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Aesthetic interest is the attention paid to the perceptual aspects of the world focusing on surface appearances Aesthetic interest may be directed at a variety of man made and natural objects perceived by any of the five senses For example we may enjoy looking at a mountain range listening to the sounds of birds singing smelling fresh flowers feeling the texture of springy heather when we touch it or the taste of fine wine It is important to realise that aesthetic interest may be either positive or negative to varying degrees ranging from the mildly pleasurable to extreme enthusiasm or from mild distaste to complete disgust Aesthetic interest can take various forms and different objects can be aesthetically appealing for contrasting reasons For example we may marvel at the formal arrangement of a man made construction such as Stonehenge whilst also appreciate high jagged mountain ranges for their lack of form and random nature These are examples of objects that are commonly appreciated aesthetically for the reasons given however individuals may appreciate an objects beauty for their own reasons Immanuel Kant in his Critique of Aesthetic Judgement offered a fundamental account of aesthetic interest He firstly acknowledged the difference between aesthetic judgements and those that are made by cognitive means Kant stated that in a cognitive judgement such as This is green we are applying the concept green to the object In an aesthetic judgement such as This is beautiful no concept is applied but rather we are concerned with how the person who makes the judgement is reacting Kant then proceeds to distinguish between the judgement of taste and the judgement of the agreeable within the field of aesthetic judgement The judgement of the agreeable is purely concerned with gratification of the senses for example pleasant tasting wine that one desires to consume Judgements of taste however have no interest in the real existence of the object Instead Kant describes them
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