Concerned with topics at the heart of Kant's aesthetics, this provoking reading of The Critique of Judgement focuses on often misunderstood or neglected themes. Starting from the issues of the truth and justifiability of our critical assertions, Anthony Savile develops Kantian theory broadly across the arts, and shows it working with subtlety and rigour in cases as diverse as music and architecture. New light is thrown on the exemplary necessity of our aesthetic pleasures, on the Antimony of Taste, on the (...) distinction between free and dependent beauty, on the supposed idealism of taste, and on the a priori limits of fine art. Eminently subjective material is here given a place in Kant's overall idealism in a sophisticated discussion that will invite the close attention of Kant scholars and aestheticians alike. (shrink)
Reviews goodman's claims about representation, Expression and identity of works of art. Claims that the underlying nominalist logic effectively prohibits our understanding of these notions (pace goodman) and leaves everything which is of specific artistic and aesthetic interest out of account.
This fresh orientation to Kant's _Critique of Pure Reason_ presents his central theme, the development of his Transcendental Idealism, as a ground-breaking response to perceived weaknesses in his predecessors' accounts of experiential knowledge. Traces the central theme of the Critique, the development of Kant's Transcendental Idealism. Offers new and original readings of the central arguments in both the Transcendental Aesthetic and the Transcendental Analytic. Appraises the success and failure of Kant's project in the _Critique_.
Does Leibniz really worst Locke in respect of innate ideas, as is frequently supposed, or does Locke emerge more or less whole from their epistemological dispute? I shall here argue that Leibniz does far less well than we might like to believe and that his substantive proposals, where not entirely innocuous, contain little that would appeal to anyone interested in a modern form of the innateness thesis.
Kant’s concern for the universal validity of aesthetic judgment turns on its providing a needed bridge between our understanding of the world as governed by mechanical laws and our ability freely to realize our true humanity. That obliges us to find beauty in nature that is expressive of our ethical and moral values. It shapes the way we should understand aesthetic judgment itself.
One issue for theory is to account convincingly for the value of art and the significance of its specifically aesthetic character. Appeal to imagination, understood along Kantian lines as functioning to construct ‘a second nature from the material supplied by actual nature’, generates suggestive answers to both aspects of the task. The second nature that the artist inventively constructs in fine representation is one in which themes central to the inner life are revealed in ways as unestranging to us as (...) their nature permits; then, in their aesthetic realization we take them into ourselves directly in experience, with concomitant affect. Thereby the values they convey are liable either to become our own or else to modify established ones. Whether they do so stably or not may depend on our having achieved a firmly enough rooted sense of self. Imagination has traditionally been seen as contributing aesthetically to that too in the elaboration of the sublime, as much within the realm of art as in nature itself. Forms of art resisting such modes of reflection will need to look to theory to put something no less vital in their place. (shrink)
Nous ecartons ici deux tentatives visant a rendre compte de l’irrationalite de l’action akratique au sein du systeme de Spinoza: celle contenue dans Spinoza meme et une seconde toute recente, due a della Rocca, qui pretend parler au nom de Spinoza. Nous tracons a larges traits une troisieme voie, laquelle n’est pas manifestement en porte-a-faux avec les principes de la psychologie morale de Spinoza. Cette tentative tourne autour d’une conception du conatus integrant un element normatif et subjectif, soit le besoin (...) de former un moi structure de facon stable. Sans ce dernier, le plus grand bien que les humains soient susceptible d’atteindre, l’acquiescientia in se ipso, serait en fait irrealisable. Concevoir ainsi le conatus donne la latitude dont Spinoza a besoin pour representer le desir irresistible que concoit Medee pour Jason comme contre-conatif et celle dont Medee a besoin pour en etre elle-meme pleinement consciente. (shrink)
[Richard Glauser] Shaftesbury's theory of aesthetic experience is based on his conception of a natural disposition to apprehend beauty, a real 'form' of things. I examine the implications of the disposition's naturalness. I argue that the disposition is not an extra faculty or a sixth sense, and attempt to situate Shaftesbury's position on this issue between those of Locke and Hutcheson. I argue that the natural disposition is to be perfected in many different ways in order to be exercised in (...) the perception of the different degrees of beauty within Shaftesbury's hierarchy. This leads to the conclusion that the exercise of the disposition depends, from case to case, on many different cognitive and affective conditions, that are realised by the collaborative functionings of our ordinary faculties. Essential to Shaftesbury's conception of aesthetic experience is a disinterested, contemplative love, that causes (or contains) what we may call a 'disinterested pleasure', but also an interested pleasure. I argue that, within any given aesthetic experience, the role of the disinterested pleasure is secondary to that of the disinterested love. However, an important function of the disinterested pleasure is that, in combination with the interested pleasure, it leads one to aspire to pass from the aesthetic experience of lower degrees of beauty to the experience of higher ones in the hierarchy. /// [Anthony Savile] (1) If Shaftesbury is to be seen as the doyen of modern aesthetics, his most valuable legacy to us may not so much be his viewing aesthetic response as a sui generis disinterested delight as his insistence on its turning 'wholly on [experience of] what is exterior and foreign to ourselves'. Not that we cannot experience ourselves, or what is our own, as a source of such admiration. Rather our responses, favourable or no, are improperly grounded in any essentially reflexive, or first-personal, ways of taking what engages us. The suggestion is tested against the case of Narcissus. (2) Glauser interestingly emphasizes Shaftesbury's neo-Platonic conception of a hierarchy of aesthetic experience that culminates in the joyful contemplation of God. That hierarchy must be something that is less unitary and systematic than Shaftesbury himself had supposed, even when his emphasis on the tie between aesthetic pleasure and contemplative experience is allowed to extend beyond perception and to encompass episodes of thought itself. (shrink)
In his literary autobiography, Le vent Paraclet , Michel Tournier records how during his time at the Lycée Pasteur in Neuilly he and his fellow classmates found a source of great hilarity in their favourite bêtisier , a volume called Pensées de Pascal , in which one learns that painting is a frivolous exercise that consists in imperfectly reproducing objects that are themselves quite worthless. Fairness to Pascal – far from Tournier's mind in those early days – demands that that (...) offending pensée , which belongs in the sheaf of Vanités , be seen more as a summary of Saint Augustine's views than as a record of Pascal's own, and one that was rooted in a tradition stemming from Plato that deprecated all varieties of mimesis. Setting historical adjustment aside and reining back on the boys' sophisticated amusement, one may well wonder whether the view Pascal records does not contain a grain of truth. Are there not indeed kinds of painting that we prize, yet which are well chosen butts of this criticism? In particular, still life painting concerned to record the trivia of domestic life, pots and pans, fruits and meats, glasses and all sorts of everyday tableware looks to be sharply exposed to Pascalian scorn. If this Platonic or in Augustine's case, neo-Platonic, attack on painting is to be warded off in general then it had best be done here where it appears at its most pressing. And if it cannot be warded off here, then still life painting at least is moribund, probably lifeless, nature morte mort indeed. (shrink)