Kant's aesthetics and teleology

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)
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While Kant is perhaps best known for his writings in metaphysics and epistemology (in particular the Critique of Pure Reason of 1781, with a second edition in 1787) and in ethics (the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals of 1785 and the Critique of Practical Reason of 1788), he also developed an influential and much-discussed theory of aesthetics. This theory is presented in his Critique of Judgment (Kritik der Urteilskraft, also translated as Critique of the Power of Judgment) of 1790, a two-part work which deals successively with aesthetics and with the role of teleology (that is, appeal to ends or goals) in natural science and in our understanding of nature more generally. Although Kant's theory of teleology has traditionally been both less influential, and less widely discussed, than his aesthetic theory, its historical and philosophical importance is increasingly coming to be recognized.



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Hannah Ginsborg
University of California, Berkeley

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