March 7, 2017

Aesthetic Judgment and the Moral Image of the World: Studies by Dieter Henrich

By Dieter Henrich

A suite of 4 essays on aesthetic, moral, and political concerns via Dieter Henrich, the preeminent Kant pupil in Germany this day.

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Extra info for Aesthetic Judgment and the Moral Image of the World: Studies in Kant (Studies in Kant and German Idealism)

Sample text

Such a stance, however, with regard to the fundamental problem of aesthetics can hardly satisfy us as long as the principal tool of Kant's account remains insufficiently exposed and explained: the structure of the harmonious play. One could very well describe the fabrication of this tool as a combination of an old idea, that of the animation of the mind in a playful activit)', with the new theory of the synthetic activities of the mind. This description makes mandatory our efforts to ascertain that the combination results in both a structure free of tensions and a plausible image of the epistemic state expressed through aesthetic judgment.

Both in the United States and in France, the majority of those who acknowledged and justified human rights, and who acted in accordance with them, were of the opinion that this pathos and motivation were supported with good reasons. Human rights, they believed, were based on valid, universal norms. It was inconceivable to them to explain human rights in terms of l1idden interests or as a fiction for the integration of a newly emerging social system. If we are to reestablish the truth of hu~an rights claims in a contemporary formulation, we must once again take seriously what is today widely discarded: belief in valid, universal norms.

In the first place, whatever the doctrine of the schematism amounts to in particular, it certainly employs the notion of the power of judgment in its determinative sense: concepts, that is to say the categories, are at our disposal; how they can be applied to particular instances of what is given in intuition is the question up for discussion. Yet reflective judgment operates in the reverse direction; and a usage of the power of judgment that moves from intuitions toward the categories cannot be conceived of precisely because the categories originate prior to and independently of all intuitions.

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