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Author Teufel, Thomas Jorg
Title Purpose and purposiveness in Kant's "Critique of the Power of Judgment"
book jacket
Descript 194 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 67-02, Section: A, page: 0591
Adviser: Richard Moran
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Harvard University, 2006
The aim of this dissertation is to give an account of the systematic role of the concept of 'purposiveness' in Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgment
I begin my investigation, in chapter 1, with a discussion of the role that the concept of 'purposiveness' plays in Kant's transcendental 'principle of purposiveness' in the introduction to the Critique of the Power of Judgment. I argue that, as it relates to this principle, Kant deliberately drains the concept of 'purposiveness' of means-end connotations. This non-intentional sense of purposiveness is required if the principle of purposiveness is to fulfill its primary cognitive function: to turn inchoate contents of sensation into candidates for conceptualization
My central observation in chapter 2 is that the phenomena of beauty and life that Kant discusses in the body of the Critique of the Power of Judgment must then be exceptions to the cognitive function of the principle of purposiveness. According to Kant, the phenomena of beauty and life are in principle unconceptualizable. Yet the only cognitive commerce intellects like ours can conceivably have with in-principle unconceptualizable aspects of the world comes through the transcendental principle of purposiveness. My thesis is, accordingly, that our phenomenal awareness of beauty and life is nothing but awareness of the cognitive expression that this principle finds in cases in which its ordinary cognitive function is unaccountably thwarted. The cognitive expression that Kant's transcendental principle of purposiveness finds in such cases is what Kant calls a 'reflecting judgment.'
In chapter 3, I argue that this epistemologically a priori yet logically particular judgment of non-intentional purposiveness registers in empirical consciousness in two different ways, according to the circumstances under which we make it. It registers either (i) in the form of a feeling of pleasure (in an object) that we judge to be disinterested or (ii) in the form of a judgment of nature as supersensible designer. These two forms of judgment correspond to our awareness of objects as beautiful or alive. Accordingly, beauty and life are not empirically observed phenomena for Kant but, rather, epiphenomenal consequences of a priori ascriptions of non-intentional purposiveness
School code: 0084
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 67-02A
Subject Philosophy
Alt Author Harvard University
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