§ 23.: Transition from the faculty which judges of the Beautiful to that which judges of the Sublime - Immanuel Kant, The Critique of Judgement 
Kant’s Critique of Judgement, translated with Introduction and Notes by J.H. Bernard (2nd ed. revised) (London: Macmillan, 1914).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
- Editor’s Introduction
- I.: Of the Division of Philosophy
- II.: Of the Realm of Philosophy In General
- III.: Of the Critique of Judgement As a Means of Combining the Two Parts of Philosophy Into a Whole.
- IV.: Of Judgement As a Faculty Legislating a Priori
- V.: The Principle of the Formal Purposiveness of Nature Is a Transcendental Principle of Judgement.
- VI.: Of the Combination of the Feeling of Pleasure With the Concept of the Purposiveness of Nature.
- VII.: Of the Aesthetical Representation of the Purposiveness of Nature.
- VIII.: Of the Logical Representation of the Purposiveness of Nature
- IX.: Of the Connexion of the Legislation of Understanding With That of Reason By Means of the Judgement
- Part I: Critique of the Aesthetical Judgement
- First Division: Analytic of the Aesthetical Judgement
- First Book: Analytic of the Beautiful
- First Moment: of the Judgement of Taste 1 According to Quality
- § 1.: The Judgement of Taste Is Aesthetical
- § 2.: The Satisfaction Which Determines the Judgement of Taste Is Disinterested
- § 3.: The Satisfaction In the Pleasant Is Bound Up With Interest
- § 4.: The Satisfaction In the Good Is Bound Up With Interest
- § 5.: Comparison of the Three Specifically Different Kinds of Satisfaction
- Explanation of the Beautiful Resulting From the First Moment
- Second Moment: of the Judgement of Taste, Viz. According to Quantity
- § 6.: The Beautiful Is That Which Apart From Concepts Is Represented As the Object of a Universal Satisfaction
- § 7.: Comparison of the Beautiful With the Pleasant and the Good By Means of the Above Characteristic
- § 8.: The Universality of the Satisfaction Is Represented In a Judgement of Taste Only As Subjective
- § 9.: Investigation of the Question Whether In the Judgement of Taste the Feeling of Pleasure Precedes Or Follows the Judging of the Object
- Explanation of the Beautiful Resulting From the Second Moment
- Third Moment: of Judgements of Taste, According to the Relation of the Purposes Which Are Brought Into Consideration Therein.
- § 10.: Of Purposiveness In General
- § 11.: The Judgement of Taste Has Nothing At Its Basis But the Form of the Purposiveness of an Object ( Or of Its Mode of Representation )
- § 12.: The Judgement of Taste Rests On a Priori Grounds
- § 13.: The Pure Judgement of Taste Is Independent of Charm and Emotion
- § 14.: Elucidation By Means of Examples
- § 15.: The Judgement of Taste Is Quite Independent of the Concept of Perfection
- § 16.: The Judgement of Taste, By Which an Object Is Declared to Be Beautiful Under the Condition of a Definite Concept, Is Not Pure
- § 17.: Of the Ideal of Beauty
- Explanation of the Beautiful Derived From This Third Moment
- Fourth Moment: of the Judgement of Taste, According to the Modality of the Satisfaction In the Object
- § 18.: What the Modality In a Judgement of Taste Is
- § 19.: The Subjective Necessity, Which We Ascribe to the Judgement of Taste, Is Conditioned
- § 20.: The Condition of Necessity Which a Judgement of Taste Asserts Is the Idea of a Common Sense
- § 21.: Have We Ground For Presupposing a Common Sense?
- § 22.: The Necessity of the Universal Agreement That Is Thought In a Judgement of Taste Is a Subjective Necessity, Which Is Represented As Objective Under the Presupposition of a Common Sense
- Explanation of the Beautiful Resulting From the Fourth Moment
- General Remark On the First Section of the Analytic
- Second Book: Analytic of the Sublime
- § 23.: Transition From the Faculty Which Judges of the Beautiful to That Which Judges of the Sublime
- § 24.: Of the Divisions of an Investigation Into the Feeling of the Sublime
- A.: — of the Mathematically Sublime
- § 25.: Explanation of the Term “ Sublime ”
- § 26.: Of That Estimation of the Magnitude of Natural Things Which Is Requisite For the Idea of the Sublime
- § 27.: Of the Quality of the Satisfaction In Our Judgements Upon the Sublime
- B.: — of the Dynamically Sublime In Nature
- § 28.: Of Nature Regarded As Might
- § 29.: Of the Modality of the Judgement Upon the Sublime In Nature
- General Remark Upon the Exposition of the Aesthetical Reflective Judgement
- Deduction of [pure 1 ] Aesthetical Judgements
- § 30.: The Deduction of Aesthetical Judgements On the Objects of Nature Must Not Be Directed to What We Call Sublime In Nature, But Only to the Beautiful.
