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Kant’s Aesthetic Judgment and Beauty Theories

Different people have different attitude to different problems. Beauty is not an exception. One and the same item may attract these people and make feeling of disgust in others. It is impossible to say who of them is right and who is wrong. All these perceptions are personal and appear on subconscious level of people’s mind. The perception of beauty is rather complicated notion which is very difficult to explain.

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The perception of beauty depends on people’s tastes, which are likes and dislikes. Kant refers the taste to the ability to judge the beauty. One of the main aspects of whether a person may like or dislike the object of conversation is his/her interests. People judge the object of conversation as beautiful when the object requires their interests. (Kant 1987)

Some works of art may be an example of the universal beauty. That is when different people from different countries perceive one and the same object as beautiful. This notion cannot be explained, there cannot be any rules according to which people judge whether the object of discussion is beautiful or not, they just feel something as beautiful. The author of the article, explaining his opinion writes that “a universality that does not rest on concepts of the object is not a logical universality at all, but an aesthetic one” (Kant 1987). In this case, when we speak about beauty without a concept, we underline its universality.

Some objects are often perceived without any purposes, and if people perceive something “without the presentation of the purpose”, according to Kant’s words (1987-84), the object is considered to be beautiful. It may be taken any flower as an example. When we look at it we do not follow any purpose, we just enjoy its beauty, that is all. (Kant 1987)

One more notion which Kant involves in his article is a notion of “necessary liking”. That is when the opinion about some object is already formed: it was studied and discussed and scholars came to the conclusion that it is beautiful. And there is no way out, we just ought to agree with the statement about its beauty. Even more, we perceive it as beautiful, thinking that it is our opinion, but it is little wrong. We understand that this object is considered to be beautiful by people and think that looking on it we made up our personal opinion about it as beautiful. But it is just dictated by the circumstances. “Whoever declares something to be beautiful hold that everyone ought to give his approval to the object at hand and that he too should declare it beautiful” (Kant 1987-86), this is what Kant means under “necessary liking”.

The taste and beauty are so abstract notions and sometimes it is difficult to give your own opinion about this or that object. Works of art are the best examples where people can show their tastes and give there practice in perceiving beauty. Kant gave several points about how people distinguish beauty. They may do it according to their own tastes and likes; they may consider it to be universal beauty; people may choose beauty according to there interests; they may like the object only because it is beautiful, without any purposes; and at last, the necessary liking of the object is also considered as beauty by people.

Works Cited

Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Judgment. Translated by Werner S. Pluhar. 1987.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 2). Kant’s Aesthetic Judgment and Beauty Theories. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/kants-aesthetic-judgment-and-beauty-theories/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 2). Kant’s Aesthetic Judgment and Beauty Theories. https://studycorgi.com/kants-aesthetic-judgment-and-beauty-theories/

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"Kant’s Aesthetic Judgment and Beauty Theories." StudyCorgi, 2 Nov. 2021, studycorgi.com/kants-aesthetic-judgment-and-beauty-theories/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Kant’s Aesthetic Judgment and Beauty Theories." November 2, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/kants-aesthetic-judgment-and-beauty-theories/.


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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Kant’s Aesthetic Judgment and Beauty Theories'. 2 November.

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