: wild nature can nourish taste permanently; e.g., bird song: yet we can confuse our sharing in cheerfulness w/ [purely formal] beauty, as shown by our disdain for imitated bird song [AA 302]

K: beautiful views of objects prompt the fictionalizing of the imagination; this is not the same as the apprehending of a beautiful object