Kant on the aesthetic dimension of cognition

Wednesday 28th January 2015 | 1600-1800 Senate House, Room G35

According to Kant, ‘There is neither a science of the beautiful, only a critique, nor beautiful science, only beautiful art.’ (CJ 184 [5:304]) This claim is usually understood rather straightforwardly. Science cannot be beautiful since it is all about concepts whilst beauty is defined by its non-conceptual nature. And by the same token, beauty cannot contribute to science since the former is grounded on subjective feelings whilst the latter has objective grounds (e.g., Rueger 1997, Koriako 1999, Wenzel 2001). However, I will argue that Kant’s view of the relationship between science and beauty is not as straightforward as it may seem, and that both of these claims are in fact false.