My "Introduction to Aesthetics" textbook (a cheap-looking book made by people of questionable credentials) claims that Immanuel Kant had said something to the effect of "Beauty doesn't lie on the rosy cheeks of a maiden, but in the eyes of a man in love" to illustrate his view that "beauty is purely subjective", but I can't for the life of me find that quote anywhere. You can only translate the words so many ways (the book isn't in English, but in my native language), and I even Googled just "Kant" and "cheeks" alone but still got nothing.

For context, this course on aesthetics is rather secondary, so the school didn't bother to get a more legitimate-looking book, they just got a Marxist-looking one, and I'm a poor student in a third world country so access to good textbooks isn't feasible.

So had Kant ever said anything like that?

  • 1
    It sure reminds me of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"... – elliot svensson Jan 17 '19 at 20:22
  • @elliotsvensson - ... that is usually atrributed to Plato, but I think it is again misattributed. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Jan 17 '19 at 20:24
  • From this ( jstor.org/stable/429035?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents ) your quote probably came from Kant's "Critique of Judgment". – elliot svensson Jan 17 '19 at 20:24
  • C.S. Lewis criticized Kant's "Critique of Judgment" conclusion about complete subjectivity, basing beauty instead on feelings of pleasure, in his book "The Abolition of Man." www.basicincome.com/bp/files/The_Abolition_of_Man-C_S_Lewis.pdf – elliot svensson Jan 17 '19 at 20:30
  • This does not imply beauty is completely subjective, if biology or cultural convention cause this to be a shared reaction. – user9166 Jan 18 '19 at 16:12

Maybe a way to exemplify in simple terms Kant's point of view ...

Critique of Judgment, “Critique of Aesthetic Judgment”, Remark to §38. Deduction of judgments of taste :

for beauty is not a concept of the object [emphasis added], and the judgment of taste is not a judgment of cognition.

  • It's represented as a quote though. Damn, I guess I have no choice but to content myself with working with this piece of spurious "textbook" garbage. – Vun-Hugh Vaw Jan 17 '19 at 16:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.