The Classical Trinity and Kant's Aesthetic Formalism

Critical Horizons 11 (3):419-441 (2010)
I identify two mutually exclusive notions of formalism in Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgement: a thin concept of aesthetic formalism and a thick concept of aesthetic formalism. Arguably there is textual support for both concepts in Kant’s third critique. I offer interpretations of three key elements in the Critique of Aesthetic Judgement which support a thick formalism. The three key elements are: Harmony of the Faculties, Aesthetic Ideas and Sensus Communis. I interpret these concepts in relation to the conditions for theoretical Reason, the conditions for moral motivation and the conditions for intersubjectivity, respectively. I conclude that there is no support for a thin concept of aesthetic formalism when the key elements of Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgement are understood in the context of his broader critical aims
Keywords Kant, Immanuel  aesthetic formalism  aesthetic judgment
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DOI 10.1558/crit.v11i3.419
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