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By Jan Mieszkowski

Aesthetics and Political economic system from Kant to Althusser

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15784$ $CH1 03-22-06 11:34:46 PS PAGE 25 26 Labors of Imagination assumes an entirely individual stamp and peculiar local color; it is entirely taken up in a specific style’’ (116). In this fashion, modern poetry distinguishes itself by dealing not with the form of form or the interest of interest, but with the transmission of given representational contents. In the terms of the Critique of Judgment, reflection on communicability as such has been replaced by the unquestioned assumption that literature can and does communicate information and values.

At this juncture, it may sound as if Kantian aesthetics is primarily concerned with solipsistic events internal to the human state of mind and has nothing to do whatsoever with evaluating roses or paintings. 14 If the judgment relates to its object only contingently, then why is Kant certain that taste is an experience of the possibility of purpose rather than of purposelessness? If the judgment reflects on the forms of law and purpose by virtue of which cause and determination are first distinguished from chance and happenstance, then how can it be conceived of as a singular event?

In this fashion, modern poetry distinguishes itself by dealing not with the form of form or the interest of interest, but with the transmission of given representational contents. In the terms of the Critique of Judgment, reflection on communicability as such has been replaced by the unquestioned assumption that literature can and does communicate information and values. The point of all of this is not to challenge Shakespeare’s uniqueness. Schlegel readily grants that his predecessor is inimitable and that Shakespeare’s style is ‘‘the greatest, and his individuality the most interesting that we know of as yet’’ (35).

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