Kantian Journal

2017 Vol. 36. No. 3

Kant’s appearance as an objective-objectual [gegenständlich] representation

Abstract

This article analyses the features of Kant’s [transcendental] philosophy, which Kant himself described as transcendental idealism. On the one hand, Kant’s transcendentalism rests on the distinction between things-in-themselves and appearances. On the other hand, our method of cognition is representative in that is based on representations — subjective and objective (objectual) ones. A synthesis of the above considerations suggests that Kant’s transcendentalism rests on the [conceptual] triad — ‘[objective] object (thing-in-itself; Ding an sich) —appearance (Erscheinung) — and [mental] representation (Vorstellung)’. Kant’s transcendental philosophy is impossible without the concept (‘premise’) of appearance (a paraphrase of Friedrich Jacobi’s maxim). It is the third complete entity, which has an intermediate ontological and epistemological status. Appearance can be correlated with objective (objective-objectual ‘gegenstänslich’) representation. It would be unwise to identify appearance with thing-in-itself, which was characteristic of pre- Kantian philosophy (naïve realism), or appearance with representation, which was the case in phenomenalist interpretations of transcendentalism à la Berkley (interpretation of two objects). Kant’s appearance, as emphasised in BXXVII of his Critique, is an appearance of an object (thing-initself), which — although implicitly — suggests a semantic relationship of reference. Appearance (as a sign) is impossible without what appears in it (the referent of a sign). This article puts forward a number of arguments in favour of the objective/objective-objectual status of Kant’s concept of appearance.

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Kant’s family ethics and philosophy of love. Part 2. Critique of Judgement

Abstract

This paper deals with the forms of satisfaction in the Critique of Judgement — disinterested affection for a beautiful form in a pure feeling, vital love for something sensorily pleasant, rational respect for unconditioned good, and non-self-regarding love for humanity. A synthetic union of the above gives the conceptual key to the critical philosophy of love, which was never fully articulated in Kant’s lectures or published works. Moral love and legal awareness prevent the encroachment of vital love, as the maxims of ‘barbarian taste’ are being overcome. Aesthetic love — which dwells in the element of sophisticated taste as a capacity to judge with pleasure in matters of beauty, free from any interest, and without the mediation of concepts — appears to be the paramount condition for the possibility of a relationship between the sexes that is ‘compatible with morality’. This is not a restricting, but rather a liberating and affirming kind of satisfaction. Only the capability to see one another in the element of humanly beautiful, the capability to rejoice in one another in the beauty which gives birth to the culture of all faculties of human beings, is, according to Kant, the condition for possibility of the only kind of relationship worthy of humanity and compatible with morality. This condition is discovered by Kant beyond the borders of ethics. Therefore, it is not discussed within those borders any more. The crucial significance of love based on aesthetic taste to Kantian anthropology evokes some superficial Kantian objections but proves to be justified by the philosophy of the culture of free personality as striving towards the integral self, as it was formulated later in German idealism.

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