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The Critique of Judgment is concerned with “judgment” as a power of the mind that is expressed in particular acts of judging. This is the sense we draw upon when we say of someone that they have good judgment, or when we put our trust in someone’s judgment. I consider Kant’s regress argument concerning judgment in the Analytic of the Principles of the first Critique. Kant has been read as concluding that if cognition is to be possible it must, on pain of infinite regress, bottom out in some non-rule-governed, “immediate” act or entity. I argue that this interpretation misconstrues the moral of Kant’s argument, as it does that of the rule-following passages in Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations with which it is sometimes aligned. The point of Kant’s argument is that judgment must be exercised: this is its condition. Kant shares with Wittgenstein (properly read) an awareness of the desire that we may have to evade the exercise of judgment and the revelations of the self that it entails. Reflective judgment, as introduced in the third Critique, is a further development of the notion of judgment as necessarily exercised and reflective of a particular mind.
Chapter 3 addresses the relationship between the various tasks carried out in the Critique of Pure Reason by analyzing Kant’s multifaceted use of the term ‘transcendental.’ Challenging the received view, it maintains that Kant’s seemingly divergent accounts of the subject hinge on his conception of transcendental philosophy proper and transcendental critique as first-order and second-order branches of transcendental cognition, respectively. Drawing on a brief account of the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century history of the term ‘transcendental,’ the chapter seeks to show that Wolffian ontology and transcendental philosophy proper have more in common than is widely assumed: both disciplines can be said to provide a comprehensive account of the cognitive elements presupposed in any cognition of objects. On this account, the novelty of the Critique consists primarily in the second-order investigation into metaphysics that Kant calls transcendental critique. The chapter concludes by examining Kant’s criticism of the way his predecessors and contemporaries understood the terms ‘ontology’ and ‘transcendental philosophy.’
The second chapter seeks to clarify how Kant in the late 1760s and early 1770s came to conceive of the aim and main arguments of what was to become the Critique of Pure Reason. It focuses in particular on Kant’s evolving understanding of the act of critique. The heart of the chapter consists in an analysis of the Inaugural Dissertation. Challenging the prevailing view, the chapter highlights the critical impetus of the treatise by arguing that the specific criterion it employs to curb the ambitions of metaphysics – intellectual purity – is directed against an assumption common to Wolff, Crusius, and early post-Leibnizian philosophy in general. Moreover, it puts into perspective the alleged break between the Dissertation and the Critique by arguing that this early instance of critique is preserved in the Critique of Pure Reason. The chapter argues that Kant in this work introduces a new form of critique by arguing that any a priori cognition of objects necessarily rests on pure intuition.
Scholarly debates on the Critique of Pure Reason have largely been shaped by epistemological questions. Challenging this prevailing trend, Kant's Reform of Metaphysics is the first book-length study to interpret Kant's Critique in view of his efforts to turn Christian Wolff's highly influential metaphysics into a science. Karin de Boer situates Kant's pivotal work in the context of eighteenth-century German philosophy, traces the development of Kant's conception of critique, and offers fresh and in-depth analyses of key parts of the Critique of Pure Reason, including the Transcendental Deduction, the Schematism Chapter, the Appendix to the Transcendental Analytic, and the Architectonic. The book not only brings out the coherence of Kant's project, but also reconstructs the outline of the 'system of pure reason' for which the Critique was to pave the way, but that never saw the light.
Kant’s moral argument for faith in God aims not at converting unbelievers but at offering those who believe a reason for principled assent to the existence of God on moral grounds. It is based on a rational connection between purposive action and assent that applies not only to religious belief but to many other purposes as well, such as what Royce called “loyalty to a lost cause.” The argument in the Critique of Pure Reason differs significantly from its presentation in later works. Kantian moral faith is in tension with Cliffordian evidentialism but not inconsistent with it, and the two together constitute the doxastic virtue lying between the twin vices of uncritical credulity and stubborn incredulity; together they enable us to avoid the complacencies of both despairing resignation and overconfidence.
Posy undertakes to give a precise characterization of the difference between Kant’s critical and precritical philosophy. The need to do this becomes vivid when we notice that many doctrines generally identified with the critical philosophy are already present in Kant’s precritical Inaugural Dissertation (1770). By exposing the Leibnizian roots of Kant’s preoccupation with the metaphysics–mathematics interface, Posy pinpoints the subtle but decisive shift in philosophical standpoint that separates the Critique from the Dissertation.
After providing a brief overview of Marcus Willaschek's Kant on the Sources of Metaphysics, I critically reconstruct his account of ‘transcendental realism’ and the role that it plays in the dramatic narrative of the Critique of Pure Reason. I then lay out in detail how Willaschek generates and evaluates various versions of transcendental realism and raise some concerns about each. Next, I look at precisely how Willaschek's Kant thinks we can avoid applying the ‘supreme’ dialectical principle (for every conditioned there is a totality of conditions which is unconditioned) to the domain of appearances. Finally, I call into question Willaschek's efforts to appropriate the lessons of the Transcendental Dialectic without following Kant into transcendental idealism.
This chapter shows that the antinomies of pure reason present an analogy between the critique and a civil trial in which reason in the narrow sense is challenged to prove that it can legitimately possess and use its ideas. In reconstructing the different parts of this image, Møller suggests reading the tribunal image as a second-order model of evaluation of judgements. In order to achieve this aim, Møller inspects the different roles and procedures mentioned in the juridical metaphors to see how they fit the different procedures in the antinomies. The chapter untangles the notions of the tribunal itself, the trial, the witnesses, the audience and the verdict. The image of the reader as judge is considered in its intellectual historical context, which shows an affinity between Kant’s use of this image and the project of enlightenment.
Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, his main work of theoretical philosophy, frequently uses metaphors from law. In this first book-length study in English of Kant's legal metaphors and their role in the first Critique, Sofie Møller shows that they are central to Kant's account of reason. Through an analysis of the legal metaphors in their entirety, she demonstrates that Kant conceives of reason as having a structure mirroring that of a legal system in a natural right framework. Her study shows that Kant's aim is to make cognisers become similar to authorized judges within such a system, by proving the legitimacy of the laws and the conditions under which valid judgments can be pronounced. These elements consolidate her conclusion that reason's systematicity is legal systematicity.
This chapter presents an outline of Immanuel Kant's project in the Critique of Pure Reason and his views of reason and the unconditioned. It provides a sketch of the most basic features of Schelling's project as it is developed in the Form-Schrift, focusing on how his argument for several specific features of the first principle he identifies is based on Kant's considerations concerning the unconditioned. The chapter then focuses on the Ich-Schrift, noting the main ways in which it represents an advance over the Form-Schrift. It provides a closer analysis and evaluation of central features of Schelling's argument by responding to a series of objections raised by Dieter Henrich. Finally, the chapter shows that Kant's specific views on the unconditioned play a crucial and underappreciated role in the development of fundamental aspects of Schelling's early philosophy.
This chapter briefly presents the basic structure of the Antinomy of Pure Reason, paying special attention to the role that reason plays in generating this antinomy. In the Antinomy of Pure Reason of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant claims that if one accepts what he calls Transcendental Realism, the view that appearances and things in themselves are identical, then reason can come into conflict with itself, because it can prove contradictory propositions with respect to certain features of the world. The chapter reconstructs the Antinomy of Practical Reason with the help of several basic structural similarities that it bears to the theoretical antinomy. It addresses several basic questions that arise with respect to the Antinomy of Practical Reason's central concept of the highest good, and uses insights gained from the comparison of the theoretical and practical antinomies to develop detailed answers.
This chapter explains a reading of Groundwork III that stresses the validation of reason rather than choice in the will. A standard approach to Groundwork III is to view Kant as attempting to provide an argument for the validity of the moral law for human beings by invoking a theoretical argument borrowed from the Critique of Pure Reason about the nature of reality. It presents a validation of reason interpretation, that centres on the role of reason as legislator of the moral law rather than on any choice in the will. The central claim of this interpretation is that in Groundwork III Kant invokes the transcendental freedom not of the whole person but only of the faculty of reason as a way of explaining the freedom of the will. The chapter explains what the alleged circle is by stepping even further back to Kant's invocation of the idea of freedom.
Immanuel Kant was unable to develop an adequate theory of subjectivity as intrinsic self-relation, a theory that would elucidate such self-relation not simply in general but in the specific theoretical and practical sense of one's own consciousness and one's own will, and would pay due attention to the relevant common features and specific differences involved here. It is clear that one should take the last mentioned characterisation of practical self-relation in particular very seriously since the Critique of Pure Reason describes the a priori synthesis that underlies all a posteriori synthesis in Kant's view as a free synthesis. Formulated very briefly for the purpose of clarification, the fundamental thesis of Kant's theoretical philosophy amounts to this: knowledge or experience, in short, theory can be explained only by reference to spontaneity. Kant's task is to develop a spontaneous, and entirely novel, conception of theory on the basis of spontaneity itself.
Immanuel Kant's late work, The Metaphysics of Morals, is treated as a kind of retreat from the critical self-limitation to a formal ethics that characterises the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant made it clear that the idea of a metaphysics of morals represents a Platonism of practical reason. In this chapter, the author focuses on the Preface and on one or two specific passages from the main text of the Groundwork that expressly pursue the argument in the Preface concerning the necessity for such metaphysics. Kant's speculative arguments concern the systematic structure of philosophy and the articulated presentation of its relevant objects. His arguments concern the way in which Kant's position coincides with the understanding that everyone already possesses concerning morality. The author elucidates these arguments and questions whether it is really necessary to provide a metaphysical grounding of ethics at all.
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