Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 2018

Aesthetics and Philosophies of Art

Thomas Heyd
Pages 121-125

Re-reading Kant on Free and Adherent Beauty

Paul Guyer has proposed that, despite Kant’s apparent avowals that judgements of beauty of things are made without consideration of the purposes that we have for them, purposes do enter into aesthetic judgements of “adherent beauty.” He even attributes to Kant the view that functionality is a necessary condition for the beauty of objects that have certain ends or functions. I consider his claims and propose that, according to Kant, the degree to which an object fulfills its ends may pose a psychological – rather than a logical – factor in its aesthetic appreciation. I agree that judgements of beauty, with regard to many things, certainly are made in relation to the functions that we attribute to those things, but argue that these judgements, as such, are logically independent of whatever judgements are made regarding their functionality, even if in practice their functionality may impinge on our aesthetic judgements.