- § 31.: Of the Method of Deduction of Judgements of Taste
- § 32.: First Peculiarity of the Judgement of Taste
- § 33.: Second Peculiarity of the Judgement of Taste
- § 34.: There Is No Objective Principle of Taste Possible
- § 35.: The Principle of Taste Is the Subjective Principle of Judgement In General
- § 36.: Of the Problem of a Deduction of Judgements of Taste
- § 37.: What Is Properly Asserted a Priori of an Object In a Judgement of Taste
- § 38.: Deduction of Judgements of Taste
- § 39.: Of the Communicability of a Sensation
- § 40.: Of Taste As a Kind of Sensus Communis
- § 41.: Of the Empirical Interest In the Beautiful
- § 42.: Of the Intellectual Interest In the Beautiful
- § 43.: Of Art In General
- § 44.: Of Beautiful Art
- § 45.: Beautiful Art Is an Art, In So Far As It Seems Like Nature
- § 46.: Beautiful Art Is the Art of Genius
- § 47.: Elucidation and Confirmation of the Above Explanation of Genius
- § 48.: Of the Relation of Genius to Taste
- § 49.: Of the Faculties of the Mind That Constitute Genius
- § 50.: Of the Combination of Taste With Genius In the Products of Beautiful Art
- § 51.: Of the Division of the Beautiful Arts
- § 52.: Of the Combination of Beautiful Arts In One and the Same Product
- § 53.: Comparison of the Respective Aesthetical Worth of the Beautiful Arts
- § 54.: Remark
- Second Division: Dialectic of the Aesthetical Judgement
- § 55: § 56.
- § 57.: Solution of the Antinomy of Taste
- § 58.: Of the Idealism of the Purposiveness of Both Nature and Art As the Unique Principle of the Aesthetical Judgement.
- § 59.: Of Beauty As the Symbol of Morality
- § 60.: Of the Method of Taste
- Part II: Critique of the Teleological Judgement
- § 61.: Of the Objective Purposiveness of Nature
- First Division: Analytic of the Teleological Judgement
- § 62.: Of the Objective Purposiveness Which Is Merely Formal As Distinguished From That Which Is Material
- § 63.: Of the Relative, As Distinguished From the Inner, Purposiveness of Nature
- § 64.: Of the Peculiar Character of Things As Natural Purposes
- § 65.: Things Regarded As Natural Purposes Are Organised Beings
- § 66.: Of the Principle of Judging of Internal Purposiveness In Organised Beings
- § 67.: Of the Principle of the Teleological Judging of Nature In General As a System of Purposes
- § 68.: Of the Principle of Teleology As Internal Principle of Natural Science
- Second Division
- Dialectic of the Teleological Judgement
- § 69.: What Is an Antinomy of the Judgement?
- § 70.: Representation of This Antinomy
- § 71.: Preliminary to the Solution of the Above Antinomy
- § 72.: Of the Different Systems Which Deal With the Purposiveness of Nature
- § 73.: None of the Above Systems Give What They Pretend
- § 74.: The Reason That We Cannot Treat the Concept of a Technic of Nature Dogmatically Is the Fact That a Natural Purpose Is Inexplicable
- § 75.: The Concept of an Objective Purposiveness of Nature Is a Critical Principle of Reason For the Reflective Judgement
- § 76.: Remark
- § 77.: Of the Peculiarity of the Human Understanding, By Means of Which the Concept of a Natural Purpose Is Possible
- § 78.: Of the Union of the Principle of the Universal Mechanism of Matter With the Teleological Principle In the Technic of Nature.
- § 79.: Whether Teleology Must Be Treated As If It Belonged to the Doctrine of Nature
- § 80.: Of the Necessary Subordination of the Mechanical to the Teleological Principle In the Explanation of a Thing As a Natural Purpose.
- § 81.: Of the Association of Mechanism With the Teleological Principle In the Explanation of a Natural Purpose As a Natural Product.
- § 82.: Of the Teleological System In the External Relations of Organised Beings
- § 83.: Of the Ultimate Purpose of Nature As a Teleological System
- § 84.: Of the Final Purpose of the Existence of a World, I.E. Of Creation Itself
- § 85.: Of Physico-theology
- § 86.: Of Ethico-theology
- § 87.: Of the Moral Proof of the Being of God
- § 88.: Limitation of the Validity of the Moral Proof
- § 89.: Of the Use of the Moral Argument
- § 90.: Of the Kind of Belief In a Teleological Proof of the Being of God
- § 91.: Of the Kind of Belief Produced By a Practical Faith
Transition from the faculty which judges of the Beautiful to that which judges of the Sublime
The Beautiful and the Sublime agree in this, that both please in themselves. Further, neither presupposes a judgement of sense nor a judgement logically determined, but a judgement of reflection. Consequently the satisfaction [belonging to them] does not depend on a sensation, as in the case of the Pleasant, nor on a definite concept, as in the case of the Good; but it is nevertheless referred to concepts although indeterminate ones. And so the satisfaction is connected with the mere presentation [of the object] or with the faculty of presentation; so that in the case of a given intuition this faculty or the Imagination is considered as in agreement with the faculty of concepts of Understanding or Reason (in its furtherane of these latter). Hence both kinds of judgements are singular, and yet announce themselves as universally valid for every subject; although they lay claim merely to the feeling of pleasure and not to any knowledge of the object.
