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Title: Kant's Critique of Judgement
Author: Kant, Immanuel
Language: English
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  J. H. BERNARD, D.D., D.C.L.





  _First Edition 1892_
  _Second Edition 1914_


  EDITOR’S INTRODUCTION                                               xi

  PREFACE                                                              1

  INTRODUCTION                                                         7

       I. Of the division of Philosophy                                7

      II. Of the realm of Philosophy in general                       11

     III. Of the Critique of Judgement as a means of combining the
            two parts of Philosophy into a whole                      14

      IV. Of Judgement as a faculty legislating _a priori_            17

       V. The principle of the formal purposiveness of nature is a
            transcendental principle of Judgement                     20

      VI. Of the combination of the feeling of pleasure with the
            concept of the purposiveness of nature                    27

     VII. Of the aesthetical representation of the purposiveness of
            nature                                                    30

    VIII. Of the logical representation of the purposiveness of
            nature                                                    35

      IX. Of the connexion of the legislation of Understanding with
            that of Reason by means of the Judgement                  39


  =First Division.=--Analytic of the Aesthetical Judgement            45

  _First Book._--Analytic of the Beautiful                            45

  _First Moment_ of the judgement of taste, according to quality

  §  1. The judgement of taste is aesthetical                         45

  §  2. The satisfaction which determines the judgement of taste is
          disinterested                                               46

  §  3. The satisfaction in the pleasant is bound up with interest    48

  §  4. The satisfaction in the good is bound up with interest        50

  §  5. Comparison of the three specifically different kinds of
          satisfaction                                                53

  _Second Moment_ of the judgement of taste, viz. according to
    quantity                                                          55

  §  6. The Beautiful is that which apart from concepts is
          represented as the object of a universal satisfaction       55

  §  7. Comparison of the Beautiful with the Pleasant and the Good
          by means of the above characteristic                        57

  §  8. The universality of the satisfaction is represented in a
          judgement of Taste only as subjective                       59

  §  9. Investigation of the question whether in a judgement of
          taste the feeling of pleasure precedes or follows the
          judging of the object                                       63

  _Third Moment_ of judgements of taste according to the relation
    of the purposes which are brought into consideration therein      67

  § 10. Of purposiveness in general                                   67

  § 11. The judgement of taste has nothing at its basis but the
          form of the purposiveness of an object (or of its mode of
          representation)                                             69

  § 12. The judgement of taste rests on _a priori_ grounds            70

  § 13. The pure judgement of taste is independent of charm and
          emotion                                                     72

  § 14. Elucidation by means of examples                              73

  § 15. The judgement of taste is quite independent of the concept
          of perfection                                               77

  § 16. The judgement of taste, by which an object is declared to
          be beautiful under the condition of a definite concept,
          is not pure                                                 81

  § 17. Of the Ideal of Beauty                                        84

  _Fourth Moment_ of the judgement of taste, according to the
    modality of the satisfaction in the object                        91

  § 18. What the modality in a judgement of taste is                  91

  § 19. The subjective necessity which we ascribe to the judgement
          of taste is conditioned                                     92

  § 20. The condition of necessity which a judgement of taste
          asserts is the Idea of a common sense                       92

  § 21. Have we ground for presupposing a common sense?               93

  § 22. The necessity of the universal agreement that is thought
          in a judgement of taste is a subjective necessity, which
          is represented as objective under the presupposition of a
          common sense                                                94

  _General remark_ on the first section of the Analytic               96

  _Second Book._--Analytic of the Sublime                            101

  § 23. Transition from the faculty which judges of the Beautiful
          to that which judges of the Sublime                        101

  § 24. Of the divisions of an investigation into the feeling of
          the Sublime                                                105

  A.--Of the Mathematically Sublime                                  106

  § 25. Explanation of the term “Sublime”                            106

  § 26. Of that estimation of the magnitude of natural things
          which is requisite for the Idea of the Sublime             110

  § 27. Of the quality of the satisfaction in our judgements upon
          the Sublime                                                119

  B.--Of the Dynamically Sublime in Nature                           123

  § 28. Of Nature regarded as Might                                  123

  § 29. Of the modality of the judgement upon the sublime in
          nature                                                     130

  _General remark_ upon the exposition of the aesthetical
    reflective Judgement                                             132

  _Deduction_ of [pure] aesthetical judgements                       150

  § 30. The Deduction of aesthetical judgements on the objects of
          nature must not be directed to what we call Sublime in
          nature, but only to the Beautiful                          150

  § 31. Of the method of deduction of judgements of taste            152

  § 32. First peculiarity of the judgement of taste                  154

  § 33. Second peculiarity of the judgement of taste                 157

  § 34. There is no objective principle of taste possible            159

  § 35. The principle of Taste is the subjective principle of
          Judgement in general                                       161

  § 36. Of the problem of a Deduction of judgements of Taste         162

  § 37. What is properly asserted _a priori_ of an object in a
          judgement of taste                                         164

  § 38. Deduction of judgements of taste                             165

  § 39. Of the communicability of a sensation                        167

  § 40. Of taste as a kind of _sensus communis_                      169

  § 41. Of the empirical interest in the Beautiful                   173

  § 42. Of the intellectual interest in the Beautiful                176

  § 43. Of Art in general                                            183

  § 44. Of beautiful Art                                             185

  § 45. Beautiful art is an art in so far as it seems like nature    187

  § 46. Beautiful art is the art of genius                           188

  § 47. Elucidation and confirmation of the above explanation of
          Genius                                                     190

  § 48. Of the relation of Genius to Taste                           193

  § 49. Of the faculties of the mind that constitute Genius          197

  § 50. Of the combination of Taste with Genius in the products of
          beautiful Art                                              205

  § 51. Of the division of the beautiful arts                        206

  § 52. Of the combination of beautiful arts in one and the same
          product                                                    214

  § 53. Comparison of the respective aesthetical worth of the
          beautiful arts                                             215

  § 54. Remark                                                       220

  =Second Division.=--Dialectic of the Aesthetical Judgement         229

  § 55.                                                              229

  § 56. Representation of the antinomy of Taste                      230

  § 57. Solution of the antinomy of Taste                            231

  § 58. Of the Idealism of the purposiveness of both Nature and Art
          as the unique principle of the aesthetical Judgement       241

  § 59. Of Beauty as the symbol of Morality                          248

  § 60. =Appendix=:--Of the method of Taste                          253


  § 61. Of the objective purposiveness of Nature                     259

  =First Division.=--Analytic of the Teleological Judgement          262

  § 62. Of the objective purposiveness which is merely formal as
          distinguished from that which is material                  262

  § 63. Of the relative, as distinguished from the inner,
          purposiveness of nature                                    268

  § 64. Of the peculiar character of things as natural purposes      272

  § 65. Things regarded as natural purposes are organised beings     275

  § 66. Of the principle of judging of internal purposiveness in
          organised beings                                           280

  § 67. Of the principle of the teleological judging of nature in
          general as a system of purposes                            282

  § 68. Of the principle of Teleology as internal principle of
          natural science                                            287

  =Second Division.=--Dialectic of the Teleological Judgement        292

  § 69. What is an antinomy of the Judgement?                        292

  § 70. Representation of this antinomy                              293

  § 71. Preliminary to the solution of the above antinomy            296

  § 72. Of the different systems which deal with the purposiveness
          of Nature                                                  298

  § 73. None of the above systems give what they pretend             302

  § 74. The reason that we cannot treat the concept of a Technic
          of nature dogmatically is the fact that a natural purpose
          is inexplicable                                            306

  § 75. The concept of an objective purposiveness of nature is a
          critical principle of Reason for the reflective
          Judgement                                                  309

  § 76. Remark                                                       313

  § 77. Of the peculiarity of the human Understanding, by means of
          which the concept of a natural purpose is possible         319

  § 78. Of the union of the principle of the universal mechanism of
          matter with the teleological principle in the Technic of
          nature                                                     326

  =Appendix.=--Methodology of the Teleological Judgement             334

  § 79. Whether Teleology must be treated as if it belonged to the
          doctrine of nature                                         334

  § 80. Of the necessary subordination of the mechanical to the
          teleological principle in the explanation of a thing as
          a natural purpose                                          336

  § 81. Of the association of mechanism with the teleological
          principle in the explanation of a natural purpose as a
          natural product                                            342

  § 82. Of the teleological system in the external relations of
          organised beings                                           346

  § 83. Of the ultimate purpose of nature as a teleological system   352

  § 84. Of the final purpose of the existence of a world, _i.e._
          of creation itself                                         359

  § 85. Of Physico-theology                                          362

  § 86. Of Ethico-theology                                           370

  § 87. Of the moral proof of the Being of God                       377

  § 88. Limitation of the validity of the moral proof                384

  § 89. Of the use of the moral argument                             392

  § 90. Of the kind of belief in a teleological proof of the Being
          of God                                                     395

  § 91. Of the kind of belief produced by a practical faith          403

  _General remark_ on Teleology                                      414


There are not wanting indications that public interest in the Critical
Philosophy has been quickened of recent days in these countries, as
well as in America. To lighten the toil of penetrating through the
wilderness of Kant’s long sentences, the English student has now many
aids, which those who began their studies fifteen or twenty years
ago did not enjoy. Translations, paraphrases, criticisms, have been
published in considerable numbers; so that if it is not yet true that
“he who runs may read,” it may at least be said that a patient student
of ordinary industry and intelligence has his way made plain before
him. And yet the very number of aids is dangerous. Whatever may be the
value of short and easy handbooks in other departments of science,
it is certain that no man will become a philosopher, no man will
even acquire a satisfactory knowledge of the history of philosophy,
without personal and prolonged study of the _ipsissima verba_ of the
great masters of human thought. “Above all,” said Schopenhauer, “my
truth-seeking young friends, beware of letting our professors tell
you what is contained in the Critique of the Pure Reason”; and the
advice has not become less wholesome with the lapse of years. The fact,
however, that many persons have not sufficient familiarity with German
to enable them to study German Philosophy in the original with ease,
makes translations an educational necessity; and this translation of
Kant’s Critique of the faculty of Judgement has been undertaken in the
hope that it may promote a more general study of that masterpiece. If
any reader wishes to follow Schopenhauer’s advice, he has only to omit
the whole of this prefatory matter and proceed at once to the Author’s
laborious Introduction.

It is somewhat surprising that the Critique of Judgement has never
yet been made accessible to the English reader. Dr. Watson has indeed
translated a few selected passages, so also has Dr. Caird in his
valuable account of the Kantian philosophy, and I have found their
renderings of considerable service; but the space devoted by both
writers to the Critique of Judgement is very small in comparison
with that given to the Critiques of Pure and Practical Reason. And
yet the work is not an unimportant one. Kant himself regarded it as
the coping-stone of his critical edifice; it even formed the point
of departure for his successors, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, in the
construction of their respective systems. Possibly the reason of
its comparative neglect lies in its repulsive style. Kant was never
careful of style, and in his later years he became more and more
enthralled by those technicalities and refined distinctions which deter
so many from the Critical Philosophy even in its earlier sections.
These “symmetrical architectonic amusements,” as Schopenhauer called
them, encumber every page of Kant’s later writings, and they are a
constant source of embarrassment to his unhappy translator. For, as
every translator knows, no single word in one language exactly covers
any single word in another; and yet if Kant’s distinctions are to be
preserved it is necessary to select with more or less arbitrariness
English equivalents for German technical terms, and retain them all
through. Instances of this will be given later on; I only remark
here on the fact that Kant’s besetting sin of over-technicality is
especially conspicuous in this treatise.

Another fault--an old fault of Kant--apparent after reading even a few
pages, is that repetitions are very frequent of the same thought in but
slightly varied language. Arguments are repeated over and over again
until they become quite wearisome; and then when the reader’s attention
has flagged, and he is glancing cursorily down the page, some important
new point is introduced without emphasis, as if the author were really
anxious to keep his meaning to himself at all hazards. A book written
in such fashion rarely attracts a wide circle of readers. And yet, not
only did Goethe think highly of it, but it received a large measure
of attention in France as well as in Germany on its first appearance.
Originally published at Berlin in 1790, a Second Edition was called
for in 1793; and a French translation was made by Imhoff in 1796. Other
French versions are those by Keratry and Weyland in 1823, and by Barni
in 1846. This last I have had before me while performing my task, but
I have not found it of much service; the older French translations
I have not seen. The existence of these French versions, when taken
in connexion with the absence until very recently of any systematic
account of the Critique of Judgement in English, may be perhaps
explained by the lively interest that was taken on the Continent in the
Philosophy of Art in the early part of the century; whereas scientific
studies on this subject received little attention in England during the
same period.

The student of the Critique of Pure Reason will remember how closely,
in his Transcendental Logic, Kant follows the lines of the ordinary
logic of the schools. He finds his whole plan ready made for him, as
it were; and he proceeds to work out the metaphysical principles which
underlie the process of syllogistic reasoning. And as there are three
propositions in every syllogism, he points out that, in correspondence
with this triplicity, the higher faculties of the soul may be regarded
as threefold. The Understanding or the faculty of concepts gives us our
major premise, as it supplies us in the first instance with a general
notion. By means of the Judgement we see that a particular case comes
under the general rule, and by the Reason we draw our conclusion.
These, as three distinct movements in the process of reasoning,
are regarded by Kant as indicating three distinct faculties, with
which the Analytic of Concepts, the Analytic of Principles, and the
Dialectic are respectively concerned. The full significance of this
important classification does not seem, however, to have occurred
to Kant at the time, as we may see from the order in which he wrote
his great books.[1] The first problem which arrests the attention
of all modern philosophers is, of course, the problem of knowledge,
its conditions and its proper objects. And in the Critique of Pure
Reason this is discussed, and the conclusion is reached that nature
as phenomenon is the only object of which we can hope to acquire any
exact knowledge. But it is apparent that there are other problems which
merit consideration; a complete philosophy includes practice as well
as theory; it has to do not only with logic, but with life. And thus
the Critique of Practical Reason was written, in which is unfolded
the doctrine of man’s freedom standing in sharp contrast with the
necessity of natural law. Here, then, it seems at first sight as if we
had covered the whole field of human activity. For we have investigated
the sources of knowledge, and at the same time have pointed out the
conditions of practical life, and have seen that the laws of freedom
are just as true in their own sphere as are the laws of nature.

But as we reflect on our mental states we find that here no proper
account has been given of the phenomena of _feeling_, which play so
large a part in experience. And this Kant saw before he had proceeded
very far with the Critique of Practical Reason; and in consequence
he adopted a threefold classification of the higher mental faculties
based on that given by previous psychologists. Knowledge, feeling,
desire, these are the three ultimate modes of consciousness, of which
the second has not yet been described. And when we compare this with
the former triple division which we took up from the Aristotelian
logic, we see that the parallelism is significant. Understanding is
_par excellence_ the faculty of knowledge, and Reason the faculty of
desire (these points are developed in Kant’s first two Critiques). And
this suggests that the Judgement corresponds to the feeling of pleasure
and pain; it occupies a position intermediate between Understanding
and Reason, just as, roughly speaking, the feeling of pleasure is
intermediate between our perception of an object and our desire to
possess it.

And so the Critique of Judgement completes the whole undertaking
of criticism; its endeavour is to show that there are _a priori_
principles at the basis of Judgement just as there are in the case
of Understanding and of Reason; that these principles, like the
principles of Reason, are not constitutive but only regulative of
experience, _i.e._ that they do not teach us anything positive about
the characteristics of objects, but only indicate the conditions under
which we find it necessary to view them; and lastly, that we are thus
furnished with an _a priori_ philosophy of pleasure.

The fundamental principle underlying the procedure of the Judgement is
seen to be that of the purposiveness of Nature; nature is everywhere
adapted to ends or purposes, and thus constitutes a κόσμος, a
well-ordered whole. By this means, nature is regarded by us as if
its particular empirical laws were not isolated and disparate, but
connected and in relation, deriving their unity in seeming diversity
from an intelligence which is at the source of nature. It is only
by the assumption of such a principle that we can construe nature
to ourselves; and the principle is then said to be a transcendental
condition of the exercise of our judging faculty, but valid only for
the reflective, not for the determinant Judgement. It gives us pleasure
to view nature in this way; just as the contemplation of chaos would be

But this purposiveness may be only formal and subjective, or real
and objective. In some cases the purposiveness resides in the felt
harmony and accordance of the form of the object with the cognitive
faculties; in others the form of the object is judged to harmonise
with the purpose in view in its existence. That is to say, in the one
case we judge the form of the object to be purposive, as in the case
of a flower, but could not explain any purpose served by it; in the
other case we have a definite notion of what it is adapted for. In the
former case the aesthetical Judgement is brought to bear, in the latter
the teleological; and it thus appears that the Critique of Judgement
has two main divisions; it treats first of the philosophy of Taste, the
Beautiful and the Sublime in Nature; and secondly, of the Teleology of
nature’s working. It is a curious literary parallel that St. Augustine
hints (_Confessions_ iv. 15) that he had written a book, _De Pulchro
et Ápto_, in which these apparently distinct topics were combined;
“pulchrum esse, quod per se ipsum; aptum, autem, quod ad aliquid
accommodatum deceret.” A beautiful object has no purpose external to
itself and the observer; but a useful object serves further ends. Both,
however, may be brought under the higher category of things that are
reckoned _purposive_ by the Judgement.

We have here then, in the first place, a basis for an _a priori_
Philosophy of Taste; and Kant works out its details with great
elaboration. He borrowed little from the writings of his predecessors,
but struck out, as was ever his plan, a line of his own. He quotes
with approval from Burke’s _Treatise on the Sublime and Beautiful_,
which was accessible to him in a German translation; but is careful to
remark that it is as psychology, not as philosophy, that Burke’s work
has value. He may have read in addition Hutcheson’s _Inquiry_ which
had also been translated into German; and he was complete master of
Hume’s opinions. Of other writers on Beauty, he only names Batteux and
Lessing. Batteux was a French writer of repute who had attempted a
twofold arrangement of the Arts as they may be brought under Space and
under Time respectively, a mode of classification which would naturally
appeal to Kant. He does not seem, however, to have read the ancient
text-book on the subject, Aristotle’s _Poetics_, the principles of
which Lessing declared to be as certain as Euclid.

Following the guiding thread of the categories, he declares that
the aesthetical judgement about Beauty is according to _quality_
disinterested; a point which had been laid down by such different
writers as Hutcheson and Moses Mendelssohn. As to _quantity_, the
judgement about beauty gives universal satisfaction, although it is
based on no definite concept. The universality is only subjective; but
still it is there. The maxim _Trahit sua quemque voluptas_ does not
apply to the pleasure afforded by a pure judgement about beauty. As to
_relation_, the characteristic of the object called beautiful is that
it betrays a purposiveness without definite purpose. The pleasure is
_a priori_, independent on the one hand of the charms of sense or the
emotions of mere feeling, as Winckelmann had already declared; and
on the other hand is a pleasure quite distinct from that taken which
we feel when viewing perfection, with which Wolff and Baumgarten had
identified it. By his distinction between free and dependent beauty,
which we also find in the pages of Hutcheson, Kant further develops
his doctrine of the freedom of the pure judgement of taste from the
thraldom of concepts.

Finally, the satisfaction afforded by the contemplation of a beautiful
object is a necessary satisfaction. This necessity is not, to be sure,
theoretical like the necessity attaching to the Law of Causality; nor
is it a practical necessity as is the need to assume the Moral Law as
the guiding principle of conduct. But it may be called _exemplary_;
that is, we may set up our satisfaction in a beautiful picture as
setting an example to be followed by others. It is plain, however,
that this can only be assumed under certain presuppositions. We must
presuppose the idea of a _sensus communis_ or common sense in which all
men share. As knowledge admits of being communicated to others, so also
does the feeling for beauty. For the relation between the cognitive
faculties requisite for Taste is also requisite for Intelligence or
sound Understanding, and as we always presuppose the latter to be the
same in others as in ourselves, so may we presuppose the former.

The analysis of the Sublime which follows that of the Beautiful is
interesting and profound; indeed Schopenhauer regarded it as the
best part of the Critique of the Aesthetical Judgement. The general
characteristics of our judgements about the Sublime are similar to
those already laid down in the case of the Beautiful; but there
are marked differences in the two cases. If the pleasure taken in
beauty arises from a feeling of the purposiveness of the object in
its relation to the subject, that in sublimity rather expresses a
purposiveness of the subject in respect of the object. Nothing in
nature is sublime; and the sublimity really resides in the mind and
there alone. Indeed, as true Beauty is found, properly speaking, only
in beauty of form, the idea of sublimity is excited rather by those
objects which are formless and exhibit a violation of purpose.

A distinction not needed in the case of the Beautiful becomes
necessary when we proceed to further analyse the Sublime. For in
aesthetical judgements about the Beautiful the mind is in _restful_
contemplation; but in the case of the Sublime a mental _movement_ is
excited (pp. 105 and 120). This movement, as it is pleasing, must
involve a purposiveness in the harmony of the mental powers; and the
purposiveness may be either in reference to the faculty of cognition
or to that of desire. In the former case the sublime is called the
Mathematically Sublime--the sublime of mere magnitude--the absolutely
great; in the latter it is the sublime of power, the Dynamically
Sublime. Gioberti, an Italian writer on the philosophy of Taste, has
pushed this distinction so far as to find in it an explanation of the
relation between Beauty and Sublimity. “The dynamical Sublime,” he
says, “creates the Beautiful; the mathematical Sublime contains it,” a
remark with which probably Kant would have no quarrel.

In both cases, however, we find that the feeling of the Sublime awakens
in us a feeling of the supersensible destination of man. “The very
capacity of conceiving the sublime,” he tells us, “indicates a mental
faculty that far surpasses every standard of sense.” And to explain
the necessity belonging to our judgements about the sublime, Kant
points out that as we find ourselves compelled to postulate a _sensus
communis_ to account for the agreement of men in their appreciation of
beautiful objects, so the principle underlying their consent in judging
of the sublime is “the presupposition of the moral feeling in man.” The
feeling of the sublimity of our own moral destination is the necessary
prerequisite for forming such judgements. The connexion between Beauty
and Goodness involved to a Greek in the double sense of the word καλόν
is developed by Kant with keen insight. To feel interest in the beauty
of Nature he regards as a mark of a moral disposition, though he will
not admit that the same inference may be drawn as to the character
of the art connoisseur (§ 42). But it is specially with reference to
the connexion between the capacity for appreciating the Sublime, and
the moral feeling, that the originality of Kant’s treatment becomes

The objects of nature, he continues, which we call sublime, inspire us
with a feeling of pain rather than of pleasure; as Lucretius has it--

          Me quaedam divina voluptas
    Percipit atque horror.

But this “horror” must not inspire actual fear. As no extraneous
charm must mingle with the satisfaction felt in a beautiful object,
if the judgement about beauty is to remain pure; so in the case of
the sublime we must not be afraid of the object which yet in certain
aspects is fearful.

This conception of the feelings of sublimity excited by the loneliness
of an Alpine peak or the grandeur of an earthquake is now a familiar
one; but it was not so in Kant’s day. Switzerland had not then become
the recreation-ground of Europe; and though natural beauty was a
familiar topic with poets and painters it was not generally recognised
that taste has also to do with the sublime. De Saussure’s _Travels_,
Haller’s poem _Die Alpen_, and this work of Kant’s mark the beginning
of a new epoch in our ways of looking at the sublime and terrible
aspects of Nature. And it is not a little remarkable that the man who
could write thus feelingly about the emotions inspired by grand and
savage scenery, had never seen a mountain in his life. The power and
the insight of his observations here are in marked contrast to the
poverty of some of his remarks about the characteristics of beauty. For
instance, he puts forward the curious doctrine that colour in a picture
is only an extraneous charm, and does not really add to the beauty
of the form delineated, nay rather distracts the mind from it. His
criticisms on this point, if sound, would make Flaxman a truer artist
than Titian or Paolo Veronese. But indeed his discussion of Painting or
Music is not very appreciative; he was, to the end, a creature of pure

Upon the analysis he gives of the Arts, little need be said here. Fine
Art is regarded as the Art of Genius, “that innate mental disposition
through which Nature gives the rule to Art” (§ 46). Art differs
from Science in the absence of definite concepts in the mind of the
artist. It thus happens that the great artist can rarely communicate
his methods; indeed he cannot explain them even to himself. _Poeta
nascitur, non fit_; and the same is true in every form of fine art.
Genius is, in short, the faculty of presenting aesthetical Ideas; an
aesthetical Idea being an intuition of the Imagination, to which no
concept is adequate. And it is by the excitation of such ineffable
Ideas that a great work of art affects us. As Bacon tells us, “that is
the best part of Beauty which a picture cannot express; no, nor the
first sight of the eye.” This characteristic of the artistic genius
has been noted by all who have thought upon art; more is present in
its productions than can be perfectly expressed in language. As Pliny
said of Timanthus the painter of Iphigenia, “In omnibus ejus operibus
intelligitur plus super quam pingitur.” But this genius requires to be
kept in check by taste; quite in the spirit of the σωφροσύνη of the
best Greek art, Kant remarks that if in a work of art some feature must
be sacrificed, it is better to lose something of genius than to violate
the canons of taste. It is in this self-mastery that “the sanity of
true genius” expresses itself.

The main question with which the Critique of Judgement is concerned
is, of course, the question as to the purposiveness, the
_Zweckmässigkeit_, exhibited by nature. That nature appears to be
full of purpose is mere matter of fact. It displays purposiveness
in respect of our faculties of cognition, in those of its phenomena
which we designate beautiful. And also in its organic products we
observe methods of operation which we can only explain by describing
them as processes in which means are used to accomplish certain
ends, as processes that are _purposive_. In our observation of
natural phenomena, as Kuno Fischer puts it, we judge their _forms_
aesthetically, and their _life_ teleologically.

As regards the first kind of _Zweckmässigkeit_, that which is _ohne
Zweck_--the purposiveness of a beautiful object which does not seem to
be directed to any external end--there are two ways in which we may
account for it. We may either say that it was actually designed to
be beautiful by the Supreme Force behind Nature, or we may say that
purposiveness is not really resident in nature, but that our perception
of it is due to the subjective needs of our judging faculty. We have
to contemplate beautiful objects _as if_ they were purposive, but they
may not be so in reality. And this latter idealistic doctrine is what
Kant falls back upon. He appeals in support of it, to the phenomena of
crystallisation (pp. 243 _sqq._), in which many very beautiful forms
seem to be produced by merely mechanical processes. The beauty of a
rock crystal is apparently produced without any forethought on the
part of nature, and he urges that we are not justified in asserting
dogmatically that any laws distinct from those of mechanism are needed
to account for beauty in other cases. Mechanism can do so much; may it
not do all? And he brings forward as a consideration which ought to
settle the question, the fact that in judging of beauty “we invariably
seek its gauge _in ourselves a priori_”; we do not learn from nature,
but from ourselves, what we are to find beautiful. Mr. Kennedy in his
Donnellan Lectures has here pointed out several weak spots in Kant’s
armour. In the first place, the fact that we seek the gauge of beauty
in our own mind “may be shown from his own definition to be a necessary
result of the very nature of beauty.”[2] For Kant tells us that the
aesthetical judgement about beauty always involves “a reference of the
representation to the subject”; and this applies equally to judgements
about the beautiful in Art and the beautiful in Nature. But no one
could maintain that from this definition it follows that we are not
compelled to postulate design in the mind of the artist who paints a
beautiful picture. And thus as the fact that “we always seek the gauge
of beauty” in ourselves does not do away with the belief in a designing
mind when we are contemplating works of art, it cannot be said to
exclude the belief in a Master Hand which moulded the forms of Nature.
As Cicero has it, nature is “non artificiosa solum, sed plane artifex.”
But the cogency of this reasoning, for the details of which I must
refer the reader to Mr. Kennedy’s pages, becomes more apparent when
we reflect on that second form of purposiveness, viz. adaptation to
definite ends, with which we meet in the phenomena of organic life.

If we watch, _e.g._ the growth of a tree we perceive that its various
parts are not isolated and unconnected, but that on the contrary they
are only possible by reference to the idea of the whole. Each limb
affects every other, and is reciprocally affected by it; in short “in
such a product of nature every part not only exists _by means of_ the
other parts, but is thought as existing _for the sake of_ the others
and the whole” (p. 277). The operations of nature in organised bodies
seem to be of an entirely different character from mere mechanical
processes; we cannot construe them to ourselves except under the
hypothesis that nature in them is working towards a designed end.
The distinction between nature’s “Technic” or purposive operation,
and nature’s Mechanism is fundamental for the explanation of natural
law. The language of biology eloquently shows the impossibility of
eliminating at least the _idea_ of purpose from our investigations into
the phenomena of life, growth, and reproduction. And Kant dismisses
with scant respect that cheap and easy philosophy which would fain
deny the distinctiveness of nature’s purposive operation. A doctrine,
like that of Epicurus, in which every natural phenomenon is regarded
as the result of the blind drifting of atoms in accordance with purely
mechanical laws, really explains nothing, and least of all explains
that illusion in our teleological judgements which leads us to assume
purpose where really there is none.

It has been urged by Kirchmann and others that this distinction
between Technic and Mechanism, on which Kant lays so much stress,
has been disproved by the progress of modern science. The doctrines,
usually associated with the name of Darwin, of Natural Selection and
Survival of the Fittest, quite sufficiently explain, it is said, on
mechanical principles the semblance of purpose with which nature mocks
us. The presence of order is not due to any purpose behind the natural
operation, but to the inevitable disappearance of the disorderly. It
would be absurd, of course, to claim for Kant that he anticipated the
Darwinian doctrines of development; and yet passages are not wanting
in his writings in which he takes a view of the continuity of species
with which modern science would have little fault to find. “Nature
organises itself and its organised products in every species, no
doubt after one general pattern but yet with suitable deviations,
which self-preservation demands according to circumstances” (p. 279).
“The analogy of forms, which with all their differences seem to have
been produced according to a common original type, strengthens our
suspicions of an actual relationship between them in their production
from a common parent, through the gradual approximation of one animal
genus to another--from those in which the principle of purposes seems
to be best authenticated, _i.e._ from man, down to the polype and again
from this down to mosses and lichens, and finally to crude matter.
And so the whole Technic of nature, which is so incomprehensible to
us in organised beings that we believe ourselves compelled to think a
different principle for it, seems to be derived from matter and its
powers according to mechanical laws (like those by which it works in
the formation of crystals)” (p. 337). Such a theory he calls “a daring
venture of reason,” and its coincidences with modern science are real
and striking. But he is careful to add that such a theory, even if
established, would not eliminate purpose from the universe; it would
indeed suggest that certain special processes having the semblance of
purpose may be elucidated on mechanical principles, but on the whole,
purposive operation on the part of Mother Nature it would still be
needful to assume (p. 338). “No finite Reason can hope to understand
the production of even a blade of grass by mere mechanical causes”
(p. 326). “It is absurd to hope that another Newton will arise in the
future who shall make comprehensible by us the production of a blade of
grass according to natural laws which no design has ordered” (p. 312).

Crude materialism thus affording no explanation of the purposiveness
in nature, we go on to ask what other theories are logically possible.
We may dismiss at once the doctrine of Hylozoism, according to which
the purposes in nature are explained in reference to a world-soul,
which is the inner principle of the material universe and constitutes
its life. For such a doctrine is self-contradictory, inasmuch as
lifelessness, _inertia_, is the essential characteristic of matter,
and to talk of living matter is absurd (p. 304). A much more plausible
system is that of Spinoza, who aimed at establishing the ideality
of the principle of natural purposes. He regarded the world whole
as a complex of manifold determinations inhering in a single simple
substance; and thus reduced our concepts of the purposive in nature to
our own consciousness of existing in an all-embracing Being. But on
reflection we see that this does not so much explain as explain away
the purposiveness of nature; it gives us an unity of inherence _in_ one
Substance, but not an unity of causal dependence _on_ one Substance (p.
303). And this latter would be necessary in order to explain the unity
of purpose which nature exhibits in its phenomenal working. Spinozism,
therefore, does not give what it pretends to give; it puts us off with
a vague and unfruitful unity of ground, when what we seek is a unity
that shall itself contain the causes of the differences manifest in

We have left then as the only remaining possible doctrine, Theism,
which represents natural purposes as produced in accordance with the
Will and Design of an Intelligent Author and Governor of Nature.
This theory is, in the first place, “superior to all other grounds
of explanation” (p. 305), for it gives a full solution of the
problem before us and enables us to maintain the reality of the
_Zweckmässigkeit_ of nature. “Teleology finds the consummation of its
investigations only in Theology” (p. 311). To represent the world
and the natural purposes therein as produced by an intelligent Cause
is “completely satisfactory from every human point of view for both
the speculative and practical use of our Reason” (p. 312). Thus the
contemplation of natural purposes, _i.e._ the common Argument from
Design, enables us to reach a highest Understanding as Cause of the
world “in accordance with the principles of the reflective Judgement,
_i.e._ _in accordance with the constitution of our human faculty of
cognition_” (p. 416).

It is in this qualifying clause that Kant’s negative attitude in
respect of Theism betrays itself. He regards it as a necessary
assumption for the guidance of scientific investigation, no less than
for the practical needs of morals; but he does not admit that we can
claim for it objective validity. In the language of the Critique of
Pure Reason, the Idea of God furnishes a regulative, not a constitutive
principle of Reason; or as he prefers to put it in the present work, it
is valid only for the reflective, not for the determinant Judgement. We
are not justified, Kant maintains, in asserting dogmatically that God
exists; there is only permitted to us the limited formula “We cannot
otherwise conceive the purposiveness which must lie at the basis of our
cognition of the internal possibility of many natural things, than by
representing it and the world in general as produced by an intelligent
cause, _i.e._ a God” (p. 312).

We ask then, whence arises this impossibility of objective statement?
It is in the true Kantian spirit to assert that no synthetical
proposition can be made with reference to what lies above and behind
the world of sense; but there is a difficulty in carrying out this
principle into details. Kant’s refusal to infer a designing Hand behind
the apparent order of nature is based, he tells us, on the fact that
the concept of a “natural purpose” is one that cannot be justified to
the speculative Reason. For all we know it may only indicate our way of
looking at things, and may point to no corresponding objective reality.
That we are forced by the limited nature of our faculties to view
nature as working towards ends, as purposive, does not prove that it is
really so. We cannot justify such pretended insight into what is behind
the veil.

