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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2022

10 On the Subjective, Beauty and Artificial Intelligence: A Kantian Approach

From the book Kant and Artificial Intelligence

  • Larissa Berger


The subjective or phenomenal character of experience has been famously captured by Thomas Nagel’s question “What is it like to be an x?”. At first glance, Kant seems to care little about such ‘what is it like’ questions. His philosophy does not seem to be concerned with phenomenal character. However, I will argue that this picture falls short of Kant’s account of beauty. For Kant, an adequate account of pleasure in general and pleasure in the beautiful in particular must refer to phenomenal character. Pleasure cannot be understood but needs to be felt. Since beauty is constituted by a specific feeling of pleasure, beauty can only be grasped by creatures with the ability to feel. Despite new achievements in affective computing, AI is not able to feel. Hence, the realm of beauty is foreclosed to AI.

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
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