The Kantian Subject

Sensus Communis, Mimesis, Work of Mourning

By Tamar Japaridze

Subjects: Aesthetics
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791443743, 168 pages, November 1999
Hardcover : 9780791443736, 168 pages, November 1999

Table of contents




The Kantian Subject and Contemporary Critique

Transference and Language

The Critique of Judgment and Post-Kantian Philosophy

Heidegger: Critique of Representation

Freud: Mimesis and the Work of Mourning

The Temporal Character of the Kantian Subject

Kant's Ethics and its Precursors

Chapter 1. System

The System of Critical Philosophy

The Concept of Beauty and the Kantian System

Chapter 2. Sensus Communis

The Aesthetic Faculty

Sensibility and Judgment

Reason: "Das was Hierbei Streitig Wird, Ist Nicht die Sache, Sondern der Ton"

The Critical Faculty

Chapter 3. The Sublime

Time and the Vital Forces

Aesthetics and Representation: Grounding of the Kantian System

The Sublimation of the Senses: Taste and Reflection

Conclusion: Language




Argues that the importance of Kant's aesthetic theory must be understood in the context of a radical critique of subjectivity.


In The Kantian Subject, Tamar Japaridze reconstitutes the philosophical context of Kant's aesthetic theory and considers how Kant's category of the aesthetic pertains to central philosophical questions in the continental tradition, particularly twentieth-century debates about the self, language, and ethics.

Tamar Japaridze is affiliated with the State University of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.


"Japaridze demonstrates an impressive grasp of the Kantian corpus and makes unexpected connections across a wide array of primary texts. Most exciting to me is the central idea: that of showing how both Kant's account of taste and the foundations of critical philosophy in general might be read in terms of structures of mourning. Japaridze's reading strategy is extremely interesting: against prevailing accounts of Kant as having defended the pure status of a self-sufficient and autonomous ego, she argues that Kant's conception of the subject is radically dependent on 'traces of the other. ' This enables her to develop a truly original interpretation of the relationship between the Critique of Judgment and the rest of Kant's transcendental system. " — Andrew Cutrofello, author of Discipline and Critique: Kant, Poststructuralism, and the Problem of Resistance

"The reading of Kant's Critique of Judgment that focuses on 'affective identification' as a way to understand the Kantian subject is strikingly original. The author clearly shows that Kant in no way suppresses the realm of the sensuous in the Third Critique, but instead it is through a reflection on the sensuous, most precisely, the affective dimension, that he is able to unify the realms of nature and freedom.

"Also striking is how the author clearly shows that in the Third Critique the formation of the subject is played out anterior to its division. What is original here is the suggestion that we must invert the chronology—read the third critique first. Moreover, she clearly articulates how it is that the sensus communis developed in the Third Critique reveals that the formation of the subject takes place through a priori affectivity where the mechanism of affective identification with the other takes place as a capacity of the aesthetic self. The account of what Kant means by 'pure form' is brilliant. The analysis of this in terms of repetition and recollection is truly original. " — Peg Birmingham, DePaul University