When we judge something to be beautiful, do we identify an inherent feature of the object, or only our subjective response to it? This paper argues that, for Kant, pure aesthetic judgment occupies a middle ground. Such judgments are based upon affective responses to our own cognitive faculties. Thus, pure aesthetic judgment is subjective insofar as it concerns our feeling ourselves to be engaged in a certain task; it is objective insofar as the task we are engaged in is cognition of an object, and the faculties that we are feeling to be at work are the cognitive faculties of the understanding and the imagination. This paper locates this interpretation in the text of the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment in the third Critique and uses it to make sense of many otherwise opaque features of Kant’s account of pure aesthetic judgment.
© 2019 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston