Thinking the particular as contained under the universal

In Rebecca Kukla (ed.), Aesthetics and Cognition in Kant's Critical Philosophy. New York: Cambridge University Press (2006)
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In a well-known passage from the Introduction to Kant’s Critique of Judgment, Kant defines the power or faculty of judgment [Urteilskraft] as "the capacity to think the particular as contained under the universal" (Introduction IV, 5:179).1 He then distinguishes two ways in which this faculty can be exercised, namely as determining or as reflecting. These two ways are defined as follows: "If the universal (the rule, the principle, the law) is given, then judgment, which subsumes the particular under it... is determining. But if merely the particular is given, for which the universal is to be found, then judgment is merely reflecting" (ibid.) As Kant goes on to make clear, the Critique of Judgment is particularly concerned with judgment in its capacity as reflecting rather than determining. It is concerned, that is, with how we are to find universals (which he glosses as rules, principles, or laws) for given particulars. Despite the fact that the term "concept" does not appear in this set of definitions, Kant’s discussions of judgment elsewhere make it clear that this faculty can be identified at least in part with our capacity to think particular objects under concepts, in particular empirical concepts.2 The..



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Hannah Ginsborg
University of California, Berkeley

Citations of this work

Was Kant a nonconceptualist?Hannah Ginsborg - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (1):65 - 77.
Kant and the Problem of Experience.Hannah Ginsborg - 2006 - Philosophical Topics 34 (1-2):59-106.
Is there a Gap in Kant’s B Deduction?Stefanie Grüne - 2011 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (3):465 - 490.
Varieties of Reflection in Kant's Logic.Melissa McBay Merritt - 2015 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (3):478-501.

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