Beauty, Ugliness and the Free Play of Imagination: An Approach to Kant's Aesthetics by Mojca KüplenBeauty, Ugliness and the Free Play of Imagination: An Approach to Kant's Aesthetics by Mojca Küplen

Beauty, Ugliness and the Free Play of Imagination: An Approach to Kant's Aesthetics

byMojca Küplen

Hardcover | July 24, 2015

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This book presents a solution to the problem known in philosophical aesthetics as the paradox of ugliness, namely, how an object that is displeasing can retain our attention and be greatly appreciated. It does this by exploring and refining the most sophisticated and thoroughly worked out theoretical framework of philosophical aesthetics, Kant's theory of taste, which was put forward in part one of the Critique of the Power of Judgment. The book explores the possibility of incorporating ugliness, a negative aesthetic concept, into the overall Kantian aesthetic picture. It addresses a debate of the last two decades over whether Kant's aesthetics should allow for a pure aesthetic judgment of ugliness. The book critically reviews the main interpretations of Kant's central notion of the free play of imagination and understanding and offers a new interpretation of free play, one that allows for the possibility of a disharmonious state of mind and ugliness.

In addition, the book also applies an interpretation of ugliness in Kant's aesthetics to resolve certain issues that have been raised in contemporary aesthetics, namely the possibility of appreciating artistic and natural ugliness and the role of disgust in artistic representation.

Offering a theoretical and practical analysis of different kinds of negative aesthetic experiences, this book will help readers acquire a better understanding of his or her own evaluative processes, which may be helpful in coping with complex aesthetic experiences. Readers will gain unique insight into how ugliness can be offensive, yet, at the same time, fascinating, interesting and captivating.

Mojca Küplen is a research fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of the Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Science in Budapest, Hungary. She completed my doctorate in Philosophy in June 2013 at the Central European University in Budapest. Her research work has so far resulted in four publications. One paper, entit...
Title:Beauty, Ugliness and the Free Play of Imagination: An Approach to Kant's AestheticsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:152 pagesPublished:July 24, 2015Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:331919898X

ISBN - 13:9783319198989

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction.- Chapter 2 Judgments of Taste and Analysis of the Problem of Ugliness in Kant's Aesthetics.- Chapter 3 The Concept of Freedom in the Play of Imagination and Understanding.- Chapter 4 A Positive Account of the Concept of Free Play.- Chapter 5 The Explanation of Ugliness in Kant's Aesthetics.- Chapter 6 The Notion of Disgust in Comparison to Ugliness: A Kantian Perspective.- Bibliography.

Editorial Reviews

"Küplen gives a fine-grained account of the difference between finding something ugly and finding it disgusting, claiming . . There is a lot to learn from Küplen's account of the logic of disgust and its place in our cognitive and affective economy. Her study . is a significant contribution to the interpretation of Kantian aesthetics, with a refreshing focus on contemporary culture." (Ian Ground, TLS The Times Literary Supplement,, June, 2016)