Beauty And Judgement Analysis

1058 Words 5 Pages
In his writing ‘An Essay on Beauty and Judgement’, Nehamas discusses beauty and it’s place in art, and it’s rejection in philosophy. Within the essay it is also queried how aesthetic judgements are used, and whether a universal agreement needs to be reached for something to hold beauty. When we say something is beautiful, or that it holds aesthetic value, Nehamas questions whether or not this is just personal opinion.

Nehamas begins his discussion by introducing us to what an aesthetic judgement is. An aesthetic judgement can take place when we hear, witness, or read a piece of art, for instance a poem. The features of this work, for instance the techniques or words used, will evoke a feeling of pleasure within us. It is this feeling of pleasure
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Kant questioned whether we express simply a personal feeling when we say something is beautiful or aesthetically valuable in his writing Critique of Judgement. He comes to conclude that an aesthetic judgement is just an expression of personal feeling, a normative claim. A normative claim asserts what ought to be the case – they are value judgements. With this in mind, it makes sense that we want to share our judgements of what beholds beauty and what is aesthetically pleasing with others, with the hope that they will agree. However, a problem is then posed: how can we know that what we perceive as holding aesthetically value is right and that others should agree? Nehamas explains that Kant discusses this question in Critique of Judgement, yet his attempt failed due to a number of reasons. First, we are again brought back to the issue that no features can explain why one finds what they do to be beautiful – it is subjective. Nehamas also explains that Kant’s attempts were flawed as Kant asserted that the judgement of what is aesthetically pleasure required everyone’s agreement – something that would be impossible to …show more content…
It is explained that aesthetic values are personal, not social; they have no concern with morality nor with citizenship. Yet, beauty does require communication as there is a part of us that wants to share what we find beautiful with others in order to enhance their lives. It is through this process that we participate or create a community; those who agree with your findings of beauty will take part in this ‘never-ending conversation’ about this specific piece of art. Beauty leads us into searching further into individual features of a case, but simultaneously allows us to compare it to everything else. Nehamas explains that the more we understand something, the more comparisons we need in order to distinguish it from everything else. He explains that it is in this process that we discover new things that we may also perceive as beautiful, leading to a never-ending realm of new

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