It is to be observed, however, that precisely similar arguments might
be urged against our affirmation of purpose, design, will, as the
spring of the actions of other human beings.[3] For let us consider
why it is that, mind being assumed as the basis of our own individual
consciousness, we go on to attribute minds of like character to other
men. We see that the external behaviour of other men is similar to our
own, and that the most reasonable way of accounting for such behaviour
is to suppose that they have minds like ourselves, that they are
possessed of an active and spontaneously energising faculty, which is
the seat of their personality. But it is instructive to observe that
neither on Kantian principles nor on any other can we _demonstrate_
this; to cross the chasm which separates one man’s personality from
another’s requires a venture of faith just as emphatically as any
theological formula. I can by no means _prove_ to the determinant
Judgement that the complex of sensations which I constantly experience,
and which I call the Prime Minister, is anything more than a
well-ordered machine. It is improbable that this is the case--highly
improbable; but the falsity of such an hypothesis cannot be proved in
the same way that we would prove the falsity of the assertion that two
and two make five. But then though the hypothesis cannot be thus ruled
out of court by demonstration of its absurdity, it is not the simplest
hypothesis, nor is it that one which best accounts for the facts. The
assumption, on the other hand, that the men whom I meet every day have
minds like my own, perfectly accounts for all the facts, and is a very
simple assumption. It merely extends by induction the sphere of a force
which I already know to exist. Or in other words, crude materialism not
giving me an intelligent account of my own individual consciousness,
I recognise mind, νοῦς, as a _vera causa_, as something which really
does produce effects in the field of experience, and which therefore I
may legitimately put forward as the cause of those actions of other
men which externally so much resemble my own. But, as has been said
before, this argument, though entirely convincing to any sane person,
is not demonstrative; in Kantian language and on Kantian principles
the reasoning here used would seem to be valid only for the reflective
and not for the determinant Judgement. If the principle of design or
conscious adaptation of means to ends be not a constitutive principle
of experience, but only a regulative principle introduced to account
for the facts, what right have we to put it forward dogmatically as
affording an explanation of the actions of other human beings?

It cannot be said that Kant’s attempted answer to such a defence of
the Design Argument is quite conclusive. In § 90 of the _Methodology_
(p. 399) he pleads that though it is perfectly legitimate to argue by
analogy from our own minds to the minds of other men,--nay further,
although we may conclude from those actions of the lower animals
which display plan, that they are not, as Descartes alleged, mere
machines--yet it is not legitimate to conclude from the apparent
presence of design in the operations of nature that a conscious mind
directs those operations. For, he argues, that in comparing the actions
of men and the lower animals, or in comparing the actions of one man
with those of another, we are not pressing our analogy beyond the
limits of experience. Men and beasts alike are finite living beings,
subject to the limitations of finite existence; and hence the law which
governs the one series of operations may be regarded by analogy as
sufficiently explaining the other series. But the power at the basis of
Nature is utterly above definition or comprehension, and we are going
beyond our legitimate province if we venture to ascribe to it a mode
of operation with which we are only conversant in the case of beings
subject to the conditions of space and time. He urges in short that
when speaking about man and his mind we thoroughly understand what we
are talking about; but in speaking of the Mind of Deity we are dealing
with something of which we have no experience, and of which therefore
we have no right to predicate anything.

But it is apparent that, as has been pointed out, even when we infer
the existence of another finite mind from certain observed operations,
we are making an inference about something which is as mysterious an
_x_ as anything can be. Mind is not a thing that is subject to the
laws and conditions of the world of sense; it is “_in_ the world but
not _of_ the world.” And so to infer the existence of the mind of any
individual except myself is a quite different kind of inference from
that by which, for example, we infer the presence of an electro-magnet
in a given field. The action of the latter we understand to a large
extent; but we do not understand the action of mind, which yet we
know from daily experience of ourselves does produce effects in the
phenomenal world, often permanent and important effects. Briefly,
the action of mind upon matter (to use the ordinary phraseology for
the sake of clearness) is--we may assume for our present purpose--an
established fact. Hence the causality of mind is a _vera causa_; we
bring it in to account for the actions of other human beings, and by
precisely the same process of reasoning we invoke it to explain the
operations of nature.

And it is altogether beside the point to urge, as Kant does
incessantly, that in the latter case the intelligence inferred is
_infinite_; in the former only _finite_. All that the Design Argument
undertakes to prove is that mind lies at the basis of nature. It
is quite beyond its province to say whether this mind is finite or
infinite; and thus Kant’s criticisms on p. 364 are somewhat wide of
the mark. There is always a difficulty in any argument which tries to
establish the operation of mind anywhere, for mind cannot be seen or
touched or felt; but the difficulty is not peculiar to that particular
form of argument with which theological interests are involved.

The real plausibility of this objection arises from a vague idea,
often present to us when we speak of _infinite_ wisdom or _infinite_
intelligence, namely that the epithet _infinite_ in some way alters
the meaning of the attributes to which it is applied. But the truth is
that the word _infinite_, when applied to wisdom or knowledge or any
other intellectual or moral quality, can only properly have reference
to the number of acts of wisdom or knowledge that we suppose to have
been performed. The only sense in which we have any right to speak of
_infinite_ wisdom is that it is that which performs an infinite number
of wise acts. And so when we speak of infinite _intelligence_, we have
not the slightest warrant, either in logic or in common sense, for
supposing that such intelligence is not similar in kind to that finite
intelligence which we know in man.

To understand Kant’s attitude fully, we must also take into
consideration the great weight that he attaches to the Moral Argument
for the existence of God. The positive side of his teaching on Theism
is summed up in the following sentence (p. 388): “For the theoretical
reflective Judgement physical Teleology sufficiently proves from the
purposes of Nature an intelligent world-cause; for the practical
Judgement moral Teleology establishes it by the concept of a final
purpose, which it is forced to ascribe to creation.” That side of his
system which is akin to Agnosticism finds expression in his determined
refusal to admit anything more than this. The existence of God is for
him a “thing of faith”; and is not a fact of knowledge, strictly so
called. “Faith” he holds (p. 409) “is the moral attitude of Reason as
to belief in that which is unattainable by theoretical cognition. It
is therefore the constant principle of the mind to assume as true that
which it is necessary to presuppose as condition of the possibility of
the highest moral final purpose.” As he says elsewhere (Introduction
to Logic, ix. p. 60), “That man is morally _unbelieving_ who does not
accept that which, though _impossible_ to know, is _morally necessary_
to suppose.” And as far as he goes a Theist may agree with him, and he
has done yeoman’s service to Theism by his insistence on the absolute
impossibility of any other working hypothesis as an explanation of the
phenomena of nature. But I have endeavoured to indicate at what points
he does not seem to me to have gone as far as even his own declared
principles would justify him in going. If the existence of a Supreme
Mind be a “thing of faith,” this may with equal justice be said of the
finite minds of the men all around us; and his attempt to show that the
argument from analogy is here without foundation is not convincing.

Kant, however, in the Critique of Judgement is sadly fettered by
the chains that he himself had forged, and frequently chafes under
the restraints they impose. He indicates more than once a point of
view higher than that of the Critique of Pure Reason, from which
the phenomena of life and mind may be contemplated. He had already
hinted in that work that the supersensible substrate of the ego and
the non-ego might be identical. “Both kinds of objects differ from
each other, not internally, but only so far as the one _appears_
external to the other; possibly what is at the basis of phenomenal
matter as a thing in itself may not be so heterogeneous after all
as we imagine.”[4] This hypothesis which remains a bare undeveloped
possibility in the earlier work is put forward as a positive doctrine
in the Critique of Judgement. “There must,” says Kant, “be a ground
of the _unity_ of the supersensible, which lies at the basis of
nature, with that which the concept of freedom practically contains”
(Introduction, p. 13). That is to say, he maintains that to explain
the phenomena of organic life and the purposiveness of nature we must
hold that the world of sense is not disparate from and opposed to the
world of thought, but that _nature is the development of freedom_.
The connexion of nature and freedom is suggested by, nay is involved
in, the notion of natural adaptation; and although we can arrive
at no knowledge of the supersensible substrate of both, yet such a
common ground there must be. This principle is the starting-point of
the systems which followed that of Kant; and the philosophy of later
Idealism is little more than a development of the principle in its

He approaches the same doctrine by a different path in the Critique of
the Teleological Judgement (§ 77), where he argues that the distinction
between the mechanical and the teleological working of nature, upon
which so much stress has been justly laid, depends for its validity
upon the peculiar character of our Understanding. When we give what may
be called a mechanical elucidation of any natural phenomenon, we begin
with its parts, and from what we know of them we explain the whole. But
in the case of certain objects, _e.g._ organised bodies, this cannot be
done. In their case we can only account for the parts by a reference to
the whole. Now, were it possible for us to perceive a whole before its
parts and derive the latter from the former,[5] then an organism would
be capable of being understood and would be an object of knowledge in
the strictest sense. But our Understanding is not able to do this, and
its inadequacy for such a task leads us to conceive the possibility of
an Understanding, not discursive like ours, but intuitive, for which
knowledge of the whole would precede that of the parts. “It is at
least possible to consider the material world as mere phenomenon, and
to think as its substrate something like a thing in itself (which is
not phenomenon), and to attach to this a corresponding intellectual
intuition. Thus there would be, although incognisable by us, a
supersensible real ground for nature, to which we ourselves belong”
(p. 325). Hence, although Mechanism and Technic must not be confused
and must ever stand side by side in our scientific investigation of
natural law, yet must they be regarded as coalescing in a single higher
principle incognisable by us. The ground of union is “the supersensible
substrate of nature of which we can determine nothing positively,
except that it is the being in itself of which we merely know the
phenomenon.” Thus, then, it appears that the whole force of Kant’s
main argument has proceeded upon an assumption, viz. the permanent
opposition between Sense and Understanding, which the progress of the
argument has shown to be unsound. “Kant seems,” says Goethe,[6] “to
have woven a certain element of irony into his method. For, while at
one time he seemed to be bent on limiting our faculties of knowledge in
the narrowest way, at another time he pointed, as it were with a side
gesture, beyond the limits which he himself had drawn.” The fact of
adaptation of means to ends observable in nature seems to break down
the barrier between Nature and Freedom; and if we once relinquish the
distinction between Mechanism and Technic in the operations of nature
we are led to the Idea of an absolute Being, who manifests Himself by
action which, though necessary, is yet the outcome of perfect freedom.

Kant, however, though he approaches such a position more than once,
can never be said to have risen to it. He deprecates unceasingly the
attempt to combine principles of nature with the principles of freedom
as a task beyond the modest capacity of human reason; and while
strenuously insisting on the practical force of the Moral Argument for
the Being of God, which is found in the witness of man’s conscience,
will not admit that it can in any way be regarded as strengthening the
theoretical arguments adduced by Teleology. The two lines of proof, he
holds, are quite distinct; and nothing but confusion and intellectual
disaster can result from the effort to combine them. The moral proof
stands by itself, and it needs no such crutches as the argument
from Design can offer. But, as Mr. Kennedy has pointed out in his
acute criticism[7] of the Kantian doctrine of Theism, it would not
be possible to combine a theoretical _disbelief_ in God with a frank
acceptance of the practical belief of His existence borne in upon us
by the Moral Law. Kant himself admits this: “A dogmatical _unbelief_,”
he says (p. 411), “cannot subsist together with a moral maxim dominant
in the mental attitude.” That is, though the theoretical argument be
incomplete, we cannot reject the conclusion to which it leads, for this
is confirmed by the moral necessities of conscience.

Kant’s position, then, seems to come to this, that though he never
doubts the existence of God, he has very grave doubts that He can
be theoretically known by man. _That_ He is, is certain; _what_ He
is, we cannot determine. It is a position not dissimilar to current
Agnostic doctrines; and as long as the antithesis between Sense and
Understanding, between Matter and Mind, is insisted upon as expressing
a real and abiding truth, Kant’s reasoning can hardly be refuted
with completeness. No doubt it may be urged that since the practical
and theoretical arguments both arrive at the same conclusion, the
cogency of our reasoning in the latter should confirm our trust in
the former. But true conclusions may sometimes seem to follow from
quite insufficient premises; and Kant is thus justified in demanding
that each argument shall be submitted to independent tests. I have
endeavoured to show above that he has not treated the theoretical line
of reasoning quite fairly, and that he has underestimated its force;
but its value _as an argument_ is not increased by showing that another
entirely different process of thought leads to the same result. And
that the witness of conscience affords the most powerful and convincing
argument for the existence of a Supreme Being, the source of law as of
love, is a simple matter of experience. Induction, syllogism, analogy,
do not really generate belief in God, though they may serve to justify
to reason a faith that we already possess. The poet has the truth of it:

    Wer Gott nicht fühlt in sich und allen Lebenskreisen,
    Dem werdet Ihr Ihn nicht beweisen mit Beweisen.

       *       *       *       *       *

I give at the end of this Introduction a Glossary of the chief
philosophical terms used by Kant; I have tried to render them by the
same English equivalents all through the work, in order to preserve,
as far as may be, the exactness of expression in the original. I am
conscious that this makes the translation clumsy in many places, but
have thought it best to sacrifice elegance to precision. This course
is the more necessary to adopt, as Kant cannot be understood unless
his nice verbal distinctions be attended to. Thus _real_ means quite
a different thing from _wirklich_; _Hang_ from _Neigung_; _Rührung_
from _Affekt_ or _Leidenschaft_; _Anschauung_ from _Empfindung_
or _Wahrnehmung_; _Endzweck_ from _letzter Zweck_; _Idee_ from
_Vorstellung_; _Eigenschaft_ from _Attribut_ or _Beschaffenheit_;
_Schranke_ from _Grenze_; _überreden_ from _überzeugen_, etc. I am not
satisfied with “gratification” and “grief” as the English equivalents
for _Vergnügen_ and _Schmerz_; but it is necessary to distinguish these
words from _Lust_ and _Unlust_, and “mental pleasure,” “mental pain,”
which would nearly hit the sense, are awkward. Again, the constant
rendering of _schön_ by beautiful involves the expression “beautiful
art” instead of the more usual phrase “fine art.” _Purposive_ is an
ugly word, but it has come into use lately; and its employment enables
us to preserve the connexion between _Zweck_ and _zweckmässig_. I
have printed _Judgement_ with a capital letter when it signifies
the _faculty_, with a small initial when it signifies the _act_, of
judging. And in like manner I distinguish _Objekt_ from _Gegenstand_,
by printing the word “Object,” when it represents the former, with a
large initial.

The text I have followed is, in the main, that printed by Hartenstein;
but occasionally Rosenkranz preserves the better reading. All important
variants between the First and Second Editions have been indicated at
the foot of the page. A few notes have been added, which are enclosed
in square brackets, to distinguish them from those which formed part
of the original work. I have in general quoted Kant’s _Introduction to
Logic_ and _Critique of Practical Reason_ in Dr. Abbott’s translations.

My best thanks are due to Rev. J. H. Kennedy and Mr. F. Purser for much
valuable aid during the passage of this translation through the press.
And I am under even greater obligations to Mr. Mahaffy, who was good
enough to read through the whole of the proof; by his acute and learned
criticisms many errors have been avoided. Others I have no doubt still
remain, but for these I must be accounted alone responsible.

            J. H. BERNARD.

    _May 24, 1892_.

       *       *       *       *       *

More than twenty-one years have passed since the first edition of this
Translation was published, and during that time much has been written,
both in Germany and in England, on the subject of Kant’s _Critique
of Judgement_. In particular, the German text has been critically
determined by the labours of Professor Windelband, whose fine edition
forms the fifth volume of Kant’s Collected Works as issued by the Royal
Prussian Academy of Sciences (Berlin, 1908). It will be indispensable
to future students. An excellent account of the significance, in the
Kantian system, of the _Urtheilskraft_, by Mr. R. A. C. Macmillan,
appeared in 1912; and Mr. J. C. Meredith has published recently an
English edition of the _Critique of Aesthetical Judgement_, with notes
and essays, dealing with the philosophy of art, which goes over the
ground very fully.

Some critics of my first edition took exception to the clumsiness
of the word “representation” as the equivalent of _Vorstellung_, but
I have made no change in this respect, as it seems to me (and so far
as I have observed to others who have worked on the _Critique of
Judgement_), that it is necessary to preserve in English the relation
between the noun _Vorstellung_ and the verb _vorstellen_, if Kant’s
reasoning is to be exhibited clearly. I have, however, abandoned the
attempt to preserve the word _Kritik_ in English, and have replaced it
by _Critique_ or _criticism_, throughout. The other changes that have
been made are mere corrections or emendations of faulty or obscure
renderings, with a few additional notes. I have left my original
Introduction as it was written in 1892, without attempting any fresh
examination of the problems that Kant set himself.

            JOHN OSSORY.

   _January 6, 1914_.


  Absicht; _design_.
  Achtung; _respect_.
  Affekt; _affection_.
  Angenehm; _pleasant_.
  Anschauung; _intuition_.
  Attribut; _attribute_.
  Aufklärung; _enlightenment_.

  Begehr; _desire_.
  Begriff; _concept_.
  Beschaffenheit; _constitution_ or _characteristic_.
  Bestimmen; _to determine_.

  Darstellen; _to present_.
  Dasein; _presence_ or _being_.

  Eigenschaft; _property_.
  Empfindung; _sensation_.
  Endzweck; _final purpose_.
  Erkenntniss; _cognition_ or _knowledge_.
  Erklärung; _explanation_.
  Erscheinung; _phenomenon_.
  Existenz; _existence_.

  Fürwahrhalten; _belief_.

  Gebiet; _realm_.
  Gefühl; _feeling_.
  Gegenstand; _object_.
  Geist; _spirit_.
  Geniessen; _enjoyment_.
  Geschicklichkeit; _skill_.
  Geschmack; _Taste_.
  Gesetzmässigkeit; _conformity to law_.
  Gewalt; _dominion_ or _authority_.
  Glaube; _faith_.
  Grenze; _bound_.
  Grundsatz; _fundamental proposition_ or _principle_.

  Hang; _propension_.

  Idee; _Idea_.

  Leidenschaft; _passion_.
  Letzter Zweck; _ultimate purpose_.
  Lust; _pleasure_.

  Meinen; _opinion_.

  Neigung; _inclination_.

  Objekt; _Object_.

  Prinzip; _principle_.

  Real; _real_.
  Reich; _kingdom_.
  Reiz; _charm_.
  Rührung; _emotion_.

  Schein; _illusion_.
  Schmerz; _grief_.
  Schön; _beautiful_.
  Schranke; _limit_.
  Schwärmerei; _fanaticism_.
  Seele; _soul_.

  Ueberreden; _to persuade_.
  Ueberschwänglich; _transcendent_.
  Ueberzeugen; _to convince_.
  Unlust; _pain_.
  Urtheil; _judgement_.
  Urtheilskraft; _Judgement_.

  Verbindung; _combination_.
  Vergnügen; _gratification_.
  Verknüpfung; _connexion_.
  Vermögen; _faculty_.
  Vernunft; _Reason_.
  Vernünftelei; _sophistry_ or _subtlety_.
  Verstand; _Understanding_.
  Vorstellung; _representation_.

  Wahrnehmung; _perception_.
  Wesen; _being_.
  Willkühr; _elective will_.
  Wirklich; _actual_.
  Wohlgefallen; _satisfaction_.

  Zufriedenheit; _contentment_.
  Zweck; _purpose_.
  Zweckmässig; _purposive_.
  Zweckverbindung; _purposive combination_, etc.


We may call the faculty of cognition from principles _a priori_, _pure
Reason_, and the inquiry into its possibility and bounds generally the
Critique of pure Reason, although by this faculty we only understand
Reason in its theoretical employment, as it appears under that name
in the former work; without wishing to inquire into its faculty, as
practical Reason, according to its special principles. That [Critique]
goes merely into our faculty of knowing things _a priori_, and busies
itself therefore only with the _cognitive faculty_ to the exclusion
of the feeling of pleasure and pain and the faculty of desire; and of
the cognitive faculties it only concerns itself with _Understanding_,
according to its principles _a priori_, to the exclusion of _Judgement_
and _Reason_ (as faculties alike belonging to theoretical cognition),
because it is found in the sequel that no other cognitive faculty but
the Understanding can furnish constitutive principles of cognition _a
priori_. The Critique, then, which sifts them all, as regards the share
which each of the other faculties might pretend to have in the clear
possession of knowledge from its own peculiar root, leaves nothing but
what the _Understanding_ prescribes _a priori_ as law for nature as
the complex of phenomena (whose form also is given _a priori_). It
relegates all other pure concepts under Ideas, which are transcendent
for our theoretical faculty of cognition, but are not therefore useless
or to be dispensed with. For they serve as regulative principles;
partly to check the dangerous pretensions of Understanding, as if
(because it can furnish _a priori_ the conditions of the possibility
of all things which it can know) it had thereby confined within
these bounds the possibility of all things in general; and partly to
lead it to the consideration of nature according to a principle of
completeness, although it can never attain to this, and thus to further
the final design of all knowledge.

It was then properly the _Understanding_ which has its special realm in
the _cognitive faculty_, so far as it contains constitutive principles
of cognition _a priori_, which by the Critique, comprehensively called
the Critique of pure Reason, was to be placed in certain and sole
possession[8] against all other competitors. And so also to _Reason_,
which contains constitutive principles _a priori_ nowhere except simply
in respect of the _faculty of desire_, should be assigned its place in
the Critique of practical Reason.

Whether now the _Judgement_, which in the order of our cognitive
faculties forms a mediating link between Understanding and Reason, has
also principles _a priori_ for itself; whether these are constitutive
or merely regulative (thus indicating no special realm); and whether
they give a rule _a priori_ to the feeling of pleasure and pain, as the
mediating link between the cognitive faculty and the faculty of desire
(just as the Understanding prescribes laws _a priori_ to the first,
Reason to the second); these are the questions with which the present
Critique of Judgement is concerned.

A Critique of pure Reason, _i.e._ of our faculty of judging _a priori_
according to principles, would be incomplete, if the Judgement, which
as a cognitive faculty also makes claim to such principles, were not
treated as a particular part of it; although its principles in a
system of pure Philosophy need form no particular part between the
theoretical and the practical, but can be annexed when needful to one
or both as occasion requires. For if such a system is one day to be
completed under the general name of Metaphysic (which it is possible
to achieve quite completely, and which is supremely important for the
use of Reason in every reference), the soil for the edifice must be
explored by Criticism as deep down as the foundation of the faculty of
principles independent of experience, in order that it may sink in no
part, for this would inevitably bring about the downfall of the whole.

We can easily infer from the nature of the Judgement (whose right use
is so necessarily and so universally requisite, that by the name of
sound Understanding nothing else but this faculty is meant), that it
must be attended with great difficulties to find a principle peculiar
to it; (some such it must contain _a priori_ in itself, for otherwise
it would not be set apart by the commonest Criticism as a special
cognitive faculty). This principle must not be derived _a priori_ from
concepts, for these belong to the Understanding, and Judgement is only
concerned with their application. It must, therefore, furnish of itself
a concept, through which, properly speaking, no thing is cognised,
but which only serves as a rule, though not an objective one to which
it can adapt its judgement; because for this latter another faculty
of Judgement would be requisite, in order to be able to distinguish
whether [any given case] is or is not the case for the rule.

This perplexity about a principle (whether it is subjective or
objective) presents itself mainly in those judgements that we call
aesthetical, which concern the Beautiful and the Sublime of Nature or
of Art. And, nevertheless, the critical investigation of a principle
of Judgement in these is the most important part in a Critique of
this faculty. For although they do not by themselves contribute to
the knowledge of things, yet they belong to the cognitive faculty
alone, and point to an immediate reference of this faculty to the
feeling of pleasure or pain according to some principle _a priori_;
without confusing this with what may be the determining ground of the
faculty of desire, which has its principles _a priori_ in concepts
of Reason.--In the logical judging of nature, experience exhibits a
conformity to law in things, to the understanding or to the explanation
of which the general concept of the sensible does not attain; here the
Judgement can only derive from itself a principle of the reference of
the natural thing to the unknowable supersensible (a principle which it
must only use from its own point of view for the cognition of nature).
And so, though in this case such a principle _a priori_ can and must be
applied to the _cognition_ of the beings of the world, and opens out
at the same time prospects which are advantageous for the practical
Reason, yet it has no immediate reference to the feeling of pleasure
and pain. But this reference is precisely the puzzle in the principle
of Judgement, which renders a special section for this faculty
necessary in the Critique; since the logical judging according to
concepts (from which an immediate inference can never be drawn to the
feeling of pleasure and pain) along with their critical limitation, has
at all events been capable of being appended to the theoretical part of

The examination of the faculty of taste, as the aesthetical Judgement,
is not here planned in reference to the formation or the culture of
taste (for this will take its course in the future as in the past
without any such investigations), but merely in a transcendental point
of view. Hence, I trust that as regards the deficiency of the former
purpose it will be judged with indulgence, though in the latter point
of view it must be prepared for the severest scrutiny. But I hope that
the great difficulty of solving a problem so involved by nature may
serve as excuse for some hardly avoidable obscurity in its solution, if
only it be clearly established that the principle is correctly stated.
I grant that the mode of deriving the phenomena of the Judgement from
it has not all the clearness which might be rightly demanded elsewhere,
viz. in the case of cognition according to concepts; but I believe that
I have attained to it in the second part of this work.

Here then I end my whole critical undertaking. I shall proceed without
delay to the doctrinal [part] in order to profit, as far as is
possible, by the more favourable moments of my increasing years. It is
obvious that in this [part] there will be no special section for the
Judgement, because in respect of this faculty Criticism serves instead
of Theory; but, according to the division of Philosophy (and also of
pure Philosophy) into theoretical and practical, the Metaphysic of
Nature and of Morals will complete the undertaking.



We proceed quite correctly if, as usual, we divide Philosophy, as
containing the principles of the rational cognition of things by means
of concepts (not merely, as logic does, principles of the form of
thought in general without distinction of Objects), into _theoretical_
and _practical_. But then the concepts, which furnish their Object
to the principles of this rational cognition, must be specifically
distinct; otherwise they would not justify a division, which always
presupposes a contrast between the principles of the rational cognition
belonging to the different parts of a science.

Now there are only two kinds of concepts, and these admit as many
distinct principles of the possibility of their objects, viz. _natural
concepts_ and the _concept of freedom_. The former render possible
_theoretical_ cognition according to principles _a priori_; the latter
in respect of this theoretical cognition only supplies in itself a
negative principle (that of mere contrast), but on the other hand it
furnishes fundamental propositions which extend the sphere of the
determination of the will and are therefore called practical. Thus
Philosophy is correctly divided into two parts, quite distinct in
their principles; the theoretical part or _Natural Philosophy_, and
the practical part or _Moral Philosophy_ (for that is the name given
to the practical legislation of Reason in accordance with the concept
of freedom). But up to the present a gross misuse of these expressions
has prevailed, both in the division of the different principles and
consequently also of Philosophy itself. For what is practical according
to natural concepts has been identified with the practical according
to the concept of freedom; and so with the like titles, ‘theoretical’
and ‘practical’ Philosophy, a division has been made, by which in
fact nothing has been divided (for both parts might in such case have
principles of the same kind).

The will, regarded as the faculty of desire, is (in this view) one
of the many natural causes in the world, viz. that cause which acts
in accordance with concepts. All that is represented as possible (or
necessary) by means of a will is called practically possible (or
necessary); as distinguished from the physical possibility or necessity
of an effect, whose cause is not determined to causality by concepts
(but in lifeless matter by mechanism and in animals by instinct).
Here, in respect of the practical, it is left undetermined whether the
concept which gives the rule to the causality of the will, is a natural
concept or a concept of freedom.

But the last distinction is essential. For if the concept which
determines the causality is a natural concept, then the principles are
_technically practical_; whereas, if it is a concept of freedom they
are _morally practical_. And as the division of a rational science
depends on the distinction between objects whose cognition needs
distinct principles, the former will belong to theoretical Philosophy
(doctrine of Nature), but the latter alone will constitute the second
part, viz. practical Philosophy (doctrine of Morals).

All technically practical rules (_i.e._ the rules of art and skill
generally, or of prudence regarded as skill in exercising an influence
over men and their wills), so far as their principles rest on concepts,
must be reckoned only as corollaries to theoretical Philosophy. For
they concern only the possibility of things according to natural
concepts, to which belong not only the means which are to be met
with in nature, but also the will itself (as a faculty of desire
and consequently a natural faculty), so far as it can be determined
conformably to these rules by natural motives. However, practical
rules of this kind are not called laws (like physical laws), but only
precepts; because the will does not stand merely under the natural
concept, but also under the concept of freedom, in relation to which
its principles are called laws. These with their consequences alone
constitute the second or practical part of Philosophy.

The solution of the problems of pure geometry does not belong to a
particular part of the science; mensuration does not deserve the
name of practical, in contrast to pure, geometry, as a second part
of geometry in general; and just as little ought the mechanical
or chemical art of experiment or observation to be reckoned as a
practical part of the doctrine of Nature. Just as little, in fine,
ought housekeeping, farming, statesmanship, the art of conversation,
the prescribing of diet, the universal doctrine of happiness itself,
or the curbing of the inclinations and checking of the affections
for the sake of happiness, to be reckoned as practical Philosophy,
or taken to constitute the second part of Philosophy in general.
For all these contain only rules of skill (and are consequently only
technically practical) for bringing about an effect that is possible
according to the natural concepts of causes and effects, which, since
they belong to theoretical Philosophy, are subject to those precepts
as mere corollaries from it (viz. natural science), and can therefore
claim no place in a special Philosophy called practical. On the other
hand, the morally practical precepts, which are altogether based on the
concept of freedom to the complete exclusion of the natural determining
grounds of the will, constitute a quite special class. These, like the
rules which nature obeys, are called simply laws, but they do not, like
them, rest on sensuous conditions but on a supersensible principle;
and accordingly they require for themselves a quite different part of
Philosophy, called practical, corresponding to its theoretical part.

We hence see that a complex of practical precepts given by Philosophy
does not constitute a distinct part of Philosophy, as opposed to the
theoretical part, because these precepts are practical; for they might
be that, even if their principles were derived altogether from the
theoretical cognition of nature (as technically practical rules). [A
distinct branch of Philosophy is constituted only] if their principle,
as it is not borrowed from the natural concept, which is always
sensuously conditioned, rests on the supersensible, which alone makes
the concept of freedom cognisable by formal laws. These precepts are
then morally practical, _i.e._ not merely precepts or rules in this
or that aspect, but, without any preceding reference to purposes and
designs, are laws.


So far as our concepts have _a priori_ application, so far extends
the use of our cognitive faculty according to principles, and with it

But the complex of all objects, to which those concepts are referred,
in order to bring about a knowledge of them where it is possible,
may be subdivided according to the adequacy or inadequacy of our
[cognitive] faculty to this design.

Concepts, so far as they are referred to objects, independently of the
possibility or impossibility of the cognition of these objects, have
their field which is determined merely according to the relation that
their Object has to our cognitive faculty in general. The part of this
field in which knowledge is possible for us is a ground or territory
(_territorium_) for these concepts and the requisite cognitive faculty.
The part of this territory, where they are legislative, is the realm
(_ditio_) of these concepts and of the corresponding cognitive
faculties. Empirical concepts have, therefore, their territory in
nature, as the complex of all objects of sense, but no realm, only
a dwelling-place (_domicilium_); for though they are produced in
conformity to law they are not legislative, but the rules based on them
are empirical and consequently contingent.

Our whole cognitive faculty has two realms, that of natural concepts
and that of the concept of freedom; for through both it is legislative
_a priori_. In accordance with this, Philosophy is divided into
theoretical and practical. But the territory to which its realm extends
and in which its legislation is _exercised_, is always only the complex
of objects of all possible experience, so long as they are taken for
nothing more than mere phenomena; for otherwise no legislation of the
Understanding in respect of them is conceivable.

Legislation through natural concepts is carried on by means of the
Understanding and is theoretical. Legislation through the concept of
freedom is carried on by the Reason and is merely practical. It is
only in the practical [sphere] that the Reason can be legislative;
in respect of theoretical cognition (of nature) it can merely (as
acquainted with law by the Understanding) deduce from given laws
consequences which always remain within [the limits of] nature. But on
the other hand, Reason is not always therefore _legislative_, where
there are practical rules, for they may be only technically practical.

Understanding and Reason exercise, therefore, two distinct legislations
in regard to one and the same territory of experience, without
prejudice to each other. The concept of freedom as little disturbs
the legislation of nature, as the natural concept influences the
legislation through the former.--The possibility of at least thinking
without contradiction the co-existence of both legislations, and of
the corresponding faculties in the same subject, has been shown in the
Critique of pure Reason; for it annulled the objections on the other
side by exposing the dialectical illusion which they contain.

These two different realms then do not limit each other in their
legislation, though they perpetually do so in the world of sense.
That they do not constitute _one_ realm, arises from this, that the
natural concept represents its objects in intuition, not as things
in themselves, but as mere phenomena; the concept of freedom, on the
other hand, represents in its Object a thing in itself, but not in
intuition. Hence, neither of them can furnish a theoretical knowledge
of its Object (or even of the thinking subject) as a thing in itself;
this would be the supersensible, the Idea of which we must indeed make
the basis of the possibility of all these objects of experience, but
which we can never extend or elevate into a cognition.

There is, then, an unbounded but also inaccessible field for our whole
cognitive faculty--the field of the supersensible--wherein we find no
territory, and, therefore, can have in it, for theoretical cognition,
no realm either for concepts of Understanding or Reason. This field we
must indeed occupy with Ideas on behalf of the theoretical as well as
the practical use of Reason, but we can supply to them in reference to
the laws [arising] from the concept of freedom no other than practical
reality, by which our theoretical cognition is not extended in the
slightest degree towards the supersensible.

Now even if an immeasurable gulf is fixed between the sensible realm
of the concept of nature and the supersensible realm of the concept of
freedom, so that no transition is possible from the first to the second
(by means of the theoretical use of Reason), just as if they were two
different worlds of which the first could have no influence upon the
second, yet the second is _meant_ to have an influence upon the first.
The concept of freedom is meant to actualise in the world of sense
the purpose proposed by its laws, and consequently nature must be so
thought that the conformity to law of its form, at least harmonises
with the possibility of the purposes to be effected in it according to
laws of freedom.--There must, therefore, be a ground of the _unity_
of the supersensible, which lies at the basis of nature, with that
which the concept of freedom practically contains; and the concept
of this ground, although it does not attain either theoretically or
practically to a knowledge of the same, and hence has no peculiar
realm, nevertheless makes possible the transition from the mode of
thought according to the principles of the one to that according to the
principles of the other.


The Critique of the cognitive faculties, as regards what they can
furnish _a priori_, has properly speaking no realm in respect of
Objects, because it is not a doctrine, but only has to investigate
whether and how, in accordance with the state of these faculties, a
doctrine is possible by their means. Its field extends to all their
pretensions, in order to confine them within their legitimate bounds.
But what cannot enter into the division of Philosophy may yet enter,
as a chief part, into the Critique of the pure faculty of cognition in
general, viz. if it contains principles which are available neither for
theoretical nor for practical use.

