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Kant's Critique of Judgment

Even if you haven't read the Critique of Pure Reason, the Critique of Judgment offers a very interesting entry point into Kant's thought. For a long time in France readers would apparently begin from the third Critique, and Whitehead remarked that Kant should have started his critical project with the Critique of Judgment.

The first two Critiques (Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of Practical Reason) deal with what Kant calls determinative judgments, which are judgments where we have a concept to put on an object. The Critique of Judgment focuses on reflective judgments which are the result of being presented with an object which needs to be determined. The reflective judgments serve to help us understand how the subject first is oriented with his faculties (how our faculties relate to each other).

The particular types of reflective judgment that Kant examines are the judgment of taste (concerning beauty and the sublime), and the teleological judgment.

WEEK 1: ~87 pp.
First Introduction

WEEK 2: ~73 pp.
First Part: Critique of the Aesthetic (Power of) Judgment
Analytic of the Sublime

WEEK 3: ~71 pp.
Deduction of Pure Aesthetic Judgment
Appendix: On the Method of Taste

WEEK 4: ~116 pp.
Second Part: Critique of the Teleological Power of Judgment

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  • Maria

    It was so rehreshing to attend and to just sit and listen to such interesting ideas. Just the exchange of thoughts and the beautiful use of the language made it worth while!

    November 28, 2012

  • Erik C.

    The way Kant uses the word 'beauty' is strange to our ears, and this has bothered me in the past. The German is 'schön' (which sounds nothing like 'beautiful', but I does sound a lot like 'shine' which does remind me more of the sense of Kant's usage. I looked up the etymology on this hunch, and found that I was very close: schön is from high German 'sconi', which is from proto-German 'skauniz'. skauniz means, beautiful, shining

    The reason 'shining' makes sense to me for understanding 'beauty' in Kant is that what 'beauty' signifies for Kant is something which grabs your attention without knowing why. Like the glint of light off of an object that draws your attention.

    Try keeping this in mind when you're reading the Analytic of the Judgment of Taste - maybe it will help.

    Here is the etymology I found:ön

    November 27, 2012

  • Richard McAvoy S.

    I'm reminded of Keats, Beauty/Truth

    November 23, 2012

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