Genius and the Origins of Art in Kant's Aesthetics

dc.contributor.committeeChairDiPoppa, Francesca
dc.contributor.committeeMemberRibeiro, Anna
dc.creatorSilbernagel, A
dc.description.abstractThe account of artistic genius given by Immanuel Kant in the Critique of Judgment functions to explain how fine art is possible under Kant’s aesthetics. However, the cryptic quality of this account has led to its neglect in the secondary literature, where it is treated as an afterthought, episodic, or tangential. By clarifying Kant’s account of genius, this paper aims to secure the possibility of fine art under Kant’s aesthetics. In section one I summarize Kant’s account of aesthetic judgment, and explain how it gives rise to the problem of fine art, or the question of how artistic beauty is possible. Kant’s answer to this question is his account of genius, essential to which is genius’s connection to nature. In section two I clarify this connection, which involves specifying what the elements of genius are, their origins, and how they contribute to the production of beautiful art. On my reading, nature supplies genius with some, but not all, of the tools and materials that are required for the production of beautiful art. One important implication of my reading, which is discussed in section three, is that Kant’s genius entails the capacity to produce, not just fine art, but sublime art as well.
dc.titleGenius and the Origins of Art in Kant's Aesthetics