British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (1):1-16 (2021)

Mojca Kuplen
Central European University (PhD)
The aim of this paper is to resolve some of the inconsistencies within Kant’s theory of aesthetic ideas that have been left unaddressed by previous interpretations. Specifically, Kant’s text appears to be imbued with the following two tensions. First, there appears to be a conflict between his commitment to the view that mere sensations cannot function as vehicles for the communication of aesthetic ideas and his claim that musical tones, on account of being mere sensations, can express aesthetic ideas. Second, his description of musical form as consisting of a play of aesthetic ideas that leave behind no thoughts appears to be incongruous with his formulation of aesthetic ideas as free imaginative representations that contain a wealth of thoughts and meanings. If what it means to express aesthetic ideas is precisely to stimulate much thinking, then how can an object exist that expresses aesthetic ideas, but without leaving any thoughts behind? I attempt to resolve these two perceived tensions by proposing a distinction between reflective and non-reflective aesthetic ideas communicated by form and mere sensations respectively.
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DOI 10.1093/aesthj/ayaa035
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References found in this work BETA

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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