The Question of Teleological Judgment in Kant's Critical Philosophy

Dissertation, Depaul University (1991)

The purpose of this dissertation is to develop a comprehensive understanding of Kant's critical project and to show its continuing relevance. Specific focus is on the issue of teleological judgment in light of its relation to reason, understanding, and the moral law. This examination of Kant's revolution leads to the realization that teleology, as the possibility of thinking the world as a unified intelligible whole, as a system of ends, emerges from consciousness itself. This issue of teleology is essential to serious attempts to come to terms with the crises of scepticism and of mechanistic thought which plague the modern mind. ;If teleological judgment is to be seen as a necessary presupposition underlying Kant's critical project, the Critique of Judgment must serve as the starting point for a reexamination of Kant's thought. Reversing the order of the critiques allows new insights to emerge in a reading of the Critique of Pure Reason because the principles and rules of the understanding are more clearly exposed in their appropriate employment, including their limits, when other functions of thought have been uncovered. Kant's critical philosophy is an attempt to account for the intelligibility of the world as a systematic unity. In order to appreciate fully his achievement, teleological judgment, that is, the causality according to ends, must be traced through the Critique of Practical Reason and to the Critique of Pure Reason revealing the necessary connection between the realm of nature and the realm of freedom
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