Kant's Aesthetics

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Kant’s subjectivisation of aesthetics was brought about by his discovery of certain a priori elements which went beyond empirical universality. In both taste and in aesthetic judgment, there is a “supra-empirical norm”. Models of judgement help, but they, in themselves, cannot replace the experience of taste “In taste nothing is known of the objects judged to be beautiful, but is stated only that there is a feeling of pleasure connected with them a priori in the subjective consciousness” (ibid., 38). Aesthetic appreciation therefore, for Kant, is a free play of the imagination; a subjective relationship which equally has a claim to universality, and it is valid in itself. Taste is valid in the conception of Kant for two fundamental reasons:…show more content…
This is the creative spirit within man that completes the appreciation of beauty. The concept of genius brings to the fore the element of the creative production of rules that are evident both in the creator and in the recipient. Genius is not a pedantic adherence to rules, but it “exhibits a free sweep of invention and thus the originality that creates new worlds” (ibid., 46). It is the spirit that creates, judges and enjoys simultaneously. This supersensible substrate in man that permits man to make a harmonious blend between nature and freedom is genius; genius that subordinates taste and makes it secondary. Taste in itself remains a variable reality. It is a testimony of the mutability of all human things and all human values. Gadamer’s was not an attempt to abandon taste and all its entailed, but an affirmation that taste passes always through the crucible of genius. “Art is art created by genius” means that for artistic beauty there is no other principle of judgment. No criterion of concept and knowledge than that of its suitability to promote the feeling of freedom in the play of our cognitive faculties. Whether in nature or art beauty has the same a priori principle, which lies entirely within subjectivity” (ibid.,…show more content…
Erleben as a concept means “to be alive when something happens”. It is the immediacy with which a thing is grasped or an experience is lived. It is not what one has surmised, inferred or imagined, but what one has experienced that is, in itself, a unique reality (ibid., 53). Another derivative was ‘das Erlebte’, which is the permanent content of what is experienced. In Erlebnis therefore is both a blend of what is being experienced as it happens and the content of that experience that makes a lasting impact on the life of the person in question. This is most evident in biographical literature. In art, such an experience acquires a new status. It expresses itself in a very unique, unrepeatable and lasting
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