The natural concepts, which contain the ground of all
theoretical knowledge _a priori_, rest on the legislation of the
Understanding.--The concept of freedom, which contains the ground of
all sensuously-unconditioned practical precepts _a priori_, rests on
the legislation of the Reason. Both faculties, therefore, besides being
capable of application as regards their logical form to principles of
whatever origin, have also as regards their content, their special
legislations above which there is no other (_a priori_); and hence the
division of Philosophy into theoretical and practical is justified.

But in the family of the higher cognitive faculties there is a middle
term between the Understanding and the Reason. This is the _Judgement_,
of which we have cause for supposing according to analogy that it
may contain in itself, if not a special legislation, yet a special
principle of its own to be sought according to laws, though merely
subjective _a priori_. This principle, even if it have no field of
objects as its realm, yet may have somewhere a territory with a certain
character, for which no other principle can be valid.

But besides (to judge by analogy) there is a new ground for bringing
the Judgement into connexion with another arrangement of our
representative faculties, which seems to be of even greater importance
than that of its relationship with the family of the cognitive
faculties. For all faculties or capacities of the soul can be reduced
to three, which cannot be any further derived from one common ground:
the _faculty of knowledge_, the _feeling of pleasure and pain_, and the
_faculty of desire_.[9] For the faculty of knowledge the Understanding
is alone legislative, if (as must happen when it is considered by
itself without confusion with the faculty of desire) this faculty is
referred to nature as the faculty of _theoretical knowledge_; for in
respect of nature (as phenomenon) it is alone possible for us to give
laws by means of natural concepts _a priori_, _i.e._ by pure concepts
of Understanding.--For the faculty of desire, as a higher faculty
according to the concept of freedom, the Reason (in which alone this
concept has a place) is alone _a priori_ legislative.--Now between the
faculties of knowledge and desire there is the feeling of pleasure,
just as the Judgement is intermediate between the Understanding and
the Reason. We may therefore suppose provisionally that the Judgement
likewise contains in itself an _a priori_ principle. And as pleasure
or pain is necessarily combined with the faculty of desire (either
preceding this principle as in the lower desires, or following it as
in the higher, when the desire is determined by the moral law), we may
also suppose that the Judgement will bring about a transition from the
pure faculty of knowledge, the realm of natural concepts, to the realm
of the concept of freedom, just as in its logical use it makes possible
the transition from Understanding to Reason.

Although, then, Philosophy can be divided only into two main parts,
the theoretical and the practical, and although all that we may be
able to say of the special principles of Judgement must be counted as
belonging in it to the theoretical part, _i.e._ to rational cognition
in accordance with natural concepts; yet the Critique of pure Reason,
which must decide all this, as regards the possibility of the system
before undertaking it, consists of three parts; the Critique of pure
Understanding, of pure Judgement, and of pure Reason, which faculties
are called pure because they are legislative _a priori_.


Judgement in general is the faculty of thinking the particular as
contained under the Universal. If the universal (the rule, the
principle, the law) be given, the Judgement which subsumes the
particular under it (even if, as transcendental Judgement, it furnishes
_a priori_, the conditions in conformity with which subsumption under
that universal is alone possible) is _determinant_. But if only the
particular be given for which the universal has to be found, the
Judgement is merely _reflective_.

The determinant Judgement only subsumes under universal transcendental
laws given by the Understanding; the law is marked out for it, _a
priori_, and it has therefore no need to seek a law for itself in
order to be able to subordinate the particular in nature to the
universal.--But the forms of nature are so manifold, and there
are so many modifications of the universal transcendental natural
concepts left undetermined by the laws given, _a priori_, by the pure
Understanding,--because these only concern the possibility of a nature
in general (as an object of sense),--that there must be laws for these
[forms] also. These, as empirical, may be contingent from the point
of view of _our_ Understanding, and yet, if they are to be called
laws (as the concept of a nature requires), they must be regarded as
necessary in virtue of a principle of the unity of the manifold, though
it be unknown to us.--The reflective Judgement, which is obliged to
ascend from the particular in nature to the universal, requires on that
account a principle that it cannot borrow from experience, because its
function is to establish the unity of all empirical principles under
higher ones, and hence to establish the possibility of their systematic
subordination. Such a transcendental principle, then, the reflective
Judgement can only give as a law from and to itself. It cannot derive
it from outside (because then it would be the determinant Judgement);
nor can it prescribe it to nature, because reflection upon the laws
of nature adjusts itself by nature, and not nature by the conditions
according to which we attempt to arrive at a concept of it which is
quite contingent in respect of these.

This principle can be no other than the following: As universal laws
of nature have their ground in our Understanding, which prescribes
them to nature (although only according to the universal concept of
it as nature); so particular empirical laws, in respect of what is in
them left undetermined by these universal laws, must be considered in
accordance with such a unity as they would have if an Understanding
(although not our Understanding) had furnished them to our cognitive
faculties, so as to make possible a system of experience according
to particular laws of nature. Not as if, in this way, such an
Understanding must be assumed as actual (for it is only our reflective
Judgement to which this Idea serves as a principle--for reflecting, not
for determining); but this faculty thus gives a law only to itself and
not to nature.

Now the concept of an Object, so far as it contains the ground of
the actuality of this Object, is the _purpose_; and the agreement
of a thing with that constitution of things, which is only possible
according to purposes, is called the _purposiveness_ of its form. Thus
the principle of Judgement, in respect of the form of things of nature
under empirical laws generally, is the _purposiveness of nature_ in its
manifoldness. That is, nature is represented by means of this concept,
as if an Understanding contained the ground of the unity of the
manifold of its empirical laws.

The purposiveness of nature is therefore a particular concept, _a
priori_, which has its origin solely in the reflective Judgement. For
we cannot ascribe to natural products anything like a reference of
nature in them to purposes; we can only use this concept to reflect
upon such products in respect of the connexion of phenomena which is
given in nature according to empirical laws. This concept is also quite
different from practical purposiveness (in human art or in morals),
though it is certainly thought according to the analogy of these last.


A transcendental principle is one by means of which is represented, _a
priori_, the universal condition under which alone things can be in
general Objects of our cognition. On the other hand, a principle is
called metaphysical if it represents the _a priori_ condition under
which alone Objects, whose concept must be empirically given, can be
further determined _a priori_. Thus the principle of the cognition of
bodies as substances, and as changeable substances, is transcendental,
if thereby it is asserted that their changes must have a cause; it is
metaphysical if it asserts that their changes must have an _external_
cause. For in the former case bodies need only be thought by means
of ontological predicates (pure concepts of Understanding), _e.g._
substance, in order to cognise the proposition _a priori_; but in
the latter case the empirical concept of a body (as a movable thing
in space) must lie at the basis of the proposition, although once
this basis has been laid down, it may be seen completely _a priori_
that this latter predicate (motion only by external causes) belongs
to body.--Thus, as I shall presently show, the principle of the
purposiveness of nature (in the manifoldness of its empirical laws) is
a transcendental principle. For the concept of Objects, so far as they
are thought as standing under this principle, is only the pure concept
of objects of possible empirical cognition in general and contains
nothing empirical. On the other hand, the principle of practical
purposiveness, which must be thought in the Idea of the _determination_
of a free _will_, is a metaphysical principle; because the concept of a
faculty of desire as a will must be given empirically (_i.e._ does not
belong to transcendental predicates). Both principles are, however, not
empirical, but _a priori_; because for the combination of the predicate
with the empirical concept of the subject of their judgements no
further experience is needed, but it can be apprehended completely _a

That the concept of a purposiveness of nature belongs to transcendental
principles can be sufficiently seen from the maxims of the Judgement,
which lie at the basis of the investigation of nature _a priori_,
and yet do not go further than the possibility of experience, and
consequently of the cognition of nature--not indeed nature in general,
but nature as determined through a variety of particular laws. These
maxims present themselves in the course of this science often enough,
though in a scattered way, as sentences of metaphysical wisdom,
whose necessity we cannot demonstrate from concepts. “Nature takes
the shortest way (_lex parsimoniae_); at the same time it makes no
leaps, either in the course of its changes or in the juxtaposition
of specifically different forms (_lex continui in natura_); its
great variety in empirical laws is yet unity under a few principles
(_principia praeter necessitatem non sunt multiplicanda_),” etc.

If we propose to set forth the origin of these fundamental propositions
and try to do so by the psychological method, we violate their sense.
For they do not tell us what happens, _i.e._ by what rule our cognitive
powers actually operate, and how we judge, but how we ought to judge;
and this logical objective necessity does not emerge if the principles
are merely empirical. Hence that purposiveness of nature for our
cognitive faculties and their use, which is plainly apparent from them,
is a transcendental principle of judgements, and needs therefore also a
Transcendental Deduction, by means of which the ground for so judging
must be sought in the sources of cognition _a priori_.

We find in the grounds of the possibility of an experience in the
very first place something necessary, viz. the universal laws without
which nature in general (as an object of sense) cannot be thought;
and these rest upon the Categories, applied to the formal conditions
of all intuition possible for us, so far as it is also given _a
priori_. Now under these laws the Judgement is determinant, for it
has nothing to do but to subsume under given laws. For example, the
Understanding says that every change has its cause (universal law of
nature); the transcendental Judgement has nothing further to do than
to supply _a priori_ the condition of subsumption under the concept
of the Understanding placed before it, _i.e._ the succession [in
time] of the determinations of one and the same thing. For nature in
general (as an object of possible experience) that law is cognised as
absolutely necessary.--But now the objects of empirical cognition are
determined in many other ways than by that formal time-condition,
or, at least as far as we can judge _a priori_, are determinable.
Hence specifically different natures can be causes in an infinite
variety of ways, as well as in virtue of what they have in common
as belonging to nature in general; and each of these modes must (in
accordance with the concept of a cause in general) have its rule, which
is a law and therefore brings necessity with it, although we do not
at all comprehend this necessity, in virtue of the constitution and
the limitations of our cognitive faculties. We must therefore think
in nature, in respect of its merely empirical laws, a possibility of
infinitely various empirical laws, which are, as far as our insight
goes, contingent (cannot be cognised _a priori_), and in respect of
which we judge nature, according to empirical laws and the possibility
of the unity of experience (as a system according to empirical laws),
to be contingent. But such a unity must be necessarily presupposed and
assumed, for otherwise there would be no thoroughgoing connexion of
empirical cognitions in a whole of experience. The universal laws of
nature no doubt furnish such a connexion of things according to their
kind as things of nature in general, but not specifically, as such
particular beings of nature. Hence the Judgement must assume for its
special use this principle _a priori_, that what in the particular
(empirical) laws of nature is from the human point of view contingent,
yet contains a unity of law in the combination of its manifold into an
experience possible in itself--a unity not indeed to be fathomed by us,
but yet thinkable. Consequently as the unity of law in a combination,
which we cognise as contingent in itself, although in conformity with
a necessary design (a need) of Understanding, is represented as the
purposiveness of Objects (here of nature); so must the Judgement, which
in respect of things under possible (not yet discovered) empirical
laws is merely reflection, think of nature in respect of the latter
according to _a principle of purposiveness_ for our cognitive faculty,
which then is expressed in the above maxims of the Judgement. This
transcendental concept of a purposiveness of nature is neither a
natural concept nor a concept of freedom, because it ascribes nothing
to the Object (of nature), but only represents the peculiar way in
which we must proceed in reflection upon the objects of nature in
reference to a thoroughly connected experience, and is consequently a
subjective principle (maxim) of the Judgement. Hence, as if it were a
lucky chance favouring our design, we are rejoiced (properly speaking,
relieved of a want), if we meet with such systematic unity under merely
empirical laws; although we must necessarily assume that there is such
a unity without our comprehending it or being able to prove it.

In order to convince ourselves of the correctness of this Deduction
of the concept before us, and the necessity of assuming it as a
transcendental principle of cognition, just consider the magnitude of
the problem. The problem, which lies _a priori_ in our Understanding,
is to make a connected experience out of given perceptions of a nature
containing at all events an infinite variety of empirical laws. The
Understanding is, no doubt, in possession _a priori_ of universal laws
of nature, without which nature could not be an object of experience;
but it needs in addition a certain order of nature in its particular
rules, which can only be empirically known and which are, as regards
the Understanding, contingent. These rules, without which we could
not proceed from the universal analogy of a possible experience in
general to the particular, must be thought by it as laws (_i.e._ as
necessary), for otherwise they would not constitute an order of nature;
although their necessity can never be cognised or comprehended by
it. Although, therefore, the Understanding can determine nothing _a
priori_ in respect of Objects, it must, in order to trace out these
empirical so-called laws, place at the basis of all reflection upon
Objects an _a priori_ principle, viz. that a cognisable order of nature
is possible in accordance with these laws. The following propositions
express some such principle. There is in nature a subordination of
genera and species comprehensible by us. Each one approximates to some
other according to a common principle, so that a transition from one to
another and so on to a higher genus may be possible. Though it seems at
the outset unavoidable for our Understanding to assume different kinds
of causality for the specific differences of natural operations, yet
these different kinds may stand under a small number of principles,
with the investigation of which we have to busy ourselves. This harmony
of nature with our cognitive faculty is presupposed _a priori_ by the
Judgement, on behalf of its reflection upon nature in accordance with
its empirical laws; whilst the Understanding at the same time cognises
it objectively as contingent, and it is only the Judgement that
ascribes it to nature as a trancendental purposiveness (in relation to
the cognitive faculty of the subject). For without this presupposition
we should have no order of nature in accordance with empirical laws,
and consequently no guiding thread for an experience ordered by these
in all their variety, or for an investigation of them.

For it might easily be thought that, in spite of all the uniformity of
natural things according to the universal laws, without which we should
not have the form of an empirical cognition in general, the specific
variety of the empirical laws of nature including their effects might
yet be so great, that it would be impossible for our Understanding, to
detect in nature a comprehensible order; to divide its products into
genera and species, so as to use the principles which explain and make
intelligible one for the explanation and comprehension of another; or
out of such confused material (strictly we should say, so infinitely
various and not to be measured by our faculty of comprehension) to make
a connected experience.

The Judgement has therefore also in itself a principle _a priori_ of
the possibility of nature, but only in a subjective aspect; by which
it prescribes, not to nature (autonomy), but to itself (heautonomy)
a law for its reflection upon nature. This we might call the _law of
the specification of nature_ in respect of its empirical laws. The
Judgement does not cognise this _a priori_ in nature, but assumes it
on behalf of a natural order cognisable by our Understanding in the
division which it makes of the universal laws of nature when it wishes
to subordinate to these the variety of particular laws. If then we say
that nature specifies its universal laws according to the principles of
purposiveness for our cognitive faculty, _i.e._ in accordance with the
necessary business of the human Understanding of finding the universal
for the particular which perception offers it, and again of finding
connexion for the diverse (which however is a universal for each
species) in the unity of a principle,--we thus neither prescribe to
nature a law, nor do we learn one from it by observation (although such
a principle may be confirmed by this means). For it is not a principle
of the determinant but merely of the reflective Judgement. We only
require that, be nature disposed as it may as regards its universal
laws, investigation into its empirical laws may be carried on in
accordance with that principle and the maxims founded thereon, because
it is only so far as that holds that we can make any progress with the
use of our Understanding in experience, or gain knowledge.


The thought harmony of nature in the variety of its particular laws
with our need of finding universality of principles for it, must
be judged as contingent in respect of our insight, but yet at the
same time as indispensable for the needs of our Understanding, and
consequently as a purposiveness by which nature is harmonised with our
design, which, however, has only knowledge for its aim. The universal
laws of the Understanding, which are at the same time laws of nature,
are just as necessary (although arising from spontaneity) as the
material laws of motion. Their production presupposes no design on the
part of our cognitive faculty, because it is only by means of them
that we, in the first place, attain a concept of what the cognition
of things (of nature) is, and attribute them necessarily to nature as
Object of our cognition in general. But, so far as we can see, it is
contingent that the order of nature according to its particular laws,
in all its variety and heterogeneity possibly at least transcending
our comprehension, should be actually conformable to these [laws]. The
discovery of this [order] is the business of the Understanding which
is designedly borne towards a necessary purpose, viz. the bringing of
unity of principles into nature, which purpose then the Judgement must
ascribe to nature, because the Understanding cannot here prescribe any
law to it.

The attainment of that design is bound up with the feeling of pleasure,
and since the condition of this attainment is a representation
_a priori_,--as here a principle for the reflective Judgement in
general,--therefore the feeling of pleasure is determined by a ground
_a priori_ and valid for every man, and that merely by the reference of
the Object to the cognitive faculty, the concept of purposiveness here
not having the least reference to the faculty of desire. It is thus
quite distinguished from all practical purposiveness of nature.

In fact, although from the agreement of perceptions with laws in
accordance with universal natural concepts (the categories), we do not
and cannot find in ourselves the slightest effect upon the feeling of
pleasure, because the Understanding necessarily proceeds according to
its nature without any design; yet, on the other hand, the discovery
that two or more empirical heterogeneous laws of nature may be combined
under one principle comprehending them both, is the ground of a very
marked pleasure, often even of an admiration, which does not cease,
though we may be already quite familiar with the objects of it. We no
longer find, it is true, any marked pleasure in the comprehensibility
of nature and in the unity of its divisions into genera and species,
whereby are possible all empirical concepts, through which we cognise
it according to its particular laws. But this pleasure has certainly
been present at one time, and it is only because the commonest
experience would be impossible without it that it is gradually
confounded with mere cognition and no longer arrests particular
attention. There is then something in our judgements upon nature which
makes us attentive to its purposiveness for our Understanding--an
endeavour to bring, where possible, its dissimilar laws under higher
ones, though still always empirical--and thus, if successful, makes
us feel pleasure in that harmony of these with our cognitive faculty,
which harmony we regard as merely contingent. On the other hand, a
representation of nature would altogether displease, by which it
should be foretold to us that in the smallest investigation beyond the
commonest experience we should meet with a heterogeneity of its laws,
which would make the union of its particular laws under universal
empirical laws impossible for our Understanding. For this would
contradict the principle of the subjectively-purposive specification of
nature in its genera, and also of our reflective Judgement in respect
of such principle.

This presupposition of the Judgement is, however, at the same time so
indeterminate as to how far that ideal purposiveness of nature for
our cognitive faculty should be extended, that if we were told that
a deeper or wider knowledge of nature derived from observation must
lead at last to a variety of laws, which no human Understanding could
reduce to a principle, we should at once acquiesce. But still we more
gladly listen to one who offers hope that the more we know nature
internally, and can compare it with external members now unknown to
us, the more simple shall we find it in its principles, and that the
further our experience reaches the more uniform shall we find it amid
the apparent heterogeneity of its empirical laws. For it is a mandate
of our Judgement to proceed according to the principle of the harmony
of nature with our cognitive faculty so far as that reaches, without
deciding (because it is not the determinant Judgement which gives us
this rule) whether or not it is bounded anywhere. For although in
respect of the rational use of our cognitive faculty we can determine
such bounds, this is not possible in the empirical field.


That which in the representation of an Object is merely subjective,
_i.e._ which decides its reference to the subject, not to the object,
is its aesthetical character; but that which serves or can be used
for the determination of the object (for cognition), is its logical
validity. In the cognition of an object of sense both references
present themselves. In the sense-representation of external things
the quality of space wherein we intuite them is the merely subjective
[element] of my representation (by which it remains undecided what
they may be in themselves as Objects), on account of which reference
the object is thought thereby merely as phenomenon. But space,
notwithstanding its merely subjective quality, is at the same time
an ingredient in the cognition of things as phenomena. _Sensation_,
again (_i.e._ external sensation), expresses the merely subjective
[element] of our representations of external things, but it is also the
proper material (reale) of them (by which something existing is given),
just as space is the mere form _a priori_ of the possibility of their
intuition. Nevertheless, however, sensation is also employed in the
cognition of external Objects.

But the subjective [element] in a representation _which cannot be
an ingredient of cognition_, is the _pleasure_ or _pain_ which is
bound up with it; for through it I cognise nothing in the object of
the representation, although it may be the effect of some cognition.
Now the purposiveness of a thing, so far as it is represented in
perception, is no characteristic of the Object itself (for such cannot
be perceived), although it may be inferred from a cognition of things.
The purposiveness, therefore, which precedes the cognition of an
Object, and which, even without our wishing to use the representation
of it for cognition, is, at the same time, immediately bound up
with it, is that subjective [element] which cannot be an ingredient
in cognition. Hence the object is only called purposive, when its
representation is immediately combined with the feeling of pleasure;
and this very representation is an aesthetical representation of
purposiveness.--The only question is whether there is, in general, such
a representation of purposiveness.

If pleasure is bound up with the mere apprehension (_apprehensio_) of
the form of an object of intuition, without reference to a concept for
a definite cognition, then the representation is thereby not referred
to the Object, but simply to the subject; and the pleasure can express
nothing else than its harmony with the cognitive faculties which come
into play in the reflective Judgement, and so far as they are in play;
and hence can only express a subjective formal purposiveness of the
Object. For that apprehension of forms in the Imagination can never
take place without the reflective Judgement, though undesignedly,
at least comparing them with its faculty of referring intuitions to
concepts. If now in this comparison the Imagination (as the faculty of
_a priori_ intuitions) is placed by means of a given representation
undesignedly in agreement with the Understanding, as the faculty of
concepts, and thus a feeling of pleasure is aroused, the object must
then be regarded as purposive for the reflective Judgement. Such a
judgement is an aesthetical judgement upon the purposiveness of the
Object, which does not base itself upon any present concept of the
object, nor does it furnish any such. In the case of an object whose
form (not the matter of its representation, as sensation), in the mere
reflection upon it (without reference to any concept to be obtained
of it), is judged as the ground of a pleasure in the representation
of such an Object, this pleasure is judged as bound up with the
representation necessarily; and, consequently, not only for the subject
which apprehends this form, but for every judging being in general. The
object is then called beautiful; and the faculty of judging by means
of such a pleasure (and, consequently, with universal validity) is
called Taste. For since the ground of the pleasure is placed merely in
the form of the object for reflection in general--and, consequently,
in no sensation of the object, and also without reference to any
concept which anywhere involves design--it is only the conformity
to law in the empirical use of the Judgement in general (unity of
the Imagination with the Understanding) in the subject, with which
the representation of the Object in reflection, whose conditions are
universally valid _a priori_, harmonises. And since this harmony of the
object with the faculties of the subject is contingent, it brings about
the representation of its purposiveness in respect of the cognitive
faculties of the subject.

Here now is a pleasure, which, like all pleasure or pain that is not
produced through the concept of freedom (_i.e._ through the preceding
determination of the higher faculties of desire by pure Reason), can
never be comprehended from concepts, as necessarily bound up with the
representation of an object. It must always be cognised as combined
with this only by means of reflective perception; and, consequently,
like all empirical judgements, it can declare no objective necessity
and lay claim to no _a priori_ validity. But the judgement of taste
also claims, as every other empirical judgement does, to be valid
for every one; and in spite of its inner contingency this is always
possible. The strange and irregular thing is that it is not an
empirical concept, but a feeling of pleasure (consequently not a
concept at all), which by the judgement of taste is attributed to every
one,--just as if it were a predicate bound up with the cognition of the
Object--and which is connected with the representation thereof.

A singular judgement of experience, _e.g._, when we perceive a moveable
drop of water in an ice-crystal, may justly claim that every one
else should find it the same; because we have formed this judgement,
according to the universal conditions of the determinant faculty of
Judgement, under the laws of a possible experience in general. Just
in the same way he who feels pleasure in the mere reflection upon
the form of an object without respect to any concept, although this
judgement be empirical and singular, justly claims the agreement
of every one; because the ground of this pleasure is found in the
universal, although subjective, condition of reflective judgements,
viz., the purposive harmony of an object (whether a product of nature
or of art) with the mutual relations of the cognitive faculties (the
Imagination and the Understanding), a harmony which is requisite for
every empirical cognition. The pleasure, therefore, in the judgement
of taste is dependent on an empirical representation, and cannot be
bound up _a priori_ with any concept (we cannot determine _a priori_
what object is or is not according to taste; that we must find out
by experiment). But the pleasure is the determining ground of this
judgement only because we are conscious that it rests merely on
reflection and on the universal though only subjective conditions
of the harmony of that reflection with the cognition of Objects in
general, for which the form of the Object is purposive.

Thus the reason why judgements of taste according to their possibility
are subjected to a Critique is that they presuppose a principle _a
priori_, although this principle is neither one of cognition for the
Understanding nor of practice for the Will, and therefore is not in any
way determinant _a priori_.

Susceptibility to pleasure from reflection upon the forms of things (of
Nature as well as of Art), indicates not only a purposiveness of the
Objects in relation to the reflective Judgement, conformably to the
concept of nature in the subject; but also conversely a purposiveness
of the subject in respect of the objects according to their form or
even their formlessness, in virtue of the concept of freedom. Hence
the aesthetical judgement is not only related as a judgement of taste
to the beautiful, but also as springing from a spiritual feeling is
related to the _sublime_; and thus the Critique of the aesthetical
Judgement must be divided into two corresponding sections.


Purposiveness may be represented in an object given in experience
on a merely subjective ground, as the harmony of its form,--in the
_apprehension_ (_apprehensio_) of it prior to any concept,--with the
cognitive faculties, in order to unite the intuition with concepts
for a cognition generally. Or it may be represented objectively as
the harmony of the form of the object with the possibility of the
thing itself, according to a concept of it which precedes and contains
the ground of this form. We have seen that the representation of
purposiveness of the first kind rests on the immediate pleasure
in the form of the object in the mere reflection upon it. But the
representation of purposiveness of the second kind, since it refers
the form of the Object, not to the cognitive faculties of the subject
in the apprehension of it, but to a definite cognition of the object
under a given concept, has nothing to do with a feeling of pleasure in
things, but only with the Understanding in its judgement upon them.
If the concept of an object is given, the business of the Judgement
in the use of the concept for cognition consists in _presentation_
(_exhibitio_), _i.e._ in setting a corresponding intuition beside the
concept. This may take place either through our own Imagination, as
in Art when we realise a preconceived concept of an object which is
a purpose of ours; or through Nature in its Technic (as in organised
bodies) when we supply to it our concept of its purpose in order
to judge of its products. In the latter case it is not merely the
_purposiveness_ of nature in the form of the thing that is represented,
but this its product is represented as a _natural purpose_.--Although
our concept of a subjective purposiveness of nature in its forms
according to empirical laws is not a concept of the Object, but only
a principle of the Judgement for furnishing itself with concepts amid
the immense variety of nature (and thus being able to ascertain its
own position), yet we thus ascribe to nature as it were a regard to
our cognitive faculty according to the analogy of purpose. Thus we can
regard _natural beauty_ as the _presentation_ of the concept of the
formal (merely subjective) purposiveness, and _natural purposes_ as
the presentation of the concept of a real (objective) purposiveness.
The former of these we judge of by Taste (aesthetically, by the medium
of the feeling of pleasure), the latter by Understanding and Reason
(logically, according to concepts).

On this is based the division of the Critique of Judgement into the
Critique of _aesthetical_ and of _teleological_ Judgement. By the
first we understand the faculty of judging of the formal purposiveness
(otherwise called subjective) of Nature by means of the feeling of
pleasure or pain; by the second the faculty of judging its real
(objective) purposiveness by means of Understanding and Reason.

In a Critique of Judgement the part containing the aesthetical
Judgement is essential, because this alone contains a principle
which the Judgement places quite _a priori_ at the basis of its
reflection upon nature; viz., the principle of a formal purposiveness
of nature, according to its particular (empirical) laws, for our
cognitive faculty, without which the Understanding could not find
itself in nature. On the other hand no reason _a priori_ could be
specified,--and even the possibility of a reason would not be apparent
from the concept of nature as an object of experience whether general
or particular,--why there should be objective purposes of nature,
_i.e._ things which are only possible as natural purposes; but the
Judgement, without containing such a principle _a priori_ in itself,
in given cases (of certain products), in order to make use of the
concept of purposes on behalf of Reason, would only contain the rule
according to which that transcendental principle has already prepared
the Understanding to apply to nature the concept of a purpose (at least
as regards its form).

But the transcendental principle which represents a purposiveness of
nature (in subjective reference to our cognitive faculty) in the form
of a thing as a principle by which we judge of nature, leaves it quite
undetermined where and in what cases I have to judge of a product
according to a principle of purposiveness, and not rather according to
universal natural laws. It leaves it to the _aesthetical_ Judgement
to decide by taste the harmony of this product (of its form) with our
cognitive faculty (so far as this decision rests not on any agreement
with concepts but on feeling). On the other hand, the Judgement
teleologically employed furnishes conditions determinately under which
something (_e.g._ an organised body) is to be judged according to
the Idea of a purpose of nature; but it can adduce no fundamental
proposition from the concept of nature as an object of experience
authorising it to ascribe to nature _a priori_ a reference to purposes,
or even indeterminately to assume this of such products in actual
experience. The reason of this is that we must have many particular
experiences, and consider them under the unity of their principle, in
order to be able to cognise, even empirically, objective purposiveness
in a certain object.--The aesthetical Judgement is therefore a special
faculty for judging of things according to a rule, but not according
to concepts. The teleological Judgement is not a special faculty, but
only the reflective Judgement in general, so far as it proceeds, as it
always does in theoretical cognition, according to concepts; but in
respect of certain objects of nature according to special principles,
viz., of a merely reflective Judgement, and not of a Judgement that
determines Objects. Thus as regards its application it belongs to
the theoretical part of Philosophy; and on account of its special
principles which are not determinant, as they must be in Doctrine, it
must constitute a special part of the Critique. On the other hand, the
aesthetical Judgement contributes nothing towards the knowledge of
its objects, and thus must be reckoned as belonging to the criticism
of the judging subject and its cognitive faculties, _only_ so far as
they are susceptible of _a priori_ principles, of whatever other use
(theoretical or practical) they may be. This is the propaedeutic of all


The Understanding legislates _a priori_ for nature as an Object of
sense--for a theoretical knowledge of it in a possible experience.
Reason legislates _a priori_ for freedom and its peculiar casuality;
as the supersensible in the subject, for an unconditioned practical
knowledge. The realm of the natural concept under the one legislation
and that of the concept of freedom under the other are entirely removed
from all mutual influence which they might have on one another (each
according to its fundamental laws) by the great gulf that separates
the supersensible from phenomena. The concept of freedom determines
nothing in respect of the theoretical cognition of nature; and the
natural concept determines nothing in respect of the practical laws of
freedom. So far then it is not possible to throw a bridge from the one
realm to the other. But although the determining grounds of causality
according to the concept of freedom (and the practical rules which it
contains) are not resident in nature, and the sensible cannot determine
the supersensible in the subject, yet this is possible conversely (not,
to be sure, in respect of the cognition of nature, but as regards
the effects of the supersensible upon the sensible). This in fact is
involved in the concept of a causality through freedom, the _effect_
of which is to take place in the world according to its formal laws.
The word _cause_, of course, when used of the supersensible only
signifies the _ground_ which determines the causality of natural
things to an effect in accordance with their proper natural laws,
although harmoniously with the formal principle of the laws of
Reason. Although the possibility of this cannot be comprehended, yet
the objection of a contradiction alleged to be found in it can be
sufficiently answered.[10]--The effect in accordance with the concept
of freedom is the final purpose which (or its phenomenon in the world
of sense) ought to exist; and the condition of the possibility of this
is presupposed in nature (in the nature of the subject as a sensible
being, that is, as man). The Judgement presupposes this _a priori_ and
without reference to the practical; and thus furnishes the mediating
concept between the concepts of nature and that of freedom. It makes
possible the transition from the conformity to law in accordance with
the former to the final purpose in accordance with the latter, and this
by the concept of a _purposiveness_ of nature. For thus is cognised
the possibility of the final purpose which alone can be actualised in
nature in harmony with its laws.

The Understanding by the possibility of its _a priori_ laws for
nature, gives a proof that nature is only cognised by us as phenomenon;
and implies at the same time that it has a supersensible substrate,
though it leaves this quite _undetermined_. The Judgement by its _a
priori_ principle for the judging of nature according to its possible
particular laws, makes the supersensible substrate (both in us and
without us) _determinable by means of the intellectual faculty_. But
the Reason by its practical _a priori_ law _determines_ it; and thus
the Judgement makes possible the transition from the realm of the
concept of nature to that of the concept of freedom.

As regards the faculties of the soul in general, in their higher
aspect, as containing an autonomy; the Understanding is that which
contains the _constitutive_ principles _a priori_ for the _cognitive
faculty_ (the theoretical cognition of nature). For the _feeling of
pleasure and pain_ there is the Judgement, independently of concepts
and sensations which relate to the determination of the faculty of
desire and can thus be immediately practical. For the _faculty of
desire_ there is the Reason which is practical without the mediation
of any pleasure whatever. It determines for the faculty of desire,
as a superior faculty, the final purpose which carries with it the
pure intellectual satisfaction in the Object.--The concept formed by
Judgement of a purposiveness of nature belongs to natural concepts,
but only as a regulative principle of the cognitive faculty; although
the aesthetical judgement upon certain objects (of Nature or Art)
which occasions it is, in respect of the feeling of pleasure or pain,
a constitutive principle. The spontaneity in the play of the cognitive
faculties, the harmony of which contains the ground of this pleasure,
makes the above concept [of the purposiveness of nature] fit to be the
mediating link between the realm of the natural concept and that of the
concept of freedom in its effects; whilst at the same time it promotes
the sensibility of the mind for moral feeling.--The following table may
facilitate the review of all the higher faculties according to their
systematic unity.[11]

                    _All the faculties of the mind_
  Cognitive faculties.                           Faculties of desire.
                     Feeling of pleasure and pain.

                         _Cognitive faculties_
  Understanding.               Judgement.                     Reason.

                         _A priori principles_
  Conformity to law.         Purposiveness.            Final purpose.

                            _Application to_
  Nature.                         Art.                       Freedom.










§ 1. _The judgement of taste is aesthetical_

In order to decide whether anything is beautiful or not, we refer the
representation, not by the Understanding to the Object for cognition
but, by the Imagination (perhaps in conjunction with the Understanding)
to the subject, and its feeling of pleasure or pain. The judgement of
taste is therefore not a judgement of cognition, and is consequently
not logical but aesthetical, by which we understand that whose
determining ground can be _no other than subjective_. Every reference
of representations, even that of sensations, may be objective (and
then it signifies the real in an empirical representation); save only
the reference to the feeling of pleasure and pain, by which nothing in
the Object is signified, but through which there is a feeling in the
subject, as it is affected by the representation.

To apprehend a regular, purposive building by means of one’s
cognitive faculty (whether in a clear or a confused way of
representation) is something quite different from being conscious of
this representation as connected with the sensation of satisfaction.
Here the representation is altogether referred to the subject and
to its feeling of life, under the name of the feeling of pleasure
or pain. This establishes a quite separate faculty of distinction
and of judgement, adding nothing to cognition, but only comparing
the given representation in the subject with the whole faculty of
representations, of which the mind is conscious in the feeling of
its state. Given representations in a judgement can be empirical
(consequently, aesthetical); but the judgement which is formed by means
of them is logical, provided they are referred in the judgement to the
Object. Conversely, if the given representations are rational, but are
referred in a judgement simply to the subject (to its feeling), the
judgement is so far always aesthetical.

