New PDF release: Kant on Beauty and Biology: An Interpretation of the

By Rachel Zuckert

ISBN-10: 051133530X

ISBN-13: 9780511335303

Kant's Critique of Judgment has frequently been interpreted by means of students as comprising separate remedies of 3 uneasily hooked up issues: attractiveness, biology, and empirical wisdom. Rachel Zuckert's booklet translates the Critique as a unified argument relating all 3 domain names.

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Extra resources for Kant on Beauty and Biology: An Interpretation of the Critique of Judgment (Modern European Philosophy)

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2a) Purposiveness without a purpose is an order of means–ends relations without an external purpose; it comprises reciprocal means–ends relations, in which each part is both means and end, in relation to the other parts. Thus purposiveness without a purpose is the form of fully systematic, internal relations. Because this principle constitutes a unity among heterogeneous, contingent parts, without a separate purpose or concept (the means–ends relations are reciprocal, not directed to a separate end), it is also that by which we can judge (discern and unify) the particular, unconceptualized characteristics of nature.

22 Kant’s identification of purposiveness as the principle of reflective judgment seems, then, to be a transmutation of the argument from design: it is contingent that nature be ordered empirically; such order is beneficial to us, indeed needed by us (for experience and empirical cognition to be possible); thus we must assume that God, an intelligent, beneficent agent, ensures that nature fulfills our cognitive needs. This presupposition of intelligent design also, to anticipate the concerns of the next chapter, links Kant’s concerns about the possibility of empirical knowledge with the topics of the CAJ and CTJ: if we need to assume that any contingent order in nature is designed, we particularly need to do so in the case of beautiful objects and organisms, as traditional arguments from design aver.

Kant and the Sciences [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001], 259–81). 20 KANT ON BEAUTY AND BIOLOGY purpose, both as the principle of judgment that is to respond to this problem, and as the principle that governs all three forms of judging centrally at issue in the CJ. The bulk of the book comprises interpretation of the Critiques of Aesthetic and Teleological Judgment, through which a substantive understanding of this principle and its role in these forms of judging is developed. In Chapters Three and Four, I present an interpretation of the CTJ, treating, respectively, Kant’s arguments that it is necessary to judge organisms as purposive, and his reasons for holding, nonetheless, that this principle cannot truly explain organic behavior, but is a merely regulative, subjective principle, necessary solely as a guide to the subject’s reflective judgment of organisms.

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Kant on Beauty and Biology: An Interpretation of the Critique of Judgment (Modern European Philosophy) by Rachel Zuckert


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