Kant on Common Sense and Empirical Concepts

Kantian Review 27 (2):257-277 (2022)
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Kant’s notion of common sense (Gemeinsinn) is crucial not only for his account of judgements of beauty, but also for the link he draws between the necessary conditions of such judgements and cognition in general. Contrary to existing interpretations which connect common sense to pleasure, I argue that it should be understood as the capacity to sense the harmony of the cognitive faculties through a sui generis sensation distinct from pleasure. This sensed harmony of the faculties is not only the ground of judgements of beauty and the basis of pleasure in the beautiful, but is also essential, I argue, for the reflecting judgements through which we acquire empirical concepts.



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Janum Sethi
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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