Chapter

: Reflective Judgment and the Application of Logic to Nature: Kant's Deduction of the Principle of Purposiveness as an Answer to Hume

Henry E. Allison

in Essays on Kant

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199647033
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741166 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199647033.003.0013
: Reflective Judgment and the Application of Logic to Nature: Kant's Deduction of the Principle of Purposiveness as an Answer to Hume

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This essay examines Kant's account of the purposiveness of nature as a transcendental principle of the power of judgment in its reflective capacity in the two versions of the Introduction to the third Critique. It argues that, in virtue of its role in the formation of empirical concepts and laws, this principle lies at the center rather than the periphery of Kant's epistemology. It further argues that the transcendental deduction that Kant provides for it in the published version of the Introduction constitutes his definitive answer to Hume regarding the rational grounding of induction. And, finally, it argues that what differentiates the principle of purposiveness from the transcendental principles of the first Critique is its purely subjective nature. Whereas the latter involve the understanding legislating to nature, purposiveness involves the power of judgment legislating to itself regarding how it must investigate nature.

Keywords: empirical concept; empirical law; first Critique; David Hume; induction; purposiveness; nature; reflective capacity; power of judgment; third Critique; transcendental principle

Chapter.  6384 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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