But there are also remarkable differences between the two. The Beautiful in nature is connected with the form of the object, which consists in having boundaries. The Sublime, on the other hand, is to be found in a formless object, so far as in it or by occasion of it boundlessness is represented, and yet its totality is also present to thought. Thus the Beautiful seems to be regarded as the presentation of an indefinite concept of Understanding; the Sublime as that of a like concept of Reason. Therefore the satisfaction in the one case is bound up with the representation of quality, in the other with that of quantity. And the latter satisfaction is quite different in kind from the former, for this [the Beautiful ] directly brings with it a feeling of the furtherance of life, and thus is compatible with charms and with the play of the Imagination. But the other [the feeling of the Sublime ] is a pleasure that arises only indirectly; viz. it is produced by the feeling of a momentary checking of the vital powers and a consequent stronger outflow of them, so that it seems to be regarded as emotion,—not play, but earnest in the exercise of the Imagination.—Hence it is incompatible with charms; and as the mind is not merely attracted by the object but is ever being alternately repelled, the satisfaction in the sublime does not so much involve a positive pleasure as admiration or respect, which rather deserves to be called negative pleasure.
But the inner and most important distinction between the Sublime and Beautiful is, certainly, as follows. (Here, as we are entitled to do, we only bring under consideration in the first instance the sublime in natural Objects; for the sublime of Art is always limited by the conditions of agreement with Nature.) Natural beauty (which is self-subsisting) brings with it a purposiveness in its form by which the object seems to be, as it were, pre-adapted to our Judgement, and thus constitutes in itself an object of satisfaction. On the other hand, that which excites in us, without any reasoning about it, but in the mere apprehension of it, the feeling of the sublime, may appear as regards its form to violate purpose in respect of the Judgement, to be unsuited to our presentative faculty, and, as it were, to do violence to the Imagination; and yet it is judged to be only the more sublime.
Now from this we may see that in general we express ourselves incorrectly if we call any object of nature sublime, although we can quite correctly call many objects of nature beautiful. For how can that be marked by an expression of approval, which is apprehended in itself as being a violation of purpose? All that we can say is that the object is fit for the presentation of a sublimity which can be found in the mind; for no sensible form can contain the sublime properly so-called. This concerns only Ideas of the Reason, which, although no adequate presentation is possible for them, by this inadequacy that admits of sensible presentation, are aroused and summoned into the mind. Thus the wide ocean, agitated by the storm, cannot be called sublime. Its aspect is horrible; and the mind must be already filled with manifold Ideas if it is to be determined by such an intuition to a feeling itself sublime, as it is incited to abandon sensibility and to busy itself with Ideas that involve higher purposiveness.
Self-subsisting natural beauty discovers to us a Technic of nature, which represents it as a system in accordance with laws, the principle of which we do not find in the whole of our faculty of Understanding. That principle is the principle of purposiveness, in respect of the use of our Judgement in regard to phenomena; [which requires] that these must not be judged as merely belonging to nature in its purposeless mechanism, but also as belonging to something analogous to art. It, therefore, actually extends, not indeed our cognition of natural Objects, but our concept of nature; [which is now not regarded] as mere mechanism but as art. This leads to profound investigations as to the possibility of such a form. But in what we are accustomed to call sublime there is nothing at all that leads to particular objective principles and forms of nature corresponding to them; so far from it that for the most part nature excites the Ideas of the sublime in its chaos or in its wildest and most irregular disorder and desolation, provided size and might are perceived. Hence, we see that the concept of the Sublime is not nearly so important or rich in consequences as the concept of the Beautiful; and that in general it displays nothing purposive in nature itself, but only in that possible use of our intuitions of it by which there is produced in us a feeling of a purposiveness quite independent of nature. We must seek a ground external to ourselves for the Beautiful of nature; but seek it for the Sublime merely in ourselves and in our attitude of thought which introduces sublimity into the representation of nature. This is a very needful preliminary remark, which quite separates the Ideas of the sublime from that of a purposiveness of nature, and makes the theory of the sublime a mere appendix to the aesthetical judging of that purposiveness; because by means of it no particular form is represented in nature, but there is only developed a purposive use which the Imagination makes of its representation.