XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

Disinterested Pleasure and the 'Universal Voice' of Beauty: Kant's Response to Burke

Bart Vandenabeele

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


Disinterested Pleasure and the ‘Universal Voice’ of Beauty: Kant’s Response to Burke

According to Burke, our pleasure in the beautiful is undeniably social, for it depends on our passions for society. Burke sets out to show that aesthetic feelings and experiences are entrenched in our most basic theoretical and practical interests, but he ultimately fails to account for the universal communicability of pure aesthetic judgments. I argue that Kant’s aesthetic theory, which is founded on the requirement of the disinterestedness of aesthetic pleasure, can – at least partly – be understood as a response to Burke’s empiricist and physiological approach. Although Kant emphasises the disinterestedness of pure aesthetic pleasure, he does not argue for a complete separation of aesthetic experience and our basic interests as reasonable and passionate beings. Yet he criticises Burke’s empiricist approach, since it fails to account for the qualitative distinctions between the pleasures in the agreeable and the beautiful, and for the universal validity claim of judgments of beauty.