In the Second Moment of the Critique of Judgement, Kant writes about how the universality of the judgment of beauty is without concepts. I understand what he is doing here, but keep wondering whether it really could be possible to judge without concepts. Are there any substantial critiques on this point?
Kant is trying to define beauty as something universal
For those interested text of critique is here. Essentially, Kant tries to define beautiful as something satisfying, independent of senses or personal preferences, as opposed to pleasing (that does depend on senses and personal preferences) . Kant therefore denies that anything that must be sensed (pictures, music, wine and probably even women :)) could be beautiful, simply because personal tastes indeed do vary between individuals. Also, we really don't know how other people perceive the same thing (for example some people like violet color, other see it as dull etc ...)
Next step for Kant is to declare that anything determined to be beautiful using reflection (i.e. thinking) is also not universal, therefore not really beautiful, merely good. His reasoning is that reflection relies on concepts and categories, and these are just characteristics of objects. And even Kant admits that you cannot "persuade" someone to feel beauty trough objective analysis. For example Person X doesn't feel that some object is beautiful, and then you tell him "this object is beautiful because it has this and this" , and puff ... now he feels the beauty :) Or in Kant own words
If we judge Objects merely according to concepts, then all representation of beauty is lost. Thus there can be no rule according to which any one is to be forced to recognise anything as beautiful.
Having painted himself in a corner, rejecting both senses and reason, and still seeking universal beauty, Kant now relies on very convoluted explanation, his usual style :) According to Kant, we may yet see a woman and declare her to be (universally) beautiful, although in reality she is just pleasing to our senses (eyes). But what is also real is Idea of Beauty, as an faculty of the Mind. Or plainly, we see woman, she is just pleasing to our eyes (and may not be pleasing for eyes of another) . But her appearance triggers our sense of beauty (which is universal) , and this sense transforms her from pleasing experience to something much higher.
The universal voice is, therefore, only an Idea (we do not yet inquire upon what it rests). It may be uncertain whether or not the man, who believes that he is laying down a judgement of taste, is, as a matter of fact, judging in conformity with that idea; but that he refers his judgement thereto, and, consequently, that it is intended to be a judgement of taste, he announces by the expression “beauty.”
This whole essay is in line of Kant general idea to map the mind. He famously proclaimed that time and space are just functions (abilities) of the mind. Therefore, he attempted to use same hammer to solve every philosophical problem - everything that is universal must be just another part of the mind.