Non-Fiction Books:

The Idea of Form

Rethinking Kant's Aesthetics

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The Idea of Form by Rodolphe Gasche

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Against the assumption that aesthetic form relates to a harmonious arrangement of parts into a beautiful whole, this work argues that reason is the real theme of the Critique of Judgement as of the two earlier Critiques. Since aesthetic judgement of the beautiful becomes possible only when the mind is confronted with things of nature, for which no determined concepts of understanding are available, aesthetic judgement is involved in an epistemological or, rather, para-epistemological task. The predicate "beautiful" indicates that something has minimal form and is cognizable. This book explores this concept of form, in particular the role of presentation (Darstellung) in what Kant refers to as mere form, which involves not only the understanding, but also reason as the faculty of ideas. Such a notion of form reveals why the beautiful can be related to the morally good. On the basis of this reinterpreted concept of form, most major concepts and themes of the Critique of Judgement - such as disinterestedness, free play, the sublime, genius and beautiful arts - are examined by the author and shown in a new light.

Author Biography

Rodolphe Gasche is Eugenio Donato Professor of Comparative Literature at SUNY, Buffalo. His most recent book is Of Minimal Things: Studies on the Notion of Relation (Stanford, 1999).
Release date NZ
December 10th, 2002
Country of Publication
United States
Stanford University Press
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