What does Kant say is the determining ground for the judgment of taste? What particular kind of necessity does an aesthetic judgement entail? What is the role of common sense in aesthetic judgment? What is the relation between common sense and an ideal?

Kant says judgement of taste is linked to an aesthetic judgement. Both emphasize a person’s own feelings and senses. More so, it seems like Kant argues that all humans share certain senses or propensities. Every person feels pleasure and pain. That’s what allows them to issue a judgment of taste and an aesthetic judgment. All humans also have the ability to reason. The mixture of reason and feeling propels them to represent abstract ideas with a specific ideal.

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As you likely already know, the German philosopher Immanuel Kant has some rather intricate ideas about aesthetics, taste, common sense, and the Ideal. I can hopefully help clarify what Kant might be trying to say about these complicated concepts.

Let’s tackle judgment of taste first.

In Critique of Judgement ,...

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As you likely already know, the German philosopher Immanuel Kant has some rather intricate ideas about aesthetics, taste, common sense, and the Ideal. I can hopefully help clarify what Kant might be trying to say about these complicated concepts.

Let’s tackle judgment of taste first.

In Critique of Judgement, Kant declares, “The judgment of taste is therefore not a judgement of cognition.” When Kant says “cognition,” it seems like he’s saying “thinking.” You can think about something or understand something in an objective way. You can think about and understand history or math or a poem without necessarily involving your own personal feelings

Yet taste, according to Kant, is more “aesthetical” than “logical.” Taste has to do with how something makes you feel. It has to do with “pleasure or pain.” It’s “connected with the sensation of satisfaction.”

If you’ve ever read a poem that made you laugh or feel rather warm and bubbly inside, then Kant would probably say you’ve given that poem a “judgement of taste.” That poem brought you “satisfaction” or “pleasure.”

More so, if you’ve ever read a poem that made you appalled or outraged or cringe thoroughly, Kant would again probably say you’ve applied a judgment of taste to that poem. This time, however, that taste has more to do “pain” or unpleasant feelings than “pleasure” or “satisfaction.”

Let’s tackle aesthetical judgment now. Like I said earlier, aesthetical judgment is related to judgement of taste. Like judgement of taste, aesthetical judgment is more about the subject than the object. It’s about how a person relates to a certain thing.

For example, say a person named Immanuel notes that a building is tall. That’s not really an aesthetical judgment. Immanuel didn’t determine if the building was tall or not. The building—or the people who designed and built it—already determined that.

However, if Immanuel calls that building “beautiful,” then that’s an aesthetical judgment. Immanuel calls that tall building “beautiful” because he has a taste or a feeling for that building. It’s about him. His feeling is a “judgement of taste” and the ensuing judgement—i.e. calling the tall building “beautiful”—is his aesthetical judgment.

As for common sense and the Ideal, they seem to go together for Kant because they both suggest a shared belief or a collective way of thinking among humans. According to Kant, humans are predisposed to an Ideal since only humans possess the “intelligence that is susceptible of the Ideal of perfection.”

For Kant, an Ideal is a “judgement of taste which is in part intellectual.” Ideals come from ideas or concepts. For example, a painter might think about the concept of beauty. If that painter chooses to represent their reasoned concept of beauty with a specific person, they’ve created an Ideal. They’ve turned an abstract concept into a specific representation that elicits pleasure or feeling.

Again, it seems like Kant is saying that each person has the propensity to create an Ideal. It is a sense that can be found in humanity in general. In a way, it’s a common sense.

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