Kant's Critique of Judgement Term Paper

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Kant's Philosophy

We are bombarded with questions daily about different issue in our society like the justice of our foreign policy, the morality behind medical technologies that can prolong our lives, the rights of the homeless, the fairness of our children's teachers to the diverse students in their classrooms etc. Moral issues confront us each day, challenge us in routine life. Similarly, humans interact with each other and with different objects on the basis of their own judgments. Some people consider an issue moral while some others would consider it immoral. Similarly an object would be beautiful for one person while some other person may not consider it the same. Dealing with these varying issues often laves us baffled.

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Term Paper on Kant's Critique of Judgement Assignment

Philosophers have provided us with different approaches to issues of judgment, morality and ethics. A very important approach to ethics has its roots in the philosophy of the 18th-century thinker Immanuel Kant and others like him, who have focused on the individual's right to choose for her or himself. Kant was a German philosopher, possibly the most influential of modern times. Kant talked about the subject of morality in his Critique of Practical Reason. His critique series started with Critique of Pure Reason. His critical philosophy said that ideas do not conform to the external world, but rather the world can be known only to the extent that it conforms to the mind's own structure. Kant said that morality requires a belief in God, freedom, and immortality, although these can be proved neither scientifically nor by metaphysics. According to the Right theory philosophers, what makes human beings different from mere animals or inanimate things is that people have dignity based on their ability to choose freely what they will do with their lives, and they have a fundamental moral right to have these choices respected. According to them, people are not objects to be manipulated and it is a violation of human dignity to use people in ways they do not freely choose. Kant's work also talks about free will but it can not be proved. His later work in Critique of Judgment he talks about these aspects while trying to resolve the problems in his earlier critiques.

Critique of Judgment

Kant has done a lot of work related to philosophy but his Critique of Judgment is considered one of his best works. Critique of Judgment is third and last in the series of critique that Kant wrote. In Critique of Judgment Kant covered diverse topics. Aesthetics becomes the central theme of this work even though the book is divided into two key areas of judgment that is the Critique of Aesthetic Judgement and the Critique of Teleological Judgement.

Critique of Aesthetic Judgement

In critique of aesthetic judgement Kant explains that four kinds of rfelective judgments are only possible. These four judgment according to Kant could be agreeable, the beautiful, the sublime, and the good. "The complex argument of the 'Critique of Aesthetic Judgment' has several major stages. Book I, the Analytic of the Beautiful, begins with an analysis of four distinguishing features of judgments of taste. They involve a pleasure that is disinterested yet both universal and necessary, directed at an object's form without a conceptual determination of its purpose. As a consequence of this analysis, Kant concludes that the 'faculty of taste' is neither a separate faculty nor a passive receptivity to objects. It involves a complex interplay of imagination and understanding in 'free play'" ('Philosophy of Art Hume and Kant').

Agreeable & Good: The sensory judgment among the four according to Kant is 'agreeable'. There many instances in daily lives where we use such judements. We make statement about different objects then we make agreeable judment for example, this picture is good or the dish is tasty. 'Good' on the other hand is the judgment based on ethics and morality. According to Kant 'good' reltes to the moral law so according to the morals it would either be moral or immoral. The 'good' is more objective then agreeable' which is more subjective. In fact 'agreeable' and 'good' seem to be two different ends of a spectrum according to Kant's philosophy. The other two judgments 'beautiful' and 'sublime' lie in between the two extreme ends of judgment.

Beautiful & Sublime: Kant considered these 'beautiful' and 'sublime' judgments as 'subjective judgments'. These judgments suggest a sense of subjectivity and do not conform to ideas in an abolute way. Most people make judgments about any particular object that is whether it is sublime or beautiful with the preconcieved notion in mind that people would agree to their judgments. However, other people may or may not agree with such judgments. So, when someone makes a judment that something is beautiful then the that particular thing might or might not have any practical application. As seen in our daily observations that many beautiful objects do necessarily fulfill a practical purpose. "Kant defines beauty as 'the form of purposiveness in so far as it is perceived apart from the presentation of a purpose.' The unity of aesthetic experience is due to the interplay of the faculties of perception and imagination with the faculty of understanding. An aesthetic judgment also claims that the beautiful object is connected with a pleasurable feeling, and that it pleases universally. This universality is merely a subjective foundation in our cognitive faculties, similar to teleological explanations" ('Island of Freedom: Immanuel Kant 1724-1804').

Kant considers that the judgment of sublime would result in some meaning and understanding of fear as the sublime object might not be completely understandable to all. The concept of incomprehensibility is something that stirs the feeling of fear with the sublime. According to this philosophy people consider some object beautiful or sublime on the basis of their judgment.

Kant in his work not only talks about the faculty of mind with the help of which judgment is passed but he also goes on to add that it is the faculty of geniuis that people can produce anything which is beautiful or sublime. Also, with concepts of sublime and beautiful, Kant also tries to resolve the problems in his earlier work regarding free will. Here Kant talks about some noumenal soul as some ecternal factor that controls the free will. It is this noumenon order that defines the concepts of sublime and beautiful.

Critique of Teleological Judgement

Teleology according to standard definitions is the study of design, purpose, directive principle, or finality in nature or human creations. If we break the word teology then the Greek telos component means end. As the meaning suggests Kant in this section talks about judment on the basis of ends. In order to explain his concepts Kant uses the example of human itself. He explains that parts of human body exist for the sake of the whole and whole for the sake the parts. Parts and whole have the relationship with each other. With these examples he explains things as the cause of others. The causal phenmenon is further explained again by the example of humans. He goes on to add that humans can be considered the ultimate end and all other lving beings exist because of this ultimate end. He considers humans as superiors and the ultimate end bacuse of their faculty of reason.

Other Philosphers

Other philosophers like Aristotle have also wotked on teleology and similar philosophical aspects. Aristotle made a differentiation between Science of the Good and Science of the True which he considered independent rather than interdependent. His views consider 'knowing' related to theoretical sciences and 'acting' related to practical sciences. The theory deals with what is based on reality and experience while practices are about human actions. However, there are no definite principles which can tell us in absolute terms moral standards… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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