Intensive Magnitudes, Temporality, and Sensus Communis in Kant’s Aesthetics

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I offer a critique of Melissa Zinkin’s reading of Kant’s analysis of aesthetic judgment. She argues that in judgments of taste the imagination is freed from its determinate relation with the understanding because the form of intuition in which beauty is apprehended is different from the form of intuition employed in determinate judgment. By distinguishing between an extensive and intensive form of intuition, this interpretation is able to explain why the apprehension of beauty cannot be subsumed under a concept. But I contest Zinkin’s identification of the sensus communis with this intensive form of intuition. I then substantiate two interrelated claims: that we can account for the genesis of the sensus communis by distinguishing between an intensive and an extensive form of time, and that we can avoid making the sensus communis atemporal by showing that it resides within an intensive form of time as a condition for its possibility, thereby structuring Kant’s account of the sensus communis securely within the critical framework.
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