Attention and the Free Play of the Faculties

Kantian Review 27 (1):43-59 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The harmonious free play of the imagination and understanding is at the heart of Kant’s account of beauty in the Critique of the Power of Judgement, but interpreters have long struggled to determine what Kant means when he claims the faculties are in a state of free play. In this article, I develop an interpretation of the free play of the faculties in terms of the freedom of attention. By appealing to the different way that we attend to objects in aesthetic experience, we can explain how the faculties are free, even when the subject already possesses a concept of the object and is bound to the determinate form of the object in perception.

Similar books and articles

The Harmony of the Faculties.Fred L. Rush - 2001 - Kant Studien 92 (1):38-61.
Hegel and Heidegger on the Essence of Beauty.James Phillips - 2015 - Philosophy Today 59 (1):23-36.
The Critic of Free Harmony of Faculties.Ali Salmani - 2017 - Metaphysik 9 (23):37-50.
Kant on Aesthetic Attention.Jessica J. Williams - 2021 - British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (4):421-435.
A Tale of Two Faculties.K. Gorodeisky - 2011 - British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (4):415-436.
Causation in Reflective Judgment.Michael Kurak - 2016 - Kant Studies Online (1):12-41.


Added to PP

141 (#88,011)

6 months
46 (#23,059)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jessica Williams
University of South Florida

Citations of this work

Add more citations