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The Kantian AestheticFrom Knowledge to the Avant-Garde$
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Paul Crowther

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199579976

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579976.001.0001

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Adherent Beauty and the Scope of Perfection

Adherent Beauty and the Scope of Perfection

(p.116) 5 Adherent Beauty and the Scope of Perfection
The Kantian Aesthetic

Paul Crowther (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers Kant's distinction between adherent and free beauty. It shows that whilst not compelling, his structure of argument is at least consistent and, indeed, contains two crucial insights; namely, that beauty must sometimes take second place to perfection, and is thence of conditional rather than absolute value; and that judgements of perfection can themselves be aesthetic in character. An argument is offered in defence of this first claim. It is then argued that there is a better way than Kant's of grounding the second claim. The disinterestedness and freedom whereby Kant defines the pure aesthetic judgement, can also hold, in a modified way, for some judgements of perfection. The theory is developed through consideration of a range of different examples.

Keywords:   adherent beauty, free beauty, perfection, conditional value, disinterestedness, freedom, pure aesthetic judgement

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