From the Critique of Judgment to the Principle of the Open Question

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (5):891-907 (2015)
The relevance of Kant to Plessner’s work was long all but ignored and there is hardly any mention of Plessner in the Kant literature. The Plessner renaissance beginning in the 1990s, however, has brought with it a stronger focus on the methodological construction of his theory, so that the Kant connection has at least been acknowledged, but the particular relevance of Kant’s Critique of Judgement has not been systematically explicated. In this essay, I investigate the connection between Kant’s notion of reflective—specifically teleological—judgment and Plessner’s theory. I begin by setting out the characteristics of teleological judgment, with two points being of particular importance: the temporal structure of the final cause and Kant’s reference to an understanding other than the human, that is, to an ordering power other than the human. In a second step, I work out Plessner’s conceptualization of the spatiotemporal appearance of organisms and the way he understands the other of human understanding as nature’s—or history’s—historically evolved and mutable capacity for self-order. He arrives at these conclusions by way of a methodologically controlled process of questioning derived from Kant, which he calls the “principle of the open question.”
Keywords Plessner  Kant  Open question  Philosophical anthropology  Critique of judgement  Living beings  Life  Teleological judgement
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-014-9503-2
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References found in this work BETA

Critique of Judgement.Immanuel Kant - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
The Unreality of Time.J. Ellis McTaggart - 1908 - Mind 17 (68):457-474.
Sein Und Zeit.Martin Heidegger (ed.) - 1927 - M. Niemeyer.
Critique of Pure Reason.Immanuel Kant & Norman Kemp Smith - 1966 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 26 (3):449-451.

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