more from Immanuel Kant

Single Idea 20412

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 4. Beauty]

Full Idea

If the question is whether something is beautiful, one does not want to know whether there is something that is or that could be at stake, for us or for someone else, in the existence of the thing, but rather how we judge it in mere contemplation.

Gist of Idea

Beauty is only judged in pure contemplation, and not with something else at stake


Immanuel Kant (Critique of Judgement I: Aesthetic [1790], CUP 2 5:204), quoted by Elizabeth Schellekens - Immanuel Kant (aesthetics) 2.3

Book Reference

'Key Thinkers in Aesthetics', ed/tr. Giovannelli,Alessandro [Continuum 2012], p.67

A Reaction

This evidently denies that function has anything to do with beauty, and seems to be a prelude to 'art for art's sake'. But a running cheetah cannot be separated from the sheer efficiencey and focus of the performance.