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Immanuel Kant's The Critique of Judgement

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Immanuel Kant's (1724-1804) great work on aesthetics, Critique of Judgment, argues that there is an objective quality to beauty that goes beyond mere emotion and personal preference. Though our individual pleasure or displeasure is fundamental in our attraction to a work of art, Kant argues that ultimately there are universal factors at play. The mere fact that such judgments are possible suggests a standard is being applied that exists outside of subjective opinion.

Associating aesthetic judgments with moral ones, Kant asserts that there is a common sense of pleasure that is ubiquitous among humans. With the obvious exception of outliers, modern physiology and the turn in contemporary art towards creating beautiful works necessitates the reexamination of these fundamental questions of aesthetics.

Originally published in 1790, Critique of Judgment (Part I: Critique of Aesthetic Judgment), is undoubtedly one of the most important essays in the history of aesthetics. Post-Modern Times is proud to make this work available in this attractive paperback edition.

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David Hume's Of the Standard of Taste

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David Hume's (1711-1776) great work on aesthetics, Of the Standard of Taste, takes on the arduous challenge of bringing the human passions, which determine our appreciation for art, under the cool rationality of the Enlightenment. Associating aesthetic choices with morality and applying his typical rigor, objectivity, and judiciousness to the subject, Hume managed to concisely systematize one of the most perplexing questions in philosophy.

Why are we attracted to certain works of art and indifferent to, or even repulsed by, others? Who is the most qualified to determine the merits of a work of art?

Originally published in 1757 as part of the Four Dissertations, Of the Standard of Taste is undoubtedly one of the most important essays in the history of aesthetics. Post-Modern Times is proud to make this work available in this attractive paperback edition.

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