Critique of Judgement Summary

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The Critique of Judgment, often called the Third Critique, does not have as clear a focus as the first two critiques. In broad outline, Kant sets about examining our faculty of judgment, which leads him down a number of divergent paths. While the Critique of Judgment deals with matters related to science and teleology, it is most remembered for what Kant has to say about aesthetics.

Kant calls aesthetic judgments “judgments of taste” and remarks that, though they are based in an individual’s subjective feelings, they also claim universal validity. Our feelings about beauty differ from our feelings about pleasure and moral goodness in that they are disinterested. We seek to possess pleasurable objects, and we seek to promote …show more content…

Kant’s account of beauty as based in subjective feeling as well as his struggles with teleology stem from his desire to refute all metaphysical proofs of God. Kant is by no means an atheist, and he makes forceful arguments for why we ought to believe in God. However, God is the ultimate thing-in-itself, and so, according to Kant’s epistemology, the nature and even the existence of God are fundamentally unknowable. In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant provides refutations for all the main “proofs” of God’s existence, one of which is the Argument from Design. According to this argument, the patterns and formal perfection in nature suggest the presence of an intelligent designer. Kant argues that our judgment of beauty is a subjective feeling, even though it possesses universal validity, in part because arguing that beauty is objective would play into the hands of those who make the Argument from Design. If beauty were an objective property of certain objects in nature, the question would naturally arise of how these objects were bestowed with beauty. This question would provide a toehold for the Argument from Design, an outcome that Kant is determined to

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