This paper explores an analogy between two approaches to teleology in nature and two theories of authorship. I argue that Spinoza’s attempt (as Kant criticizes it in the Third Critique) to explain all natural unity, and explain away apparent teleological unity, in terms of inhering in the same subject (God) or proceeding causally from God’s essence mirrors the view Proust lays out in the essay “Gustave Moreau” that the features of a work of art are unified in virtue of occurring (...) together in, and proceeding from the laws of, the artist’s inner soul. Meanwhile, the strategy Kant favors for understanding interdependent natural systems like organisms—provisionally considering them as purposively designed—resembles the one Alexander Nehamas recommends in “The Postulated Author” (1981) for interpreting a work of art: imagining the agent who could have intended all its features. I propose that this analogy sheds light on the unity of the two parts of the Third Critique by pointing to the similarity between interpreting beautiful objects and interpreting nature. (shrink)
The question of what art is and why certain objects and events are considered art is examined. In the light of John Searle’s Social Philosophy, a hybrid Institutionalist-Functionalist explanation of what counts as art is presented. However, Searle’s apparatus applied to the ontology of the work of art is not enough to answer the question of why art has the status it exhibits. The proposal is to trace back the ontology of art to the origins of the dichotomy between freedom (...) and necessity, and more specifically to the notion of “end in itself” presented by Kant, as the status that persons have. Ultimately, the ontology of art emerges as a projection of the status “end in itself”, of personhood, to objects and events. (shrink)
In this paper I argue, first, that Kant's technical definition of purposiveness in § 10 of the third Critique is designed to abstract from all forward-looking considerations (teleological, intentional, normative, etc.) that accompany the conventional understanding of the term. Kant seeks to establish a strictly backward-looking, etiological conception of purposiveness in order to capture the causal link connecting artifacts with their concepts. I argue, second, that he succeeds. Kant's etiological conception of purposiveness neither collapses into mere mechanism, nor smuggles normative (...) considerations in through the backdoor. I frame my discussion by critically engaging Hannah Ginsborg's reading of § 10 – a leading representative of normative interpretations of Kant's notion of purposiveness. (shrink)
What is it to judge something to be a natural end? And what objects may properly be judged natural ends? These questions pose a challenge, because the predicates “natural” and “end” seemingly can not be instantiated at the same time – at least given some Kantian assumptions. My paper defends the thesis that Kant’s “Critique of Teleological Judgment”, nevertheless, provides a sensible account of judging something a natural end. On the account, a person judges an object O a natural end, (...) if she thinks that the parts of O cause O and if she is committed to approach O in a top-down manner, as if the parts were produced in view of the whole. The account is non-realist, because it involves a commitment. With the account comes a characterization that provides necessary and sufficient conditions on objects that may properly be judged natural ends. My paper reconstructs the argument in CTJ, §§64-65 where the account and the characterization are derived. (shrink)
After establishing a general connection between the power of judgment and the feeling of pleasure and displeasure in the "First Introduction" to the Critique of the Power of Judgment, in the "Published Introduction", Kant proceeds to restrict this connection gradually to aesthetic judgments and to judgments that deal with the systematization of nature. This restriction leaves teleological judgments out of the formerly established general connection. The aim of the article is to give an account of the necessary procedures that had (...) to be adopted by the reader of Critique of the Power of Judgment in order to maintain the connection between teleological judgments and the feeling of pleasure, namely a connection that, in principle, all reflecting judgments were meant to have.Depois de ter estabelecido uma conexão geral entre a faculdade do juízo e o sentimento de prazer e desprazer na "Primeira introdução" à Crítica da faculdade do juízo, Kant, na "Introdução publicada", restringe, gradativamente, essa conexão aos juízos estéticos e aos juízos que lidam com a sistematização da natureza. Essa restrição acaba por deixar os juízos teleológicos fora da conexão geral anteriormente estabelecida. O objetivo do artigo é propor os passos necessários para restabelecer a conexão entre os juízos teleológicos e o sentimento de prazer e desprazer, pois se trata de uma conexão, a princípio, supostamente válida para todos os juízos reflexionantes. (shrink)
While Kant is perhaps best known for his writings in metaphysics and epistemology (in particular the Critique of Pure Reason of 1781, with a second edition in 1787) and in ethics (the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals of 1785 and the Critique of Practical Reason of 1788), he also developed an influential and much-discussed theory of aesthetics. This theory is presented in his Critique of Judgment (Kritik der Urteilskraft, also translated as Critique of the Power of Judgment) of 1790, (...) a two-part work which deals successively with aesthetics and with the role of teleology (that is, appeal to ends or goals) in natural science and in our understanding of nature more generally. Although Kant's theory of teleology has traditionally been both less influential, and less widely discussed, than his aesthetic theory, its historical and philosophical importance is increasingly coming to be recognized. (shrink)
