Sunday, November 27, 2022

Twelve Rounds with Kant (part eleven)

Let's set the tone here with an excerpt.

Since the freedom of the imagination consists precisely in the fact that it schematizes without a concept, the judgement of taste must rest on a mere sensation of the reciprocally animating imagination in its freedom and the understanding with its lawfulness, thus on a feeling that allows the object to be judged in accordance with the purposiveness of the representation (by means of which an object is given) for the promotion of the faculty of cognition in its free play; and taste, as a subjective power of judgement, contains a principle of subsumption, not of intuitions under concepts, but of the faculty of intuitions or presentations (i.e., of the imagination) under the faculty of concepts (i.e., the understanding), insofar as the the former in its freedom is in harmony with the latter in its lawfulness.

One sentence. Who could have written this sentence but Immanuel Kant? And what could occasion wheeling him here but my having finally finished reading The Critique of the Power of Judgement (1790), the final installment of the Kant Trilogy?

(Note: the title most often translated into English as "The Critique of Judgement," but the Cambridge University Press edition I've been reading is titled "The Critique of the Power of Judgement," which is closer to the meaning of the original German (Critik der Urtheilskraft.) Editor and translator Paul Guyer (or perhaps Cambridge University Press) insists on the barbarous spelling "judgment," which I reject and will not reproduce here.)

Since about part six of this exercise I've regretted giving myself an arbitrary framework vis-à-vis the title. Twelve rounds, twelve Kantposts. I spent way too much time at the beginning idly ruminating on the metaphysical implications of the first critique's Transcendental Aesthetic when the Transcendental Dialectic constituted the real meat on the bone. And now here we are on part eleven of twelve, and I've got to somehow synopsize and/or meditate on the Critique of Judgement in just two posts. This bout might have to go on for an extra round. Goodie.

Once again, let me emphasize that I'm doing this strictly for the purpose of engaging with Kant in a way that helps me to better understand the material than I would if I just put the book away and went on with my life. Nothing that follows should be taken as authoritative. I'm writing more or less as a student.

So: the Critique of the Power of Judgement reminds me of Marilyn Manson's album Holy Wood.

I can't believe I just typed that. Let me explain.