§ 48.: Of the relation of Genius to Taste - 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).
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- 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
Of the relation of Genius to Taste
For judging of beautiful objects as such, taste is requisite; but for beautiful art, i.e. for the production of such objects, genius is requisite.
If we consider genius as the talent for beautiful art (which the special meaning of the word implies) and in this point of view analyse it into the faculties which must concur to constitute such a talent, it is necessary in the first instance to determine exactly the difference between natural beauty, the judging of which requires only Taste, and artificial beauty, whose possibility (to which reference must be made in judging such an object) requires Genius.
A natural beauty is a beautiful thing; artificial beauty is a beautiful representation of a thing.
In order to judge of a natural beauty as such I need not have beforehand a concept of what sort of thing the object is to be; i.e. I need not know its material purposiveness (the purpose), but its mere form pleases by itself in the act of judging it without any knowledge of the purpose. But if the object is given as a product of art, and as such is to be declared beautiful, then, because art always supposes a purpose in the cause (and its causality), there must be at bottom in the first instance a concept of what the thing is to be. And as the agreement of the manifold in a thing with its inner destination, its purpose, constitutes the perfection of the thing, it follows that in judging of artificial beauty the perfection of the thing must be taken into account; but in judging of natural beauty (as such) there is no question at all about this.— It is true that in judging of objects of nature, especially objects endowed with life, e.g. a man or a horse, their objective purposiveness also is commonly taken into consideration in judging of their beauty; but then the judgement is no longer purely aesthetical, i.e. a mere judgement of taste. Nature is no longer judged inasmuch as it appears like art, but in so far as it is actual (although superhuman) art; and the teleological judgement serves as the basis and condition of the aesthetical, as a condition to which the latter must have respect. In such a case, e.g. if it is said “that is a beautiful woman,” we think nothing else than this: nature represents in her figure the purposes in view in the shape of a woman’s figure. For we must look beyond the mere form to a concept, if the object is to be thought in such a way by means of a logically conditioned aesthetical judgement.
Beautiful art shows its superiority in this, that it describes as beautiful things which may be in nature ugly or displeasing. The Furies, diseases, the devastations of war, etc., may [even regarded as calamitous], be described as very beautiful, and even represented in a picture. There is only one kind of ugliness which cannot be represented in accordance with nature, without destroying all aesthetical satisfaction and consequently artificial beauty; viz. that which excites disgust. For in this peculiar sensation, which rests on mere imagination, the object is represented as it were obtruding itself for our enjoyment while we strive against it with all our might. And the artistic representation of the object is no longer distinguished from the nature of the object itself in our sensation, and thus it is impossible that it can be regarded as beautiful. The art of sculpture again, because in its products art is almost interchangeable with nature, excludes from its creations the immediate representation of ugly objects; e.g. it represents death by a beautiful genius, the warlike spirit by Mars, and permits [all such things] to be represented only by an allegory or attribute that has a pleasing effect, and thus only indirectly by the aid of the interpretation of Reason, and not for the mere aesthetical Judgement.
So much for the beautiful representation of an object, which is properly only the form of the presentation of a concept, and the means by which the latter is communicated universally.— But to give this form to the product of beautiful art, mere taste is requisite. By taste, after he has exercised and corrected it by manifold examples from art or nature, the artist checks his work; and after many, often toilsome, attempts to content taste he finds the form which satisfies him. Hence this form is not, as it were, a thing of inspiration or the result of a free swing of the mental powers, but of a slow and even painful process of improvement, by which he seeks to render it adequate to his thought, without detriment to the freedom of the play of his powers.
But taste is merely a judging and not a productive faculty; and what is appropriate to it is not therefore a work of beautiful art. It may be only a product belonging to useful and mechanical art or even to science, produced according to definite rules that can be learned and must be exactly followed. But the pleasing form that is given to it is only the vehicle of communication, and a mode, as it were, of presenting it, in respect of which we remain free to a certain extent, although it is combined with a definite purpose. Thus we desire that table appointments, a moral treatise, even a sermon, should have in themselves this form of beautiful art, without it seeming to be sought: but we do not therefore call these things works of beautiful art. Under the latter class are reckoned a poem, a piece of music, a picture gallery, etc.; and in some wouldbe works of beautiful art we find genius without taste, while in others we find taste without genius.
- “Il n’est point de serpent ni de monstre odieux
- Qui, par l’art imité, ne puisse plaire aux yeux.
- D’un pinceau délicat l’artifice agréable
- Du plus affreux objet fait un objet aimable.”]