Is There Kantian Art Criticism?

In Margit Ruffing, Claudio La Rocca, Alfredo Ferrarin & Stefano Bacin (eds.), Kant Und Die Philosophie in Weltbürgerlicher Absicht: Akten des Xi. Kant-Kongresses 2010. De Gruyter. pp. 343-356 (2013)
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Kant’s theory of taste might suggest that there cannot be any legitimate, useful art criticism, which guides others’ art appreciation: on the Kantian view, each of us must judge for him- or herself, autonomously, not follow the judgments of others; and no empirical concepts, or empirical knowledge, is supposed to be relevant for making a judgment of taste. Thus, it would seem, we should not follow others who have superior knowledge of art, because they have such knowledge. Despite these elements of Kant’s view, I argue that there is nonetheless a role for Kantian art critics: to serve as exemplary judges, “incorporating” empirical knowledge of art into their judgments of taste, communicating the richness and playfulness of aesthetic judging, and exemplifying the claims to universality of judgments of taste.



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Rachel Zuckert
Northwestern University

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Aesthetic Autonomy and Norms of Exposure.Samantha Matherne - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (4):686-711.

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