Why didn’t Kant think highly of music?

In Violetta Waibel & Margit Ruffing (eds.), Natur und Freiheit: Akten des XII. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter. pp. 3141-3148 (2018)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
In this paper, in answering the question why Kant didn’t think very highly of music, I argue that for Kant (i) music unlike other art forms, lends itself more easily to combination judgments involving judgments of sense, which increases the propensity to make aesthetic mistakes and is ill-suited as an activity for improving one’s taste; (ii) music expresses aesthetic ideas and presents rational ideas only by taking advantage of existing associations while other art forms do so by breaking with the laws of association and creating new associations. I propose that (ii) constitutes the reason why music is not a rich source for reflection and thereby cannot stimulate the enlargement of the cognitive faculties. Given that the standard Kant uses in setting up the hierarchy of fine arts in terms of their cultivating role is the enlargement of cognitive faculties, this explains why music is placed at the bottom of his hierarchy.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-05-26
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
107 ( #32,129 of 50,193 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
33 ( #18,952 of 50,193 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.