Kant's Critique of Judgment has often been interpreted by scholars as comprising separate treatments of three uneasily connected topics: beauty, biology, and empirical knowledge. Rachel Zuckert's book interprets the Critique as a unified argument concerning all three domains. She argues that on Kant's view, human beings demonstrate a distinctive cognitive ability in appreciating beauty and understanding organic life: an ability to anticipate a whole that we do not completely understand according to preconceived categories. This ability is necessary, moreover, for human (...) beings to gain knowledge of nature in its empirical character as it is, not as we might assume it to be. Her wide-ranging and original study will be valuable for readers in all areas of Kant's philosophy. (shrink)
It is quite standard, even banal, to describe Kant's project in the Critique of Pure Reason [KrV] as a critical reconciliation of rationalism and empiricism, most directly expressed in Kant's claim that intuitions and concepts are two distinct, yet equally necessary, and necessarily interdependent sources of cognition. Similarly, though Kant rejects both the rationalist foundation of morality in the concept of perfection and that of the empiricists in feeling or in the moral sense, one might broadly characterize Kant's moral philosophy (...) as an attempt to reconcile the apriori universality and necessity of rationalist ethics with empiricist or sentimentalist strictures concerning the distinction between the ‘ought’ and the ‘is’, between third personal knowledge of the good and first personal motivation. (shrink)
I draw a connection between the question, raised by Hume and Kant, of how aesthetic judgments can claim universal agreement, and the question, raised in recent discussions of nonconceptual content, of how concepts can be acquired on the basis of experience. Developing an idea suggested by Kant's linkage of aesthetic judgment with the capacity for empirical conceptualization, I propose that both questions can be resolved by appealing to the idea of "perceptual normativity". Perceptual experience, on this proposal, involves the awareness (...) of its own appropriateness with respect to the object perceived, where this appropriateness is more primitive than truth or veridicality. This means that a subject can take herself to be perceiving an object as she (and anyone else) ought to perceive it, without first recognizing the object as falling under a corresponding concept. I motivate the proposal through a criticism of Peacocke's account of concept-acquisition, which, I argue, rests on a confusion between the notion of a way something is perceived, and that of a way it is perceived as being. Whereas Peacocke's account of concept-acquisition depends on an illicit slide between these two notions, the notion of perceptual normativity allows a legitimate transition between them: if someone's perceiving something a certain way involves her taking it that she ought to perceive it that way, then she perceives the thing as being a certain way, so that the corresponding concept is available to her in perceptual experience. (shrink)
In a well-known passage from the Introduction to Kant’s Critique of Judgment, Kant defines the power or faculty of judgment [Urteilskraft] as "the capacity to think the particular as contained under the universal" (Introduction IV, 5:179).1 He then distinguishes two ways in which this faculty can be exercised, namely as determining or as reflecting. These two ways are defined as follows: "If the universal (the rule, the principle, the law) is given, then judgment, which subsumes the particular under it... is (...) determining. But if merely the particular is given, for which the universal is to be found, then judgment is merely reflecting" (ibid.) As Kant goes on to make clear, the Critique of Judgment is particularly concerned with judgment in its capacity as reflecting rather than determining. It is concerned, that is, with how we are to find universals (which he glosses as rules, principles, or laws) for given particulars. Despite the fact that the term "concept" does not appear in this set of definitions, Kant’s discussions of judgment elsewhere make it clear that this faculty can be identified at least in part with our capacity to think particular objects under concepts, in particular empirical concepts.2 The.. (shrink)
I offer a critical reconstruction of Kant's thesis that aesthetic judgement is founded on the principle of the purposiveness of nature. This has been taken as equivalent to the claim that aesthetics is directly linked to the systematicity of nature in its empirical laws. I take issue both with Henry Allison, who seeks to marginalize this claim, and with Avner Baz, who highlights it in order to argue that Kant's aesthetics are merely instrumental for his epistemology. My solution is that (...) aesthetic judgement operates as an exemplary presentation of our general ability to schematise an intuition with a concept at the empirical level. I suggest that this counts as an empirical schematism. Although aesthetic judgement is not based on empirical systematicity, it can nevertheless offer indirect support for the latter in so far as it is a particular revelation of purposiveness in general. (shrink)
In both Introductions to the Critique of Judgment Kant seems to identify the a priori principle at the basis of aesthetic judgments with the principle that guides reflective judgment in its cognitive inquiry of nature, i.e. the purposiveness of nature or systematicity. For instance Kant writes.
