How to Become a Good Artist – Kant on Humaniora and the ‘Propaedeutic for All Beautiful Art’

Journal of Transcendental Philosophy 4 (2):179-207 (2023)
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In § 60 of the Critique of Judgment, entitled ‘On the doctrine of method of taste,’ Kant suggests that the study of so-called humaniora (ancient Roman and Greek literature) will help one to become a good artist. I will argue that a proper, namely emotional, engagement with humaniora will further the two components of humanity in ourselves: the feeling of sympathy and the ability to communicate feelings. I will discuss two options of how a strengthening of these two components might contribute to the creation of good artworks: it will help one to create artworks that arouse the universal communicable pleasure in the beautiful, or it will help one to create artworks that arouse sympathetic feelings. Siding with the latter option, I will argue that emotions can contribute to the enlivening of aesthetic ideas and, thus, to good art.



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An argument for basic emotions.Paul Ekman - 1992 - Cognition and Emotion 6 (3):169-200.
The Inclusive Interpretation of Kant's Aesthetic Ideas.Samantha Matherne - 2013 - British Journal of Aesthetics 53 (1):21-39.
Kant on the normativity of taste: The role of aesthetic ideas.Andrew Chignell - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (3):415 – 433.

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