Gerard and Kant: Influence and Opposition

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 9 (1):59-93 (2011)
Abstract
In his notes and lectures on anthropology, Kant explicitly refers to Alexander Gerard's 1774 Essay on Genius, and his own position that genius is necessary for art but not for science is clearly a response to Gerard. Kant does not explicitly mention Gerard's 1759 Essay on Taste, but it was probably an influence on his own conception of free play, and in any case a comparison of the two theories of aesthetic response is instructive. Gerard's development of a version of the theory of free play without Kant's assumptions that aesthetic judgments must be independent of concepts and yet always intersubjectively valid allows him to accommodate a variety of facts about aesthetic experience in general and our experience of the fine arts in particular more readily and more fully than Kant can, especially those concerning the affective dimension of our experience of art.
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