Abstract: FEW hold “A poem should not mean, but be” as dogma any longer, but most aestheticians agree that a work of art cannot be exhaustively paraphrased. Few dispute that the aesthetic ex- perience is, in some sense, disinterested, but the terms of that disinterestedness are still debated. I suggest that the work of art and the aesthetic experience are congruent and that an analysis of this congruence reveals both the nature of the import of art and the character of the aesthetic experience. I found my analysis on a faculty framework because I am convinced that neither the aesthetic experience nor the import of art can be illuminated without a fairly rigorous epistemology in which the roles of the imagination and the understanding are clearly defined. My framework is avowedly Kantian, for I think that the very incommensurability of the imagination and the un- derstanding, as emphasized by Kant, does more justice to the phenomenology of the aesthetic experience than an analysis of the cognitive faculties that stresses a difference in degree rather than kind.