The Classical Trinity and Kant's Aesthetic Formalism

Critical Horizons 11 (3):419-441 (2010)
Abstract
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
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