An Argument for the Positive Moral Effects of Taste in Society in Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment

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Scholars have typically interpreted Immanuel Kant’s position Critique of Judgment to take a negative view of the moral effects of taste in society. I argue against this view, and show how taste plays an ambiguous but ultimately positive role in moral achievement in society. Taste helps to address many of the evil effects that come from society that if left unchecked could lead one to moral despair. Expanding upon Kant’s conception of human society as unsocial sociability, I outline how taste interacts with our social and unsocial natures, to show how taste provides a benefit to society. I end by showing the positive moral effects of taste in society, through aiding the creation of a civil society, and making human society a place friendlier to moral achievement.


Keywords: Kant, Critique of Judgment, Society, Art, Moral
Stream: Arts Theory and Criticism
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: , Argument for the Positive Moral Effects of Taste in Society in Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment, An


Gabriel Brunswick

Recent Graduate, Department of Philosophy
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University

Chicago, Ilinois, USA

Gabriel Brunswick is a recent graduate of Northwestern University. An earlier version of this work was his undergraduate honors thesis. He has lived in Brooklyn, Chicago, Washington DC and Istanbul, which is reflected in his interests in medieval Jewish and Islamic philosophy, Kant, and the relations between aesthetic and political theory.

Ref: A09P0745