XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

Kant’s Feeling: Why judgments of Taste Are de dicto Necessary

Jose Luis Fernandez

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: sala Diderot
Data: 22 maggio 2010 - 14:30
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010


Modal necessity can be ascribed not only to propositions, but also to feelings. In the "Critique of Judgment" (KU), Immanuel Kant argues that a feeling of beauty is the necessary satisfaction instantiated by the ‘free play’ of the cognitive faculties, which provides the grounds for a judgment of taste (KU 5:196, 217-19). In contradistinction to the theoretical necessity of the "Critique of Pure Reason" and the moral necessity of the "Critique of Practical Reason", the necessity assigned to a judgment of taste is exemplary necessity (KU 5:237). Modal necessity can also be assigned by employing the de re/de dicto distinction. Although Kant does not use this distinction in any of his Critiques, this omission has not prevented Kant scholars from applying the distinction in their analyses of the first two Critiques. In this paper, I examine the role that modality plays in Kant’s Third Critique and I attempt to bring the de re/de dicto distinction to bear on Kant’s famous aesthetic theory. Ultimately, I perform a retrograde classification of the modality of taste by arguing that because a judgment of taste does not draw from determinate concepts which have objects as their content, a judgment of ‘x is beautiful’ can be read only as de dicto necessary.