Immanuel Kant was and still is a famous and influential German philosopher who lived in the eighteenth century. His innovative thoughts and ideas brought drastic changes to the fields of teleology, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Like many thinkers of the Enlightenment, Kant explored the concepts of reasons, judgment, and beauty, trying to explain the fact that people have too much disagreement over what is beautiful or not.
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Kant’s ideas seem to be clear and simple and simultaneously hard to understand. According to the philosopher, beauty should be universal, meaning that if something is beautiful, it remains such notwithstanding one’s personal opinion (Burnham, n.d.). On the contrary, in case a person is obsessed with something or interested in its existence, their judgment becomes not disinterested, not of universal delight, and the beauty of this object is not universal, too (Burnham, n.d.). Kant believed in the concept of “beauty for its own sake” and insisted on distinguishing between pleasant, good, and beautiful as an object’s possible characteristics (Burnham, n.d.). As for the disagreement between some people over an object’s beauty, it is due to their inability to separate their judgments from their interests.
I cannot say that I totally agree with Kant’s ideas regarding beauty. As for me, some objects in this world are universally beautiful and should not be perceived otherwise. For example, they are some antique artwork or natural wonders and wealth. At the same time, other objects may be considered beautiful by some people and ordinary or ugly by others, but their beauty is still true for a part of people. Still, I agree with Kant’s differentiation between good, pleasant, and beautiful as things’ characteristics and think that these concepts are a lot more difficult to understand than they may seem.
Burnham, D. (n.d.). Immanuel Kant: Aesthetics. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Web.