CJ: Analytic of the Beautiful: 2nd Moment: Quantity: Universal

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 Do not cite w/o permission.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

4 sections (6-9), plus formula.

6: B presented w/o concept, yet as universally liked

7: B compared w/ agreeable and good re: universality

8: Universality of J taste only subjective

9: Ordering of pleasure and judgment

Formula: B is w/o concept liked universally

#6: The Beautiful is What is Presented w/o Concepts

as Object of a Universal Liking

K: universality can be inferred from disinterestedness. Bcs one cannot discover w/in self an interest [=one feels pure pleasure w/o sensory gratification], bcs one is free from inclination, one must regard it as based on what one can presuppose in everyone [that is, on subjective universality, i.e., harmonious interplay of faculties].

1) Are these separate acts of empirical psychological introspection? First to discover free pleasure, then to link it to harmonious interplay? If so, problems arise: Why is aesthetic psychological introspection to be trusted here in discovering purity of pleasure? What you judge is the absence of interest, i.e., absence of pleasure in the existence of an object. So aesthetic pleasure is pure pleasure [of harmonious interplay of faculties] provoked by contemplation of form of object.

2) But, compare moral pscyhological introspection, as discussed in the Groundwork [AA 29]: "In fact, it is absolutely impossible to make out by experience w/ complete certainty a single case in which the maxim of an action ... rested simply on moral grounds and on the conception of duty. Sometimes it happens that with the sharpest self-examination we can find nothing beside the moral principle of duty ... yet we cannot from this infer with certainty that it was not really some secret impulse of self-love, under the false appearance of duty, that was the actual determining cause of the will. We like then to flatter ourselves by falsely taking credit for a more noble motive; whereas in fact we can never, even by the strictest examination, get completely behind the secret springs of action ..."

3) So the question is, could not a particular J taste be motivated not so much by interest, i.e., pleasure in existence of the object, as by desire for status of "a man of taste": surely to be known as a having taste can pay off in society. BUT, can this desire produce a pleasure? remember, what you judge is the quality of your pleasure. The production of pleasure is the key. One might be fooled by will, as to whether it was determined by pure practical reason, but can one be fooled by feeling? Do we know the sources of our pleasure: or better, can we judge the quality of our pleasure?

4) An alternative to avoid separate act linking pleasure w/ free play is to focus on the "intentional or disclosive character of the feeling of pleasure" as Sallis puts it (Spacings, 95-96; 165, n5). Thus the feeling of free play is felt as pleasure; free play is disclosed in feeling of pleasure. Here we see feelings as disclosive; no need to make a separate empirical judgment. But does this help w/ problem of purity of pleasure?

K: seduced by the discovery of universal requirement, judging subject will use objective language.

switch from subjective to objective is transcendental illusion, as analyzed in CPR.

K: we have here a non-conceptual universality; a subjective universality.

what could this be? answer not until #9 [free play]

#7: Comparison of the Beautiful

with the Agreeable and the Good

in Terms of the Above Characteristic [universality]

K: J agreeableness is idiosyncratic; based on "private feeling"; this is "taste of sense."

consider the privacy of feeling w/ regard to existence of objects in political terms of private/public: the freedom accorded such privacy must be coerced so that it become compatible w/ greatest possible freedom of all.

K: w/ B, one can require/demand [zumetet] same liking from others. objective language is used in service of this demand, as is reproach and accusation of other's having no taste if they disagree.

the demand for aesthetic universality needs some sort of coercion to establish a true commonwealth of taste. it finds it in rhetorical coercion of "reproach": from private agreeableness to public beauty?

K: there is a certain "comparative universality" or empirical generality of rules regarding the agreeable; sensuous pleasure is predictable in rough outline, as is shown by our attributing taste to someone who can throw a good party. J taste here refers to empirical sociability [Geselligkeit].

K admits agreeableness is obviously culture-specific; empirical pleasures are produced through social training.

K: J goodness demands universal liking, but on basis of a concept.

you should all like this, because it matches its concept: hypothetical: it's a good knife, bcs. it does what a knife is supposed to do; or it meets criteria of categorial imperative

#8: In a J Taste the Universality of the Liking

is Presented only as Subjective

K: subjective universality is remarkable; requires major effort; rewarded by revealing otherwise unknown property.

K: must convince ourselves that demand is made w/o concepts (and so has no grounds/reasons on which to argue in public sphere of reason). J B often rejected, but this is only dispute about application in a particular case, not the principle of possibility of universal demand. in principle, certainty for one's self is attainable through mere cness of separating between feelings; in fact, however, dispute about J B is possible, because error is possible: error here = failure to separate the agreeable and the good from the feeling of liking that remains.

1) again the question is to the ground of the "consciousness" of separation between feelings. how is certainty possible here? how is error possible? i.e., the question of the self-presence or division of the affective subject.

2) plus question of the "historical materialism" of constitution of subject: why pleasure at harmonious free play? is this pleasure malleable? what social practices produce this pleasure, this form of life?

2) cf. JD's method in "SEC": must take error into account in a general theory, not just relegate it to empirical accident, as K does in separating principle from application.

3) cf. AA 290 n15, where the talk is of incorrect application of authority granted by a law. explicitly political language: one has lawful authority to demand assent. but what of coercion that sets up that law?

K: some terminology: aesthetic universal validity is subjective, while [conceptually-grounded] logical universal validity is objective. J taste are singular re: logical quantity, but universal re: aesthetic quantity.

here we see K has put aesthetic J in middle: between singular subjective J agreeableness and universal objective J good; it is non-conceptual, like agreeablness and unlike goodness, yet it is universal, like goodness and unlike agreeableness.

K: no rule to compel assent to J B, no reason or principles for argument.

perhaps though the rhetorical coercion of reproach: can one, does one need to, be taught to recognize the pleasure of aesthetic free play? after all, the pleasure of free play in knowledge was once forgotten [AA 187].

K: we want to judge for ourselves [AA 191: J B is empirical and singular]; yet we then lay claim to a universal voice [=voice that demands universal assent]. We only postulate possibility of universal assent; we can only demand universality, so universal voice is only an idea.

Idea: concept of reason; totality presented by imagination [since it is absent, never able to be presented]. hence J B is only regulative, offering rule for formation of a community? that is, guiding our coercive formation of taste via constitution of subject so that harmonious interplay = furthering of life? the question is universality of "life": is there only one "life" or are there life-forms produced by material practices?

#9: Ordering of Pleasure and Judging of Object

K: this is key to critique of taste. universal communicability [everyone has same faculty make-up] of mental state grounds pleasure;

this is a grounding relation; not a temporal relation

K: this universality is the relation of [imagination and understanding] as they allow for cognition in general. this relation is a "free play."

1) cf. Deleuze: this free accord underlies any determinate relation of the faculties (as in knowledge, when understanding assigns tasks to imagination and reason). [the sublime will provide the discordant accord that grounds reason in charge in practical matters].

2) we must be able to assume same faculty makeup (AA 290n).

3) this is our power of universality:

Aristotle: zoion logon echon

Marx: Gattungswesen

Kant: cognition in general: going beyond particularities of sense by conceptual unification

K: the grounding mental state is a feeling of free play.

1) for Sallis, this feeling is the feeling of pleasure. feeling of pleasure is disclosive of free play. not the case that there are three temporally distinct acts: feeling of free play, temporally subsequent feeling of pleasure, empirical psychological introspection that connects free play and pleasure.

2) Derrida notes K's remark on pleasure at knowledge: AA 187

K: imagination and understanding in free play: apprehension of manifold and conceptual unity.

this play is not stopped by knowledge [=capture of manifold under a unifying hold]; rather these faculties give object back and forth to each other: imagination combines manifold for a provisional referral to a conceptual unity, but then a new round is set forth, since object's manifold is too rich for a concept {aesthetic idea: intuition too much for any concept}.

K: aesthetic J [=feeling of free play provoked by object; only under pressure of judgment language must K call this a judgment] grounds pleasure.

identity of feeling of pleasure and free play only analytically distinguishable into a grounding relation.

K: the demand for universality of feeling of pleasure cannot be accounted for by empirical psychology.

as sociable creatures, we like being able to share our feelings with others

K: this demand produces objectivity language, even though "beauty is nothing by itself"

K: cness of harmony of faculties is sensation of quickening [Belebung] of powers.

1) pleasure is feeling of increase of feeling of life; aesthetic pleasure is provoked by object, not just pleasure from purely immanent life as Aristotle's god feels it.

2) Makkreel has tracked down this sensation to "interior sense" and "vital sense" in Anthropology 15 and 16

K: J taste does determine object, w/ regard to liking and predicate of beauty, but w/o concept

1) we do say "everyone should like this; this is beautiful"

2) but we can't give reasons for this

K: objective relation can only be thought, but insofar as it has subjective conditions, it can be sensed in effect on mind; w/o concept, it can only be sensed in the effect

1) in other words, beauty in the object is revealed only in the pleasurable free play;

2) pleasure is disclosive of beauty

K: singular representation that harmonizes w/ conditions of universality brings cognitive powers into a "proportioned attunement" [proportionierte Stimmung].

1. NB: relation of allgemeine Stimme and proportionierte Stimmung

2. here again we see the three moments of RJ/JT: 1) apprehension ["singular representation": cf. AA 190: RJ works by comparing apprehension in imagination w/ way forms would be taken up if treated cognitively; we never have "pure apprehension" w/o referral to some sort of universality, pace De Man; "pure apprehension" is only an analytic concept]; 2) reflection ["that harmonizes with"]; 3) feeling ["proportioned attunement"]

3. JB: imaginative referral that reveals harmony of imaginative apprehension with harmony of imagination and understanding: harmony with a harmony.