School Papers

4.6 make an aestheticreflective judgment. Kant claims that

4.6 The Solution of the ‘Everything Is Beautiful’ ProblemJudgments of taste (of the beautiful) depend on our ability to experience freeharmony between imagination and understanding, in other words, on our ability tojudge objects by the means of the a priori subjective principle of the purposivenessof nature. This ability also underlies empirical concept formation. Kant’s ideais that free harmony is the cause of the feeling of pleasure. But this impliesnot only that I feel pleasure in making a judgment of taste, but I must alsoexperience pleasure each time I acquire the empirical concept for an object. Thisimplies that all objects of cognition (or at least in those cases where we find aconcept for the first time) must be experienced as beautiful. The interpretativestrategies given so far which argue that free harmony is a necessary subjectivecondition for empirical concept formation, cannot meet the ‘everything is beautiful’problem.15The interpretation I have developed can meet this problem. The solution dependson distinguishing between two different ways that the principle of purposivenessis employed in aesthetic and logical reflective judgments. It is only in an aestheticand not logical reflective judgment that the principle is employed in a way thatproduces the relevant feeling of pleasure, which leads to judgments of the beautiful.My reasoning is the following. Based on Kant, an object is considered aestheticallypurposive (i.e. beautiful) when its representation is immediately connected topleasure (KU 5:189, p. 75). But what is immediately connected to pleasure can onlybe the reflection on an object’s particular combination of properties. Accordingly,only when we reflect on an object as an individual do we in fact make an aestheticreflective judgment. Kant claims that a judgment of taste concerns a singularrepresentation of the object, that is, a singular form, rather than a relation betweenforms. The predicate beautiful is ascribed to the individual and not to the set ofindividuals belonging to the same kind. For example, a judgment ‘this flower isbeautiful’ is a singular judgment and cannot automatically be applied to all flowers