§ 2. _The satisfaction which determines the judgement of taste is

The satisfaction which we combine with the representation of the
existence of an object is called interest. Such satisfaction always
has reference to the faculty of desire, either as its determining
ground or as necessarily connected with its determining ground. Now
when the question is if a thing is beautiful, we do not want to know
whether anything depends or can depend on the existence of the thing
either for myself or for any one else, but how we judge it by mere
observation (intuition or reflection). If any one asks me if I find
that palace beautiful which I see before me, I may answer: I do not
like things of that kind which are made merely to be stared at. Or I
can answer like that Iroquois _sachem_ who was pleased in Paris by
nothing more than by the cook-shops. Or again after the manner of
_Rousseau_ I may rebuke the vanity of the great who waste the sweat of
the people on such superfluous things. In fine I could easily convince
myself that if I found myself on an uninhabited island without the
hope of ever again coming among men, and could conjure up just such
a splendid building by my mere wish, I should not even give myself
the trouble if I had a sufficiently comfortable hut. This may all be
admitted and approved; but we are not now talking of this. We wish
only to know if this mere representation of the object is accompanied
in me with satisfaction, however indifferent I may be as regards the
existence of the object of this representation. We easily see that
in saying it is _beautiful_ and in showing that I have taste, I am
concerned, not with that in which I depend on the existence of the
object, but with that which I make out of this representation in
myself. Every one must admit that a judgement about beauty, in which
the least interest mingles, is very partial and is not a pure judgement
of taste. We must not be in the least prejudiced in favour of the
existence of the things, but be quite indifferent in this respect, in
order to play the judge in things of taste.

We cannot, however, better elucidate this proposition, which is of
capital importance, than by contrasting the pure disinterested[13]
satisfaction in judgements of taste, with that which is bound up with
an interest, especially if we can at the same time be certain that
there are no other kinds of interest than those which are now to be

§ 3. _The satisfaction in the_ PLEASANT _is bound up with interest_

_That which pleases the senses in sensation is_ PLEASANT. Here the
opportunity presents itself of censuring a very common confusion of
the double sense which the word sensation can have, and of calling
attention to it. All satisfaction (it is said or thought) is itself
sensation (of a pleasure). Consequently everything that pleases is
pleasant because it pleases (and according to its different degrees
or its relations to other pleasant sensations it is _agreeable_,
_lovely_, _delightful_, _enjoyable_, etc.). But if this be admitted,
then impressions of Sense which determine the inclination, fundamental
propositions of Reason which determine the Will, mere reflective forms
of intuition which determine the Judgement, are quite the same, as
regards the effect upon the feeling of pleasure. For this would be
pleasantness in the sensation of one’s state, and since in the end all
the operations of our faculties must issue in the practical and unite
in it as their goal, we could suppose no other way of estimating things
and their worth than that which consists in the gratification that
they promise. It is of no consequence at all how this is attained, and
since then the choice of means alone could make a difference, men could
indeed blame one another for stupidity and indiscretion, but never for
baseness and wickedness. For all, each according to his own way of
seeing things, seek one goal, that is, gratification.

If a determination of the feeling of pleasure or pain is called
sensation, this expression signifies something quite different from
what I mean when I call the representation of a thing (by sense, as a
receptivity belonging to the cognitive faculty) sensation. For in the
latter case the representation is referred to the Object, in the former
simply to the subject, and is available for no cognition whatever, not
even for that by which the subject _cognises_ itself.

In the above elucidation we understand by the word sensation,
an objective representation of sense; and in order to avoid
misinterpretation, we shall call that, which must always remain merely
subjective and can constitute absolutely no representation of an
object, by the ordinary term “feeling.” The green colour of the meadows
belongs to _objective_ sensation, as a perception of an object of
sense; the pleasantness of this belongs to _subjective_ sensation by
which no object is represented, _i.e._ to feeling, by which the object
is considered as an Object of satisfaction (which does not furnish a
cognition of it).

Now that a judgement about an object, by which I describe it as
pleasant, expresses an interest in it, is plain from the fact that by
sensation it excites a desire for objects of that kind; consequently
the satisfaction presupposes not the mere judgement about it, but the
relation of its existence to my state, so far as this is affected
by such an Object. Hence we do not merely say of the pleasant, _it
pleases_; but, _it gratifies_. I give to it no mere approval, but
inclination is aroused by it; and in the case of what is pleasant
in the most lively fashion, there is no judgement at all upon the
character of the Object, for those who always lay themselves out only
for enjoyment (for that is the word describing intense gratification)
would fain dispense with all judgement.

§ 4. _The satisfaction in the_ GOOD _is bound up with interest_

Whatever by means of Reason pleases through the mere concept is GOOD.
That which pleases only as a means we call _good for something_ (the
useful); but that which pleases for itself is _good in itself_. In both
there is always involved the concept of a purpose, and consequently
the relation of Reason to the (at least possible) volition, and thus a
satisfaction in the _presence_ of an Object or an action, _i.e._ some
kind of interest.

In order to find anything good, I must always know what sort of a
thing the object ought to be, _i.e._ I must have a concept of it. But
there is no need of this, to find a thing beautiful. Flowers, free
delineations, outlines intertwined with one another without design
and called foliage, have no meaning, depend on no definite concept,
and yet they please. The satisfaction in the beautiful must depend
on the reflection upon an object, leading to any concept (however
indefinite); and it is thus distinguished from the pleasant which rests
entirely upon sensation.

It is true, the Pleasant seems in many cases to be the same as the
Good. Thus people are accustomed to say that all gratification
(especially if it lasts) is good in itself; which is very much the
same as to say that lasting pleasure and the good are the same. But
we can soon see that this is merely a confusion of words; for the
concepts which properly belong to these expressions can in no way be
interchanged. The pleasant, which, as such, represents the object
simply in relation to Sense, must first be brought by the concept of
a purpose under principles of Reason, in order to call it good, as an
object of the Will. But that there is [involved] a quite different
relation to satisfaction in calling that which gratifies at the same
time _good_, may be seen from the fact that in the case of the good the
question always is, whether it is mediately or immediately good (useful
or good in itself); but on the contrary in the case of the pleasant
there can be no question about this at all, for the word always
signifies something which pleases immediately. (The same is applicable
to what I call beautiful.)

Even in common speech men distinguish the Pleasant from the Good.
Of a dish which stimulates the taste by spices and other condiments
we say unhesitatingly that it is pleasant, though it is at the same
time admitted not to be good; for though it immediately _delights_
the senses, yet mediately, _i.e._ considered by Reason which looks to
the after results, it displeases. Even in the judging of health we
may notice this distinction. It is immediately pleasant to every one
possessing it (at least negatively, _i.e._ as the absence of all bodily
pains). But in order to say that it is good, it must be considered
by Reason with reference to purposes; viz. that it is a state which
makes us fit for all our business. Finally in respect of happiness
every one believes himself entitled to describe the greatest sum of
the pleasantnesses of life (as regards both their number and their
duration) as a true, even as the highest, good. However Reason is
opposed to this. Pleasantness is enjoyment. And if we were concerned
with this alone, it would be foolish to be scrupulous as regards the
means which procure it for us, or [to care] whether it is obtained
passively by the bounty of nature or by our own activity and work.
But Reason can never be persuaded that the existence of a man who
merely lives for _enjoyment_ (however busy he may be in this point of
view), has a worth in itself; even if he at the same time is conducive
as a means to the best enjoyment of others, and shares in all their
gratifications by sympathy. Only what he does, without reference to
enjoyment, in full freedom and independently of what nature can procure
for him passively, gives an [absolute[14]] worth to his being, as the
existence of a person; and happiness, with the whole abundance of its
pleasures, is far from being an unconditioned good.[15]

However, notwithstanding all this difference between the pleasant and
the good, they both agree in this that they are always bound up with an
interest in their object. [This is true] not only of the pleasant(§ 3),
and the mediate good (the useful) which is pleasing as a means towards
pleasantness somewhere, but also of that which is good absolutely and
in every aspect, viz. moral good, which brings with it the highest
interest. For the good is the Object of will (_i.e._ of a faculty of
desire determined by Reason). But to will something, and to have a
satisfaction in its existence, _i.e._ to take an interest in it, are

§ 5. _Comparison of the three specifically different kinds of

The pleasant and the good have both a reference to the faculty
of desire; and they bring with them--the former a satisfaction
pathologically conditioned (by impulses, _stimuli_)--the latter a
pure practical satisfaction, which is determined not merely by the
representation of the object, but also by the represented connexion
of the subject with the existence of the object. [It is not merely
the object that pleases, but also its existence.[16]] On the other
hand, the judgement of taste is merely _contemplative_; _i.e._ it is
a judgement which, indifferent as regards the being of an object,
compares its character with the feeling of pleasure and pain. But this
contemplation itself is not directed to concepts; for the judgement of
taste is not a cognitive judgement (either theoretical or practical),
and thus is not _based_ on concepts, nor has it concepts as its

The Pleasant, the Beautiful, and the Good, designate then, three
different relations of representations to the feeling of pleasure and
pain, in reference to which we distinguish from each other objects or
methods of representing them. And the expressions corresponding to
each, by which we mark our complacency in them, are not the same. That
which GRATIFIES a man is called _pleasant_; that which merely PLEASES
him is _beautiful_; that which is ESTEEMED [or _approved_[17]] by
him, _i.e._ that to which he accords an objective worth, is _good_.
Pleasantness concerns irrational animals also; but Beauty only
concerns men, _i.e._ animal, but still rational, beings--not merely
_quâ_ rational (_e.g._ spirits), but _quâ_ animal also; and the Good
concerns every rational being in general. This is a proposition which
can only be completely established and explained in the sequel. We may
say that of all these three kinds of satisfaction, that of taste in
the Beautiful is alone a disinterested and _free_ satisfaction; for no
interest, either of Sense or of Reason, here forces our assent. Hence
we may say of satisfaction that it is related in the three aforesaid
cases to _inclination_, to _favour_, or to _respect_. Now _favour_ is
the only free satisfaction. An object of inclination, and one that
is proposed to our desire by a law of Reason, leave us no freedom in
forming for ourselves anywhere an object of pleasure. All interest
presupposes or generates a want; and, as the determining ground of
assent, it leaves the judgement about the object no longer free.

As regards the interest of inclination in the case of the Pleasant,
every one says that hunger is the best sauce, and everything that is
eatable is relished by people with a healthy appetite; and thus a
satisfaction of this sort does not indicate choice directed by taste.
It is only when the want is appeased that we can distinguish which of
many men has or has not taste. In the same way there may be manners
(conduct) without virtue, politeness without goodwill, decorum without
modesty, etc. For where the moral law speaks there is no longer,
objectively, a free choice as regards what is to be done; and to
display taste in its fulfilment (or in judging of another’s fulfilment
of it) is something quite different from manifesting the moral attitude
of thought. For this involves a command and generates a want, whilst
moral taste only plays with the objects of satisfaction, without
attaching itself to one of them.


_Taste_ is the faculty of judging of an object or a method of
representing it by an _entirely disinterested_ satisfaction
or dissatisfaction. The object of such satisfaction is called



§ 6. _The beautiful is that which apart from concepts is represented as
the object of a universal satisfaction_

This explanation of the beautiful can be derived from the preceding
explanation of it as the object of an entirely disinterested
satisfaction. For the fact of which every one is conscious, that the
satisfaction is for him quite disinterested, implies in his judgement a
ground of satisfaction for every one. For since it does not rest on any
inclination of the subject (nor upon any other premeditated interest),
but since he who judges feels himself quite _free_ as regards the
satisfaction which he attaches to the object, he cannot find the ground
of this satisfaction in any private conditions connected with his own
subject; and hence it must be regarded as grounded on what he can
presuppose in every other man. Consequently he must believe that he has
reason for attributing a similar satisfaction to every one. He will
therefore speak of the beautiful, as if beauty were a characteristic
of the object and the judgement logical (constituting a cognition of
the Object by means of concepts of it); although it is only aesthetical
and involves merely a reference of the representation of the object to
the subject. For it has this similarity to a logical judgement that we
can presuppose its validity for every one. But this universality cannot
arise from concepts; for from concepts there is no transition to the
feeling of pleasure or pain (except in pure practical laws, which bring
an interest with them such as is not bound up with the pure judgement
of taste). Consequently the judgement of taste, accompanied with the
consciousness of separation from all interest, must claim validity for
every one, without this universality depending on Objects. That is,
there must be bound up with it a title to subjective universality.

§ 7. _Comparison of the Beautiful with the Pleasant and the Good by
means of the above characteristic_

As regards the Pleasant every one is content that his judgement, which
he bases upon private feeling, and by which he says of an object that
it pleases him, should be limited merely to his own person. Thus he
is quite contented that if he says “Canary wine is pleasant,” another
man may correct his expression and remind him that he ought to say “It
is pleasant _to me_.” And this is the case not only as regards the
taste of the tongue, the palate, and the throat, but for whatever is
pleasant to any one’s eyes and ears. To one violet colour is soft and
lovely, to another it is faded and dead. One man likes the tone of wind
instruments, another that of strings. To strive here with the design of
reproving as incorrect another man’s judgement which is different from
our own, as if the judgements were logically opposed, would be folly.
As regards the pleasant therefore the fundamental proposition is valid,
_every one has his own taste_ (the taste of Sense).

The case is quite different with the Beautiful. It would (on the
contrary) be laughable if a man who imagined anything to his own taste,
thought to justify himself by saying: “This object (the house we see,
the coat that person wears, the concert we hear, the poem submitted
to our judgement) is beautiful _for me_.” For he must not call it
_beautiful_ if it merely pleases himself. Many things may have for
him charm and pleasantness; no one troubles himself at that; but if
he gives out anything as beautiful, he supposes in others the same
satisfaction--he judges not merely for himself, but for every one,
and speaks of beauty as if it were a property of things. Hence he says
“the _thing_ is beautiful”; and he does not count on the agreement of
others with this his judgement of satisfaction, because he has found
this agreement several times before, but he _demands_ it of them. He
blames them if they judge otherwise and he denies them taste, which he
nevertheless requires from them. Here then we cannot say that each man
has his own particular taste. For this would be as much as to say that
there is no taste whatever; _i.e._ no aesthetical judgement, which can
make a rightful claim upon every one’s assent.

At the same time we find as regards the Pleasant that there is an
agreement among men in their judgements upon it, in regard to which
we deny Taste to some and attribute it to others; by this not meaning
one of our organic senses, but a faculty of judging in respect of the
pleasant generally. Thus we say of a man who knows how to entertain
his guests with pleasures (of enjoyment for all the senses), so that
they are all pleased, “he has taste.” But here the universality is only
taken comparatively; and there emerge rules which are only _general_
(like all empirical ones), and not _universal_; which latter the
judgement of Taste upon the beautiful undertakes or lays claim to. It
is a judgement in reference to sociability, so far as this rests on
empirical rules. In respect of the Good it is true that judgements make
rightful claim to validity for every one; but the Good is represented
only _by means of a concept_ as the Object of a universal satisfaction,
which is the case neither with the Pleasant nor with the Beautiful.

§ 8. _The universality of the satisfaction is represented in a
judgement of Taste only as subjective_

This particular determination of the universality of an aesthetical
judgement, which is to be met with in a judgement of taste, is
noteworthy, not indeed for the logician, but for the transcendental
philosopher. It requires no small trouble to discover its origin, but
we thus detect a property of our cognitive faculty which without this
analysis would remain unknown.

First, we must be fully convinced of the fact that in a judgement
of taste (about the Beautiful) the satisfaction in the object is
imputed to _every one_, without being based on a concept (for then
it would be the Good). Further, this claim to universal validity so
essentially belongs to a judgement by which we describe anything as
_beautiful_, that if this were not thought in it, it would never come
into our thoughts to use the expression at all, but everything which
pleases without a concept would be counted as pleasant. In respect
of the latter every one has his own opinion; and no one assumes, in
another, agreement with his judgement of taste, which is always the
case in a judgement of taste about beauty. I may call the first the
taste of Sense, the second the taste of Reflection; so far as the
first lays down mere private judgements, and the second judgements
supposed to be generally valid (public), but in both cases aesthetical
(not practical) judgements about an object merely in respect of the
relation of its representation to the feeling of pleasure and pain.
Now here is something strange. As regards the taste of Sense not only
does experience show that its judgement (of pleasure or pain connected
with anything) is not valid universally, but every one is content not
to impute agreement with it to others (although actually there is
often found a very extended concurrence in these judgements). On the
other hand, the taste of Reflection has its claim to the universal
validity of its judgements (about the beautiful) rejected often
enough, as experience teaches; although it may find it possible (as it
actually does) to represent judgements which can demand this universal
agreement. In fact for each of its judgements of taste it imputes
this to every one, without the persons that judge disputing as to the
possibility of such a claim; although in particular cases they cannot
agree as to the correct application of this faculty.

Here we must, in the first place, remark that a universality which
does not rest on concepts of Objects (not even on empirical ones) is
not logical but aesthetical, _i.e._ it involves no objective quantity
of the judgement but only that which is subjective. For this I use
the expression _general validity_ which signifies the validity of the
reference of a representation, not to the cognitive faculty but, to the
feeling of pleasure and pain for every subject. (We can avail ourselves
also of the same expression for the logical quantity of the judgement,
if only we prefix _objective_ to “universal validity,” to distinguish
it from that which is merely subjective and aesthetical.)

A judgement with _objective universal validity_ is also always valid
subjectively; _i.e._ if the judgement holds for everything contained
under a given concept, it holds also for every one who represents an
object by means of this concept. But from a _subjective universal
validity_, _i.e._ aesthetical and resting on no concept, we cannot
infer that which is logical; because that kind of judgement does not
extend to the Object. Hence the aesthetical universality which is
ascribed to a judgement must be of a particular kind, because it does
not unite the predicate of beauty with the concept of the _Object_,
considered in its whole logical sphere, and yet extends it to the whole
sphere of judging persons.

In respect of logical quantity all judgements of taste are _singular_
judgements. For because I must refer the object immediately to my
feeling of pleasure and pain, and that not by means of concepts, they
cannot have the quantity of objective generally valid judgements.
Nevertheless if the singular representation of the Object of the
judgement of taste in accordance with the conditions determining the
latter, were transformed by comparison into a concept, a logically
universal judgement could result therefrom. _E.g._ I describe by
a judgement of taste the rose, that I see, as beautiful. But the
judgement which results from the comparison of several singular
judgements, “Roses in general are beautiful” is no longer described
simply as aesthetical, but as a logical judgement based on an
aesthetical one. Again the judgement “The rose is pleasant” (to smell)
is, although aesthetical and singular, not a judgement of Taste but
of Sense. It is distinguished from the former by the fact that the
judgement of Taste carries with it an _aesthetical quantity_ of
universality, _i.e._ of validity for every one; which cannot be found
in a judgement about the Pleasant. It is only judgements about the Good
which--although they also determine satisfaction in an object,--have
logical and not merely aesthetical universality; for they are valid of
the Object, as cognitive of it, and thus are valid for every one.

If we judge Objects merely according to concepts, then all
representation of beauty is lost. Thus there can be no rule according
to which any one is to be forced to recognise anything as beautiful.
We cannot press [upon others] by the aid of any reasons or fundamental
propositions our judgement that a coat, a house, or a flower is
beautiful. We wish to submit the Object to our own eyes, as if the
satisfaction in it depended on sensation; and yet if we then call the
object beautiful, we believe that we speak with a universal voice, and
we claim the assent of every one, although on the contrary all private
sensation can only decide for the observer himself and his satisfaction.

We may see now that in the judgement of taste nothing is postulated but
such a _universal voice_, in respect of the satisfaction without the
intervention of concepts; and thus the _possibility_ of an aesthetical
judgement that can, at the same time, be regarded as valid for every
one. The judgement of taste itself does not _postulate_ the agreement
of every one (for that can only be done by a logically universal
judgement because it can adduce reasons); it only _imputes_ this
agreement to every one, as a case of the rule in respect of which it
expects, not confirmation by concepts, but assent from others. The
universal voice is, therefore, only an Idea (we do not yet inquire
upon what it rests). It may be uncertain whether or not the man, who
believes that he is laying down a judgement of taste, is, as a matter
of fact, judging in conformity with that Idea; but that he refers his
judgement thereto, and, consequently, that it is intended to be a
judgement of taste, he announces by the expression “beauty.” He can
be quite certain of this for himself by the mere consciousness of the
separation of everything belonging to the Pleasant and the Good from
the satisfaction which is left; and this is all for which he promises
himself the agreement of every one--a claim which would be justifiable
under these conditions, provided only he did not often make mistakes,
and thus lay down an erroneous judgement of taste.

§ 9. _Investigation of the question whether in the judgement of taste
the feeling of pleasure precedes or follows the judging of the object_

The solution of this question is the key to the Critique of Taste, and
so is worthy of all attention.

If the pleasure in the given object precedes, and it is only its
universal communicability that is to be acknowledged in the judgement
of taste about the representation of the object, there would be a
contradiction. For such pleasure would be nothing different from the
mere pleasantness in the sensation, and so in accordance with its
nature could have only private validity, because it is immediately
dependent on the representation through which the object _is given_.

Hence, it is the universal capability of communication of the mental
state in the given representation which, as the subjective condition of
the judgement of taste, must be fundamental, and must have the pleasure
in the object as its consequent. But nothing can be universally
communicated except cognition and representation, so far as it belongs
to cognition. For it is only thus that this latter can be objective;
and only through this has it a universal point of reference, with
which the representative power of every one is compelled to harmonise.
If the determining ground of our judgement as to this universal
communicability of the representation is to be merely subjective,
_i.e._ is conceived independently of any concept of the object, it can
be nothing else than the state of mind, which is to be met with in the
relation of our representative powers to each other, so far as they
refer a given representation to _cognition in general_.

The cognitive powers, which are involved by this representation,
are here in free play, because no definite concept limits them to a
particular[19] rule of cognition. Hence, the state of mind in this
representation must be a feeling of the free play of the representative
powers in a given representation with reference to a cognition in
general. Now a representation by which an object is given, that is
to become a cognition in general, requires _Imagination_, for the
gathering together the manifold of intuition, and _Understanding_, for
the unity of the concept uniting the representations. This state of
_free play_ of the cognitive faculties in a representation by which an
object is given, must be universally communicable; because cognition,
as the determination of the Object with which given representations
(in whatever subject) are to agree, is the only kind of representation
which is valid for every one.

The subjective universal communicability of the mode of representation
in a judgement of taste, since it is to be possible without
presupposing a definite concept, can refer to nothing else than the
state of mind in the free play of the Imagination and the Understanding
(so far as they agree with each other, as is requisite for _cognition
in general_). We are conscious that this subjective relation, suitable
for cognition in general, must be valid for every one, and thus must
be universally communicable, just as if it were a definite cognition,
resting always on that relation as its subjective condition.

This merely subjective (aesthetical) judging of the object, or of the
representation by which it is given, precedes the pleasure in it,
and is the ground of this pleasure in the harmony of the cognitive
faculties; but on the universality of the subjective conditions for
judging of objects is alone based the universal subjective validity of
the satisfaction bound up by us with the representation of the object
that we call beautiful.

The power of communicating one’s state of mind, even though only in
respect of the cognitive faculties, carries a pleasure with it, as we
can easily show from the natural propension of man towards sociability
(empirical and psychological). But this is not enough for our design.
The pleasure that we feel is, in a judgement of taste, necessarily
imputed by us to every one else; as if, when we call a thing beautiful,
it is to be regarded as a characteristic of the object which is
determined in it according to concepts; though beauty, without a
reference to the feeling of the subject, is nothing by itself. But we
must reserve the examination of this question until we have answered
another, viz. “If and how aesthetical judgements are possible _a

We now occupy ourselves with the easier question, in what way we are
conscious of a mutual subjective harmony of the cognitive powers
with one another in the judgement of taste; is it aesthetically by
mere internal sense and sensation? or is it intellectually by the
consciousness of our designed activity, by which we bring them into

If the given representation, which occasions the judgement of taste,
were a concept uniting Understanding and Imagination in the judging
of the object, into a cognition of the Object, the consciousness of
this relation would be intellectual (as in the objective schematism
of the Judgement of which the Critique[20] treats). But then the
judgement would not be laid down in reference to pleasure and pain, and
consequently would not be a judgement of taste. But the judgement of
taste, independently of concepts, determines the Object in respect of
satisfaction and of the predicate of beauty. Therefore that subjective
unity of relation can only make itself known by means of sensation.
The excitement of both faculties (Imagination and Understanding) to
indeterminate, but yet, through the stimulus of the given sensation,
harmonious activity, viz. that which belongs to cognition in general,
is the sensation whose universal communicability is postulated by the
judgement of taste. An objective relation can only be thought, but
yet, so far as it is subjective according to its conditions, can be
felt in its effect on the mind; and, of a relation based on no concept
(like the relation of the representative powers to a cognitive faculty
in general), no other consciousness is possible than that through the
sensation of the effect, which consists in the more lively play of both
mental powers (the Imagination and the Understanding) when animated by
mutual agreement. A representation which, as singular and apart from
comparison with others, yet has an agreement with the conditions of
universality which it is the business of the Understanding to supply,
brings the cognitive faculties into that proportionate accord which
we require for all cognition, and so regard as holding for every one
who is determined to judge by means of Understanding and Sense in
combination (_i.e._ for every man).


The _beautiful_ is that which pleases universally, without a concept.



§ 10. _Of purposiveness in general_

If we wish to explain what a purpose is according to its transcendental
determinations (without presupposing anything empirical like the
feeling of pleasure) [we say that] the purpose is the object of a
concept, in so far as the concept is regarded as the cause of the
object (the real ground of its possibility); and the causality of a
_concept_ in respect of its _Object_ is its purposiveness (_forma
finalis_). Where then not merely the cognition of an object, but the
object itself (its form and existence) is thought as an effect only
possible by means of the concept of this latter, there we think a
purpose. The representation of the effect is here the determining
ground of its cause and precedes it. The consciousness of the causality
of a representation, for _maintaining_ the subject in the same state,
may here generally denote what we call pleasure; while on the other
hand pain is that representation which contains the ground of the
determination of the state of representations into their opposite [of
restraining or removing them[21]].

The faculty of desire, so far as it is determinable only through
concepts, _i.e._ to act in conformity with the representation of a
purpose, would be the Will. But an Object, or a state of mind, or even
an action, is called purposive, although its possibility does not
necessarily presuppose the representation of a purpose, merely because
its possibility can be explained and conceived by us only so far as we
assume for its ground a causality according to purposes, _i.e._ a will
which would have so disposed it according to the representation of a
certain rule. There can be, then, purposiveness without[22] purpose,
so far as we do not place the causes of this form in a will, but yet
can only make the explanation of its possibility intelligible to
ourselves by deriving it from a will. Again, we are not always forced
to regard what we observe (in respect of its possibility) from the
point of view of Reason. Thus we can at least observe a purposiveness
according to form, without basing it on a purpose (as the material of
the _nexus finalis_), and we can notice it in objects, although only
by reflection.

§ 11. _The judgement of taste has nothing at its basis but the_ form of
the purposiveness _of an object (or of its mode of representation)_

Every purpose, if it be regarded as a ground of satisfaction, always
carries with it an interest--as the determining ground of the
judgement--about the object of pleasure. Therefore no subjective
purpose can lie at the basis of the judgement of taste. But neither
can the judgement of taste be determined by any representation of an
objective purpose, _i.e._ of the possibility of the object itself in
accordance with principles of purposive combination, and consequently
it can be determined by no concept of the good; because it is an
aesthetical and not a cognitive judgement. It therefore has to do with
no _concept_ of the character and internal or external possibility of
the object by means of this or that cause, but merely with the relation
of the representative powers to one another, so far as they are
determined by a representation.

Now this relation in the determination of an object as beautiful
is bound up with the feeling of pleasure, which is declared by the
judgement of taste to be valid for every one; hence a pleasantness,
accompanying the representation, can as little contain the determining
ground [of the judgement] as the representation of the perfection of
the object and the concept of the good can. Therefore it can be nothing
else than the subjective purposiveness in the representation of an
object without any purpose (either objective or subjective); and thus
it is the mere form of purposiveness in the representation by which
an object is _given_ to us, so far as we are conscious of it, which
constitutes the satisfaction that we without a concept judge to be
universally communicable; and, consequently, this is the determining
ground of the judgement of taste.

§ 12. _The judgement of taste rests on_ a priori _grounds_

To establish _a priori_ the connexion of the feeling of a pleasure
or pain as an effect, with any representation whatever (sensation or
concept) as its cause, is absolutely impossible; for that would be a
[particular][23] causal relation which (with objects of experience)
can always only be cognised _a posteriori_, and through the medium
of experience itself. We actually have, indeed, in the Critique of
practical Reason, derived from universal moral concepts _a priori_ the
feeling of respect (as a special and peculiar modification of feeling
which will not strictly correspond either to the pleasure or the pain
that we get from empirical objects). But there we could go beyond
the bounds of experience and call in a causality which rested on a
supersensible attribute of the subject, viz. freedom. And even there,
properly speaking, it was not this _feeling_ which we derived from the
Idea of the moral as cause, but merely the determination of the will.
But the state of mind which accompanies any determination of the will
is in itself a feeling of pleasure and identical with it, and therefore
does not follow from it as its effect. This last must only be assumed
if the concept of the moral as a good precede the determination of the
will by the law; for in that case the pleasure that is bound up with
the concept could not be derived from it as from a mere cognition.

Now the case is similar with the pleasure in aesthetical judgements,
only that here it is merely contemplative and does not bring about
an interest in the Object, which on the other hand in the moral
judgement it is practical.[24] The consciousness of the mere formal
purposiveness in the play of the subject’s cognitive powers, in a
representation through which an object is given, is the pleasure
itself; because it contains a determining ground of the activity of
the subject in respect of the excitement of its cognitive powers,
and therefore an inner causality (which is purposive) in respect of
cognition in general without however being limited to any definite
cognition; and consequently contains a mere form of the subjective
purposiveness of a representation in an aesthetical judgement. This
pleasure is in no way practical, neither like that arising from the
pathological ground of pleasantness, nor that from the intellectual
ground of the represented good. But yet it involves causality, viz. of
_maintaining_ the state of the representation itself, and the exercise
of the cognitive powers without further design. We _linger_ over the
contemplation of the beautiful, because this contemplation strengthens
and reproduces itself, which is analogous to (though not of the same
kind as) that lingering which takes place when a [physical] charm in
the representation of the object repeatedly arouses the attention, the
mind being passive.

§ 13. _The pure judgement of taste is independent of charm and emotion_

Every interest spoils the judgement of taste and takes from its
impartiality, especially if the purposiveness is not, as with the
interest of Reason, placed before the feeling of pleasure but grounded
on it. This last always happens in an aesthetical judgement upon
anything so far as it gratifies or grieves us. Hence judgements so
affected can lay no claim at all to a universally valid satisfaction,
or at least so much the less claim, in proportion as there are
sensations of this sort among the determining grounds of taste.
That taste is still barbaric which needs a mixture of _charms_ and
_emotions_ in order that there may be satisfaction, and still more so
if it make these the measure of its assent.

Nevertheless charms are often not only taken account of in the case
of beauty (which properly speaking ought merely to be concerned with
form) as contributory to the aesthetical universal satisfaction; but
they are passed off as in themselves beauties, and thus the matter of
satisfaction is substituted for the form. This misconception, however,
like so many others which have something true at their basis, may be
removed by a careful definition of these concepts.

A judgement of taste on which charm and emotion have no influence
(although they may be bound up with the satisfaction in the
beautiful),--which therefore has as its determining ground merely the
purposiveness of the form,--is a _pure judgement of taste_.

§ 14. _Elucidation by means of examples_

Aesthetical judgements can be divided just like theoretical (logical)
judgements into empirical and pure. The first assert pleasantness or
unpleasantness; the second assert the beauty of an object or of the
manner of representing it. The former are judgements of Sense (material
aesthetical judgements); the latter [as formal[25]] are alone strictly
judgements of Taste.

A judgement of taste is therefore pure, only so far as no merely
empirical satisfaction is mingled with its determining ground. But this
always happens if charm or emotion have any share in the judgement by
which anything is to be described as beautiful.

Now here many objections present themselves, which fallaciously put
forward charm not merely as a necessary ingredient of beauty, but
as alone sufficient [to justify] a thing’s being called beautiful.
A mere colour, _e.g._ the green of a grass plot, a mere tone (as
distinguished from sound and noise) like that of a violin, are by most
people described as beautiful in themselves; although both seem to
have at their basis merely the matter of representations, viz. simply
sensation, and therefore only deserve to be called pleasant. But we
must at the same time remark that the sensations of colours and of tone
have a right to be regarded as beautiful only in so far as they are
_pure_. This is a determination which concerns their form, and is the
only [element] of these representations which admits with certainty of
universal communicability; for we cannot assume that the quality of
sensations is the same in all subjects, and we can hardly say that the
pleasantness of one colour or the tone of one musical instrument is
judged preferable to that of another in the same[26] way by every one.

If we assume with _Euler_ that colours are isochronous vibrations
(_pulsus_) of the aether, as sounds are of the air in a state of
disturbance, and,--what is most important,--that the mind not only
perceives by sense the effect of these in exciting the organ, but also
perceives by reflection the regular play of impressions (and thus the
form of the combination of different representations) which I still
do not doubt[27]--then colours and tone cannot be reckoned as mere
sensations, but as the formal determination of the unity of a manifold
of sensations, and thus as beauties in themselves.

But “pure” in a simple mode of sensation means that its uniformity is
troubled and interrupted by no foreign sensation, and it belongs merely
to the form; because here we can abstract from the quality of that
mode of sensation (abstract from the colours and tone, if any, which
it represents). Hence all simple colours, so far as they are pure,
are regarded as beautiful; composite colours have not this advantage,
because, as they are not simple, we have no standard for judging
whether they should be called pure or not.

But as regards the beauty attributed to the object on account of its
form, to suppose it to be capable of augmentation through the charm
of the object is a common error, and one very prejudicial to genuine,
uncorrupted, well-founded taste. We can doubtless add these charms to
beauty, in order to interest the mind by the representation of the
object, apart from the bare satisfaction [received]; and thus they may
serve as a recommendation of taste and its cultivation, especially when
it is yet crude and unexercised. But they actually do injury to the
judgement of taste if they draw attention to themselves as the grounds
for judging of beauty. So far are they from adding to beauty that they
must only be admitted by indulgence as aliens; and provided always that
they do not disturb the beautiful form, in cases when taste is yet weak
and untrained.

