Kant's Conception of Life in the Critique of Judgment
Guo, Youle. “Kant's Conception of Life in the Critique of Judgment”, Boston College, 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:108727.
Kant’s conception of life is indispensable for understanding Kant’s aesthetics and could illustrate the underlying thread as well as the overall theme of the third Critique. Kant characterizes the principle of life with a power for self-action and self-determination, and this principle could be regarded as a special kind of causality or the third mode of determination. First, in Kant’s theory of the judgment of taste, his conception of life furnishes the judging subject’s transcendental aesthetic operation with a special internal causality, the causality, as Kant depicts, of lingering. Second, for Kant’s thoughts on beautiful art the notion of life, and its cognates as well, also bears those rich and concrete implications that would show how the principle of life, by which the mind is swinging, would manifest a basis for the unity of the self with the nature in the subjective condition of a creative artistic genius. Third, the judgment of the sublime as Kant develops runs into a moment of abruption of life, and by tracing the occurrence of this moment the light could thus be shed on the true condition of the unity, and the boundary as well, that is proper to the peculiar human way of living. By interpreting Kant’s conception and principle of life in such a way, I shall venture to show how the meaning of life, or indeed the meaning behind the peculiar condition of human life, is set out to show itself through the elaboration of the final completion of Kant’s critical enterprise.