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Jessica Williams
University of South Florida
  1. Kant on the original synthesis of understanding and sensibility.Jessica J. Williams - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (1):66-86.
    In this paper, I propose a novel interpretation of the role of the understanding in generating the unity of space and time. On the account I propose, we must distinguish between the unity that belongs to determinate spaces and times – which is a result of category-guided synthesis and which is Kant’s primary focus in §26 of the B-Deduction, including the famous B160–1n – and the unity that belongs to space and time themselves as all-encompassing structures. Non-conceptualist readers of Kant (...)
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  2. Attention and the Free Play of the Faculties.Jessica J. Williams - 2022 - Kantian Review 27 (1):43-59.
    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 (...)
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  3. Kant on Aesthetic Attention.Jessica J. Williams - 2021 - British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (4):421-435.
    In this paper, I examine the role of attention in Kant’s aesthetic theory in the Critique of the Power of Judgment. While broadly Kantian aestheticians have defended the claim that there is a distinct way that we attend to objects in aesthetic experience, Kant himself is not usually acknowledged as offering an account of aesthetic attention. On the basis of Kant’s more general account of attention in other texts and his remarks on attention in the Critique of the Power of (...)
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    Autonomy and Community in Kant's Theory of Taste.Jessica J. Williams - forthcoming - The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.
    In this paper, I argue that Kant has a far more communitarian theory of aesthetic life than is usually acknowledged. I focus on two aspects of Kant’s theory that might otherwise be taken to support an individualist reading, namely, Kant’s emphasis on aesthetic autonomy and his characterization of judgments of taste as involving demands for agreement. I argue that the full expression of autonomy in fact requires being a member of an aesthetic community and that within such a community, judgments (...)
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  5. Kant against the cult of genius: epistemic and moral considerations.Jessica J. Williams - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress: The Court of Reason. Berlin: De Gruyter. pp. 919-926.
    In the Critique of Judgment, Kant claims that genius is a talent for art, but not for science. Despite his restriction of genius to the domain of fine art, several recent interpreters have suggested that genius has a role to play in Kant’s account of cognition in general and scientific practice in particular. In this paper, I explore Kant’s reasons for excluding genius from science as well as the reasons that one might nevertheless be tempted to think that his account (...)
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  6. The Demands of Beauty: Kant on the Normative Force of Aesthetic Reasons.Jessica J. Williams - 2024 - Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 61 (1):1-19.
    According to a number of contemporary theorists, aesthetic reasons can invite or entice us but never compel us. In this paper, I develop a Kantian account of the normative force of aesthetic reasons. While Kant would likely agree that aesthetic reasons do not give rise to obligations, his account nevertheless gives us the resources for explaining how aesthetic reasons can still have more force than merely enticing reasons. This account appeals to the distinct normativity of aesthetic judgments on Kant's theory (...)
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  7. How Conceptually Guided are Kantian Intuitions?Jessica J. Williams - 2012 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 29 (1).
  8. Kant on the Special Sciences.Jessica J. Williams - forthcoming - In Andrew Stephenson & Anil Gomes (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Kant. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    While Kant was arguably as deeply engaged with the emerging special sciences of his time as he was with Newtonian physics, there is a deep tension in his treatment of these disciplines. On the one hand, Kant endorses a reductionist approach in natural science. On the other hand, Kant is committed to a variety of anti-reductionist positions in empirical psychology, chemistry, and the emerging biological sciences. This chapter examines the precise form that Kant’s anti-reductionism takes in each of these domains (...)
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  9. “The Shape of a Four-Footed Animal in General”: Kant on Empirical Schemata and the System of Nature.Jessica J. Williams - 2020 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 10 (1):1-23.
    In this paper, I argue that although Kant’s account of empirical schemata in the Critique of Pure Reason is primarily used to explain the shared content of intuitions and empirical concepts, it is also informed by methodological problems in natural history. I argue that empirical schemata, which are rules for determining the spatiotemporal form of objects, not only serve to connect individual intuitions with concepts, but also concern the very features of objects on the basis of which they were connected (...)
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  10. Kant, Metaphysical Space, and the Unity of the Subject.Jessica J. Williams - 2018 - In Violetta L. Waibel and Margit Ruffing (ed.), Proceedings of the 12. International Kant Congress Nature and Freedom. De Gruyter. pp. 1141-1147.
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    Recent Studies on Kant's Third Critique. [REVIEW]Jessica J. Williams - forthcoming - British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-9.
    In this review essay, I discuss three recent books on Kant's third Critique: Kant and the Claims of the Empirical World by Ido Gieger; Kant on Freedom, Nature, and Judgment by Kristi Sweet; and Kant’s Worldview: How Judgment Shapes Human Comprehension by Rudolf Makkreel.
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    The Imagination in German Idealism and Romanticism ed. by Gerad Gentry and Konstantin Pollok. [REVIEW]Jessica J. Williams - 2020 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (4):824-825.
    In his introduction, Gerad Gentry notes that "the imagination is important not only because it is central to one of the most productive and influential periods in the history of philosophy, but also because it represents a topic of substantial relevance to contemporary debates in philosophy". Readers with contemporary interests in the imagination who are looking for a general introduction to its treatment by German Idealists and Romantics will be disappointed. Most of the essays in this volume presuppose familiarity with (...)
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