Larissa Berger (Forschungsinstitut für Philosophie Hannover) on “What Is It Like to Feel Beauty? On the phenomenological meaning of Kant’s thesis of disinterestedness”

November 2021, Monday 8th, 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Venue: Institut Jean Nicod, Salle de réunion, 29 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris (you can enter also from 24 rue Lhomond)

Abstract:  One of the central and, indeed, most influential claims of Kant’s theory of beauty is that the pleasure in the beautiful is disinterested. However, what this thesis of disinterestedness (TD) means has been highly disputed. Moreover, it has been objected that TD leads to highly problematic consequences, most importantly, that we should not care at all for beautiful objects. In my talk I aim to show that TD has a complex meaning which can be unfolded on several levels. To get a proper theoretical grasp on this thesis one needs to take into account the notions of the free play of the faculties, form and purposiveness without a purpose. But since these notions are only available much later after disinterestedness has been introduced, and moreover, since these notions are only derived from TD, I will argue that we are in need of a more intuitive grasp on TD. This grasp is phenomenological: the pleasure in the beautiful feels disinterested, that is, detached of any desiring.



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