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Chapter 20 - On judgement, criticism, approbation and fame

from PARERGA AND PARALIPOMENA, VOLUME 2

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2015

Adrian Del Caro
Affiliation:
University of Tennessee
Christopher Janaway
Affiliation:
University of Southampton
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Summary

§235

Kant presented his aesthetic in the Critique of the Power of Judgment; accordingly, in this chapter I will add to my aesthetic meditations above a small critique of the power of judgement, but only that which is empirically given, mainly for the purpose of saying that for the most part there is no such thing, since it is as rare a bird as the phoenix, for whose appearance one has to wait five hundred years.

§236

With the expression taste, not itself tastefully selected, we refer to that discovery or even mere recognition of the aesthetically correct, which happens without the guidance of a rule since either no rule extends so far or it was unknown to the exerciser or to the mere critic, respectively. – Instead of taste one could say aesthetic feeling, if this did not contain a tautology.

The interpreting, judging taste is, so to speak, the female to the male of productive talent or genius. Incapable of begetting, it consists in the capacity to conceive, i.e., to recognize as such the correct, the beautiful, the suitable – as well as its opposite, and therefore to distinguish between good and bad, to identify and honour the former, and to reject the latter.

§237

Authors can be divided into meteors, planets and fixed stars. – The first kind deliver momentary explosive effects; one looks up, cries “look there!” and they are gone forever. – The second kind, the planets, have much greater longevity. They shine often more brightly than the fixed stars, although merely because of their proximity, and those who do not know better take them for the fixed stars. Meanwhile they too must soon give up their place, and furthermore they have only borrowed light and a sphere of influence restricted to their fellow orbiters (contemporaries). They wander and change; theirs is a circulation of a few years. – The third kind alone are unchanging, stand fixed in the firmament, have their own light, and act at one time as well as another, since they do not alter their appearance by a change in our standpoint, having no parallax. They do not belong to one system (nation) like the others, but to the world. But precisely because of their lofty position their light usually requires many years before it is visible to inhabitants of the earth.

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Schopenhauer: Parerga and Paralipomena
Short Philosophical Essays
, pp. 407 - 429
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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