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Kant's Aesthetic Theory The Beautiful and Agreeable by David Berger

Kant's Aesthetic Theory The Beautiful and Agreeable


Kant's Aesthetic Theory The Beautiful and Agreeable by David Berger

Taste is ordinarily thought of in terms of two very different idioms - a normative idiom of taste as a standard of appraisal and a non-normative idiom of taste as a purely personal matter. Kant attempts to capture this twofold conception of taste within the terms of his mature critical philosophy by distinguishing between the beautiful and the agreeable. Scholars have largely taken Kant's distinction for granted, but David Berger argues that it is both far richer and far more problematic than it may appear. Berger examines in detail Kant's various attempts to distinguish beauty from agreeableness. This approach reveals the complex interplay between Kant's substantive aesthetic theory and his broader views on metaphysics and epistemology. Indeed, Berger argues that the real interest of Kant's distinction between beauty and agreeableness is ultimately epistemological. His interpretation brings Kant's aesthetic theory into dialogue with questions at the heart of contemporary analytic philosophy and shows how philosophical aesthetics can offer fresh insights into contemporary philosophical debates.


Berger presents a lively, fresh and philosophically engaging interpretation of Kant's theory of the beautiful. He sheds a new light on some of the most significant interpretative and philosophical issues raised by Kant's aesthetics, and he engages productively with broader questions regarding the relation between aesthetic and cognitive norms. The book will be of interest not only to Kant scholars but also to readers interested in aesthetics and in the connection between aesthetics and the study of mind and language. - Professor Hannah Ginsborg, University of California Berkeley, USA Mentioned in the Published this Week section, Times Higher Education, August 2009. Addresses an important topic in philosophical aesthetics and in the interpretation of Kant's aesthetic theory in an elegant prose style, and it makes a helpful contribution to our as-yet inadequate understanding of the normative form of judgements of taste.' - British Journal of Aesthetics

About the Author

David Berger teaches philosophy at the University of Michigan, USA.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th October 2011


David Berger

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Continuum Publishing Corporation


176 pages


Philosophy: metaphysics & ontology



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