Nick Zangwill

"Disinterestedness: Analysis and Partial Defence"

Kant has modest and ambitious claims to make with the idea disinterested pleasure. The modest claim is that all aesthetic pleasure is disinterested. The ambitious claim is that all and only aesthetic pleasure is disinterested. I defend only the modest claim. I initially give a basic explication of what Kant had in mind by the doctrine. I then argue that if aesthetic pleasure were not basically disinterested, aesthetic judgements could not make the normative (or ‘universal’) claim they do. Normativity is essential to aesthetic judgement; it would not be what it is without it. And basic disinterest is essential for normativity. Therefore, we cannot reject basic disinterestedness without rejecting aesthetic judgement altogether. I then distinguish various other notions of disinterest and argue that none of them allow Kant to make his ambitions claim.