Adherent Beauty and the Scope of Perfection

Paul Crowther

in The Kantian Aesthetic

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579976
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722615 | DOI:
Adherent Beauty and the Scope of Perfection

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This chapter considers Kant's distinction between adherent and free beauty. It shows that whilst not compelling, his structure of argument is at least consistent and, indeed, contains two crucial insights; namely, that beauty must sometimes take second place to perfection, and is thence of conditional rather than absolute value; and that judgements of perfection can themselves be aesthetic in character. An argument is offered in defence of this first claim. It is then argued that there is a better way than Kant's of grounding the second claim. The disinterestedness and freedom whereby Kant defines the pure aesthetic judgement, can also hold, in a modified way, for some judgements of perfection. The theory is developed through consideration of a range of different examples.

Keywords: adherent beauty; free beauty; perfection; conditional value; disinterestedness; freedom; pure aesthetic judgement

Chapter.  8827 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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