THE MUSIC OF THE "CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON
This article claims that the Critique of Pure Reason can be considered a work of art in that 1., its central proofs depend on aesthetic intuition for their validation, and 2., its rhetorical structure closely conforms to the principles of organicism that dominated contemporary theories of artistic production, including Kant’s own.
At the outset of the Critique Kant presents a series of what may be called thought experiments that serve to confirm his claims that space and time are the two fundamentals of consciousness. These experiments cluster in the first part, in the Transcendental Aesthetic. Since Kant’s theories of space and time underpin the entire work, these proofs are of the utmost importance. It is Kant’s readers who perform these experiments and who will themselves produce the proof that Kant requires. Furthermore, these experiments ipso facto verify the reader’s consciousness and self-consciousness.
The "sensibility" required for the experiments is also the basis of all aesthetic perception; the domain of a sensible subject whose unique perceptions (i.e., qualia) cannot be adequately transmitted through language or reason. This latter idea is developed at length in The Critique of Judgment in its discussion of the perception of ‘the beautiful’ in a work of art. This is especially clear in Kant’s discussion of “architectonic,” which he takes to be the groundwork of his own undertaking, and which has profound resonances with important theories of musical structure, particularly that of the influential music theorist, Heinrich Schenker. From this perspective, the work can be fruitfully compared with eighteenth century musical compositions.
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