The Critique of Aesthetic Judgement: Part One of the Critique of Judgement

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Author: Immanuel Kant  | Date: 1790

SS 22. The necessity of the universal assent that is thought in a judgement of taste, is a subjective necessity which, under the presupposition of a common sense, is represented as objective

In all judgements by which we describe anything as beautiful, we tolerate no one else being of a different opinion, and in taking up this position we do not rest our judgement upon concepts, but only on our feeling. Accordingly we introduce this fundamental feeling not as a private feeling, but as a public sense. Now, for this purpose, experience cannot be made the ground of this common sense, for the latter is invoked to justify judgements containing an "ought." The assertion is not that every one will fall in with our judgement, but rather that every one ought to agree with it. Here I put forward my judgement of taste as an example of the judgement of common sense, and attribute to it on that account exemplary validity. Hence common sense is a mere ideal norm. With this as presupposition, a judgement that accords with it, as well as the delight in an object expressed in that judgement, is rightly converted into a rule for everyone. For the principle, while it is only subjective, being yet assumed as subjectively universal (a necessary idea for everyone), could, in what concerns the consensus of different judging subjects, demand universal assent like an objective principle, provided we were assured of our subsumption under it being correct.

This indeterminate norm of a common sense is, as a matter of fact, presupposed by us; as is shown by our presuming to lay down judgements of taste. But does such a common sense in fact exist as a constitutive principle of the possibility of experience, or is it formed for us as a regulative principle by a still higher principle of reason, that for higher ends first seeks to beget in us a common sense? Is taste, in other words, a natural and original faculty, or is it only the idea of one that is artificial and to be acquired by us, so that a judgement of taste, with its demand for universal assent, is but a requirement of reason for generating such a consensus, and does the "ought," i.e., the objective necessity of the coincidence of the feeling of all with the particular feeling of each, only betoken the possibility of arriving at some sort of unanimity in these matters, and the judgement of taste only adduce an example of the application of this principle? These are questions which as yet we are neither willing nor in a position to investigate. For the present we have only to resolve the faculty of taste into its elements, and to unite these ultimately in the idea of a common sense.

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Chicago: Immanuel Kant, "Ss 22. The Necessity of the Universal Assent That Is Thought in a Judgement of Taste, Is a Subjective Necessity Which, Under the Presupposition of a Common Sense, Is Represented as Objective," The Critique of Aesthetic Judgement: Part One of the Critique of Judgement, trans. James Creed Meredith Original Sources, accessed January 26, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9EX44AL6EU929HX.

MLA: Kant, Immanuel. "Ss 22. The Necessity of the Universal Assent That Is Thought in a Judgement of Taste, Is a Subjective Necessity Which, Under the Presupposition of a Common Sense, Is Represented as Objective." The Critique of Aesthetic Judgement: Part One of the Critique of Judgement, translted by James Creed Meredith, Original Sources. 26 Jan. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9EX44AL6EU929HX.

Harvard: Kant, I, 'Ss 22. The Necessity of the Universal Assent That Is Thought in a Judgement of Taste, Is a Subjective Necessity Which, Under the Presupposition of a Common Sense, Is Represented as Objective' in The Critique of Aesthetic Judgement: Part One of the Critique of Judgement, trans. . Original Sources, retrieved 26 January 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9EX44AL6EU929HX.