Goals:

  • Describe a system that works cross-culturally
  • Describe how cultivation is possible

Outlining the Problem

  • Subjectivism’s problems
    • No common object of discussion, disputing
    • No ability to cultivate taste
  • Objectivism’s problems
    • No framework is employed universally, there are only regional frameworks
    • The more objective it is, the less it is about compelling assent but assent seems crucial here

Kantian Approach - “Subjective Universal”

  • Subjective part
    • Indeterminate concept, so varies from person to person
  • Universal part
    • Sensus communis
  • Problem
    • Can Kant prevent it from collapsing into objectivity and solve our problems above?
  • Remarks
    • As Arendt notes, the shift to Subjective Universal creates an evolving historical standard
    • Kant’s sensus communis is about unifying different rational beings not unifying the senses of one being

Confucian approach

  • Mencian internality
    • Such a view of internality requires a new anthropology
  • Xunzian 義 as knowing when to break the rules
    • Such a view of indeterminate concepts require a new sense of ethics

Watsujian approach

  • Anthropology from RRG
  • Talk about the public as a starting point instead of the Kantian universal subject
  • Talk about overturning values and sublating them (Revival of Idols)
  • Importance of embodiment for cultivating a subjectivity as shutai (vis-a-vis li)
  • Expression through negative (M&P)

Theory of Ideal Observers

  • As Kant’s indeterminate concepts require an evolving standards across time, we can say that we also need an evolving sense as individuals
  • The ideal observer is a social reality (a public) not an individual reality
  • Kuki Shuzo as an example
  • Importance of hagiography to ideal observer theory, eg. Tenko
  • Hume’s issue of moral repugnance, transitioning to the ethics of taste below

Ethics of taste

  • Beauty as a symbol of morality in Kant
  • Compassion vs. disinterested interest

Ethical difficulties with this approach

  • fashion and fascism: Can the group compel the individual? Are the whims of the group rootless?
  • Is fashion a “hypothetical imperative” only?
  • importance of differentiating value fields: totalitarianism and commodification
  • Rorty’s chrysanthemum’s (and prostitutes) vs. the revival of the idols: we should try to unify our value spheres sure. But not all the way. And when it gets too calcified, it’s time to bring out the hammer. We dislike prostitutes not because they charge too little for sex (a disagreement about how much to value chastity) but that they put a price on sex at all (now we’re just haggling). The point is that not all values should go into the same commodified, exchangeable system. (I wouldn’t go into that bar for a million dollars.)
  • etiquette vs. Morality. Ethos?
  • beauty as persuasion
  • Kant A820 persuasion Cf. Mary Tiles on Coherence
  • Protagoras/Thrasymachus don't really respect my internality, since they want to impose on me
changed January 3, 2011