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Critique Of Judgement Summary Essay

843 words - 4 pages

The Critique of Judgment, often called the Third Critique, does not have as clear a focus as the first two critiques. In broad outline, Kant sets about examining our faculty of judgment, which leads him down a number of divergent paths. While the Critique of Judgment deals with matters related to science and teleology, it is most remembered for what Kant has to say about aesthetics.

Kant calls aesthetic judgments “judgments of taste” and remarks that, though they are based in an individual’s subjective feelings, they also claim universal validity. Our feelings about beauty differ from our feelings about pleasure and moral goodness in that they are disinterested. We seek to ...view middle of the document...

In a second part of the book, Kant wrestles with the concept of teleology, the idea that something has an end, or purpose. Teleology falls somewhere between science and theology, and Kant argues that the concept is useful in scientific work even though we would be wrong to assume that teleological principles are actually at work in nature.
While much of what Kant writes about aesthetics might strike us now as a bit dated, his work is historically very significant. Kant’s Third Critique is one of the early works in the field of aesthetics and one of the most important treatises on the subject ever written. Aesthetics differs from literary criticism and art criticism, which have existed for millennia, in that it attempts to explain not only why things are or are not beautiful but also the concept of beauty and how the perception of beauty arises in us. Kant takes on the considerable task of making room for the concepts of the beautiful and the sublime in the complex account of the mind he gives in his first two Critiques. Unfortunately for Kant, the success of this project can be understood only in the context of his complex and abstruse philosophical system, while its failures are immediately apparent. The close relationship between art and politics, which became clear in the twentieth century, casts doubt on Kant’s assertion that our response to art is disinterested, and his claim that our sense of beauty is universal makes less sense in a world in which we are exposed to the...

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