: The <i>Critique of Judgment</i> as a “True Apology” for Leibniz

Henry E. Allison

in Essays on Kant

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199647033
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741166 | DOI:
: The Critique of Judgment as a “True Apology” for Leibniz

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This essay argues that Kant's ironical remark in his response to Eberhard that “the Critique of Pure Reason might well be the true apology for Leibniz” is applicable (without irony) to the third Critique. Appealing to the principle of the purposiveness of nature, it shows that this principle provides the basis for a “critical” restatement of the line of argument that Leibniz formulated against Locke in his New Essays on Human Understanding. Common to both thinkers is the necessity of presupposing a harmony between the order of nature and the cognitive requirements of the human understanding, according to which observable similarities reflect the inner organization of nature. The difference is that for Leibniz the justification for this presupposition is metaphysical, namely, a pre‐established harmony, whereas for Kant it is “critical” involving the subjective principle of the purposiveness of nature.

Keywords: critical; J. A. Eberhard; first Critique; human understanding; G. W. Leibniz; John Locke; metaphysical; order of nature; pre‐established harmony; purposiveness of nature; third Critique

Chapter.  5960 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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