An antinomy of political judgment: Kant, Arendt, and the role of purposiveness in reflective judgment

Continental Philosophy Review 43 (3):331-352 (2010)
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Abstract

This article builds on Arendt’s development of a Kantian politics from out of the conception of reflective judgment in the Critique of Judgment. Arendt looks to Kant’s analysis of the beautiful to explain how political thought can be conceived. And yet Arendt describes such Kantian reflection as an empirical undertaking that justifies itself only in relation to the abstract principle of the moral law. The problem for such an account is that the autonomy of the moral law appears to be at odds with the social cohesion of Kantian political life. The ensuing contradiction can be deemed the antinomy of political judgment. Kant’s conception of reflective judgment offers such an inquiry considerably more to work with than Arendt uncovers. In particular, the regulative principle of the purposiveness of nature that is shown to direct all reflection can be seen to offer the solution to this antinomy.

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Avery Goldman
DePaul University

References found in this work

Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Thomas E. Hill & Arnulf Zweig.
The metaphysics of morals.Immanuel Kant - 1797/1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mary J. Gregor.
Elements of the philosophy of right.Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel - 1991 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Allen W. Wood & Hugh Barr Nisbet.
Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy.Hannah Arendt - 1982 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ronald Beiner.

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