In painting, sculpture, and in all the formative arts--in architecture,
and horticulture, so far as they are beautiful arts--the _delineation_
is the essential thing; and here it is not what gratifies in sensation
but what pleases by means of its form that is fundamental for taste.
The colours which light up the sketch belong to the charm; they may
indeed enliven[28] the object for sensation, but they cannot make it
worthy of contemplation and beautiful. In most cases they are rather
limited by the requirements of the beautiful form; and even where charm
is permissible it is ennobled solely by this.

Every form of the objects of sense (both of external sense and also
mediately of internal) is either _figure_ or _play_. In the latter case
it is either play of figures (in space, viz. pantomime and dancing), or
the mere play of sensations (in time). The _charm_ of colours or of the
pleasant tones of an instrument may be added; but the _delineation_
in the first case and the composition in the second constitute the
proper object of the pure judgement of taste. To say that the purity
of colours and of tones, or their variety and contrast, seems to add
to beauty, does not mean that they supply a homogeneous addition to
our satisfaction in the form because they are pleasant in themselves;
but they do so, because they make the form more exactly, definitely,
and completely, intuitible, and besides by their charm [excite the
representation, whilst they[29]] awaken and fix our attention on the
object itself.

Even what we call _ornaments_ [parerga[29]], _i.e._ those things which
do not belong to the complete representation of the object internally
as elements but only externally as complements, and which augment the
satisfaction of taste, do so only by their form; as for example [the
frames of pictures,[29] or] the draperies of statues or the colonnades
of palaces. But if the ornament does not itself consist in beautiful
form, and if it is used as a golden frame is used, merely to recommend
the painting by its _charm_, it is then called _finery_ and injures
genuine beauty.

_Emotion_, _i.e._ a sensation in which pleasantness is produced by
means of a momentary checking and a consequent more powerful outflow of
the vital force, does not belong at all to beauty. But sublimity [with
which the feeling of emotion is bound up[29]] requires a different
standard of judgement from that which is at the foundation of taste;
and thus a pure judgement of taste has for its determining ground
neither charm nor emotion, in a word, no sensation as the material of
the aesthetical judgement.

§ 15. _The judgement of taste is quite independent of the concept of

_Objective_ purposiveness can only be cognised by means of the
reference of the manifold to a definite purpose, and therefore only
through a concept. From this alone it is plain that the Beautiful, the
judging of which has at its basis a merely formal purposiveness, _i.e._
a purposiveness without purpose, is quite independent of the concept of
the Good; because the latter presupposes an objective purposiveness,
_i.e._ the reference of the object to a definite purpose.

Objective purposiveness is either external, _i.e._ the _utility_, or
internal, _i.e._ the _perfection_ of the object. That the satisfaction
in an object, on account of which we call it beautiful, cannot rest on
the representation of its utility, is sufficiently obvious from the two
preceding sections; because in that case it would not be an immediate
satisfaction in the object, which is the essential condition of a
judgement about beauty. But objective internal purposiveness, _i.e._
perfection, comes nearer to the predicate of beauty; and it has been
regarded by celebrated philosophers[30] as the same as beauty, with the
proviso, _if it is thought in a confused way_. It is of the greatest
importance in a Critique of Taste to decide whether beauty can thus
actually be resolved into the concept of perfection.

To judge of objective purposiveness we always need not only the
concept of a purpose, but (if that purposiveness is not to be external
utility but internal) the concept of an internal purpose which shall
contain the ground of the internal possibility of the object. Now
as a purpose in general is that whose _concept_ can be regarded as
the ground of the possibility of the object itself; so, in order to
represent objective purposiveness in a thing, the concept of _what sort
of thing it is to be_ must come first. The agreement of the manifold
in it with this concept (which furnishes the rule for combining the
manifold) is the _qualitative perfection_ of the thing. Quite different
from this is _quantitative_ perfection, the completeness of a thing
after its kind, which is a mere concept of magnitude (of totality).[31]
In this _what the thing ought to be_ is conceived as already
determined, and it is only asked if it has _all_ its requisites. The
formal [element] in the representation of a thing, _i.e._ the agreement
of the manifold with a unity (it being undetermined what this ought
to be), gives to cognition no objective purposiveness whatever. For
since abstraction is made of this unity as _purpose_ (what the thing
ought to be), nothing remains but the subjective purposiveness of
the representations in the mind of the intuiting subject. And this,
although it furnishes a certain purposiveness of the representative
state of the subject, and so a facility of apprehending a given form
by the Imagination, yet furnishes no perfection of an Object, since
the Object is not here conceived by means of the concept of a purpose.
For example, if in a forest I come across a plot of sward, round which
trees stand in a circle, and do not then represent to myself a purpose,
viz. that it is intended to serve for country dances, not the least
concept of perfection is furnished by the mere form. But to represent
to oneself a formal _objective_ purposiveness without purpose, _i.e._
the mere form of a _perfection_ (without any matter and without
the _concept_ of that with which it is accordant, even if it were
merely the Idea of conformity to law in general[32]) is a veritable

Now the judgement of taste is an aesthetical judgement, _i.e._ such
as rests on subjective grounds, the determining ground of which
cannot be a concept, and consequently cannot be the concept of a
definite purpose. Therefore in beauty, regarded as a formal subjective
purposiveness, there is in no way thought a perfection of the object,
as a would-be formal purposiveness, which yet is objective. And thus to
distinguish between the concepts of the Beautiful and the Good, as if
they were only different in logical form, the first being a confused,
the second a clear concept of perfection, but identical in content and
origin, is quite fallacious. For then there would be no _specific_
difference between them, but a judgement of taste would be as much a
cognitive judgement as the judgement by which a thing is described as
good; just as when the ordinary man says that fraud is unjust he bases
his judgement on confused grounds, whilst the philosopher bases it
on clear grounds, but both on identical principles of Reason. I have
already, however, said that an aesthetical judgement is unique of its
kind, and gives absolutely no cognition (not even a confused cognition)
of the Object; this is only supplied by a logical judgement. On the
contrary, it simply refers the representation, by which an Object is
given, to the subject; and brings to our notice no characteristic
of the object, but only the purposive form in the determination of
the representative powers which are occupying themselves therewith.
The judgement is called aesthetical just because its determining
ground is not a concept, but the feeling (of internal sense) of that
harmony in the play of the mental powers, so far as it can be felt in
sensation. On the other hand, if we wish to call confused concepts and
the objective judgement based on them, aesthetical, we shall have an
Understanding judging sensibly or a Sense representing its Objects by
means of concepts [both of which are contradictory.[33]] The faculty
of concepts, be they confused or clear, is the Understanding; and
although Understanding has to do with the judgement of taste, as an
aesthetical judgement (as it has with all judgements), yet it has to
do with it not as a faculty by which an object is cognised, but as the
faculty which determines the judgement and its representation (without
any concept) in accordance with its relation to the subject and the
subject’s internal feeling, in so far as this judgement may be possible
in accordance with a universal rule.

§ 16. _The judgement of taste, by which an object is declared to be
beautiful under the condition of a definite concept, is not pure_

There are two kinds of beauty; free beauty (_pulchritudo vaga_)
or merely dependent beauty (_pulchritudo adhaerens_). The first
presupposes no concept of what the object ought to be; the second
does presuppose such a concept and the perfection of the object in
accordance therewith. The first is called the (self-subsistent)
beauty of this or that thing; the second, as dependent upon a concept
(conditioned beauty), is ascribed to Objects which come under the
concept of a particular purpose.

Flowers are free natural beauties. Hardly any one but a botanist
knows what sort of a thing a flower ought to be; and even he, though
recognising in the flower the reproductive organ of the plant, pays no
regard to this natural purpose if he is passing judgement on the flower
by Taste. There is then at the basis of this judgement no perfection
of any kind, no internal purposiveness, to which the collection of the
manifold is referred. Many birds (such as the parrot, the humming bird,
the bird of paradise), and many sea shells are beauties in themselves,
which do not belong to any object determined in respect of its purpose
by concepts, but please freely and in themselves. So also delineations
_à la grecque_, foliage for borders or wall-papers, mean nothing
in themselves; they represent nothing--no Object under a definite
concept,--and are free beauties. We can refer to the same class what
are called in music phantasies (_i.e._ pieces without any theme), and
in fact all music without words.

In the judging of a free beauty (according to the mere form) the
judgement of taste is pure. There is presupposed no concept of any
purpose, for which the manifold should serve the given Object, and
which therefore is to be represented therein. By such a concept the
freedom of the Imagination which disports itself in the contemplation
of the figure would be only limited.

But human beauty (_i.e._ of a man, a woman, or a child), the beauty of
a horse, or a building (be it church, palace, arsenal, or summer-house)
presupposes a concept of the purpose which determines what the thing is
to be, and consequently a concept of its perfection; it is therefore
adherent beauty. Now as the combination of the Pleasant (in sensation)
with Beauty, which properly is only concerned with form, is a hindrance
to the purity of the judgement of taste; so also is its purity injured
by the combination with Beauty of the Good (viz. that manifold which is
good for the thing itself in accordance with its purpose).

We could add much to a building which would immediately please the eye,
if only it were not to be a church. We could adorn a figure with all
kinds of spirals and light but regular lines, as the New Zealanders do
with their tattooing, if only it were not the figure of a human being.
And again this could have much finer features and a more pleasing and
gentle cast of countenance provided it were not intended to represent a
man, much less a warrior.

Now the satisfaction in the manifold of a thing in reference to the
internal purpose which determines its possibility is a satisfaction
grounded on a concept; but the satisfaction in beauty is such as
presupposes no concept, but is immediately bound up with the
representation through which the object is given (not through which it
is thought). If now the judgement of Taste in respect of the beauty
of a thing is made dependent on the purpose in its manifold, like a
judgement of Reason, and thus limited, it is no longer a free and pure
judgement of Taste.

It is true that taste gains by this combination of aesthetical with
intellectual satisfaction, inasmuch as it becomes fixed; and though
it is not universal, yet in respect to certain purposively determined
Objects it becomes possible to prescribe rules for it. These, however,
are not rules of taste, but merely rules for the unification of Taste
with Reason, _i.e._ of the Beautiful with the Good, by which the former
becomes available as an instrument of design in respect of the latter.
Thus the tone of mind which is self-maintaining and of subjective
universal validity is subordinated to the way of thinking which can
be maintained only by painful resolve, but is of objective universal
validity. Properly speaking, however, perfection gains nothing by
beauty or beauty by perfection; but, when we compare the representation
by which an object is given to us with the Object (as regards what it
ought to be) by means of a concept, we cannot avoid considering along
with it the sensation in the subject. And thus when both states of mind
are in harmony our _whole faculty_ of representative power gains.

A judgement of taste, then, in respect of an object with a definite
internal purpose, can only be pure, if either the person judging
has no concept of this purpose, or else abstracts from it in his
judgement. Such a person, although forming an accurate judgement of
taste in judging of the object as free beauty, would yet by another
who considers the beauty in it only as a dependent attribute (who looks
to the purpose of the object) be blamed, and accused of false taste;
although both are right in their own way, the one in reference to what
he has before his eyes, the other in reference to what he has in his
thought. By means of this distinction we can settle many disputes about
beauty between judges of taste; by showing that the one is speaking of
free, the other of dependent, beauty,--that the first is making a pure,
the second an applied, judgement of taste.

§ 17. _Of the Ideal of beauty_

There can be no objective rule of taste which shall determine by
means of concepts what is beautiful. For every judgement from this
source is aesthetical; _i.e._ the feeling of the subject, and not
a concept of the Object, is its determining ground. To seek for a
principle of taste which shall furnish, by means of definite concepts,
a universal criterion of the beautiful, is fruitless trouble; because
what is sought is impossible and self-contradictory. The universal
communicability of sensation (satisfaction or dissatisfaction) without
the aid of a concept--the agreement, as far as is possible, of all
times and peoples as regards this feeling in the representation of
certain objects--this is the empirical criterion, although weak and
hardly sufficing for probability, of the derivation of a taste, thus
confirmed by examples, from the deep-lying grounds of agreement common
to all men, in judging of the forms under which objects are given to

Hence, we consider some products of taste as _exemplary_. Not that
taste can be acquired by imitating others; for it must be an original
faculty. He who imitates a model shows, no doubt, in so far as he
attains to it, skill; but only shows taste in so far as he can judge
of this model itself.[34] It follows from hence that the highest
model, the archetype of taste, is a mere Idea, which every one must
produce in himself; and according to which he must judge every Object
of taste, every example of judgement by taste, and even the taste
of every one. _Idea_ properly means a rational concept, and _Ideal_
the representation of an individual being, regarded as adequate to
an Idea.[35] Hence that archetype of taste, which certainly rests on
the indeterminate Idea that Reason has of a maximum, but which cannot
be represented by concepts, but only in an individual presentation,
is better called the Ideal of the beautiful. Although we are not in
possession of this, we yet strive to produce it in ourselves. But
it can only be an Ideal of the Imagination, because it rests on a
presentation and not on concepts, and the Imagination is the faculty of
presentation.--How do we arrive at such an Ideal of beauty? _A priori_,
or empirically? Moreover, what species of the beautiful is susceptible
of an Ideal?

First, it is well to remark that the beauty for which an Ideal is to
be sought cannot be _vague_ beauty, but is _fixed_ by a concept of
objective purposiveness; and thus it cannot appertain to the Object
of a quite pure judgement of taste, but to that of a judgement of
taste which is in part intellectual. That is, in whatever grounds of
judgement an Ideal is to be found, an Idea of Reason in accordance with
definite concepts must lie at its basis; which determines _a priori_
the purpose on which the internal possibility of the object rests.
An Ideal of beautiful flowers, of a beautiful piece of furniture,
of a beautiful view, is inconceivable. But neither can an Ideal be
represented of a beauty dependent on definite purposes, _e.g._ of a
beautiful dwelling-house, a beautiful tree, a beautiful garden, etc.;
presumably because their purpose is not sufficiently determined and
fixed by the concept, and thus the purposiveness is nearly as free as
in the case of _vague_ beauty. The only being which has the purpose of
its existence in itself is _man_, who can determine his purposes by
Reason; or, where he must receive them from external perception, yet
can compare them with essential and universal purposes, and can judge
this their accordance aesthetically. This _man_ is, then, alone of all
objects in the world, susceptible of an Ideal of _beauty_; as it is
only _humanity_ in his person, as an intelligence, that is susceptible
of the Ideal of _perfection_.

But there are here two elements. _First_, there is the aesthetical
_normal Idea_, which is an individual intuition (of the Imagination),
representing the standard of our judgement [upon man] as a thing
belonging to a particular animal species. _Secondly_, there is the
_rational Idea_ which makes the purposes of humanity, so far as they
cannot be sensibly represented, the principle for judging of a figure
through which, as their phenomenal effect, those purposes are revealed.
The normal Idea of the figure of an animal of a particular race must
take its elements from experience. But the greatest purposiveness
in the construction of the figure, that would be available for the
universal standard of aesthetical judgement upon each individual of
this species--the image which is as it were designedly at the basis of
nature’s Technic, to which only the whole race and not any isolated
individual is adequate--this lies merely in the Idea of the judging
[subject]. And this, with its proportions, as an aesthetical Idea, can
be completely presented _in concreto_ in a model. In order to make
intelligible in some measure (for who can extract her whole secret
from nature?) how this comes to pass, we shall attempt a psychological

We must remark that, in a way quite incomprehensible by us, the
Imagination can not only recall, on occasion, the signs for concepts
long past, but can also reproduce the image of the figure of the object
out of an unspeakable number of objects of different kinds or even of
the same kind. Further, if the mind is concerned with comparisons, the
Imagination can, in all probability, actually though unconsciously let
one image glide into another, and thus by the concurrence of several of
the same kind come by an average, which serves as the common measure
of all. Every one has seen a thousand full-grown men. Now if you wish
to judge of their normal size, estimating it by means of comparison,
the Imagination (as I think) allows a great number of images (perhaps
the whole thousand) to fall on one another. If I am allowed to apply
here the analogy of optical presentation, it is in the space where
most of them are combined and inside the contour, where the place is
illuminated with the most vivid colours, that the _average size_ is
cognisable; which, both in height and breadth, is equally far removed
from the extreme bounds of the greatest and smallest stature. And this
is the stature of a beautiful man. (We could arrive at the same thing
mechanically, by adding together all thousand magnitudes, heights,
breadths, and thicknesses, and dividing the sum by a thousand. But the
Imagination does this by means of a dynamical effect, which arises
from the various impressions of such figures on the organ of internal
sense.) If now in a similar way for this average man we seek the
average head, for this head the average nose, etc., such figure is at
the basis of the normal Idea in the country where the comparison is
instituted. Thus necessarily under these empirical conditions a negro
must have a different normal Idea of the beauty of the [human figure]
from a white man, a Chinaman a different normal Idea from a European,
etc. And the same is the case with the model of a beautiful horse or
dog (of a certain breed).--This _normal Idea_ is not derived from
proportions got from experience [and regarded] _as definite rules_; but
in accordance with it rules for judging become in the first instance
possible. It is the image for the whole race, which floats among all
the variously different intuitions of individuals, which nature takes
as archetype in her productions of the same species, but which seems
not to be fully reached in any individual case. It is by no means the
whole _archetype of beauty_ in the race, but only the form constituting
the indispensable condition of all beauty, and thus merely
_correctness_ in the [mental] presentation of the race. It is, like the
celebrated _Doryphorus_ of _Polycletus_,[36] the _rule_ (_Myron’s_[37]
Cow might also be used thus for its kind). It can therefore contain
nothing specifically characteristic, for otherwise it would not be
the _normal Idea_ for the race. Its presentation pleases, not by its
beauty, but merely because it contradicts no condition, under which
alone a thing of this kind can be beautiful. The presentation is merely

We must yet distinguish the _normal Idea_ of the beautiful from the
_Ideal_, which latter, on grounds already alleged, we can only expect
in the _human_ figure. In this the Ideal consists in the expression
of the _moral_, without which the object would not please universally
and thus positively (not merely negatively in a correct presentation).
The visible expression of moral Ideas that rule men inwardly, can
indeed only be got from experience; but to make its connexion with
all which our Reason unites with the morally good in the Idea of the
highest purposiveness,--goodness of heart, purity, strength, peace,
etc.,--visible as it were in bodily manifestation (as the effect of
that which is internal), requires a union of pure Ideas of Reason with
great imaginative power, even in him who wishes to judge of it, still
more in him who wishes to present it. The correctness of such an Ideal
of beauty is shown by its permitting no sensible charm to mingle with
the satisfaction in the Object and yet allowing us to take a great
interest therein. This shows that a judgement in accordance with such
a standard can never be purely aesthetical, and that a judgement in
accordance with an Ideal of beauty is not a mere judgement of taste.


_Beauty_ is the form of the _purposiveness_ of an object, so far as
this is perceived in it _without any representation of a purpose_.[39]



§ 18. _What the modality in a judgement of taste is_

I can say of every representation that it is at least _possible_
that (as a cognition) it should be bound up with a pleasure. Of a
representation that I call _pleasant_ I say that it _actually_ excites
pleasure in me. But the _beautiful_ we think as having a _necessary_
reference to satisfaction. Now this necessity is of a peculiar kind.
It is not a theoretical objective necessity; in which case it would be
cognised _a priori_ that every one _will feel_ this satisfaction in
the object called beautiful by me. It is not a practical necessity;
in which case, by concepts of a pure rational will serving as a rule
for freely acting beings, the satisfaction is the necessary result of
an objective law and only indicates that we absolutely (without any
further design) ought to act in a certain way. But the necessity which
is thought in an aesthetical judgement can only be called _exemplary_;
_i.e._ a necessity of the assent of _all_ to a judgement which is
regarded as the example of a universal rule that we cannot state. Since
an aesthetical judgement is not an objective cognitive judgement, this
necessity cannot be derived from definite concepts, and is therefore
not apodictic. Still less can it be inferred from the universality of
experience (of a complete agreement of judgements as to the beauty
of a certain object). For not only would experience hardly furnish
sufficiently numerous vouchers for this; but also, on empirical
judgements we can base no concept of the necessity of these judgements.

§ 19. _The subjective necessity, which we ascribe to the judgement of
taste, is conditioned_

The judgement of taste requires the agreement of every one; and he
who describes anything as beautiful claims that every one _ought_
to give his approval to the object in question and also describe it
as beautiful. The _ought_ in the aesthetical judgement is therefore
pronounced in accordance with all the data which are required for
judging and yet is only conditioned. We ask for the agreement of every
one else, because we have for it a ground that is common to all; and we
could count on this agreement, provided we were always sure that the
case was correctly subsumed under that ground as rule of assent.

§ 20. _The condition of necessity which a judgement of taste asserts is
the Idea of a common sense_

If judgements of taste (like cognitive judgements) had a definite
objective principle, then the person who lays them down in accordance
with this latter would claim an unconditioned necessity for his
judgement. If they were devoid of all principle, like those of the
mere taste of sense, we would not allow them in thought any necessity
whatever. Hence they must have a subjective principle which determines
what pleases or displeases only by feeling and not by concepts, but
yet with universal validity. But such a principle could only be
regarded as a _common sense_, which is essentially different from
common Understanding which people sometimes call common Sense (_sensus
communis_); for the latter does not judge by feeling but always
by concepts, although ordinarily only as by obscurely represented

Hence it is only under the presupposition that there is a common sense
(by which we do not understand an external sense, but the effect
resulting from the free play of our cognitive powers)--it is only under
this presupposition, I say, that the judgement of taste can be laid

§ 21. _Have we ground for presupposing a common sense?_

Cognitions and judgements must, along with the conviction that
accompanies them, admit of universal communicability; for otherwise
there would be no harmony between them and the Object, and they would
be collectively a mere subjective play of the representative powers,
exactly as scepticism would have it. But if cognitions are to admit of
communicability, so must also the state of mind,--_i.e._ the accordance
of the cognitive powers with a cognition generally, and that proportion
of them which is suitable for a representation (by which an object is
given to us) in order that a cognition may be made out of it--admit of
universal communicability. For without this as the subjective condition
of cognition, knowledge as an effect could not arise. This actually
always takes place when a given object by means of Sense excites the
Imagination to collect the manifold, and the Imagination in its turn
excites the Understanding to bring about a unity of this collective
process in concepts. But this accordance of the cognitive powers has
a different proportion according to the variety of the Objects which
are given. However, it must be such that this internal relation, by
which one mental faculty is excited by another, shall be generally the
most beneficial for both faculties in respect of cognition (of given
objects); and this accordance can only be determined by feeling (not
according to concepts). Since now this accordance itself must admit
of universal communicability, and consequently also our feeling of it
(in a given representation), and since the universal communicability
of a feeling presupposes a common sense, we have grounds for assuming
this latter. And this common sense is assumed without relying on
psychological observations, but simply as the necessary condition of
the universal communicability of our knowledge, which is presupposed in
every Logic and in every principle of knowledge that is not sceptical.

§ 22. _The necessity of the universal agreement that is thought in a
judgement of taste is a subjective necessity, which is represented as
objective under the presupposition of a common sense_

In all judgements by which we describe anything as beautiful, we
allow no one to be of another opinion; without however grounding our
judgement on concepts but only on our feeling, which we therefore
place at its basis not as a private, but as a communal feeling.[40]
Now this common sense cannot be grounded on experience; for it aims at
justifying judgements which contain an _ought_. It does not say that
every one _will_ agree with my judgement, but that he _ought_. And so
common sense, as an example of whose judgement I here put forward my
judgement of taste and on account of which I attribute to the latter an
_exemplary_ validity, is a mere ideal norm, under the supposition of
which I have a right to make into a rule for every one a judgement that
accords therewith, as well as the satisfaction in an Object expressed
in such judgement. For the principle, which concerns the agreement of
different judging persons, although only subjective, is yet assumed as
subjectively universal (an Idea necessary for every one); and thus can
claim universal assent (as if it were objective) provided we are sure
that we have correctly subsumed [the particulars] under it.

This indeterminate norm of a common sense is actually presupposed by
us; as is shown by our claim to lay down judgements of taste. Whether
there is in fact such a common sense, as a constitutive principle of
the possibility of experience, or whether a yet higher principle of
Reason makes it only into a regulative principle for producing in us
a common sense for higher purposes: whether therefore Taste is an
original and natural faculty, or only the Idea of an artificial one yet
to be acquired, so that a judgement of taste with its assumption of a
universal assent in fact, is only a requirement of Reason for producing
such harmony of sentiment; whether the “ought,” _i.e._ the objective
necessity of the confluence of the feeling of any one man with that of
every other, only signifies the possibility of arriving at this accord,
and the judgement of taste only affords an example of the application
of this principle: these questions we have neither the wish nor the
power to investigate as yet; we have now only to resolve the faculty of
taste into its elements in order to unite them at last in the Idea of
a common sense.


The _beautiful_ is that which without any concept is cognised as the
object of a _necessary_ satisfaction.


If we seek the result of the preceding analysis we find that everything
runs up into this concept of Taste, that it is a faculty for judging
an object in reference to the Imagination’s _free conformity to law_.
Now if in the judgement of taste the Imagination must be considered in
its freedom, it is in the first place not regarded as reproductive,
as it is subject to the laws of association, but as productive and
spontaneous (as the author of arbitrary forms of possible intuition).
And although in the apprehension of a given object of sense it is
tied to a definite form of this Object, and so far has no free play
(such as that of poetry) yet it may readily be conceived that the
object can furnish it with such a form containing a collection of
the manifold, as the Imagination itself, if it were left free, would
project in accordance with the _conformity to law of the Understanding_
in general. But that the _imaginative power_ should be _free_ and yet
_of itself conformed to law_, _i.e._ bringing autonomy with it, is a
contradiction. The Understanding alone gives the law. If, however,
the Imagination is compelled to proceed according to a definite law,
its product in respect of form is determined by concepts as to what
it ought to be. But then, as is above shown, the satisfaction is not
that in the Beautiful, but in the Good (in perfection, at any rate
in mere formal perfection); and the judgement is not a judgement of
taste. Hence it is a conformity to law without a law; and a subjective
agreement of the Imagination and Understanding,--without such an
objective agreement as there is when the representation is referred
to a definite concept of an object,--can subsist along with the
free conformity to law of the Understanding (which is also called
purposiveness without purpose) and with the peculiar feature of a
judgement of taste.

Now geometrically regular figures, such as a circle, a square, a
cube, etc., are commonly adduced by critics of taste as the simplest
and most indisputable examples of beauty; and yet they are called
regular, because we can only represent them by regarding them as mere
presentations of a definite concept which prescribes the rule for the
figure (according to which alone it is possible). One of these two must
be wrong, either that judgement of the critic which ascribes beauty to
the said figures, or ours, which regards purposiveness apart from a
concept as requisite for beauty.

Hardly any one will say that a man must have taste in order that he
should find more satisfaction in a circle than in a scrawled outline,
in an equilateral and equiangular quadrilateral than in one which is
oblique, irregular, and as it were deformed, for this belongs to the
ordinary Understanding and is not Taste at all. Where, _e.g._ our
design is to judge of the size of an area, or to make intelligible
the relation of the parts of it, when divided, to one another and
to the whole, then regular figures and those of the simplest kind
are needed, and the satisfaction does not rest immediately on
the aspect of the figure, but on its availability for all kinds
of possible designs. A room whose walls form oblique angles, or a
parterre of this kind, even every violation of symmetry in the figure
of animals (_e.g._ being one-eyed), of buildings, or of flower beds,
displeases, because it contradicts the purpose of the thing, not only
practically in respect of a definite use of it, but also when we pass
judgement on it as regards any possible design. This is not the case
in the judgement of taste, which when pure combines satisfaction
or dissatisfaction,--without any reference to its use or to a
purpose,--with the mere _consideration_ of the object.

The regularity which leads to the concept of an object is indeed the
indispensable condition (_conditio sine qua non_) for grasping the
object in a single representation and determining the manifold in its
form. This determination is a purpose in respect of cognition, and
in reference to this it is always bound up with satisfaction (which
accompanies the execution of every, even problematical, design). There
is here, however, merely the approval of the solution satisfying a
problem, and not a free and indefinite purposive entertainment of the
mental powers with what we call beautiful, where the Understanding is
at the service of Imagination and not _vice versa_.

In a thing that is only possible by means of design,--a building, or
even an animal,--the regularity consisting in symmetry must express
the unity of the intuition that accompanies the concept of purpose,
and this regularity belongs to cognition. But where only a free play
of the representative powers (under the condition, however, that the
Understanding is to suffer no shock thereby) is to be kept up, in
pleasure gardens, room decorations, all kinds of tasteful furniture,
etc., regularity that shows constraint is avoided as much as possible.
Thus in the English taste in gardens, or in bizarre taste in furniture,
the freedom of the Imagination is pushed almost near to the grotesque,
and in this separation from every constraint of rule we have the case,
where taste can display its greatest perfection in the enterprises of
the Imagination.

All stiff regularity (such as approximates to mathematical regularity)
has something in it repugnant to taste; for our entertainment in
the contemplation of it lasts for no length of time, but it rather,
in so far as it has not expressly in view cognition or a definite
practical purpose, produces weariness. On the other hand that with
which Imagination can play in an unstudied and purposive manner
is always new to us, and one does not get tired of looking at it.
_Marsden_ in his description of Sumatra makes the remark that the
free beauties of nature surround the spectator everywhere and thus
lose their attraction for him.[41] On the other hand a pepper-garden,
where the stakes on which this plant twines itself form parallel rows,
had much attractiveness for him, if he met with it in the middle of a
forest. And hence he infers that wild beauty, apparently irregular,
only pleases as a variation from the regular beauty of which one has
seen enough. But he need only have made the experiment of spending
one day in a pepper-garden, to have been convinced that, once the
Understanding, by the aid of this regularity, has put itself in accord
with the order that it always needs, the object will not entertain for
long,--nay rather it will impose a burdensome constraint upon the
Imagination. On the other hand, nature, which there is prodigal in
its variety even to luxuriance, that is subjected to no constraint of
artificial rules, can supply constant food for taste.--Even the song
of birds, which we can bring under no musical rule, seems to have more
freedom, and therefore more for taste, than a song of a human being
which is produced in accordance with all the rules of music; for we
very much sooner weary of the latter, if it is repeated often and at
length. Here, however, we probably confuse our participation in the
mirth of a little creature that we love, with the beauty of its song;
for if this were exactly imitated by man (as sometimes the notes of the
nightingale are)[42] it would seem to our ear quite devoid of taste.

Again, beautiful objects are to be distinguished from beautiful
views of objects (which often on account of their distance cannot be
clearly recognised). In the latter case taste appears not so much in
what the Imagination _apprehends_ in this field, as in the impulse it
thus gets to _fiction_, _i.e._ in the peculiar fancies with which the
mind entertains itself, whilst it is continually being aroused by the
variety which strikes the eye. An illustration is afforded, _e.g._
by the sight of the changing shapes of a fire on the hearth or of a
rippling brook; neither of these has beauty, but they bring with them a
charm for the Imagination, because they entertain it in free play.



§ 23. _Transition from the faculty which judges of the Beautiful to
that which judges of the Sublime_

The Beautiful and the Sublime agree in this, that both please in
themselves. Further, neither presupposes a judgement of sense nor
a judgement logically determined, but a judgement of reflection.
Consequently the satisfaction [belonging to them] does not depend
on a sensation, as in the case of the Pleasant, nor on a definite
concept, as in the case of the Good; but it is nevertheless referred
to concepts although indeterminate ones. And so the satisfaction is
connected with the mere presentation [of the object] or with the
faculty of presentation; so that in the case of a given intuition this
faculty or the Imagination is considered as in agreement with the
_faculty of concepts_ of Understanding or Reason (in its furtherance of
these latter). Hence both kinds of judgements are _singular_, and yet
announce themselves as universally valid for every subject; although
they lay claim merely to the feeling of pleasure and not to any
knowledge of the object.

But there are also remarkable differences between the two. The
Beautiful in nature is connected with the form of the object, which
consists in having boundaries. The Sublime, on the other hand, is to
be found in a formless object, so far as in it or by occasion of it
_boundlessness_ is represented, and yet its totality is also present to
thought. Thus the Beautiful seems to be regarded as the presentation
of an indefinite concept of Understanding; the Sublime as that of a
like concept of Reason. Therefore the satisfaction in the one case is
bound up with the representation of _quality_, in the other with that
of _quantity_. And the latter satisfaction is quite different in kind
from the former, for this [the Beautiful[43]] directly brings with
it a feeling of the furtherance of life, and thus is compatible with
charms and with the play of the Imagination. But the other [the feeling
of the Sublime[43]] is a pleasure that arises only indirectly; viz.
it is produced by the feeling of a momentary checking of the vital
powers and a consequent stronger outflow of them, so that it seems to
be regarded as emotion,--not play, but earnest in the exercise of the
Imagination.--Hence it is incompatible with charms; and as the mind
is not merely attracted by the object but is ever being alternately
repelled, the satisfaction in the sublime does not so much involve a
positive pleasure as admiration or respect, which rather deserves to be
called negative pleasure.

But the inner and most important distinction between the Sublime
and Beautiful is, certainly, as follows. (Here, as we are entitled
to do, we only bring under consideration in the first instance the
sublime in natural Objects; for the sublime of Art is always limited
by the conditions of agreement with Nature.) Natural beauty (which is
self-subsisting) brings with it a purposiveness in its form by which
the object seems to be, as it were, pre-adapted to our Judgement, and
thus constitutes in itself an object of satisfaction. On the other
hand, that which excites in us, without any reasoning about it, but in
the mere apprehension of it, the feeling of the sublime, may appear as
regards its form to violate purpose in respect of the Judgement, to be
unsuited to our presentative faculty, and, as it were, to do violence
to the Imagination; and yet it is judged to be only the more sublime.

Now from this we may see that in general we express ourselves
incorrectly if we call any _object of nature_ sublime, although we can
quite correctly call many objects of nature beautiful. For how can that
be marked by an expression of approval, which is apprehended in itself
as being a violation of purpose? All that we can say is that the object
is fit for the presentation of a sublimity which can be found in the
mind; for no sensible form can contain the sublime properly so-called.
This concerns only Ideas of the Reason, which, although no adequate
presentation is possible for them, by this inadequacy that admits of
sensible presentation, are aroused and summoned into the mind. Thus the
wide ocean, agitated by the storm, cannot be called sublime. Its aspect
is horrible; and the mind must be already filled with manifold Ideas
if it is to be determined by such an intuition to a feeling itself
sublime, as it is incited to abandon sensibility and to busy itself
with Ideas that involve higher purposiveness.

