Rethinking Kant 's distinction between the beauty of art and the beauty of nature

European Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):857-875 (2020)
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This paper argues that Kant presents two different accounts of beauty, one that applies properly to art and one that applies properly to nature. The judgment of beauty that applies properly to nature can be free and thus judged without concepts. The work of art, however, is judged beautiful when it expresses aesthetic ideas. This distinction then enables me to explain several problematic passages in Kant's text: those that serve to distinguish these two conceptions of beauty from one another as well as those passages in which Kant views them as overlapping. With respect to the latter, I argue that Kant lays especial significance on cases where we apply the conception of artistic beauty to natural objects, as in doing so we view nature as expressing ideas that step beyond nature.



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Aaron Halper
Catholic University of America

Citations of this work

Kant on Aesthetic Ideas, Rational Ideas and the Subject-Matter of Art.Ido Geiger - 2021 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 79 (2):186-199.
Kant's missing analytic of artistic beauty.Aviv Reiter & Ido Geiger - 2024 - European Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):360-377.
Warum Kant ein ästhetischer Kognitivist der schönen Kunst ist.Fridolin Neumann - 2023 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 77 (1):74-96.
Kant's account of emotive art.Larissa Berger - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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