Philosophy of the Arts


First sentence of Kant’s Critique of Judgement.

The first sentence of the Critique of Judgement contains a puzzling reference to “relating a representation (in your mind) to your feeling”. How does one do that? Can we hold it up in our minds and look at it with our feeling?

Part I. Critique of Aesthetic Judgement / Division I. Analytic of Aesthetic Judgement / Book I. Analytic of the Beautiful

First Moment of a Judgement of Taste, As to Its Quality
§1. A Judgement of Taste is Aesthetic

If we wish to decide whether something is beautiful or not, we do not use understanding to refer the presentation to the object so as to give rise to cognition; rather we use imagination (perhaps in connection with understanding) to refer the presentation to the subject and his feeling of pleasure and displeasure.
This translation is by Pluhar, who consciously chose to translate “Vorstellung” with “presentation” instead of the traditionally used “representation”. (I am all in favour of this change). [Indianapolis: Hackett, 1987, p. 44.]

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