Abstract

abstract:

This paper describes one ancient model and three eighteenth-century accounts of the relation between beauty and goodness, including utility. Several modern philosophers, including Kant, can be understood in terms of these historical models. Like Hume and Sulzer, Kant distinguished two kinds of beauty: free and purpose-based. An examination of purpose-based beauty reveals how Kant handled the relation between beauty and utility. In all phases of his aesthetics, Kant’s account is best characterized as “unificationist”: beauty and utility are distinct concepts that can be conjoined or unified. Purpose-based beauty was central to Kant’s earlier aesthetics and, even after a notable conceptual shift, was retained in the form of ‘adherent’ beauty in his later account; it continued to be important for his mature aesthetics, and indeed is appealed to in discussions in contemporary aesthetics.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 305-335
Launched on MUSE
2018-04-17
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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