Philosophical Inquiries 4 (2):69-88 (2016)

Mojca Kuplen
Central European University (PhD)
In the Critique of the Power of Judgment, Kant introduces the notion of the reflective judgment and the a priori principle of purposiveness or systematicity of nature. He claims that the ability to judge objects by means of this principle underlies empirical concept acquisition and it is therefore necessary for cognition in general. In addition, he suggests that there is a connection between this principle and judgments of taste. Kant’s account of this connection has been criticized by several commentators for the reason that it leads to the ‘everythingisbeautiful’ problem. In this paper I argue, contrary to these objections, that both finding an object beautiful and acquiring the concept represent the satisfaction of the same principle of nature’s purposiveness, which refers to the same cognitive need we have, that is, to systematize experience. I avoid the ‘everything is beautiful’ problem by arguing that aesthetic reflection refers to the synthesis of object’s individual and distinctive properties, while logical reflection refers to the synthesis of object’s general properties that it shares with other objects of its kind. Because aesthetic purposiveness is different from logical purposiveness, this allows for the possibility that we can have an object of cognition, without finding this object beautiful.
Keywords free harmony  principle of purposiveness  Kant  beauty
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Kant and the Claims of Taste.Paul Guyer - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Purposiveness of Form: A Reading of Kant's Aesthetic Formalism.Rachel Zuckert - 2006 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (4):599-622.
On Aesthetic Judgement and Our Relation to Nature: Kant's Concept of Purposiveness.Fiona Hughes - 2006 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):547-572.
Subjective Purposiveness and Evil.Robert Dan Braby - 1989 - Dissertation, Duquesne University
Beauty and System in Kant.Marcus Verhaegh - 2004 - Dissertation, Emory University
Possibilities for a Non-Ocular Aesthetics in Kant's "Critique of Judgment".Charles Edward Emmer - 2002 - Dissertation, State University of New York at Stony Brook
The Significance of Taste: Kant, Aesthetic and Reflective Judgment.Robert B. Pippin - 1996 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 34 (4):549-569.


Added to PP index

Total views
527 ( #16,668 of 2,507,504 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
38 ( #23,438 of 2,507,504 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes