Since its publication, The Critique of Judgment has been of highest importance to the philosophy of art and of religion. It met opposition as radically skeptical and destructive of theology; indeed, Immanuel Kant intended to set limits on religious thinking. It opened promising new pathways in aesthetics, still found highly worthy of exploration.
The work is based wholly on the psychology of faculties and the logic Kant adopted in Kritik der reinen Vernunft (1781; The Critique of Pure Reason, 1838) and Kritik der praktischen Vernunft (1788; The Critique of Practical Reason, 1873). The former treats the faculty of understanding, which, presupposing natural law, brings people their knowledge of nature. The latter treats reason (“practical” reason, will, or desire), which presupposes freedom and legislates for people in accordance with moral law. While writing the first two critiques, Kant believed that the faculty of pleasure and pain could have no critique, being passive only. However, he came to regard this faculty to be the same as judgment, which subsumes representations under concepts, always accompanied by a feeling-response. He declared finally that judgment could have a regulative critique of its own, showing its functions and limitations, even though the faculty brings us no objective knowledge. Indeed, The Critique of Judgment would show the ground of union...
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