This paper argues that Kant 's account of the "ideal of beauty " in paragraph 17 of the Critique of Judgment is not only a plausible account of one kind of beauty, but also that it can address some of our moral qualms concerning the aesthetic evaluation of persons, including our psychological propensity to take a person's beauty to represent her moral character.
Kant’s _Critique of Judgment_ is one of the most important texts in the history of modern aesthetics. This _GuideBook _discusses the _Third Critique_ section by section, and introduces and assesses: Kant's life and the background of the _Critique of Judgment_ the ideas and text of the _Critique of Judgment_, including a critical explanation of Kant’s theories of natural beauty the continuing relevance of Kant’s work to contemporary philosophy and aesthetics. This _GuideBook_ is an accessible introduction to a notoriously difficult work (...) and will be essential reading for students of Kant and aesthetics. (shrink)
I point out some unclarities in Allison's interpretation of Kant's aesthetic theory, specifically in his account of the free play of the faculties. I argue that there is a tension between Allison's commitment to the intentionality of the pleasure involved in a judgment of beauty, and his view that the pleasure is distinct from the judgment, and I claim that the tension should be resolved by rejecting the latter view. I conclude by addressing Allison's objection that my own view fails (...) to accommodate judgments of non-beauty or ugliness. (shrink)
I present and evaluate Johann Gottfried Herder's criticisms of Kant's account of the sublime and Herder's own theory of the sublime, as presented in his work, Kalligone. Herder's account and criticisms ought to be taken seriously, I argue, as (respectively) a non-reductive, naturalist aesthetics of the sublime, and as illuminating the metaphysical, moral, and political presuppositions underlying Kant's (and Burke's) accounts of the sublime.
I argue (contra Guyer et al.) that in the Critique of Judgment Kant espouses a formal, intentional theory of pleasure, and reconstruct Kant's arguments that this view can both identify what all pleasures have in common, and differentiate among kinds of pleasure. Through his investigation of aesthetic experience in the Critique of Judgment, I argue, Kant radically departs from his views about pleasure as mere sensation in the Groundwork and the Critique of Practical Reason, and provides a view of pleasure (...) whereby we can understand pleasure itself to be ruled by an a priori principle. (shrink)
Philosophical aesthetics have seen an amazing revival over the past decade, as a radical questioning of the very grounds of Western epistemology has revealed that descriptions of what used to be seen as specific to aesthetic experience can instead be viewed as a general model for human cognition. In this revival, no text in the classical corpus of Western philosophy has been more frequently discussed and debated than the dense, complex paragraphs inserted into Kant's Critique of Judgment as sections 23-29: (...) the Analytic of the Sublime. This book is a rigorous explication de texte, a close reading of these sections. The Analytic of the Sublime, he points out, tries to argue that human thought is always constituted through a similar incompatibility between different intellectual and affective faculties. These lessons thus try to isolate the analysis of a differend of feeling in Kant's text, which is also the analysis of a feeling of differend, and to connect this feeling with the transport that leads all thought (critical thought included) to its limits. (shrink)
An analysis of Hegel's chapter on teleology in the Science of Logic. Hegel argues that the 'intentional model' of teleology assumed by Kant actually presupposes a natural or organic teleology more like along Aristotelian lines.