Summary

Kant can’t always be right. There are some aspects of Kant’s philosophy that make him unsuitable for the understanding of a musical experience. His contribution to aesthetic theory is developed in the Critique of Judgement (1790), where he investigates the possibility and logical status of “judgements of taste”. In this essay, I argue that his exploration of the inherent limits of our knowledge through philosophical reasoning seems to impede an understanding of the musical experience. This experience is a combination of ontological and epistemological procedures that precede a theory in music aesthetics. Taking a connectionist perspective, it seems impossible to isolate the aesthetic judgement from its embodiment. This embodiment makes it necessary to accept an epistemic dimension ahead of every aesthetic judgement. This epistemic dimension is a combination of subjective experiences and the subject’s cultural knowledge. Using Kant’s theory in music aesthetics might therefore reduce our understanding of the listener’s approach to a musical experience.

Keywords: Music experience, aesthetic theory, Critique of Judgement