The role of symbolic presentation in Kant's theory of taste

Rueger A., Evren S.

BRITISH JOURNAL OF AESTHETICS, vol.45, no.3, pp.229-247, 2005 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/aesthj/ayi035
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.229-247
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


Beauty, or at least natural beauty, is famously a symbol of the morally good in Kant's theory of taste. Natural beauty is also, we argue, a symbol of the systematicity of nature. This symbolic connection of beauty and systematicity in nature sheds light on the relation between the principles underlying the use of reflecting judgement. The connection also motivates a more general interpretive proposal: the fact that the imagination can symbolize ideas plays a crucial role in the theory of taste; it is the mechanism that underlies pure judgements of taste, the operation by which the imagination 'schematizes without a concept'.