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Attention and the Free Play of the Faculties

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 September 2021

Jessica J. Williams*
Affiliation:
University of South Florida

Abstract

The harmonious free play of the imagination and understanding is at the heart of Kant’s account of beauty in the Critique of the Power of Judgement, but interpreters have long struggled to determine what Kant means when he claims the faculties are in a state of free play. In this article, I develop an interpretation of the free play of the faculties in terms of the freedom of attention. By appealing to the different way that we attend to objects in aesthetic experience, we can explain how the faculties are free, even when the subject already possesses a concept of the object and is bound to the determinate form of the object in perception.

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Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Kantian Review

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