Subjectivity and Sociality in Kant’s Theory of Beauty

Kant holds that it is possible to quarrel about judgements of beauty and cultivate taste, but these possibilities have not been adequately accounted for in the dominant interpretations of his aesthetics. They can be better explained if we combine a more subjectivist interpretation of the free harmony of the faculties and aesthetic form with a type of social constructivism. On this ‘subjectivist-constructivist’ reading, quarrelling over and cultivating taste are not attempts to conform to some matter of fact, but rather to reconcile subjective perceptions through mutual interchange governed by the regulative goal of constructing a universal community of agreement. © 2018 Kantian Review.

Kant holds that it is possible to quarrel about judgements of beauty and cultivate taste, but these possibilities have not been adequately accounted for in the dominant interpretations of his aesthetics. They can be better explained if we combine a more subjectivist interpretation of the free harmony of the faculties and aesthetic form with a type of social constructivism. On this ‘subjectivist-constructivist’ reading, quarrelling over and cultivating taste are not attempts to conform to some matter of fact, but rather to reconcile subjective perceptions through mutual interchange governed by the regulative goal of constructing a universal community of agreement. © 2018 Kantian Review.

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