I'm no expert on Kant either, but here Shaviro is revisiting Kant's
third critique and focusing on aesthetic judgment, which he claims
problematizes and threatens to undo all of Kant's categorizing thus
far. Aesthetic judgment isn't based on any prior conceptual criteria,
so it is not bound by ethics or reason. This is why aesthetic
judgment can't be universally subjective (there are no universal
categories or concepts upon which it could be based). Aesthetic
judgment is more like a lived, affective relationship between a human
and something in the world.
I brought this up not to talk about Kant per se, but to agree with
Latour (via Ryan Griffis) that there can be a fruitful space of
dialogue between objective science and subjective speculative
philosophy that is suggested as least as far back as Kant (and
incidentally, is suggested in the context of art).
When I say "we're back at Derrida," I don't mean we're back at
Derrida always talking about physics (although that would be
delirious to read). I mean we're back at Derrida's mojo of using
language and analogy to find creative points of slippage between
"objective" facts and where they lead via Grammatological play. What
might Derrida make, for instance, of the practice of speaking of the
analog analogically? I don't think there is anything wrong with
Derrida's mojo; I'm just pointing out that it moves us beyond
>In Kant's critique (though I am far from expert) as I read it the
>man whose judgement will be subjective is in fact a universal
>subject, dem rohen Menschen (man in the raw, the Tierra del Fuegan
>or Australian Aboriginal) is contrasted to the supposed righteous
>man [einen rechtshaffenden Mann annehmen]. So there is a discussion
>of objectivity, but that objectivity lies in the "natural"
>superiority of the European man rather than the work which can be
>treated subjectively once the question of the subject is sorted.
>Also, I'd like a reference where Derrida treats physics principles
>as a metaphor for something else, because I have never seen it and
>both JD and physics metaphors are important to me in my current
>As to the larger pre-Curt discussion, which I've found engaging :
>the distinctions Johannes and Simon make in there very different
>ways between formal and informal languages is from my point of view
>quite productive to the analogue/digital discussion. Yes, there is
>no formal language without an informal one, and any informal
>language can also be approximated in a formal way (perhaps event to
>the point of simulacra, in my first life as an experimental musician
>I did a lot of trying to get my powerbook 5300 approximate the
>Tascam 2-track reel to reel I was accustomed to as a recording
>device). But there are certain kinds of mathematical or
>"serialistic" processes that are afforded by digital media in ways
>that analogue technologies don't. In a longer essay one could trace
>this distinction back to the medieval liberal arts that split the
>trivium (rhetorical language arts) from the quadrivium (broadly
>mathematical) or go back to the greek muses. For me, holding the
>distinction open rather than collapsing it is ultimately productive
>for explaining the "code" level, even when we know there is no
>digital without the analogue and vice versa.
>+64 21 456 379
>On 24/03/2011, at 3:15 PM, Curt Cloninger wrote:
>> "...to ask an artist to adjudicate a debate between a philosopher
>>and a physicist"
>> Here is Steven Shaviro on Kant's proposition that beauty is
>>neither merely objective nor merely subjective:
>> "...the strange status of aesthetic judgment. I may judge a flower
>>to be beautiful, yet I know that 'beauty is not a property of the
>>flower itself'; the flower is beautiful 'only by virtue of that
>>charactteristic in which it adapts itself to the way we apprehend
>>it.' So beauty is not objectively *there,* in the world. It is not
>>*in* nature; it is rather something that we attribute *to* nature.
>>An aesthetic judgment, therefore, is one 'whose determining basis
>>*cannot be other* than subjective.'
>> YET AT THE SAME TIME [emphasis curt's], beauty isn't *merely*
>>subjective. It isn't just something that we project upon whatever
>>it is that we see, hear, feel, touch, or taste. The attribution of
>>beauty is not an arbitrary imposition. There is nothing about it
>>that is special, or particular, to the person who happens to be
>>making the judgment. It is not even 'universally' subjective...
>>Rather, a judgment of taste involves an uncoerced *response,* on
>>the part of the subject, to the obect that is being judged
>>beautiful. Aesthetic judgment is a kind of *recognition*: it's an
>>appreciation of how the object 'adapts itself to the way we
>>apprehend it,' even though, at the same time, it remains
>>indifferent to us."
>> He then proceeds to relate this to D&G's parable of the orchid and the wasp.
>> ryan griffis wrote:
>>> "What you say might be nice and interesting but it has no
>>>cosmological relevance because it only deals with the subjective
>>>elements, the lived world, not the real world."
> >> http://e-flux.com/journal/view/217