Blog Entry 2

A Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

The author I chose that critiqued this work is named Melanie Lee an the heart of her argument is that this work is ” Thought Provoking” that it was influenced by Van Gogh’s mental state at the time. To give a summary the author of this critique begins by saying that the art is elusive, than continues by expressing the intensity, saying that it is from his own mental, emotional state that brought this piece to life. Here is a link to the blog:

For this piece I will appeal to the first moment by Kant in order to judge this work of art. To begin with in the first moment it is important to understand the first step, that the judgment of taste is not logical but purely aesthetical further more it has to be subjunctive not objective which means we are looking purely at the feeling we get from the work of art. The second step is to understand the satisfaction that determines the judgement of taste is disinterested, what this means is that we can not be on just one side of the coin which is interest on one side and disinterest on the other, we must be in the middle the area of indifference which according to Kant ” we must not be in the least prejudiced in favor of the existence of the things” (pg.282) In order to be a judge in the things of taste. The third step is understanding what is pleasant, According to Kant “that which pleases the senses in sensation is ” pleasant” ” (pg.282) . Kant explains sensation as a objective representation of sense, however remember as as with the first step this can not be objective but only subjective so Kant had decided to use another term that has no semblance to an object which is ” feeling”. To further explain the difference between the two let’s take the color green from a tree this would belong to the objective sensation, as a perception of the object of sense, According to Kant however the pleasantness of this belongs to subjective sensation by which no object is represented, to feeling, by which the object would than be considered an object of satisfaction. With this pleasant feeling comes an interest in the object. The fourth step is the satisfaction of the good in line with interest and Kant explains by saying that ” that which pleases only as a means we call good for something, but that which pleases for itself is good in itself” (pg.283) Rule one is order to find anything good, I must know what sort of thing the object ought to be in other words the concept of the object. However According to Kant satisfaction in the good must depend on reflection upon an object that leads to some concept. As a result it is totally different from the pleasant which relies on sensation. The result is that the two Pleasant and the good both are bound in terms of interest in their object. The Final Step, is the comparison of the three specifically different kinds of satisfaction. Kant had begun by saying that ” the pleasant and the good have both a reference to the faculty of desire” The former being driven by stimuli like impulses and the latter being driven by pure practical satisfaction which According to Kant is ” determined not merely by the representation of the object but also by the represented connection of the subject with the existence of the object. But aside from the judgement of taste is contemplative that is it is indifferent in response to the existence of an object” (pg. 285) however this does not mean that the contemplation is directed to concepts according to Kant ” for the judgement of taste is not a cognitive judgement, and thus not based on concepts, nor has it concepts as its purpose. (pg. 285) From this Kant found that the pleasant, the beautiful and the good are in fact three different relations to the representations of pleasure and pain, and he breaks it down like this ” That which gratifies a man is called pleasant; that which merely pleases him is beautiful; that which is approved by him, that which he accords an objective worth is good.” (pg. 285) Kant also gives an example in the form of a sequel, it goes like this pleasantness will concern an irrational animal, however beauty will only concern men, animals or rather rational beings, and the good concerns every rational being in general as a result of this example Kant concludes that of all these three kinds of satisfaction, that the taste in the beautiful is alone an disinterested and free satisfaction; for no interest this means that interest can have no part in this judging according to Kant ” All interest presupposes or generates a want, and as the determining ground of assent, it leaves the judgement about the object no longer free”. (pg. (285-286) The final conclusion is that the ” Taste is the faculty of judging of an object or a method of representing it an entirely disinterested satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The object of such satisfaction is called beautiful.” (pg. 286) / ( pgs. 280-286) Philosophy of Art an Beauty

With this explanation of the first moment I will now explore this work by means of the first moment, To begin I have to look at this work with no interest in mind, what I see is strokes numerous strokes that seem to flow into each other in an never ending motion constantly pulling me to stare at it longer, from this I gain a feeling than I question that feeling is it pleasant or good, the sight itself isn’t really pleasant and it doesn’t serve me for any kind of purpose which would be good. I simply feel for the sake of the feeling itself, essentially I am being drawn in by the objects beauty itself an not by an interest in the object by means of objective. I don’t recall seeing something like this, nor do I think of anything similar, I just feel a connection from a disinterested satisfaction, like I said earlier I have no interest yet I find myself curiously marveling the work, so I suppose you could say I am satisfied from a disinterested standpoint which I must say is a very peculiar position however it one that allows no biases to exist. So in regards to that this work of art would be beautiful by way of the first moment.

A counter argument to this would be if someone were to say that the feeling I gain from this is interest itself, that this peculiar curiosity that I felt was in fact an interest. My response to this would be to refer back to Kant that the disinterested satisfaction is a contemplation, that means that a curious or contemplative mind would be required an you ought to be in someway curious looking at this piece of art by Vincent Van Gogh the way I had done as it may draw you in due to its intricate and intense brush strokes that created a meaning that left me baffled yet ever curious. Thus this objection would not change my assessment of this work, it is beautiful.


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