The Kantian Aesthetic

The Kantian Aesthetic : From Knowledge to the Avant-Garde

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The Kantian Aesthetic explains the kind of perceptual knowledge involved in aesthetic judgments. It does so by linking Kant's aesthetics to a critically upgraded account of his theory of knowledge. This upgraded theory emphasizes those conceptual and imaginative structures which Kant terms, respectively, 'categories' and 'schemata'. By describing examples of aesthetic judgment, it is shown that these judgments must involve categories and fundamental schemata
(even though Kant himself, and most commentators after him, have not fully appreciated the fact). It is argued, in turn, that this shows the aesthetic to be not just one kind of pleasurable experience amongst others, but one based on factors necessary to objective knowledge and personal identity, and which,
indeed, itself plays a role in how these capacities develop.
In order to explain how individual aesthetic judgments are justified, and the aesthetic basis of art, however, the Kantian position just outlined has to be developed further. This is done by exploring some of his other ideas concerning how critical comparisons inform our cultivation of taste, and art's relation to genius. By linking the points made earlier to a more developed account of this horizon of critical comparisons, a Kantian approach can be shown to be both a satisfying and
comprehensive explanation of the cognitive basis of aesthetic experiences. It is shown also that the approach can even cover some of the kinds of avant-garde works which were thought previously to limit its relevance.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 144 x 223 x 18mm | 409g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199579970
  • 9780199579976
  • 2,268,960

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. The Transcendental Deduction; Objective Knowledge and the Unity of Self- Consciousness ; 2. Imagination and the Conditions of Knowledge ; 3. Pure Aesthetic Judgment: A Harmony of Imagination and Understanding ; 4. The Universality and Justification of Taste ; 5. Adherent Beauty and Concepts of Perfection ; 6. From Aesthetic Ideas to the Avant-Garde: The Scope of Fine Art ; 7. The Kantian Sublime Revisited
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Review quote

Those who want to develop Kant's ideas in new directions will find, as I have, that Crowther's approach brings one to think about what is really important in Kant's account and why that might be worth preserving * Brian Watkins, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism * It is a fascinating fact about Kant's Critique of Judgment (as with his entire oeuvre) that so many scholars who delve seriously and deeply into its themes and objectives can reveal something new and illuminating about Kant's aims, purposes, or implications for the present. Crowther achieves this. Ultimately, the test is whether the author's position is coherently related to other scholarship in the field of study and illuminating in its own right
in some respect. Crowther's book passes this test with flying colours. * Jennifer McMahon, British Journal of Aesthetics * an exciting and provocative thesis... the book is well-written and it gives readers who have some familiarity with Kant's critical project plenty to consider. * Corey McCall, Philosophy in Review * the test is whether the author's positions is coherently related to other scholarship in the field of study and illuminating in its own right in some respect. Crowther's book passes this test with flying colours, * Jennifer A. McMahon, British Journal of Aesthetics Vol. 51 *
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About Paul Crowther

Paul Crowther is Professor of Philosophy at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is a former Official Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and the author of a number of monographs exploring aesthetics, art history, and the philosophy of culture.
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