Book Review of: Douglas Burnham:Â An Introduction to Kantâ€™s Critique of Judgement . Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd, 2000. x + 198 pages [Book Review]
Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||Â Â Â Â Â Â Â As is appropriate for an introductory text, Douglas Burnhamâ€™s book opens with a chapter providing general background information on Kant, a systematic overview of the whole Critical philosophy, a sketch of the basic issues dealt with in the third Critique, and an explanation of the overall structure of Kantâ€™s book. Here and throughout Burnhamâ€™s book each section ends with a helpful summary, with diagrams and other convenient â€œlistsâ€ being supplied along the way for added clarity. For the most part, these summaries are reliable. The authorâ€™s interpretations, however, occasionally suffer from some rather unfortunate mistakes. For example, when contrasting the categories with the principles (p.14), Burnham cites the principle of non-contradiction as the primary example; yet Kantâ€™s expressed reason for mentioning this â€œprincipleâ€ in A150- 3/B189-93 is to contrast it with the principles that function as applications of the categories. Likewise, while Burnhamâ€™s catalogue of the four â€œparts of sensibilityâ€ (pp.13-14), composed by grouping imagination (reproductive and productive) together with sensation and pure intuition, makes for an intriguing interpretation, especially as applied to the third Critique, he does not inform his (unknowing) student reader that the position he presents is far from being expressed so unambiguously in Kantâ€™s text. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The main content of Burnhamâ€™s book is divided into five chapters that follow a more or less predictable â€“ though sometimes rather idiosyncratic â€“ order. Chapter 1 explains three of the four â€œmomentsâ€ of beauty, but does so in a manner that wholly neglects Kantâ€™s own understanding of their architectonic unity. Burnham discusses the second moment (universality) first, the first moment (disinterestedness) second, and the fourth moment (necessity) third! Moreover, he then devotes the entirety of Chapter 2 to a discussion of the third moment (purposiveness)..|
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