Self-subsisting natural beauty discovers to us a Technic of nature,
which represents it as a system in accordance with laws, the principle
of which we do not find in the whole of our faculty of Understanding.
That principle is the principle of purposiveness, in respect of the use
of our Judgement in regard to phenomena; [which requires] that these
must not be judged as merely belonging to nature in its purposeless
mechanism, but also as belonging to something analogous to art. It,
therefore, actually extends, not indeed our cognition of natural
Objects, but our concept of nature; [which is now not regarded] as
mere mechanism but as art. This leads to profound investigations as to
the possibility of such a form. But in what we are accustomed to call
sublime there is nothing at all that leads to particular objective
principles and forms of nature corresponding to them; so far from it
that for the most part nature excites the Ideas of the sublime in its
chaos or in its wildest and most irregular disorder and desolation,
provided size and might are perceived. Hence, we see that the concept
of the Sublime is not nearly so important or rich in consequences
as the concept of the Beautiful; and that in general it displays
nothing purposive in nature itself, but only in that possible use of
our intuitions of it by which there is produced in us a feeling of
a purposiveness quite independent of nature. We must seek a ground
external to ourselves for the Beautiful of nature; but seek it for
the Sublime merely in ourselves and in our attitude of thought which
introduces sublimity into the representation of nature. This is a
very needful preliminary remark, which quite separates the Ideas of
the sublime from that of a purposiveness of _nature_, and makes the
theory of the sublime a mere appendix to the aesthetical judging of
that purposiveness; because by means of it no particular form is
represented in nature, but there is only developed a purposive use
which the Imagination makes of its representation.

§ 24. _Of the divisions of an investigation into the feeling of the

As regards the division of the moments of the aesthetical judging of
objects in reference to the feeling of the sublime, the Analytic can
proceed according to the same principle as was adapted in the analysis
of judgements of taste. For as an act of the aesthetical reflective
Judgement, the satisfaction in the Sublime must be represented just as
in the case of the Beautiful,--according to _quantity_ as universally
valid, according to _quality_ as devoid of _interest_, according to
_relation_ as subjective purposiveness, and according to _modality_ as
necessary. And so the method here will not diverge from that of the
preceding section; unless, indeed, we count it a difference that in
the case where the aesthetical Judgement is concerned with the form of
the Object we began with the investigation of its quality, but here,
in view of the formlessness which may belong to what we call sublime,
we shall begin with quantity, as the first moment of the aesthetical
judgement as to the sublime. The reason for this may be seen from the
preceding paragraph.

But the analysis of the Sublime involves a division not needed in the
case of the Beautiful, viz. a division into the _mathematically_ and
the _dynamically sublime_.

For the feeling of the Sublime brings with it as its characteristic
feature a _movement_ of the mind bound up with the judging of the
object, while in the case of the Beautiful taste presupposes and
maintains the mind in _restful_ contemplation. Now this movement
ought to be judged as subjectively purposive (because the sublime
pleases us), and thus it is referred through the Imagination either
to the _faculty of cognition_ or of _desire_. In either reference
the purposiveness of the given representation ought to be judged
only in respect of this _faculty_ (without purpose or interest); but
in the first case it is ascribed to the Object as a _mathematical_
determination of the Imagination, in the second as _dynamical_. And
hence we have this twofold way of representing the sublime.


§ 25. _Explanation of the term “sublime”_

We call that _sublime_ which is _absolutely great_. But to be great,
and to be a great something are quite different concepts (_magnitudo_
and _quantitas_). In like manner to _say simply_ (_simpliciter_)
that anything is _great_ is quite different from saying that it is
_absolutely great_ (_absolute, non comparative magnum_). The latter
is _what is great beyond all comparison_.--What now is meant by the
expression that anything is great or small or of medium size? It is not
a pure concept of Understanding that is thus signified; still less is
it an intuition of Sense, and just as little is it a concept of Reason,
because it brings with it no principle of cognition. It must therefore
be a concept of Judgement or derived from one; and a subjective
purposiveness of the representation in reference to the Judgement must
lie at its basis. That anything is a magnitude (_quantum_) may be
cognised from the thing itself, without any comparison of it with other
things; viz. if there is a multiplicity of the homogeneous constituting
one thing. But to cognise _how great_ it is always requires some other
magnitude as a measure. But because the judging of magnitude depends
not merely on multiplicity (number), but also on the magnitude of the
unit (the measure), and since, to judge of the magnitude of this latter
again requires another as measure with which it may be compared, we
see that the determination of the magnitude of phenomena can supply no
absolute concept whatever of magnitude, but only a comparative one.

If now I say simply that anything is great, it appears that I have no
comparison in view, at least none with an objective measure; because
it is thus not determined at all how great the object is. But although
the standard of comparison is merely subjective, yet the judgement none
the less claims universal assent; “this man is beautiful,” and “he is
tall,” are judgements not limited merely to the judging subject, but,
like theoretical judgements, demanding the assent of every one.

In a judgement by which anything is designated simply as great, it
is not merely meant that the object has a magnitude, but that this
magnitude is superior to that of many other objects of the same kind,
without, however, any exact determination of this superiority. Thus
there is always at the basis of our judgement a standard which we
assume as the same for every one; this, however, is not available for
any logical (mathematically definite) judging of magnitude, but only
for aesthetical judging of the same, because it is a merely subjective
standard lying at the basis of the reflective judgement upon
magnitude. It may be empirical, as, _e.g._ the average size of the men
known to us, of animals of a certain kind, trees, houses, mountains,
etc. Or it may be a standard given _a priori_, which through the
defects of the judging subject is limited by the subjective conditions
of presentation _in concreto_; as, _e.g._ in the practical sphere, the
greatness of a certain virtue, or of the public liberty and justice in
a country; or, in the theoretical sphere, the greatness of the accuracy
or the inaccuracy of an observation or measurement that has been made,

Here it is remarkable that, although we have no interest whatever in an
Object,--_i.e._ its existence is indifferent to us,--yet its mere size,
even if it is considered as formless, may bring a satisfaction with it
that is universally communicable, and that consequently involves the
consciousness of a subjective purposiveness in the use of our cognitive
faculty. This is not indeed a satisfaction in the Object (because
it may be formless), as in the case of the Beautiful, in which the
reflective Judgement finds itself purposively determined in reference
to cognition in general; but [a satisfaction] in the extension of the
Imagination by itself.

If (under the above limitation) we say simply of an object “it is
great,” this is no mathematically definite judgement but a mere
judgement of reflection upon the representation of it, which is
subjectively purposive for a certain use of our cognitive powers in
the estimation of magnitude; and we always then bind up with the
representation a kind of respect, as also a kind of contempt for what
we simply call “small.” Further, the judging of things as great or
small extends to everything, even to all their characteristics; thus
we describe beauty as great or small. The reason of this is to be
sought in the fact that whatever we present in intuition according to
the precept of the Judgement (and thus represent aesthetically) is
always a phenomenon and thus a quantum.

But if we call anything not only great, but absolutely great in every
point of view (great beyond all comparison), _i.e._ sublime, we soon
see that it is not permissible to seek for an adequate standard of this
outside itself, but merely in itself. It is a magnitude which is like
itself alone. It follows hence that the sublime is not to be sought in
the things of nature, but only in our Ideas; but in which of them it
lies must be reserved for the Deduction.

The foregoing explanation can be thus expressed: _the sublime is that
in comparison with which everything else is small_. Here we easily see
that nothing can be given in nature, however great it is judged by us
to be, which could not if considered in another relation be reduced
to the infinitely small; and conversely there is nothing so small,
which does not admit of extension by our Imagination to the greatness
of a world, if compared with still smaller standards. Telescopes have
furnished us with abundant material for making the first remark,
microscopes for the second. Nothing, therefore, which can be an object
of the senses, is, considered on this basis, to be called sublime.
But because there is in our Imagination a striving towards infinite
progress, and in our Reason a claim for absolute totality, regarded as
a real Idea, therefore this very inadequateness for that Idea in our
faculty for estimating the magnitude of things of sense, excites in
us the feeling of a supersensible faculty. And it is not the object
of sense, but the use which the Judgement naturally makes of certain
objects on behalf of this latter feeling, that is absolutely great; and
in comparison every other use is small. Consequently it is the state
of mind produced by a certain representation with which the reflective
Judgement is occupied, and not the Object, that is to be called sublime.

We may therefore append to the preceding formulas explaining the
sublime this other: _the sublime is that, the mere ability to think
which, shows a faculty of the mind surpassing every standard of Sense_.

§ 26. _Of that estimation of the magnitude of natural things which is
requisite for the Idea of the Sublime_

The estimation of magnitude by means of concepts of number (or their
signs in Algebra) is mathematical; but that in mere intuition (by the
measurement of the eye) is aesthetical. Now we can come by definite
concepts of _how great_ a thing is, [only][44] by numbers, of which the
unit is the measure (at all events by series of numbers progressing
to infinity); and so far all logical estimation of magnitude is
mathematical. But since the magnitude of the measure must then be
assumed known, and this again is only to be estimated mathematically
by means of numbers,--the unit of which must be another [smaller]
measure,--we can never have a first or fundamental measure, and
therefore can never have a definite concept of a given magnitude. So
the estimation of the magnitude of the fundamental measure must consist
in this, that we can immediately apprehend it in intuition and use it
by the Imagination for the presentation of concepts of number. That
is, all estimation of the magnitude of the objects of nature is in the
end aesthetical (_i.e._ subjectively and not objectively determined).

Now for the mathematical estimation of magnitude there is, indeed, no
maximum (for the power of numbers extends to infinity); but for its
aesthetical estimation there is always a maximum, and of this I say
that if it is judged as the absolute measure than which no greater is
possible subjectively (for the judging subject), it brings with it the
Idea of the sublime and produces that emotion which no mathematical
estimation of its magnitude by means of numbers can bring about (except
so far as the aesthetical fundamental measure remains vividly in the
Imagination). For the former only presents relative magnitude by means
of comparison with others of the same kind; but the latter presents
magnitude absolutely, so far as the mind can grasp it in an intuition.

In receiving a quantum into the Imagination by intuition, in order
to be able to use it for a measure or as a unit for the estimation
of magnitude by means of numbers, there are two operations of
the Imagination involved: _apprehension_ (_apprehensio_) and
_comprehension_ (_comprehensio aesthetica_). As to apprehension there
is no difficulty, for it can go on _ad infinitum_; but comprehension
becomes harder the further apprehension advances, and soon attains to
its maximum, viz. the aesthetically greatest fundamental measure for
the estimation of magnitude. For when apprehension has gone so far that
the partial representations of sensuous intuition at first apprehended
begin to vanish in the Imagination, whilst this ever proceeds to the
apprehension of others, then it loses as much on the one side as it
gains on the other; and in comprehension there is a maximum beyond
which it cannot go.

Hence can be explained what _Savary_[45] remarks in his account of
Egypt, viz. that we must keep from going very near the Pyramids just
as much as we keep from going too far from them, in order to get the
full emotional effect from their size. For if we are too far away,
the parts to be apprehended (the stones lying one over the other) are
only obscurely represented, and the representation of them produces no
effect upon the aesthetical judgement of the subject. But if we are
very near, the eye requires some time to complete the apprehension of
the tiers from the bottom up to the apex; and then the first tiers are
always partly forgotten before the Imagination has taken in the last,
and so the comprehension of them is never complete.--The same thing
may sufficiently explain the bewilderment or, as it were, perplexity
which, it is said, seizes the spectator on his first entrance into
St. Peter’s at Rome. For there is here a feeling of the inadequacy
of his Imagination for presenting the Ideas of a whole, wherein the
Imagination reaches its maximum, and, in striving to surpass it, sinks
back into itself, by which, however, a kind of emotional satisfaction
is produced.

I do not wish to speak as yet of the ground of this satisfaction,
which is bound up with a representation from which we should least
of all expect it, viz. a representation which lets us remark its
inadequacy and consequently its subjective want of purposiveness for
the Judgement in the estimation of magnitude. I only remark that if
the aesthetical judgement is pure (i.e. _mingled with no teleological
judgement_ or judgement of Reason) and is to be given as a completely
suitable example of the Critique of the _aesthetical_ Judgement, we
must not exhibit the sublime in products of art (_e.g._ buildings,
pillars, etc.) where human purpose determines the form as well as
the size; nor yet in things of nature _the concepts of which bring
with them a definite purpose_ (_e.g._ animals with a known natural
destination); but in rude nature (and in this only in so far as it
does not bring with it any charm or emotion produced by actual danger)
merely as containing magnitude. For in this kind of representation
nature contains nothing monstrous (either magnificent or horrible);
the magnitude that is apprehended may be increased as much as you
wish provided it can be comprehended in a whole by the Imagination.
An object is _monstrous_ if by its size it destroys the purpose which
constitutes the concept of it. But the mere presentation of a concept
is called _colossal_, which is almost too great for any presentation
(bordering on the relatively monstrous); because the purpose of
the presentation of a concept is made harder [to realise] by the
intuition of the object being almost too great for our faculty of
apprehension.--A pure judgement upon the sublime must, however, have
no purpose of the Object as its determining ground, if it is to be
aesthetical and not mixed up with any judgement of Understanding or

       *       *       *       *       *

Because everything which is to give disinterested pleasure to the
merely reflective Judgement must bring with the representation
of it, subjective and, as subjective, universally valid
purposiveness--although no purposiveness of the _form_ of the
object lies (as in the case of the Beautiful) at the ground of the
judgement--the question arises “what is this subjective purposiveness?”
And how does it come to be prescribed as the norm by which a ground
for universally valid satisfaction is supplied in the mere estimation
of magnitude, even in that which is forced up to the point where our
faculty of Imagination is inadequate for the presentation of the
concept of magnitude?

In the process of combination requisite for the estimation of
magnitude, the Imagination proceeds of itself to infinity without
anything hindering it; but the Understanding guides it by means
of concepts of number, for which the Imagination must furnish the
schema. And in this procedure, as belonging to the logical estimation
of magnitude, there is indeed something objectively purposive,--in
accordance with the concept of a purpose (as all measurement is),--but
nothing purposive and pleasing for the aesthetical Judgement. There is
also in this designed purposiveness nothing which would force us to
push the magnitude of the measure, and consequently the _comprehension_
of the manifold in an intuition, to the bounds of the faculty of
Imagination, or as far as ever this can reach in its presentations.
For in the estimation of magnitude by the Understanding (Arithmetic)
we only go to a certain point whether we push the comprehension of
the units up to the number 10 (as in the decimal scale) or only up to
4 (as in the quaternary scale); the further production of magnitude
proceeds by combination or, if the quantum is given in intuition, by
apprehension, but merely by way of progression (not of comprehension)
in accordance with an assumed principle of progression. In this
mathematical estimation of magnitude the Understanding is equally
served and contented whether the Imagination chooses for unit a
magnitude that we can take in in a glance, _e.g._ a foot or rod, or a
German mile or even the earth’s diameter,--of which the apprehension
is indeed possible, but not the comprehension in an intuition of the
Imagination (not possible by _comprehensio aesthetica_, although quite
possible by _comprehensio logica_ in a concept of number). In both
cases the logical estimation of magnitude goes on without hindrance to

But now the mind listens to the voice of Reason which, for every given
magnitude,--even for those that can never be entirely apprehended,
although (in sensible representation) they are judged as entirely
given,--requires totality. Reason consequently desires comprehension in
_one_ intuition, and so the _presentation_ of all these members of a
progressively increasing series. It does not even exempt the infinite
(space and past time) from this requirement; it rather renders it
unavoidable to think the infinite (in the judgement of common Reason)
as _entirely given_ (according to its totality).

But the infinite is absolutely (not merely comparatively) great.
Compared with it everything else (of the same kind of magnitudes) is
small. And what is most important is that to be able only to think it
as _a whole_ indicates a faculty of mind which surpasses every standard
of Sense. For [to represent it sensibly] would require a comprehension
having for unit a standard bearing a definite relation, expressible
in numbers, to the infinite; which is impossible. Nevertheless, _the
bare capability of thinking_ this infinite without contradiction
requires in the human mind a faculty itself supersensible. For it
is only by means of this faculty and its Idea of a noumenon,--which
admits of no intuition, but which yet serves as the substrate for the
intuition of the world, as a mere phenomenon,--that the infinite of
the world of sense, in the pure intellectual estimation of magnitude,
can be _completely_ comprehended _under_ a concept, although in the
mathematical estimation of magnitude by means of _concepts of number_
it can never be completely thought. The faculty of being able to think
the infinite of supersensible intuition as given (in its intelligible
substrate), surpasses every standard of sensibility, and is great
beyond all comparison even with the faculty of mathematical estimation;
not of course in a theoretical point of view and on behalf of the
cognitive faculty, but as an extension of the mind which feels itself
able in another (practical) point of view to go beyond the limit of

Nature is therefore sublime in those of its phenomena, whose intuition
brings with it the Idea of their infinity. This last can only come by
the inadequacy of the greatest effort of our Imagination to estimate
the magnitude of an object. But now in mathematical estimation of
magnitude the Imagination is equal to providing a sufficient measure
for every object; because the numerical concepts of the Understanding,
by means of progression, can make any measure adequate to any given
magnitude. Therefore it must be the _aesthetical_ estimation of
magnitude in which it is felt that the effort towards comprehension
surpasses the power of the Imagination to grasp in a whole of intuition
the progressive apprehension; and at the same time is perceived the
inadequacy of this faculty, unbounded in its progress, for grasping
and using, for the estimation of magnitude, a fundamental measure
which could be made available by the Understanding with little
trouble. Now the proper unchangeable fundamental measure of nature is
its absolute whole; which, regarding nature as a phenomenon, would
be infinity comprehended. But since this fundamental measure is a
self-contradictory concept (on account of the impossibility of the
absolute totality of an endless progress), that magnitude of a natural
Object, on which the Imagination fruitlessly spends its whole faculty
of comprehension, must carry our concept of nature to a supersensible
substrate (which lies at its basis and also at the basis of our faculty
of thought). As this, however, is great beyond all standards of sense,
it makes us judge as _sublime_, not so much the object, as our own
state of mind in the estimation of it.

Therefore, just as the aesthetical Judgement in judging the Beautiful
refers the Imagination in its free play to the _Understanding_, in
order to harmonise it with the _concepts_ of the latter in general
(without any determination of them); so does the same faculty when
judging a thing as Sublime refer itself to the _Reason_ in order that
it may subjectively be in accordance with its _Ideas_ (no matter what
they are):--_i.e._ that it may produce a state of mind conformable
to them and compatible with that brought about by the influence of
definite (practical) Ideas upon feeling.

We hence see also that true sublimity must be sought only in the mind
of the [subject] judging, not in the natural Object, the judgement upon
which occasions this state. Who would call sublime, _e.g._ shapeless
mountain masses piled in wild disorder upon each other with their
pyramids of ice, or the gloomy raging sea? But the mind feels itself
elevated in its own judgement if, while contemplating them without
any reference to their form, and abandoning itself to the Imagination
and to the Reason--which although placed in combination with the
Imagination without any definite purpose, merely extends it--it yet
finds the whole power of the Imagination inadequate to its Ideas.

Examples of the mathematically Sublime of nature in mere intuition are
all the cases in which we are given, not so much a larger numerical
concept as a large unit for the measure of the Imagination (for
shortening the numerical series). A tree, [the height of] which we
estimate with reference to the height of a man, at all events gives
a standard for a mountain; and if this were a mile high, it would
serve as unit for the number expressive of the earth’s diameter, so
that the latter might be made intuitible. The earth’s diameter [would
supply a unit] for the known planetary system; this again for the
Milky Way; and the immeasurable number of milky way systems called
nebulae,--which presumably constitute a system of the same kind among
themselves--lets us expect no bounds here. Now the Sublime in the
aesthetical judging of an immeasurable whole like this lies not so much
in the greatness of the number [of units], as in the fact that in our
progress we ever arrive at yet greater units. To this the systematic
division of the universe contributes, which represents every magnitude
in nature as small in its turn; and represents our Imagination with
its entire freedom from bounds, and with it Nature, as a mere nothing
in comparison with the Ideas of Reason, if it is sought to furnish a
presentation which shall be adequate to them.

§ 27. _Of the quality of the satisfaction in our judgements upon the

The feeling of our incapacity to attain to an Idea, _which is a law for
us_, is RESPECT. Now the Idea of the comprehension of every phenomenon
that can be given us in the intuition of a whole, is an Idea prescribed
to us by a law of Reason, which recognises no other measure, definite,
valid for every one, and invariable, than the absolute whole. But
our Imagination, even in its greatest efforts, in respect of that
comprehension, which we expect from it, of a given object in a whole of
intuition (and thus with reference to the presentation of the Idea of
Reason), exhibits its own limits and inadequacy; although at the same
time it shows that its destination is to make itself adequate to this
Idea regarded as a law. Therefore the feeling of the Sublime in nature
is respect for our own destination, which by a certain subreption we
attribute to an Object of nature (conversion of respect for the Idea of
humanity in our own subject into respect for the Object). This makes
intuitively evident the superiority of the rational determination of
our cognitive faculties to the greatest faculty of our Sensibility.

The feeling of the Sublime is therefore a feeling of pain, arising
from the want of accordance between the aesthetical estimation of
magnitude formed by the Imagination and the estimation of the same
formed by Reason. There is at the same time a pleasure thus excited,
arising from the correspondence with rational Ideas of this very
judgement of the inadequacy of our greatest faculty of Sense; in so
far as it is a law for us to strive after these Ideas. In fact it is
for us a law (of Reason), and belongs to our destination, to estimate
as small, in comparison with Ideas of Reason, everything which nature,
regarded as an object of Sense, contains that is great for us; and
that which arouses in us the feeling of this supersensible destination
agrees with that law. Now the greatest effort of the Imagination in
the presentation of the unit for the estimation of magnitude indicates
a reference to something _absolutely great_; and consequently a
reference to the law of Reason, which bids us take this alone as
the supreme measure of magnitude. Therefore the inner perception of
the inadequacy of all sensible standards for rational estimation of
magnitude indicates a correspondence with rational laws; it involves a
pain, which arouses in us the feeling of our supersensible destination,
according to which it is purposive and therefore pleasurable to find
every standard of Sensibility inadequate to the Ideas of Understanding.

The mind feels itself _moved_ in the representation of the Sublime
in nature; whilst in aesthetical judgements about the Beautiful it
is in _restful_ contemplation. This movement may (especially in
its beginnings) be compared to a vibration, _i.e._ to a quickly
alternating attraction towards, and repulsion from, the same Object.
The transcendent (towards which the Imagination is impelled in its
apprehension of intuition) is for the Imagination like an abyss in
which it fears to lose itself; but for the rational Idea of the
supersensible it is not transcendent but in conformity with law to
bring about such an effort of the Imagination, and consequently here
there is the same amount of attraction as there was of repulsion for
the mere Sensibility. But the judgement itself always remains in this
case only aesthetical, because--without having any determinate concept
of the Object at its basis--it merely represents the subjective play
of the mental powers (Imagination and Reason) as harmonious through
their very contrast. For just as Imagination and _Understanding_, in
judging of the Beautiful, generate a subjective purposiveness of the
mental powers by means of their harmony, so [here[46]] Imagination and
_Reason_ do so by means of their conflict. That is, they bring about a
feeling that we possess pure self-subsistent Reason, or a faculty for
the estimation of magnitude, whose pre-eminence can be made intuitively
evident only by the inadequacy of that faculty [Imagination] which
is itself unbounded in the presentation of magnitudes (of sensible

The measurement of a space (regarded as apprehension) is at the same
time a description of it, and thus an objective movement in the act
of Imagination and a progress. On the other hand, the comprehension
of the manifold in the unity,--not of thought but of intuition,--and
consequently the comprehension of the successively apprehended
[elements] in one glance, is a regress, which annihilates the condition
of time in this progress of the Imagination and makes _coexistence_
intuitible.[47] It is therefore (since the time-series is a condition
of the internal sense and of an intuition) a subjective movement of
the Imagination, by which it does violence to the internal sense;
this must be the more noticeable, the greater the quantum is which the
Imagination comprehends in one intuition. The effort, therefore, to
receive in one single intuition a measure for magnitudes that requires
an appreciable time to apprehend, is a kind of representation, which,
subjectively considered, is contrary to purpose: but objectively, as
requisite for the estimation of magnitude, it is purposive. Thus that
very violence which is done to the subject through the Imagination is
judged as purposive _in reference to the whole determination_ of the

The _quality_ of the feeling of the Sublime is that it is a feeling
of pain in reference to the faculty by which we judge aesthetically
of an object, which pain, however, is represented at the same time as
purposive. This is possible through the fact that the very incapacity
in question discovers the consciousness of an unlimited faculty of
the same subject, and that the mind can only judge of the latter
aesthetically by means of the former.

In the logical estimation of magnitude the impossibility of ever
arriving at absolute totality, by means of the progress of the
measurement of things of the sensible world in time and space, was
cognised as objective, _i.e._ as an impossibility of _thinking_ the
infinite as entirely given; and not as merely subjective or that there
was only an incapacity to _grasp_ it. For there we have not to do with
the degree of comprehension in an intuition, regarded as a measure,
but everything depends on a concept of number. But in aesthetical
estimation of magnitude the concept of number must disappear or be
changed, and the comprehension of the Imagination in reference to the
unit of measure (thus avoiding the concepts of a law of the successive
production of concepts of magnitude) is alone purposive for it.--If now
a magnitude almost reaches the limit of our faculty of comprehension
in an intuition, and yet the Imagination is invited by means of
numerical magnitudes (in respect of which we are conscious that our
faculty is unbounded) to aesthetical comprehension in a greater unit,
then we mentally feel ourselves confined aesthetically within bounds.
But nevertheless the pain in regard to the necessary extension of the
Imagination for accordance with that which is unbounded in our faculty
of Reason, viz. the Idea of the absolute whole, and consequently the
very unpurposiveness of the faculty of Imagination for rational Ideas
and the arousing of them, are represented as purposive. Thus it is that
the aesthetical judgement itself is subjectively purposive for the
Reason as the source of Ideas, _i.e._ as the source of an intellectual
comprehension for which all aesthetical comprehension is small; and
there accompanies the reception of an object as sublime a pleasure,
which is only possible through the medium of a pain.


§ 28. _Of Nature regarded as Might_

_Might_ is that which is superior to great hindrances. It is called
_dominion_ if it is superior to the resistance of that which itself
possesses might. Nature considered in an aesthetical judgement as might
that has no dominion over us, is _dynamically sublime_.

If nature is to be judged by us as dynamically sublime, it must be
represented as exciting fear (although it is not true conversely
that every object which excites fear is regarded in our aesthetical
judgement as sublime). For in aesthetical judgements (without the aid
of concepts) superiority to hindrances can only be judged according
to the greatness of the resistance. Now that which we are driven to
resist is an evil, and, if we do not find our faculties a match for it,
is an object of fear. Hence nature can be regarded by the aesthetical
Judgement as might, and consequently as dynamically sublime, only so
far as it is considered an object of fear.

But we can regard an object as _fearful_, without being afraid _of_
it; viz. if we judge of it in such a way that we merely _think_ a case
in which we would wish to resist it, and yet in which all resistance
would be altogether vain. Thus the virtuous man fears God without being
afraid of Him; because to wish to resist Him and His commandments, he
thinks is a case as to which _he_ need not be anxious. But in every
such case that he thinks as not impossible, he cognises Him as fearful.

He who fears can form no judgement about the Sublime in nature; just
as he who is seduced by inclination and appetite can form no judgement
about the Beautiful. The former flies from the sight of an object which
inspires him with awe; and it is impossible to find satisfaction in
a terror that is seriously felt. Hence the pleasurableness arising
from the cessation of an uneasiness is _a state of joy_. But this, on
account of the deliverance from danger [which is involved], is a state
of joy conjoined with the resolve not to expose ourselves to the danger
again; we cannot willingly look back upon our sensations [of danger],
much less seek the occasion for them again.

Bold, overhanging, and as it were threatening, rocks; clouds piled up
in the sky, moving with lightning flashes and thunder peals; volcanoes
in all their violence of destruction; hurricanes with their track
of devastation; the boundless ocean in a state of tumult; the lofty
waterfall of a mighty river, and such like; these exhibit our faculty
of resistance as insignificantly small in comparison with their might.
But the sight of them is the more attractive, the more fearful it
is, provided only that we are in security; and we readily call these
objects sublime, because they raise the energies of the soul above
their accustomed height, and discover in us a faculty of resistance of
a quite different kind, which gives us courage to measure ourselves
against the apparent almightiness of nature.

Now, in the immensity of nature, and in the inadequacy of our faculties
for adopting a standard proportionate to the aesthetical estimation of
the magnitude of its _realm_, we find our own limitation; although at
the same time in our rational faculty we find a different, non-sensuous
standard, which has that infinity itself under it as a unit, and in
comparison with which everything in nature is small. Thus in our mind
we find a superiority to nature even in its immensity. And so also
the irresistibility of its might, while making us recognise our own
[physical[48]] impotence, considered as beings of nature, discloses
to us a faculty of judging independently of, and a superiority over,
nature; on which is based a kind of self-preservation, entirely
different from that which can be attacked and brought into danger by
external nature. Thus, humanity in our person remains unhumiliated,
though the individual might have to submit to this dominion. In this
way nature is not judged to be sublime in our aesthetical judgements,
in so far as it excites fear; but because it calls up that power in
us (which is not nature) of regarding as small the things about which
we are solicitous (goods, health, and life), and of regarding its
might (to which we are no doubt subjected in respect of these things),
as nevertheless without any dominion over us and our personality to
which we must bow where our highest fundamental propositions, and
their assertion or abandonment, are concerned. Therefore nature is
here called sublime merely because it elevates the Imagination to a
presentation of those cases in which the mind can make felt the proper
sublimity of its destination, in comparison with nature itself.

This estimation of ourselves loses nothing through the fact that
we must regard ourselves as safe in order to feel this inspiriting
satisfaction; and that hence, as there is no seriousness in the
danger, there might be also (as might seem to be the case) just as
little seriousness in the sublimity of our spiritual faculty. For
the satisfaction here concerns only the _destination_ of our faculty
which discloses itself in such a case, so far as the tendency to this
destination lies in our nature, whilst its development and exercise
remain incumbent and obligatory. And in this there is truth, however
conscious the man may be of his present actual powerlessness, when he
stretches his reflection so far.

No doubt this principle seems to be too far-fetched and too subtly
reasoned, and consequently seems to go beyond the scope of an
aesthetical judgement; but observation of men proves the opposite, and
shows that it may lie at the root of the most ordinary judgements,
although we are not always conscious of it. For what is that which is,
even to the savage, an object of the greatest admiration? It is a man
who shrinks from nothing, who fears nothing, and therefore does not
yield to danger, but rather goes to face it vigorously with the fullest
deliberation. Even in the most highly civilised state this peculiar
veneration for the soldier remains, though only under the condition
that he exhibit all the virtues of peace, gentleness, compassion, and
even a becoming care for his own person; because even by these it
is recognised that his mind is unsubdued by danger. Hence whatever
disputes there may be about the superiority of the respect which is
to be accorded them, in the comparison of a statesman and a general,
the aesthetical judgement decides for the latter. War itself, if it
is carried on with order and with a sacred respect for the rights of
citizens, has something sublime in it, and makes the disposition of the
people who carry it on thus, only the more sublime, the more numerous
are the dangers to which they are exposed, and in respect of which
they behave with courage. On the other hand, a long peace generally
brings about a predominant commercial spirit, and along with it, low
selfishness, cowardice, and effeminacy, and debases the disposition of
the people.[49]

It appears to conflict with this solution of the concept of the
sublime, so far as sublimity is ascribed to might, that we are
accustomed to represent God as presenting Himself in His wrath and
yet in His sublimity, in the tempest, the storm, the earthquake, etc.;
and that it would be foolish and criminal to imagine a superiority of
our minds over these works of His, and, as it seems, even over the
designs of such might. Hence it would appear that no feeling of the
sublimity of our own nature, but rather subjection, abasement, and a
feeling of complete powerlessness, is a fitting state of mind before
the manifestation of such an object, and this is generally bound up
with the Idea of it during natural phenomena of this kind. Generally in
religion, prostration, adoration with bent head, with contrite, anxious
demeanour and voice, seems to be the only fitting behaviour in presence
of the Godhead; and hence most peoples have adopted and still observe
it. But this state of mind is far from being necessarily bound up with
the Idea of the _sublimity_ of a religion and its object. The man who
is actually afraid, because he finds reasons for fear in himself,
whilst conscious by his culpable disposition of offending against a
Might whose will is irresistible and at the same time just, is not in
the frame of mind for admiring the divine greatness. For this a mood of
calm contemplation and a quite free judgement are needed. Only if he is
conscious of an upright disposition pleasing to God do those operations
of might serve to awaken in him the Idea of the sublimity of this
Being, for then he recognises in himself a sublimity of disposition
conformable to His will; and thus he is raised above the fear of such
operations of nature, which he no longer regards as outbursts of His
wrath. Even humility, in the shape of a stern judgement upon his own
faults,--which otherwise, with a consciousness of good intentions,
could be easily palliated from the frailty of human nature,--is a
sublime state of mind, consisting in a voluntary subjection of himself
to the pain of remorse, in order that its causes may be gradually
removed. In this way religion is essentially distinguished from
superstition. The latter establishes in the mind, not reverence for the
Sublime, but fear and apprehension of the all-powerful Being to whose
will the terrified man sees himself subject, without according Him any
high esteem. From this nothing can arise but a seeking of favour, and
flattery, instead of a religion which consists in a good life.[50]

Sublimity, therefore, does not reside in anything of nature, but only
in our mind, in so far as we can become conscious that we are superior
to nature within, and therefore also to nature without us (so far
as it influences us). Everything that excites this feeling in us,
_e.g._ the _might_ of nature which calls forth our forces, is called
then (although improperly) sublime. Only by supposing this Idea in
ourselves, and in reference to it, are we capable of attaining to the
Idea of the sublimity of that Being, which produces respect in us, not
merely by the might that it displays in nature, but rather by means
of the faculty which resides in us of judging it fearlessly and of
regarding our destination as sublime in respect of it.

§ 29. _Of the modality of the judgement upon the sublime in nature_

There are numberless beautiful things in nature about which we can
assume and even expect, without being far mistaken, the harmony of
every one’s judgement with our own. But in respect of our judgement
upon the sublime in nature, we cannot promise ourselves so easily
the accordance of others. For a far greater culture, as well of the
aesthetical Judgement as of the cognitive faculties which lie at its
basis, seems requisite in order to be able to pass judgement on this
pre-eminent quality of natural objects.

