XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

Kant on the Reality of Beauty

Gabriele Tomasi

Edificio: Facoltà di Agraria
Sala: sala Locke
Data: 24 maggio 2010 - 17:00
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010


This paper provides an interpretation of Kant’s statement that beauty holds (gilt) only for humans (KU, § 5). It is argued that this statement entails a criticism of the realism which is part of the ordinary aesthetic attitude. However, the claim that beauty is relative to our experience does not imply that beauty is unreal. The paper argues that Kant’s understanding of beauty in terms of the form of finality is compatible with a moderate realism about beauty. This realism includes: (a) a conception of beauty as a relational property; (b) the claim that beauty is a property of things which cannot be described or conceptually specified. In the conclusion of the paper, it is argued that the ascription of this form of realism to Kant is in line with a basic aim of the third Critique. This aim is enabling us to think that the lawfulness of nature is compatible with the realization of the aims of freedom.