The ‘Analytic of the Beautiful’

  • Salim Kemal


Kant sets out his account of aesthetic judgements or judgements of taste in the ‘Analytic of the Beautiful’ of the Critique of Judgement. His procedure here cannot be similar to that followed in his earlier Critiques. There he took it for granted that we have experience and that we make moral claims, and then examined what conditions are necessary for our experiential and moral claims to be valid. So, just as the Critique of Pure Reason accepted that our search for causal explanations of events and objects seemed to work in the main, and sought to discover justifications for this practice, similarly, in the Foundations of a Metaphysics of Morals, Kant accepts our ‘common moral knowledge’ in order to understand what makes it legitimate. His search for justification leads him to formulate a supreme principle of morality, which embodies the only satisfactory model of rational behaviour, and so sustains the legitimacy of the moral demands we make of each other as beings capable of acting rationally.


Formal Property Phenomenal Quality Moral Claim Pure Reason Aesthetic Judgement 
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© Salim Kemal 1992

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  • Salim Kemal

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