That the mind be attuned to feel the sublime postulates a
susceptibility of the mind for Ideas. For in the very inadequacy of
nature to these latter, and thus only by presupposing them and by
straining the Imagination to use nature as a schema for them, is to
be found that which is terrible to sensibility and yet is attractive.
[It is attractive] because Reason exerts a dominion over sensibility
in order to extend it in conformity with its own realm (the practical)
and to make it look out into the Infinite, which is for it an abyss. In
fact, without development of moral Ideas, that which we, prepared by
culture, call sublime, presents itself to the uneducated man merely as
terrible. In the indications of the dominion of nature in destruction,
and in the great scale of its might, in comparison with which his own
is a vanishing quantity, he will only see the misery, danger, and
distress which surround the man who is exposed to it. So the good,
and indeed intelligent, Savoyard peasant (as Herr von _Saussure_[51]
relates) unhesitatingly called all lovers of snow-mountains fools. And
who knows, whether he would have been so completely wrong, if Saussure
had undertaken the danger to which he exposed himself merely, as most
travellers do, from amateur curiosity, or that he might be able to give
a pathetic account of them? But his design was the instruction of men;
and this excellent man gave the readers of his Travels, soul-stirring
sensations such as he himself had, into the bargain.

But although the judgement upon the Sublime in nature needs culture
(more than the judgement upon the Beautiful), it is not therefore
primarily produced by culture and introduced in a merely conventional
way into society. Rather has it root in human nature, even in that
which, alike with common Understanding, we can impute to and expect of
every one, viz. in the tendency to the feeling for (practical) Ideas,
_i.e._ to the moral feeling.

Hereon is based the necessity of that agreement of the judgement of
others about the sublime with our own which we include in the latter.
For just as we charge with want of _taste_ the man who is indifferent
when passing judgement upon an object of nature that we regard as
beautiful; so we say of him who remains unmoved in the presence of that
which we judge to be sublime, he has no _feeling_. But we claim both
from every man, and we presuppose them in him if he has any culture at
all; only with the difference, that we expect the former directly of
every one, because in it the Judgement refers the Imagination merely to
the Understanding, the faculty of concepts; but the latter, because
in it the Imagination is related to the Reason, the faculty of Ideas,
only under a subjective presupposition (which, however, we believe we
are authorised in imputing to every one), viz. the presupposition of
the moral feeling [in man.[52]] Thus it is that we ascribe necessity to
this aesthetical judgement also.

In this modality of aesthetical judgements, viz. in the necessity
claimed for them, lies an important moment of the Critique of
Judgement. For it enables us to recognise in them an _a priori_
principle, and raises them out of empirical psychology, in which
otherwise they would remain buried amongst the feelings of
gratification and grief (only with the unmeaning addition of being
called _finer_ feelings). Thus it enables us too to place the Judgement
among those faculties that have _a priori_ principles at their basis,
and so to bring it into Transcendental Philosophy.


In reference to the feeling of pleasure an object is to be classified
as either _pleasant_, or _beautiful_, or _sublime_, or _good_
(absolutely), (_jucundum_, _pulchrum_, _sublime_, _honestum_).

The _pleasant_, as motive of desire, is always of one and the same
kind, no matter whence it comes and however specifically different
the representation (of sense, and sensation objectively considered)
may be. Hence in judging its influence on the mind, account is taken
only of the number of its charms (simultaneous and successive), and
so only of the mass, as it were, of the pleasant sensation; and this
can be made intelligible only by _quantity_. It has no reference
to culture, but belongs to mere enjoyment.--On the other hand, the
_beautiful_ requires the representation of a certain _quality_ of
the Object, that can be made intelligible and reduced to concepts
(although it is not so reduced in an aesthetical judgement); and it
cultivates us, in that it teaches us to attend to the purposiveness
in the feeling of pleasure.--The _sublime_ consists merely in the
_relation_ by which the sensible in the representation of nature is
judged available for a possible supersensible use.--The _absolutely
good_, subjectively judged according to the feeling that it inspires
(the Object of the moral feeling), as capable of determining the powers
of the subject through the representation of an _absolutely compelling_
law, is specially distinguished by the _modality_ of a necessity that
rests _a priori_ upon concepts. This necessity involves not merely
a _claim_, but a _command_ for the assent of every one, and belongs
in itself to the pure intellectual, rather than to the aesthetical
Judgement; and is by a determinant and not a mere reflective judgement
ascribed not to Nature but to Freedom. But the _determinability of
the subject_ by means of this Idea, and especially of a subject
that can feel _hindrances_ in sensibility, and at the same time its
superiority to them by their subjugation involving a _modification of
its state_--_i.e._ the moral feeling,--is yet so far cognate to the
aesthetical Judgement and its formal conditions that it can serve to
represent the conformity to law of action from duty as aesthetical,
_i.e._ as sublime or even as beautiful, without losing its purity. This
would not be so, if we were to put it in natural combination with the
feeling of the pleasant.

If we take the result of the foregoing exposition of the two kinds
of aesthetical judgements, there arise therefrom the following short

The _Beautiful_ is what pleases in the mere judgement (and therefore
not by the medium of sensation in accordance with a concept of the
Understanding). It follows at once from this that it must please apart
from all interest.

The _Sublime_ is what pleases immediately through its opposition to the
interest of sense.

Both, as explanations of aesthetical universally valid judging,
are referred to subjective grounds; in the one case to grounds of
sensibility, in favour of the contemplative Understanding; in the other
case _in opposition to_ sensibility, but on behalf of the purposes
of practical Reason. Both, however, united in the same subject, are
purposive in reference to the moral feeling. The Beautiful prepares
us to love disinterestedly something, even nature itself; the Sublime
prepares us to esteem something highly even in opposition to our own
(sensible) interest.

We may describe the Sublime thus: it is an object (of nature)
_the representation of which determines the mind to think the
unattainability of nature regarded as a presentation of Ideas_.

Literally taken and logically considered, Ideas cannot be presented.
But if we extend our empirical representative faculty (mathematically
or dynamically) to the intuition of nature, Reason inevitably
intervenes, as the faculty expressing the independence of absolute
totality,[53] and generates the effort of the mind, vain though it
be, to make the representation of the senses adequate to this. This
effort,--and the feeling of the unattainability of the Idea by means
of the Imagination,--is itself a presentation of the subjective
purposiveness of our mind in the employment of the Imagination for
its supersensible destination; and forces us, subjectively, to
_think_ nature itself in its totality as a presentation of something
supersensible, without being able _objectively_ to arrive at this

For we soon see that nature in space and time entirely lacks the
unconditioned, and, consequently, that absolute magnitude, which yet is
desired by the most ordinary Reason. It is by this that we are reminded
that we only have to do with nature as phenomenon, and that it must
be regarded as the mere presentation of a nature in itself (of which
Reason has the Idea). But this Idea of the supersensible, which we can
no further determine,--so that we cannot _know_ but only _think_ nature
as its presentation,--is awakened in us by means of an object, whose
aesthetical appreciation strains the Imagination to its utmost bounds,
whether of extension (mathematical) or of its might over the mind
(dynamical). And this judgement is based upon a feeling of the mind’s
destination, which entirely surpasses the realm of the former (_i.e._
upon the moral feeling), in respect of which the representation of the
object is judged as subjectively purposive.

In fact, a feeling for the Sublime in nature cannot well be thought
without combining therewith a mental disposition which is akin to the
Moral. And although the immediate pleasure in the Beautiful of nature
likewise presupposes and cultivates a certain _liberality_ in our
mental attitude, _i.e._ a satisfaction independent of mere sensible
enjoyment, yet freedom is thus represented as in _play_ rather than
in that law-directed _occupation_ which is the genuine characteristic
of human morality, in which Reason must exercise dominion over
Sensibility. But in aesthetical judgements upon the Sublime this
dominion is represented as exercised by the Imagination, regarded as an
instrument of Reason.

The satisfaction in the Sublime of nature is then only _negative_
(whilst that in the Beautiful is _positive_); viz. a feeling that the
Imagination is depriving itself of its freedom, while it is purposively
determined according to a different law from that of its empirical
employment. It thus acquires an extension and a might greater than it
sacrifices,--the ground of which, however, is concealed from itself;
whilst yet it _feels_ the sacrifice or the deprivation and, at the
same time, the cause to which it is subjected. _Astonishment_, that
borders upon terror, the dread and the holy awe which seizes the
observer at the sight of mountain peaks rearing themselves to heaven,
deep chasms and streams raging therein, deep-shadowed solitudes that
dispose one to melancholy meditations--this, in the safety in which we
know ourselves to be, is not actual fear, but only an attempt to feel
fear by the aid of the Imagination; that we may feel the might of this
faculty in combining with the mind’s repose the mental movement thereby
excited, and being thus superior to internal nature,--and therefore
to external,--so far as this can have any influence on our feeling of
well-being. For the Imagination by the laws of Association makes our
state of contentment dependent on physical [causes]; but it also,
by the principles of the Schematism of the Judgement (being so far,
therefore, ranked under freedom), is the instrument of Reason and its
Ideas, and, as such, has might to maintain our independence of natural
influences, to regard as small what in reference to them is great, and
so to place the absolutely great only in the proper destination of the
subject. The raising of this reflection of the aesthetical Judgement
so as to be adequate to Reason (though without a definite concept of
Reason) represents the object as subjectively purposive, even by the
objective want of accordance between the Imagination in its greatest
extension and the Reason (as the faculty of Ideas).

We must here, generally, attend to what has been already noted, that
in the Transcendental Aesthetic of Judgement we must speak solely of
pure aesthetical judgements; consequently our examples are not to be
taken from such beautiful or sublime objects of Nature as presuppose
the concept of a purpose. For, if so, the purposiveness would be
either teleological, or would be based on mere sensations of an object
(gratification or grief); and thus would be in the former case not
aesthetical, in the latter not merely formal. If then we call the sight
of the starry heaven _sublime_, we must not place at the basis of our
judgement concepts of worlds inhabited by rational beings, and regard
the bright points, with which we see the space above us filled, as
their suns moving in circles purposively fixed with reference to them;
but we must regard it, just as we see it, as a distant, all-embracing
vault. Only under such a representation can we range that sublimity
which a pure aesthetical judgement ascribes to this object. And in
the same way, if we are to call the sight of the ocean sublime, we
must not _think_ of it as we [ordinarily] do, endowed as we are with
all kinds of knowledge (not contained, however, in the immediate
intuition). For example, we sometimes think of the ocean as a vast
kingdom of aquatic creatures; or as the great source of those vapours
that fill the air with clouds for the benefit of the land; or again
as an element which, though dividing continents from each other, yet
promotes the greatest communication between them: but these furnish
merely teleological judgements. To call the ocean sublime we must
regard it as poets do, merely by what strikes the eye; if it is at
rest, as a clear mirror of water only bounded by the heaven; if it is
restless, as an abyss threatening to overwhelm everything. The like is
to be said of the Sublime and Beautiful in the human figure. We must
not regard as the determining grounds of our judgement the concepts
of the purposes which all our limbs serve, and we must not allow this
coincidence to _influence_ our aesthetical judgement (for then it would
no longer be pure); although it is certainly a necessary condition of
aesthetical satisfaction that there should be no conflict between them.
Aesthetical purposiveness is the conformity to law of the Judgement in
its _freedom_. The satisfaction in the object depends on the relation
in which we wish to place the Imagination; always provided that it by
itself entertains the mind in free occupation. If, on the other hand,
the judgement be determined by anything else,--whether sensation or
concept,--although it may be conformable to law, it cannot be the act
of a _free_ Judgement.

If then we speak of intellectual beauty or sublimity, these expressions
are, _first_, not quite accurate, because beauty and sublimity are
aesthetical modes of representation, which would not be found in us at
all if we were pure intelligences (or even regarded ourselves as such
in thought). _Secondly_, although both, as objects of an intellectual
(moral) satisfaction, are so far compatible with aesthetical
satisfaction that they _rest_ upon no interest, yet they are difficult
to unite with it, because they are meant to _produce_ an interest.
This, if its presentation is to harmonise with the satisfaction in the
aesthetical judgement, could only arise by means of a sensible interest
that we combine with it in the presentation; and thus damage would be
done to the intellectual purposiveness, and it would lose its purity.

The object of a pure and unconditioned intellectual satisfaction is
the Moral Law in that might which it exercises in us over all mental
motives _that precede it_. This might only makes itself aesthetically
known to us through sacrifices (which causing a feeling of deprivation,
though on behalf of internal freedom, in return discloses in us an
unfathomable depth of this supersensible faculty, with consequences
extending beyond our ken); thus the satisfaction on the aesthetical
side (in relation to sensibility) is negative, _i.e._ against this
interest, but regarded from the intellectual side it is positive and
combined with an interest. Hence it follows that the intellectual,
in itself purposive, (moral) good, aesthetically judged, must be
represented as sublime rather than beautiful, so that it rather awakens
the feeling of respect (which disdains charm) than that of love and
familiar inclination; for human nature does not attach itself to this
good spontaneously, but only by the authority which Reason exercises
over Sensibility. Conversely also, that which we call sublime in
nature, whether external or internal (_e.g._ certain affections), is
only represented as a might in the mind to overcome [_certain_][54]
hindrances of the Sensibility by means of moral fundamental
propositions, and only thus does it interest.

I will dwell a moment on this latter point. The Idea of the Good
conjoined with affection is called _enthusiasm_. This state of mind
seems to be sublime, to the extent that we commonly assert that
nothing great could be done without it. Now every affection[55] is
blind, either in the choice of its purpose, or, if this be supplied
by Reason, in its accomplishment; for it is a mental movement which
makes it impossible to exercise a free deliberation about fundamental
propositions so as to determine ourselves thereby. It can therefore in
no way deserve the approval of the Reason. Nevertheless, aesthetically,
enthusiasm is sublime, because it is a tension of forces produced
by Ideas, which give an impulse to the mind, that operates far more
powerfully and lastingly than the impulse arising from sensible
representations. But (which seems strange) the _absence of affection_
(_apatheia, phlegma in significatu bono_) in a mind that vigorously
follows its unalterable principles is sublime, and in a far preferable
way, because it has also on its side the satisfaction of pure
Reason.[56] It is only a mental state of this kind that is called
noble; and this expression is subsequently applied to things, _e.g._ a
building, a garment, literary style, bodily presence, etc., when these
do not so much arouse _astonishment_ (the affection produced by the
representation of novelty exceeding our expectations), as _admiration_
(astonishment that does not cease when the novelty disappears); and
this is the case when Ideas agree in their presentation undesignedly
and artlessly with the aesthetical satisfaction.

Every affection of the STRENUOUS kind (viz. that excites the
consciousness of our power to overcome every obstacle--_animi strenui_)
is _aesthetically sublime_, _e.g._ wrath, even despair (_i.e._ the
despair of _indignation_, not of _faintheartedness_). But affections of
the LANGUID kind (which make the very effort of resistance an object
of pain--_animum languidum_) have nothing _noble_ in themselves, but
they may be reckoned under the sensuously beautiful. _Emotions_,
which may rise to the strength of affections, are very different.
We have both _spirited_ and _tender_ emotions. The latter, if they
rise to the height of affections, are worthless; the propensity to
them is called _sentimentality_. A sympathetic grief that will not
admit of consolation, or one referring to imaginary evils to which
we deliberately surrender ourselves--being deceived by fancy--as if
they were actual, indicates and produces a tender,[57] though weak,
soul--which shows a beautiful side and which can be called fanciful,
though not enthusiastic. Romances, lacrymose plays, shallow moral
precepts, which toy with (falsely) so-called moral dispositions, but
in fact make the heart languid, insensible to the severe precept of
duty, and incapable of all respect for the worth of humanity in our
own person, and for the rights of men (a very different thing from
their happiness), and in general incapable of all steady principle;
even a religious discourse,[58] which recommends a cringing, abject
seeking of favour and ingratiation of ourselves, which proposes the
abandonment of all confidence in our own faculties in opposition to
the evil within us, instead of a sturdy resolution to endeavour to
overcome our inclinations by means of those powers which with all our
frailty yet remain to us; that false humility which sets the only
way of pleasing the Supreme Being in self-depreciation, in whining
hypocritical repentance and in a mere passive state of mind--these are
not compatible with any frame of mind that can be counted beautiful,
still less with one which is to be counted sublime.

But even stormy movements of mind which may be connected under the
name of edification with Ideas of religion, or--as merely belonging
to culture--with Ideas containing a social interest, can in no way,
however they strain the Imagination, lay claim to the honour of
being _sublime_ presentations, unless they leave after them a mental
mood which, although only indirectly, has influence upon the mind’s
consciousness of its strength, and its resolution in reference to that
which involves pure intellectual purposiveness (the supersensible). For
otherwise all these emotions belong only to _motion_, which one would
fain enjoy for the sake of health. The pleasant exhaustion, consequent
upon such disturbance produced by the play of the affections, is an
enjoyment of our well-being arising from the restored equilibrium of
the various vital forces. This in the end amounts to the same thing as
that state which Eastern voluptuaries find so delightful, when they
get their bodies as it were kneaded and all their muscles and joints
softly pressed and bent; only that in this case the motive principle
is for the most part external, in the other case it is altogether
internal. Many a man believes himself to be edified by a sermon, when
indeed there is no edification at all (no system of good maxims); or
to be improved by a tragedy, when he is only glad at his ennui being
happily dispelled. So the Sublime must always have reference to the
_disposition_, _i.e._ to the maxims which furnish to the intellectual
[part] and to the Ideas of Reason a superiority over sensibility.

We need not fear that the feeling of the sublime will lose by so
abstract a mode of presentation,--which is quite negative in respect
of what is sensible,--for the Imagination, although it finds nothing
beyond the sensible to which it can attach itself, yet feels itself
unbounded by this removal of its limitations; and thus that very
abstraction is a presentation of the Infinite, which can be nothing
but a mere negative presentation, but which yet expands the soul.
Perhaps there is no sublimer passage in the Jewish Law than the
command, _Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the
likeness of anything which is in heaven or on the earth or under the
earth_, etc. This command alone can explain the enthusiasm that the
Jewish people in their moral period felt for their religion, when they
compared themselves with other peoples; or explain the pride which
Mahommedanism inspires. The same is true of the moral law and of the
tendency to morality in us. It is quite erroneous to fear that if we
deprive this [tendency] of all that can recommend it to sense it will
only involve a cold lifeless assent and no moving force or emotion. It
is quite the other way, for where the senses see nothing more before
them, and the unmistakable and indelible Idea of morality remains,
it would be rather necessary to moderate the impetus of an unbounded
Imagination, to prevent it from rising to enthusiasm, than through fear
of the powerlessness of these Ideas to seek aid for them in images and
childish ritual. Thus governments have willingly allowed religion to be
abundantly provided with the latter accessories; and seeking thereby
to relieve their subjects of trouble, they have also sought to deprive
them of the faculty of extending their spiritual powers beyond the
limits that are arbitrarily assigned to them, and by means of which
they can be the more easily treated as mere passive[59] beings.

This pure, elevating, merely negative presentation of morality brings
with it, on the other hand, no danger of _fanaticism_, which is _a
delusion that we can will ourselves to see something beyond all bounds
of sensibility_, _i.e._ to dream in accordance with fundamental
propositions (or to go mad with Reason); and this is so just because
this presentation is merely negative. For the _inscrutableness of the
Idea of Freedom_ quite cuts it off from any positive presentation; but
the moral law is in itself sufficiently and originally determinant
in us, so that it does not permit us to cast a glance at any ground
of determination external to itself. If enthusiasm is comparable to
_madness_, fanaticism is comparable to _monomania_; of which the latter
is least of all compatible with the sublime, because in its detail it
is ridiculous. In enthusiasm, regarded as an affection, the Imagination
is without bridle; in fanaticism, regarded as an inveterate, brooding
passion, it is without rule. The first is a transitory accident which
sometimes befalls the soundest Understanding; the second is a disease
which unsettles it.

_Simplicity_ (purposiveness without art) is as it were the style of
Nature in the sublime, and so also of Morality which is a second
(supersensible) nature; of which we only know the laws without being
able to reach by intuition that supersensible faculty in ourselves
which contains the ground of the legislation.

Now the satisfaction in the Beautiful, like that in the Sublime,
is not alone distinguishable from other aesthetical judgements by
its universal _communicability_, but also because, through this
very property, it acquires an interest in reference to society (in
which this communication is possible). We must, however, remark that
_separation from all society_ is regarded as sublime, if it rests
upon Ideas that overlook all sensible interest. To be sufficient for
oneself, and consequently to have no need of society, without at the
same time being unsociable, _i.e._ without flying from it, is something
bordering on the sublime; as is any dispensing with wants. On the other
hand, to fly from men from _misanthropy_, because we bear ill-will to
them, or from _anthropophoby_ (shyness), because we fear them as foes,
is partly hateful, partly contemptible. There is indeed a misanthropy
(very improperly so-called), the tendency to which frequently appears
with old age in many right-thinking men; which is philanthropic enough
as far as _goodwill_ to men is concerned, but which through long and
sad experience is far removed from _satisfaction_ with men. Evidence of
this is afforded by the propensity to solitude, the fantastic wish for
a secluded country seat, or (in the case of young persons) by the dream
of the happiness of passing one’s life with a little family upon some
island unknown to the rest of the world; a dream of which story-tellers
or writers of Robinsonades know how to make good use. Falsehood,
ingratitude, injustice, the childishness of the purposes regarded by
ourselves as important and great, in the pursuit of which men inflict
upon each other all imaginable evils, are so contradictory to the Idea
of what men might be if they would, and conflict so with our lively
wish to see them better, that, in order that we may not hate them
(since we cannot love them), the renunciation of all social joys seems
but a small sacrifice. This sadness--not the sadness (of which sympathy
is the cause) for the evils which fate brings upon others,--but for
those things which men do to one another (which depends upon an
antipathy in fundamental propositions), is sublime, because it rests
upon Ideas, whilst the former can only count as beautiful.--The
brilliant and thorough _Saussure_,[60] in his account of his Alpine
travels, says of one of the Savoy mountains, called _Bonhomme_, “There
reigns there a certain _insipid sadness_.” He therefore recognised an
_interesting_ sadness, that the sight of a solitude might inspire, to
which men might wish to transport themselves that they might neither
hear nor experience any more of the world; which, however, would not
be quite so inhospitable that it would offer only an extremely painful
retreat.--I make this remark solely with the design of indicating
again that even depression (not dejected sadness) may be counted among
the _sturdy_ affections, if it has its ground in moral Ideas. But if it
is grounded on sympathy and, as such, is amiable, it belongs merely to
the _languid_ affections. [I make this remark] to call attention to the
state of mind which is _sublime_ only in the first case.

       *       *       *       *       *

We can now compare the above Transcendental Exposition of aesthetical
judgements with the Physiological worked out by _Burke_ and by many
clear-headed men among us, in order to see whither a merely empirical
exposition of the Sublime and Beautiful leads. _Burke_, who deserves
to be regarded as the most important author who adopts this mode of
treatment, infers by this method “that the feeling of the Sublime
rests on the impulse towards self-preservation and on _fear_, _i.e._
on a pain, which not going so far as actually to derange the parts of
the body, produces movements which, since they purify the finer or
grosser vessels of dangerous or troublesome stoppages, are capable
of exciting pleasant sensations; not indeed pleasure, but a kind of
satisfying horror, a certain tranquillity tinged with terror.”[61] The
Beautiful, which he founded on love (which he wishes to keep quite
separate from desire), he reduces to “the relaxing, slackening, and
enervating of the fibres of the body, and a consequent weakening,
languor, and exhaustion, a fainting, dissolving, and melting away for
enjoyment.”[62] And he confirms this explanation not only by cases in
which the Imagination in combination with the Understanding can excite
in us the feeling of the Beautiful or of the Sublime, but by cases in
which it is combined with sensation.--As psychological observations,
these analyses of the phenomena of our mind are exceedingly beautiful,
and afford rich material for the favourite investigations of empirical
anthropology. It is also not to be denied that all representations
in us, whether, objectively viewed, they are merely sensible or are
quite intellectual, may yet subjectively be united to gratification
or grief, however imperceptible either may be; because they all
affect the feeling of life, and none of them, so far as it is a
modification of the subject, can be indifferent. And so, as Epicurus
maintained, all _gratification_ or _grief_ may ultimately be corporeal,
whether it arises from the representations of the Imagination or the
Understanding; because life without a feeling of bodily organs would be
merely a consciousness of existence, without any feeling of well-being
or the reverse, _i.e._ of the furthering or the checking of the vital
powers. For the mind is by itself alone life (the principle of life),
and hindrances or furtherances must be sought outside it and yet in
the man, consequently in union with his body.

If, however, we place the satisfaction in the object altogether in
the fact that it gratifies us by charm or emotion, we must not assume
that any _other_ man agrees with the aesthetical judgement which _we_
pass; for as to these each one rightly consults his own individual
sensibility. But in that case all censorship of taste would disappear,
except indeed the example afforded by the accidental agreement of
others in their judgements were regarded as _commanding_ our assent;
and this principle we should probably resist, and should appeal to the
natural right of subjecting the judgement, which rests on the immediate
feeling of our own well-being, to our own sense and not to that of any
other man.

If then the judgement of taste is not to be valid merely
_egoistically_, but according to its inner nature,--_i.e._ on account
of itself and not on account of the examples that others give of their
taste,--to be necessarily valid _pluralistically_, if we regard it
as a judgement which may exact the adhesion of every one; then there
must lie at its basis some _a priori_ principle (whether objective or
subjective) to which we can never attain by seeking out the empirical
laws of mental changes. For these only enable us to know how we judge,
but do not prescribe to us how we ought to judge. They do not supply an
_unconditioned_ command,[63] such as judgements of taste presuppose,
inasmuch as they require that the satisfaction be _immediately_
connected with the representation. Thus the empirical exposition of
aesthetical judgements may be a beginning of a collection of materials
for a higher investigation; but a transcendental discussion of this
faculty is also possible, and is an essential part of the Critique of
Taste. For if it had not _a priori_ principles, it could not possibly
pass sentence on the judgements of others, and it could not approve or
blame them with any appearance of right.

The remaining part of the Analytic of the Aesthetical Judgement
contains first the


§ 30. _The Deduction of aesthetical judgements on the objects of nature
must not be directed to what we call Sublime in nature, but only to the

The claim of an aesthetical judgement to universal validity for every
subject requires, as a judgement resting on some _a priori_ principle,
a Deduction (or legitimatising of its pretensions) in addition to its
Exposition; if it is concerned with satisfaction or dissatisfaction
in the _form of the Object_. Of this kind are judgements of taste
about the Beautiful in Nature. For in that case the purposiveness
has its ground in the Object and in its figure, although it does not
indicate the reference of this to other objects according to concepts
(for a cognitive judgement), but merely has to do in general with the
apprehension of this form, so far as it shows itself conformable in the
mind to the _faculty_ of concepts and to that of their presentation
(which is identical with that of apprehension). We can thus, in respect
of the Beautiful in nature, suggest many questions touching the cause
of this purposiveness of their forms, _e.g._ to explain why nature has
scattered abroad beauty with such profusion, even in the depth of the
ocean, where the human eye (for which alone that purposiveness exists)
but seldom penetrates.

But the Sublime in nature--if we are passing upon it a pure aesthetical
judgement, not mixed up with any concepts of perfection or objective
purposiveness, in which case it would be a teleological judgement--may
be regarded as quite formless or devoid of figure, and yet as the
object of a pure satisfaction; and it may display a subjective
purposiveness in the given representation. And we ask if, for an
aesthetical judgement of this kind,--over and above the Exposition
of what is thought in it,--a Deduction also of its claim to any
(subjective) _a priori_ principle may be demanded?

To which we may answer that the Sublime in nature is improperly so
called, and that properly speaking the word should only be applied
to a state of mind, or rather to its foundation in human nature. The
apprehension of an otherwise formless and unpurposive object gives
merely the occasion, through which we become conscious of such a state;
the object is thus _employed_ as subjectively purposive, but is not
judged as such _in itself_ and on account of its form (it is, as it
were, a _species finalis accepta, non data_). Hence our Exposition of
judgements concerning the Sublime in nature was at the same time their
Deduction. For when we analysed the reflection of the Judgement in such
acts, we found in them a purposive relation of the cognitive faculties,
which must be ascribed ultimately to the faculty of purposes (the
will), and hence is itself purposive _a priori_. This then immediately
involves the Deduction, _i.e._ the justification of the claim of such a
judgement to universal and necessary validity.

We shall therefore only have to seek for the deduction of judgements
of Taste, _i.e._ of judgements about the Beauty of natural things;
we shall thus treat satisfactorily the problem with which the whole
faculty of aesthetical Judgement is concerned.

§ 31. _Of the method of deduction of judgements of Taste_

A Deduction, _i.e._ the guarantee of the legitimacy of a class
of judgements, is only obligatory if the judgement lays claim to
necessity. This it does, if it demands even subjective universality or
the agreement of every one, although it is not a judgement of cognition
but only one of pleasure or pain in a given object; _i.e._ it assumes a
subjective purposiveness thoroughly valid for every one, which must not
be based on any concept of the thing, because the judgement is one of

We have before us in the latter case no cognitive judgement--neither a
theoretical one based on the concept of a _Nature_ in general formed
by the Understanding, nor a (pure) practical one based on the Idea of
_Freedom_, as given _a priori_ by Reason. Therefore we have to justify
_a priori_ the validity neither of a judgement which represents what
a thing is, nor of one which prescribes that I ought to do something
in order to produce it. We have merely to prove for the Judgement
generally the _universal validity_ of a singular judgement that
expresses the subjective purposiveness of an empirical representation
of the form of an object; in order to explain how it is possible that
a thing can please in the mere act of judging it (without sensation or
concept), and how the satisfaction of one man can be proclaimed as a
rule for every other; just as the act of judging of an object for the
sake of a _cognition_ in general has universal rules.

If now this universal validity is not to be based on any collecting of
the suffrages of others, or on any questioning of them as to the kind
of sensations they have, but is to rest, as it were, on an autonomy of
the judging subject in respect of the feeling of pleasure (in the given
representation), _i.e._ on his own taste, and yet is not to be derived
from concepts; then a judgement like this--such as the judgement of
taste is, in fact--has a twofold logical peculiarity. _First_, there is
its _a priori_ universal validity, which is not a logical universality
in accordance with concepts, but the universality of a singular
judgement. _Secondly_, it has a necessity (which must always rest on
_a priori_ grounds), which however does not depend on any _a priori_
grounds of proof, through the representation of which the assent that
every one concedes to the judgement of taste could be exacted.

The solution of these logical peculiarities, wherein a judgement
of taste is different from all cognitive judgements--if we at the
outset abstract from all content, viz. from the feeling of pleasure,
and merely compare the aesthetical form with the form of objective
judgements as logic prescribes it--is sufficient by itself for the
deduction of this singular faculty. We shall then represent and
elucidate by examples these characteristic properties of taste.

§ 32. _First peculiarity of the judgement of Taste_

The judgement of taste determines its object in respect of satisfaction
(in its beauty) with an accompanying claim for the assent of _every
one_, just as if it were objective.

To say that “this flower is beautiful” is the same as to assert its
proper claim to satisfy every one. By the pleasantness of its smell
it has no such claim. A smell which one man enjoys gives another a
headache. Now what are we to presume from this except that beauty is
to be regarded as a property of the flower itself, which does not
accommodate itself to any diversity of persons or of their sensitive
organs, but to which these must accommodate themselves if they are to
pass any judgement upon it? And yet this is not so. For a judgement
of taste consists in calling a thing beautiful just because of that
characteristic in respect of which it accommodates itself to our mode
of apprehension.

Moreover, it is required of every judgement which is to prove the
taste of the subject, that the subject shall judge by himself, without
needing to grope about empirically among the judgements of others, and
acquaint himself previously as to their satisfaction or dissatisfaction
with the same object; thus his judgement should be pronounced _a
priori_, and not be a mere imitation because the thing actually gives
universal pleasure. One would think, however, that an _a priori_
judgement must contain a concept of the Object, for the cognition of
which it contains the principle; but the judgement of taste is not
based upon concepts at all, and is in general not a cognitive but an
aesthetical judgement.

Thus a young poet does not permit himself to be dissuaded from his
conviction that his poem is beautiful, by the judgement of the public
or of his friends; and if he gives ear to them he does so, not because
he now judges differently, but because, although (in regard to him)
the whole public has false taste, in his desire for applause he finds
reason for accommodating himself to the common error (even against his
judgement). It is only at a later time, when his Judgement has been
sharpened by exercise, that he voluntarily departs from his former
judgements; just as he proceeds with those of his judgements which rest
upon Reason. Taste [merely][65] claims autonomy. To make the judgements
of others the determining grounds of his own would be heteronomy.

That we, and rightly, recommend the works of the ancients as models
and call their authors classical, thus forming among writers a kind
of noble class who give laws to the people by their example, seems
to indicate _a posteriori_ sources of taste, and to contradict the
autonomy of taste in every subject. But we might just as well say
that the old mathematicians,--who are regarded up to the present day
as supplying models not easily to be dispensed with for the supreme
profundity and elegance of their synthetical methods,--prove that our
Reason is only imitative, and that we have not the faculty of producing
from it in combination with intuition rigid proofs by means of the
construction of concepts.[66] There is no use of our powers, however
free, no use of Reason itself (which must create all its judgements
_a priori_ from common sources) which would not give rise to faulty
attempts, if every subject had always to begin anew from the rude basis
of his natural state, and if others had not preceded him with their
attempts. Not that these make mere imitators of those who come after
them, but rather by their procedure they put others on the track of
seeking in themselves principles and so of pursuing their own course,
often a better one. Even in religion--where certainly every one has
to derive the rule of his conduct from himself, because he remains
responsible for it and cannot shift the blame of his transgressions
upon others, whether his teachers or his predecessors--there is never
as much accomplished by means of universal precepts, either obtained
from priests or philosophers or got from oneself, as by means of
an example of virtue or holiness which, exhibited in history, does
not dispense with the autonomy of virtue based on the proper and
original Idea of morality (_a priori_), or change it into a mechanical
imitation. _Following_, involving something precedent, not “imitation,”
is the right expression for all influence that the products of an
exemplary author may have upon others. And this only means that we
draw from the same sources as our predecessor did, and learn from him
only the way to avail ourselves of them. But of all faculties and
talents Taste, because its judgement is not determinable by concepts
and precepts, is just that one which most needs examples of what has
in the progress of culture received the longest approval; that it may
not become again uncivilised and return to the crudeness of its first

§ 33. _Second peculiarity of the judgement of Taste_

The judgement of taste is not determinable by grounds of proof, just as
if it were merely _subjective_.

If a man, _in the first place_, does not find a building, a prospect,
or a poem beautiful, a hundred voices all highly praising it will not
force his inmost agreement. He may indeed feign that it pleases him in
order that he may not be regarded as devoid of taste; he may even begin
to doubt whether he has formed his taste on a knowledge of a sufficient
number of objects of a certain kind (just as one, who believes that
he recognises in the distance as a forest, something which all others
regard as a town, doubts the judgement of his own sight). But he
clearly sees that the agreement of others gives no valid proof of the
judgement about beauty. Others might perhaps see and observe for him;
and what many have seen in one way, although he believes that he has
seen it differently, might serve him as an adequate ground of proof
of a theoretical and consequently logical judgement. But that a thing
has pleased others could never serve as the basis of an aesthetical
judgement. A judgement of others which is unfavourable to ours may
indeed rightly make us scrutinise our own with care, but it can never
convince us of its incorrectness. There is therefore no empirical
_ground of proof_ which would force a judgement of taste upon any one.

