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The radical subjectivization involved in Kant's new way of grounding aesthetics was truly
epoch-making. In discrediting any kind of theoretical knowledge except that of natural science,
it compelled the human sciences to rely on the methodology of the natural sciences
conceptualizing themselves. But it made this reliance easier by offering the "artistic element,"
"feeling," and "empathy" as subsidiary elements. Hemiholtz's description of the human
sciences, which I considered above, 73 is in both respects a good example of the Kantian
influence (Gadamer, 1975, pp. 38).
Gadamer systematically explicates and unpacks the deep, variegated oceans separating the
human sciences as against the natural sciences. Taking Helmholtzs speech with regard to the
relation between the natural and human sciences as the jumping off point, tracing his
(Helmholtzs) articulation of the distinction to Mills theorizing on inductive logic, Gadamer
dissects the methodology of the human sciences revealing the fundamental schism between
the barometers of evaluation applied to it along with the natural sciences as well as the
difference in methodology of both, arguing that both serve very different ends in themselves
with respect to obtainment of certain kinds of knowledge or truths via different tools. Tools or
concepts of Bildung, Sensus Communis, Judgement and Taste constituting or guiding the
human sciences. Gadamer unpacks the genealogy of these concepts and the various iterations
of the meanings contained in them with the weight of their history and its discourses. Turns out
that Kant was the pivotal break in his postulation of a subjective universality of aesthetics giving
it an autonomy compelling the human sciences to measure itself via the natural sciences


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The second section of the first chapter elaborates on the pivotal doctrine of Kantian aesthetics
that had wide ranging ramifications on the discourses regarding the same. According to Kant,
taste has a priori universality because it results from the free play of all cognitive powers &
abstracts from private conditions and not empirical universality; it is reflective, not merely
subjective. Beauty becomes an object to some end. Beauty is classified into free beauty and
dependent beauty. There can be disagreement with respect to the two but not dispute. Ideal
beauty of the human form (expressing the moral) is necessary for universal pleasure in the
object, i.e. something must be more than pleasant to please as a work of art. A distinction is
also made between natural beauty and artistic beauty. Natural beauty arouses a moral interest
as opposed to artistic beauty. This is where the dichotomy between taste and genius also arises

with genius as pointing towards natural beauty. Concept of Erlebnis or experience crucial in
terms of the mode of being of the aesthetic experience.