Volume 58, Issue 3, September 2018
Three Necessities in Kant’s Theory of Taste
Necessary Universality, Necessary Judgment, and Necessary Free Harmony
This paper argues that the structural obscurity in Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment reflects his tacit employment of three correlated but distinct notions: necessity considered as the universal validity of the judgment of taste; necessity considered as a feature of the judgment itself; and necessity considered as a feature of the mental free harmony that obtains in judging certain forms with taste. These distinctions have not been sufficiently recognized by commentators so far. Clarification of these three notions can shed new light on the structure of the first part of Kant’s third Critique as well as on debates over the plausibility of his claims regarding taste.