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Transition or Subversion? : Politics of Containment in Kant's Aesthetics

Authors
유경훈
Issue Date
Dec-2004
Publisher
한국영미어문학회
Keywords
Kant; aesthetics; transition; subversion; reflective judgment; autonomy; Kant; aesthetics; transition; subversion; reflective judgment; autonomy
Citation
영미어문학, v.73, pp.139 - 176
Journal Title
영미어문학
Volume
73
Start Page
139
End Page
176
URI
https://scholarworks.sookmyung.ac.kr/handle/2020.sw.sookmyung/9540
ISSN
1229-0580
Abstract
Kant's purpose of the third Critique is to achieve a transition from the domain of the concept of nature to that of the concept of freedom through the power of aesthetic judgment so as to make a harmonious system of his philosophy. His transition thesis hinges on the aesthetic judgment's analogous and distinct relation with the nonaesthetic domains of knowledge and morality. The analogous relation is most prominent in his discussion of a common sense through which he shows that the constitutive and the regulative principles are intricately interconnected to form a whole subject who can reconcile and interchange three modes of philosophical and experiencial faculties (understanding, judgment, and reason). The distinct relation points to the aesthetic autonomy. The aesthetic presentation of subjectively necessary feeling has nothing to do with the objective cognition of the object, moral determination of our will, or sensual gratification, since any heteronomous interest should not contaminate the aesthetic judgment. The aesthetic judgment must be pure, that is, purely cut from the domains of the determinative judgments. Kant's emphasis on the pureness of the judgment, however, reveals his strategy of containment that represses the seed of aesthetic subversion. The strategy makes futile the aesthetic intervention to correct the limitedness of knowledge and morality. Kant's politics residing in the containment is to block the aesthetic critique that might subvert his three-part structure of philosophy. The political ramification of the containment is to keep the two fixed realms intact so that the aesthetic becomes powerless against ever-growing problems of modernity. This paper suggests a way to overcome the politics of containment.
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