Notes on the Critique of Judgement

Judgment by the facility of laws

For Kant, judgment in general is the facility of thinking about a particular as being contained under the universal. In other words, a way of conceptualising about a particular in so much that it is contained under an axiom, general rule, law or principle. For example: I might judge the ball hitting the bowling pins during a bowling session as being contained under the universal principle of cause and effect. In this way, the universal takes the particular under itself.

Kant argues that the facility of our thinking that allows us to do this is transcendental, and hence subscribes to certain a priori conditions i.e. innate mechanisms of mind, which allow for the phenomenon to be intelligible to us. However, if there is no universal that can be ascribed to a particular, then this ceases to be the case.

Judgements are determined by the universal laws which make up the mechanisms of mind. The universal laws are the many processes which act in necessary ways to produce certain actions and occurrences.

The Judgment of Taste is Aesthetic

To understand that something is beautiful, we do not refer to the representation of the object in itself. For Kant, we must look at the mechanisms of mind which lead us to think of something being beautiful. The grounds for a judgment cannot be, but subjective. There is a mediation however between our subjective judgment and the objects which are denoted in our thought. Only the sensations of pleasure and pain however, are purely subjective.

On Delight and Beauty

For Kant, the delight we feel is associated with the object in our midst. Such delight references the faculty of desire, either working as means or an end. We are not concerned about the object itself, but rather how it is presented in our minds. There are three types of relations of representations in regards to feeling pleasure or displeasure:

The Agreeable, which gratifies a man.
The Beautiful, which pleases a man.
The Good, which is esteemed by a man.

Beauty is a matter of delight. It is not a means to an end, but an end in itself. What is beautiful, must be agreed upon by the community. If we say something is beautiful, then we expect others to agree with us. If something is agreeable meanwhile, we cannot treat our judgements in a logical way, because what we are describing cannot be bought into a relationship where we can judge on thing as better than another. For example, wind instruments and string instruments.