Still less, _in the second place_, can an _a priori_ proof determine
according to definite rules a judgement about beauty. If a man reads
me a poem of his or brings me to a play, which does not after all suit
my taste, he may bring forward in proof of the beauty of his poem
_Batteux_[67] or _Lessing_ or still more ancient and famous critics
of taste, and all the rules laid down by them; certain passages which
displease me may agree very well with rules of beauty (as they have
been put forth by these writers and are universally recognised): but
I stop my ears, I will listen to no arguments and no reasoning; and I
will rather assume that these rules of the critics are false, or at
least that they do not apply to the case in question, than admit that
my judgement should be determined by grounds of proof _a priori_. For
it is to be a judgement of Taste and not of Understanding or Reason.

It seems that this is one of the chief reasons why this aesthetical
faculty of judgement has been given the name of Taste. For though a
man enumerate to me all the ingredients of a dish, and remark that
each is separately pleasant to me and further extol with justice the
wholesomeness of this particular food--yet am I deaf to all these
reasons; I try the dish with _my_ tongue and my palate, and thereafter
(and not according to universal principles) do I pass my judgement.

In fact the judgement of Taste always takes the form of a singular
judgement about an Object. The Understanding can form a universal
judgement by comparing the Object in point of the satisfaction it
affords with the judgement of others upon it: _e.g._ “all tulips are
beautiful.” But then this is not a judgement of taste but a logical
judgement, which takes the relation of an Object to taste as the
predicate of things of a certain species. That judgement, however, in
which I find an individual given tulip beautiful, _i.e._ in which
I find my satisfaction in it to be universally valid, is alone a
judgement of taste. Its peculiarity consists in the fact that, although
it has merely subjective validity, it claims the assent of _all_
subjects, exactly as it would do if it were an objective judgement
resting on grounds of knowledge, that could be established by a proof.

§ 34. _There is no objective principle of Taste possible_

By a principle of taste I mean a principle under the condition of
which we could subsume the concept of an object and thus infer by
means of a syllogism that the object is beautiful. But that is
absolutely impossible. For I must feel the pleasure immediately in the
representation of the object, and of that I can be persuaded by no
grounds of proof whatever. Although, as _Hume_ says,[68] all critics
can reason more plausibly than cooks, yet the same fate awaits them.
They cannot expect the determining ground of their judgement [to be
derived] from the force of the proofs, but only from the reflection
of the subject upon its own proper state (of pleasure or pain), all
precepts and rules being rejected.

But although critics can and ought to pursue their reasonings so that
our judgements of taste may be corrected and extended, it is not with
a view to set forth the determining ground of this kind of aesthetical
judgements in a universally applicable formula, which is impossible;
but rather to investigate the cognitive faculties and their exercise in
these judgements, and to explain by examples the reciprocal subjective
purposiveness, the form of which, as has been shown above, in a given
representation, constitutes the beauty of the object. Therefore the
Critique of Taste is only subjective as regards the representation
through which an Object is given to us; viz. it is the art or science
of reducing to rules the reciprocal relation between the Understanding
and the Imagination in the given representation (without reference
to any preceding sensation or concept). That is, it is the art or
science of reducing to rules their accordance or discordance, and of
determining them with regard to their conditions. It is an _art_, if
it only shows this by examples; it is a _science_ if it derives the
possibility of such judgements from the nature of these faculties,
as cognitive faculties in general. We have here, in Transcendental
Criticism, only to do with the latter. It should develop and justify
the subjective principle of taste, as an _a priori_ principle of
the Judgement. This Critique, as an art, merely seeks to apply, in
the judging of objects, the physiological (here psychological), and
therefore empirical rules, according to which taste actually proceeds
(without taking any account of their possibility); and it criticises
the products of beautiful art just as, regarded as a science, it
criticises the faculty by which they are judged.

§ 35. _The principle of Taste is the subjective principle of Judgement
in general_

The judgement of taste is distinguished from a logical judgement in
this, that the latter subsumes a representation under the concept
of the Object, while the former does not subsume it under any
concept; because otherwise the necessary universal agreement [in
these judgements] would be capable of being enforced by proofs.
Nevertheless it is like the latter in this, that it claims universality
and necessity, though not according to concepts of the Object, and
consequently a merely subjective necessity. Now, because the concepts
in a judgement constitute its content (what belongs to the cognition
of the Object), but the judgement of taste is not determinable by
concepts, it is based only on the subjective formal condition of a
judgement in general. The subjective condition of all judgements is
the faculty of Judgement itself. This when used with reference to a
representation by which an object is given, requires the accordance
of two representative powers: viz. Imagination (for the intuition and
comprehension of the manifold) and Understanding (for the concept as
a representation of the unity of this comprehension). Now because no
concept of the Object lies here at the basis of the judgement, it can
only consist in the subsumption of the Imagination itself (in the case
of a representation by which an object is given) under the conditions
that the Understanding requires to pass from intuition to concepts.
That is, because the freedom of the Imagination consists in the fact
that it schematises without any concept, the judgement of taste must
rest on a mere sensation of the reciprocal activity of the Imagination
in its _freedom_ and the Understanding with its _conformity to law_.
It must therefore rest on a feeling, which makes us judge the object
by the purposiveness of the representation (by which an object is
given) in respect of the furtherance of the cognitive faculty in its
free play. Taste, then, as subjective Judgement, contains a principle
of subsumption, not of intuitions under concepts, but of the _faculty_
of intuitions or presentations (_i.e._ the Imagination) under the
_faculty_ of the concepts (_i.e._ the Understanding); so far as the
former _in its freedom_ harmonises with the latter _in its conformity
to law_.

In order to discover this ground of legitimacy by a Deduction of the
judgements of taste we can only take as a clue the formal peculiarities
of this kind of judgements, and consequently can only consider their
logical form.

§ 36. _Of the problem of a Deduction of judgements of Taste_

The concept of an Object in general can immediately be combined with
the perception of an object, containing its empirical predicates, so
as to form a cognitive judgement; and it is thus that a judgement
of experience is produced.[69] At the basis of this lie _a priori_
concepts of the synthetical unity of the manifold of intuition, by
which the manifold is thought as the determination of an Object. These
concepts (the Categories) require a Deduction, which is given in the
Critique of pure Reason; and by it we can get the solution of the
problem, how are synthetical _a priori_ cognitive judgements possible?
This problem concerns then the _a priori_ principles of the pure
Understanding and its theoretical judgements.

But with a perception there can also be combined a feeling of pleasure
(or pain) and a satisfaction, that accompanies the representation
of the Object and serves instead of its predicate; thus there can
result an aesthetical non-cognitive judgement. At the basis of
such a judgement--if it is not a mere judgement of sensation but a
formal judgement of reflection, which imputes the same satisfaction
necessarily to every one,--must lie some _a priori_ principle; which
may be merely subjective (if an objective one should prove impossible
for judgements of this kind), but also as such may need a Deduction,
that we may thereby comprehend how an aesthetical judgement can lay
claim to necessity. On this is founded the problem with which we are
now occupied, how are judgements of taste possible? This problem
then has to do with the _a priori_ principles of the pure faculty of
Judgement in _aesthetical_ judgements; _i.e._ judgements in which it
has not (as in theoretical ones) merely to subsume under objective
concepts of Understanding, and in which it is subject to a law, but in
which it is, itself, subjectively, both object and law.

This problem then may be thus represented: how is a judgement possible,
in which merely from _our own_ feeling of pleasure in an object,
independently of its concept, we judge that this pleasure attaches to
the representation of the same Object _in every other subject_, and
that _a priori_ without waiting for the accordance of others?

It is easy to see that judgements of taste are synthetical, because
they go beyond the concept and even beyond the intuition of the
Object, and add to that intuition as predicate something that is not a
cognition, viz. a feeling of pleasure (or pain). Although the predicate
(of the _personal_ pleasure bound up with the representation) is
empirical, nevertheless, as concerns the required assent of _every one_
the judgements are _a priori_, or desire to be regarded as such; and
this is already involved in the expressions of this claim. Thus this
problem of the Critique of Judgement belongs to the general problem of
transcendental philosophy, how are synthetical _a priori_ judgements

§ 37. _What is properly asserted a priori of an object in a judgement
of Taste_

That the representation of an object is immediately bound up with
pleasure can only be internally perceived, and if we did not wish to
indicate anything more than this it would give a merely empirical
judgement. For I cannot combine a definite feeling (of pleasure or
pain) with any representation except where there is at bottom an _a
priori_ principle in the Reason determining the Will. In that case the
pleasure (in the moral feeling) is the consequence of the principle,
but cannot be compared with the pleasure in taste, because it requires
a definite concept of a law; and the latter pleasure, on the contrary,
must be bound up with the mere act of judging, prior to all concepts.
Hence also all judgements of taste are singular judgements, because
they do not combine their predicate of satisfaction with a concept,
but with a given individual empirical representation.

And so it is not the pleasure, but the _universal validity of this
pleasure_, perceived as mentally bound up with the mere judgement upon
an object, which is represented _a priori_ in a judgement of taste as
a universal rule for the Judgement and valid for every one. It is an
empirical judgement [to say] that I perceive and judge an object with
pleasure. But it is an _a priori_ judgement [to say] that I find it
beautiful, _i.e._ I attribute this satisfaction necessarily to every

§ 38. _Deduction of judgements of Taste_

If it be admitted that in a pure judgement of taste the satisfaction
in the object is combined with the mere act of judging its form, it is
nothing else than its subjective purposiveness for the Judgement which
we feel to be mentally combined with the representation of the object.
The Judgement, as regards the formal rules of its action, apart from
all matter (whether sensation or concept), can only be directed to the
subjective conditions of its employment in general (it is applied[70]
neither to a particular mode of sense nor to a particular concept of
the Understanding); and consequently to that subjective [element] which
we can presuppose in all men (as requisite for possible cognition in
general). Thus the agreement of a representation with these conditions
of the Judgement must be capable of being assumed as valid _a priori_
for every one. _I.e._ we may rightly impute to every one the pleasure
or the subjective purposiveness of the representation for the relation
between the cognitive faculties in the act of judging a sensible object
in general.[71]


This Deduction is thus easy, because it has no need to justify the
objective reality of any concept, for Beauty is not a concept of the
Object and the judgement of taste is not cognitive. It only maintains
that we are justified in presupposing universally in every man those
subjective conditions of the Judgement which we find in ourselves; and
further, that we have rightly subsumed the given Object under these
conditions. The latter has indeed unavoidable difficulties which do
not beset the logical Judgement. There we subsume under concepts,
but in the aesthetical Judgement under a merely sensible relation
between the Imagination and Understanding mutually harmonising in
the representation of the form of the Object,--in which case the
subsumption may easily be fallacious. Yet the legitimacy of the
claim of the Judgement in counting upon universal assent is not thus
annulled; it reduces itself merely to the correctness of the principle
of judging validly for every one from subjective grounds. For as to
the difficulty or doubt concerning the correctness of the subsumption
under that principle, it makes the legitimacy of the claim of an
aesthetical judgement in general to such validity and the principle
of the same, as little doubtful, as the like faulty (though neither
so commonly nor readily faulty) subsumption of the logical Judgement
under its principle can make the latter, an objective principle,
doubtful. But if the question were to be, how is it possible to assume
nature _a priori_ to be a complex of objects of taste? this problem
has reference to Teleology, because it must be regarded as a purpose
of nature essentially belonging to its concept to exhibit forms that
are purposive for our Judgement. But the correctness of this latter
assumption is very doubtful, whereas the efficacy of natural beauties
is patent to experience.

§ 39. _Of the communicability of a Sensation_

If sensation, as the real in perception, is related to knowledge, it
is called sensation of the senses; and its specific quality may be
represented as generally communicable in a uniform way, if we assume
that every one has senses like our own. But this cannot at all be
presupposed of any single sensation. To a man who is deficient in the
sense of smell, this kind of sensation cannot be communicated; and
even if it is not wholly deficient, we cannot be certain that he gets
exactly the same sensation from a flower that we have. But even more
must we represent men as differing in respect of the _pleasantness_
or _unpleasantness_ involved in the sensation from the same object of
sense; and it is absolutely not to be required that every man should
take pleasure in the same objects. Pleasure of this kind, because it
comes into the mind through the senses, in respect of which therefore
we are passive, we may call the pleasure of _enjoyment_.

Satisfaction in an action because of its moral character is on the
other hand not the pleasure of enjoyment, but of spontaneity and its
accordance with the Idea of its destination. But this feeling, called
moral, requires concepts, and presents not free purposiveness, but
purposiveness that is conformable to law; it therefore admits of being
universally communicated only by means of Reason, and, if the pleasure
is to be homogeneous for every one, by very definite practical concepts
of Reason.

Pleasure in the Sublime in nature, regarded as a pleasure of rational
contemplation, also makes claim to universal participation; but
it presupposes, besides, a different feeling, viz. that of our
supersensible destination, which, however obscurely, has a moral
foundation. But that other men will take account of it, and will find
a satisfaction in the consideration of the wild greatness of nature
(that certainly cannot be ascribed to its aspect, which is rather
terrifying), I am not absolutely justified in supposing. Nevertheless,
in consideration of the fact that on every suitable occasion regard
should be had to these moral dispositions, I can impute such
satisfaction to every man, but only by means of the moral law which on
its side again is based on concepts of Reason.

On the contrary, pleasure in the Beautiful is neither a pleasure
of enjoyment nor of a law-abiding activity, nor even of rational
contemplation in accordance with Ideas, but of mere reflection. Without
having as rule any purpose or fundamental proposition, this pleasure
accompanies the ordinary apprehension of an object by the Imagination,
as faculty of intuition, in relation with the Understanding, as faculty
of concepts, by means of a procedure of the Judgement which it must
also exercise on behalf of the commonest experience; only that in
the latter case it is in order to perceive an empirical objective
concept, in the former case (in aesthetical judgements) merely to
perceive the accordance of the representation with the harmonious
(subjectively purposive) activity of both cognitive faculties in their
freedom, _i.e._ to feel with pleasure the mental state produced by
the representation. This pleasure must necessarily depend for every
one on the same conditions, for they are subjective conditions of the
possibility of a cognition in general; and the proportion between
these cognitive faculties requisite for Taste is also requisite for
that ordinary sound Understanding which we have to presuppose in
every one. Therefore he who judges with taste (if only he does not go
astray in this act of consciousness and mistake matter for form or
charm for beauty) may impute to every one subjective purposiveness,
_i.e._ his satisfaction in the Object, and may assume his feeling to be
universally communicable and that without the mediation of concepts.

§ 40. _Of Taste as a kind of_ sensus communis

We often give to the Judgement, if we are considering the result rather
than the act of its reflection, the name of a sense, and we speak of
a sense of truth, or of a sense of decorum, of justice, etc. And yet
we know, or at least we ought to know, that these concepts cannot
have their place in Sense, and further, that Sense has not the least
capacity for expressing universal rules; but that no representation
of truth, fitness, beauty, or justice, and so forth, could come into
our thoughts if we could not rise beyond Sense to higher faculties
of cognition. _The common Understanding of men_, which, as the mere
sound (not yet cultivated) Understanding, we regard as the least to
be expected from any one claiming the name of man, has therefore the
doubtful honour of being given the name of common sense (_sensus
communis_); and in such a way that by the name _common_ (not merely
in our language, where the word actually has a double signification,
but in many others) we understand _vulgar_, that which is everywhere
met with, the possession of which indicates absolutely no merit or

But under the _sensus communis_ we must include the Idea of a
_communal_ sense, _i.e._ of a faculty of judgement, which in its
reflection takes account (_a priori_) of the mode of representation
of all other men in thought; in order _as it were_ to compare its
judgement with the collective Reason of humanity, and thus to escape
the illusion arising from the private conditions that could be so
easily taken for objective, which would injuriously affect the
judgement. This is done by comparing our judgement with the possible
rather than the actual judgements of others, and by putting ourselves
in the place of any other man, by abstracting from the limitations
which contingently attach to our own judgement. This, again, is
brought about by leaving aside as much as possible the matter of our
representative state, _i.e._ sensation, and simply having respect to
the formal peculiarities of our representation or representative state.
Now this operation of reflection seems perhaps too artificial to be
attributed to the faculty called _common_ sense; but it only appears
so, when expressed in abstract formulae. In itself there is nothing
more natural than to abstract from charm or emotion if we are seeking a
judgement that is to serve as a universal rule.

The following Maxims of common human Understanding do not properly
come in here, as parts of the Critique of Taste; but yet they may
serve to elucidate its fundamental propositions. They are: 1° to
think for oneself; 2° to put ourselves in thought in the place of
every one else; 3° always to think consistently. The first is the
maxim of _unprejudiced_ thought; the second of _enlarged_ thought;
the third of _consecutive_ thought.[72] The first is the maxim of a
Reason never _passive_. The tendency to such passivity, and therefore
to heteronomy of the Reason, is called _prejudice_; and the greatest
prejudice of all is to represent nature as not subject to the rules
that the Understanding places at its basis by means of its own
essential law, _i.e._ is _superstition_. Deliverance from superstition
is called _enlightenment_;[73] because although this name belongs to
deliverance from prejudices in general, yet superstition specially
(_in sensu eminenti_) deserves to be called a prejudice. For the
blindness in which superstition places us, which it even imposes on
us as an obligation, makes the need of being guided by others, and
the consequent passive state of our Reason, peculiarly noticeable. As
regards the second maxim of the mind, we are otherwise wont to call
him limited (_borné_, the opposite of _enlarged_) whose talents attain
to no great use (especially as regards intensity). But here we are not
speaking of the faculty of cognition, but of the _mode of thought_
which makes a purposive use thereof. However small may be the area
or the degree to which a man’s natural gifts reach, yet it indicates
a man of _enlarged thought_ if he disregards the subjective private
conditions of his own judgement, by which so many others are confined,
and reflects upon it from a _universal standpoint_ (which he can only
determine by placing himself at the standpoint of others). The third
maxim, viz. that of _consecutive_ thought, is the most difficult to
attain, and can only be attained by the combination of both the former,
and after the constant observance of them has grown into a habit. We
may say that the first of these maxims is the maxim of Understanding,
the second of Judgement, and the third of Reason.

I take up again the threads interrupted by this digression, and I say
that Taste can be called _sensus communis_ with more justice than sound
Understanding can; and that the aesthetical Judgement rather than the
intellectual may bear the name of a communal sense,[74] if we are
willing to use the word “sense” of an effect of mere reflection upon
the mind: for then we understand by sense the feeling of pleasure. We
could even define Taste as the faculty of judging of that which makes
_universally communicable_, without the mediation of a concept, our
feeling in a given representation.

The skill that men have in communicating their thoughts requires also
a relation between the Imagination and the Understanding in order to
associate intuitions with concepts, and concepts again with those
concepts, which then combine in a cognition. But in that case the
agreement of the two mental powers is _according to law_, under the
constraint of definite concepts. Only where the Imagination in its
freedom awakens the Understanding, and is put by it into regular play
without the aid of concepts, does the representation communicate itself
not as a thought but as an internal feeling of a purposive state of the

Taste is then the faculty of judging _a priori_ of the communicability
of feelings that are bound up with a given representation (without the
mediation of a concept).

If we could assume that the mere universal communicability of a feeling
must carry in itself an interest for us with it (which, however, we are
not justified in concluding from the character of a merely reflective
Judgement), we should be able to explain why the feeling in the
judgement of taste comes to be imputed to every one, so to speak, as a

§ 41. _Of the empirical interest in the Beautiful_

That the judgement of taste by which something is declared beautiful
must have no interest _as its determining ground_ has been sufficiently
established above. But it does not follow that after it has been
given as a pure aesthetical judgement, no interest can be combined
with it. This combination, however, can only be indirect, _i.e._ taste
must first of all be represented as combined with something else, in
order that we may unite with the satisfaction of mere reflection upon
an object a _pleasure in its existence_ (as that wherein all interest
consists). For here also in aesthetical judgements what we say in
cognitive judgements (of things in general) is valid; _a posse ad esse
non valet consequentia_. This something else may be empirical, viz. an
inclination proper to human nature, or intellectual, as the property
of the Will of being capable of _a priori_ determination by Reason.
Both these involve a satisfaction in the presence of an Object, and so
can lay the foundation for an interest in what has by itself pleased
without reference to any interest whatever.

Empirically the Beautiful interests only in _society_. If we admit
the impulse to society as natural to man, and his fitness for it, and
his propension towards it, _i.e._ _sociability_, as a requisite for
man as a being destined for society, and so as a property belonging
to _humanity_, we cannot escape from regarding taste as a faculty for
judging everything in respect of which we can communicate our _feeling_
to all other men, and so as a means of furthering that which every
one’s natural inclination desires.

A man abandoned by himself on a desert island would adorn neither his
hut nor his person; nor would he seek for flowers, still less would he
plant them, in order to adorn himself therewith. It is only in society
that it occurs to him to be not merely a man, but a refined man after
his kind (the beginning of civilisation). For such do we judge him to
be who is both inclined and apt to communicate his pleasure to others,
and who is not contented with an Object if he cannot feel satisfaction
in it in common with others. Again, every one expects and requires from
every one else this reference to universal communication [of pleasure],
as it were from an original compact dictated by humanity itself. Thus,
doubtless, in the beginning only those things which attracted the
senses, _e.g._ colours for painting oneself (roucou among the Carabs
and cinnabar among the Iroquois), flowers, mussel shells, beautiful
feathers, etc.,--but in time beautiful forms also (_e.g._ in their
canoes, and clothes, etc.), which bring with them no gratification, or
satisfaction of enjoyment--were important in society, and were combined
with great interest. Until at last civilisation, having reached its
highest point, makes out of this almost the main business of refined
inclination; and sensations are only regarded as of worth in so far as
they can be universally communicated. Here, although the pleasure which
every one has in such an object is inconsiderable and in itself without
any marked interest, yet the Idea of its universal communicability
increases its worth in an almost infinite degree.

But this interest that indirectly attaches to the Beautiful through
our inclination to society, and consequently is empirical, is of no
importance for us here; because we have only to look to what may have
a reference, although only indirectly, to the judgement of taste _a
priori_. For if even in this form an interest bound up therewith should
discover itself, taste would discover a transition of our judging
faculty from sense-enjoyment to moral feeling; and so not only would
we be the better guided in employing taste purposively, but there
would be thus presented a link in the chain of the human faculties _a
priori_, on which all legislation must depend. We can only say thus
much about the empirical interest in objects of taste and in taste
itself. Since it is subservient to inclination, however refined the
latter may be, it may easily be confounded with all the inclinations
and passions, which attain their greatest variety and highest degree in
society; and the interest in the Beautiful, if it is grounded thereon,
can only furnish a very ambiguous transition from the Pleasant to the
Good. But whether this can or cannot be furthered by taste, taken in
its purity, is what we now have to investigate.

§ 42. _Of the intellectual interest in the Beautiful_

With the best intentions those persons who refer all activities, to
which their inner natural dispositions impel men, to the final purpose
of humanity, viz. the morally good, have regarded the taking an
interest in the Beautiful in general as a mark of good moral character.
But it is not without reason that they have been contradicted by others
who rely on experience; for this shows that connoisseurs in taste,
not only often but generally, are given up to idle, capricious, and
mischievous passions, and that they could perhaps make less claim than
others to any pre-eminent attachment to moral principles. Thus it would
seem that the feeling for the Beautiful is not only (as actually is
the case) specifically different from the Moral feeling; but that the
interest which can be bound up with it is hardly compatible with moral
interest, and certainly has no inner affinity therewith.

Now I admit at once that the interest in the _Beautiful of Art_ (under
which I include the artificial use of natural beauties for adornment
and so for vanity) furnishes no proof whatever of a disposition
attached to the morally good or even inclined thereto. But on the
other hand, I maintain that to take an _immediate interest_ in the
Beauty of Nature (not merely to have taste in judging it) is always
a mark of a good soul; and that when this interest is habitual it at
least indicates a frame of mind favourable to the moral feeling, if it
is voluntarily bound up with the _contemplation of nature_. It is to
be remembered, however, that I here speak strictly of the beautiful
_forms_ of Nature, and I set aside the _charms_, that she is wont to
combine so abundantly with them; because, though the interest in the
latter is indeed immediate, it is only empirical.

He who by himself (and without any design of communicating his
observations to others) regards the beautiful figure of a wild flower,
a bird, an insect, etc., with admiration and love--who would not
willingly miss it in Nature, although it may bring him some hurt, who
still less wants any advantage from it--_he_ takes an immediate and
also an intellectual interest in the beauty of Nature. _I.e._ it is not
merely the form of the product of nature which pleases him, but its
very presence pleases him, the charms of sense having no share in this
pleasure and no purpose whatever being combined with it.

But it is noteworthy that if we secretly deceived this lover of the
beautiful by planting in the ground artificial flowers (which can be
manufactured exactly like natural ones), or by placing artificially
carved birds on the boughs of trees, and he discovered the deceit, the
immediate interest that he previously took in them would disappear
at once; though, perhaps, a different interest, viz. the interest of
vanity in adorning his chamber with them for the eyes of others, would
take its place. This thought then must accompany our intuition and
reflection on beauty, viz. that nature has produced it; and on this
alone is based the immediate interest that we take in it. Otherwise,
there remains a mere judgement of taste, either devoid of all interest,
or bound up with a mediate interest, viz. in that it has reference to
society; which latter [interest] furnishes no certain indications of a
morally good disposition.

This superiority of natural to artificial beauty in that it alone
arouses an immediate interest, although as regards form the first
may be surpassed by the second, harmonises with the refined and
well-grounded habit of thought of all men who have cultivated their
moral feeling. If a man who has taste enough to judge of the products
of beautiful Art with the greatest accuracy and refinement willingly
leaves a chamber where are to be found those beauties that minister to
vanity or to any social joys, and turns to the beautiful in Nature in
order to find, as it were, delight for his spirit in a train of thought
that he can never completely evolve, we will regard this choice of his
with veneration, and attribute to him a beautiful soul, to which no
connoisseur or lover [of Art] can lay claim on account of the interest
he takes in his [artistic] objects.--What now is the difference in
our estimation of these two different kinds of Objects, which in the
judgement of mere taste it is hard to compare in point of superiority?

We have a faculty of mere aesthetical Judgement by which we judge forms
without the aid of concepts, and find a satisfaction in this mere act
of judgement; this we make into a rule for every one, without this
judgement either being based on or producing any interest.--On the
other hand, we have also a faculty of intellectual Judgement which
determines an _a priori_ satisfaction for the mere forms of practical
maxims (so far as they are in themselves qualified for universal
legislation); this we make into a law for every one, without our
judgement being based on any interest whatever, _though in this case
it produces such an interest_. The pleasure or pain in the former
judgement is called that of taste, in the latter, that of moral feeling.

But it also interests Reason that the Ideas (for which in moral feeling
it arouses an immediate interest) should have objective reality; _i.e._
that nature should at least show a trace or give an indication that
it contains in itself some ground for assuming a regular agreement of
its products with our entirely disinterested satisfaction (which we
recognise _a priori_ as a law for every one, without being able to base
it upon proofs). Hence Reason must take an interest in every expression
on the part of nature of an agreement of this kind. Consequently, the
mind cannot ponder upon the beauty of _Nature_ without finding itself
at the same time interested therein. But this interest is akin to
moral, and he who takes such an interest in the beauties of nature
can do so only in so far as he previously has firmly established his
interest in the morally good. If, therefore, the beauty of Nature
interests a man immediately we have reason for attributing to him, at
least, a basis for a good moral disposition.

It will be said that this account of aesthetical judgements, as akin
to the moral feeling, seems far too studied to be regarded as the
true interpretation of that cipher through which Nature speaks to us
figuratively in her beautiful forms. However, in the first place,
this immediate interest in the beautiful is actually not common; but
is peculiar to those whose mental disposition either has already been
cultivated in the direction of the good or is eminently susceptible
of such cultivation. In that case the analogy between the pure
judgement of taste which, independently of any interest, causes us to
feel a satisfaction, and also represents it _a priori_ as suitable
to humanity in general, and the moral judgement that does the same
thing from concepts without any clear, subtle, and premeditated
reflection--this analogy leads to a similar immediate interest in the
objects of the former as in those of the latter; only that in the
one case the interest is free, in the other it is based on objective
laws. To this is to be added our admiration for Nature, which displays
itself in its beautiful products as Art, not merely by chance, but
as it were designedly, in accordance with a regular arrangement, and
as purposiveness without purpose. This latter, as we never meet with
it outside ourselves, we naturally seek in ourselves; and, in fact,
in that which constitutes the ultimate purpose of our being, viz.
our moral destination. (Of this question as to the ground of the
possibility of such natural purposiveness we shall first speak in the

It is easy to explain why the satisfaction in the pure aesthetical
judgement in the case of beautiful Art is not combined with an
immediate interest as it is in the case of beautiful Nature. For the
former is either such an imitation of the latter that it reaches the
point of deception and then produces the same effect as natural beauty
(for which it is taken); or it is an art obviously directed designedly
to our satisfaction. In the latter case the satisfaction in the product
would, it is true, be brought about immediately by taste, but it would
be only a mediate interest in the cause lying at its root, viz. an art
that can only interest by means of its purpose and never in itself.
It will, perhaps, be said that this is also the case, if an Object
of nature interests us by its beauty only so far as it is associated
with a moral Idea. But it is not the Object itself which immediately
interests us, but its character in virtue of which it is qualified for
such association, which therefore essentially belongs to it.

The charms in beautiful Nature, which are so often found, as it
were, blended with beautiful forms, may be referred to modifications
either of light (colours) or of sound (tones). For these are the only
sensations that imply not merely a sensible feeling but also reflection
upon the form of these modifications of Sense; and thus they involve
in themselves as it were a language by which nature speaks to us,
which thus seems to have a higher sense. Thus the white colour of
lilies seems to determine the mind to Ideas of innocence; and the seven
colours in order from the red to the violet seem to suggest the Ideas
of (1) Sublimity, (2) Intrepidity, (3) Candour, (4) Friendliness, (5)
Modesty, (6) Constancy, (7) Tenderness. The song of birds proclaims
gladsomeness and contentment with existence. At least so we interpret
nature, whether it have this design or not. But the interest which
we here take in beauty has only to do with the beauty of Nature; it
vanishes altogether as soon as we notice that we are deceived and
that it is only Art--vanishes so completely that taste can no longer
find the thing beautiful or sight find it charming. What is more
highly praised by poets than the bewitching and beautiful note of the
nightingale in a lonely copse on a still summer evening by the soft
light of the moon? And yet we have instances of a merry host, where no
such songster was to be found, deceiving to their great contentment
the guests who were staying with him to enjoy the country air, by
hiding in a bush a mischievous boy who knew how to produce this sound
exactly like nature (by means of a reed or a tube in his mouth). But
as soon as we are aware that it is a cheat, no one will remain long
listening to the song which before was counted so charming. And it is
just the same with the songs of all other birds. It must be Nature or
be regarded as Nature, if we are to take an immediate _interest_ in the
Beautiful as such; and still more is this the case if we can require
that others should take an interest in it too. This happens as a matter
of fact when we regard as coarse and ignoble the mental attitude of
those persons who have no _feeling_ for beautiful Nature (for thus we
describe a susceptibility to interest in its contemplation), and who
confine themselves to eating and drinking--to the mere enjoyments of

§ 43. _Of Art in general_

(1). _Art_ is distinguished from Nature, as doing (_facere_) is
distinguished from acting or working generally (_agere_), and as the
product or result of the former is distinguished as _work_ (_opus_)
from the working (_effectus_) of the latter.

By right we ought only to describe as Art, production through freedom,
_i.e._ through a will that places Reason at the basis of its actions.
For although we like to call the product of bees (regularly built
cells of wax) a work of art, this is only by way of analogy: as soon
as we feel that this work of theirs is based on no proper rational
deliberation, we say that it is a product of Nature (of instinct), and
as Art only ascribe it to their Creator.

If, as sometimes happens, in searching through a bog we come upon a bit
of shaped wood, we do not say: this is a product of Nature, but, of
Art. Its producing cause has conceived a purpose to which the bit of
wood owes its form. Elsewhere too we should see art in everything which
is made so that a representation of it in its cause must have preceded
its actuality (as even in the case of the bees), though the effect
could not have been _thought_ by the cause. But if we call anything
absolutely a work of art in order to distinguish it from a natural
effect, we always understand by that a work of man.

(2). _Art_ regarded as human skill differs from _science_ (as _can_
from _know_) as a practical faculty does from a theoretical, as Technic
does from Theory (as mensuration from geometry). And so what we _can_
do, as soon as we merely _know_ what ought to be done and therefore
are sufficiently cognisant of the desired effect, is not called
Art. Only that which a man, even if he knows it completely, may not
therefore have the skill to accomplish, belongs to Art. _Camper_[75]
describes very exactly how the best shoes must be made, but he
certainly could not make one.[76]

(3). _Art_ also differs from _handicraft_; the first is called _free_,
the other may be called mercenary. We regard the first as if it could
only prove purposive as play, _i.e._ as occupation that is pleasant in
itself. But the second is regarded as if it could only be compulsorily
imposed upon one as work, _i.e._ as occupation which is unpleasant (a
trouble) in itself, and which is only attractive on account of its
effect (_e.g._ the wage). Whether or not in the graded list of the
professions we ought to count watchmakers as artists, but smiths only
as handicraftsmen, would require another point of view from which to
judge than that which we are here taking up; viz. [we should have to
consider] the proportion of talents which must be assumed requisite in
these several occupations. Whether or not, again, under the so-called
seven free arts some may be included which ought to be classed as
sciences, and many that are akin rather to handicraft, I shall not
here discuss. But it is not inexpedient to recall that in all free
arts there is yet requisite something compulsory, or, as it is called,
_mechanism_, without which the _spirit_, which must be free in art and
which alone inspires the work, would have no body and would evaporate
altogether; _e.g._ in poetry there must be an accuracy and wealth of
language, and also prosody and metre. [It is not inexpedient, I say,
to recall this], for many modern educators believe that the best way
to produce a free art is to remove it from all constraint, and thus to
change it from work into mere play.

§ 44. _Of beautiful Art_

There is no Science of the Beautiful, but only a Critique of it; and
there is no such thing as beautiful Science, but only beautiful Art.
For as regards the first point, if it could be decided scientifically,
_i.e._ by proofs, whether a thing was to be regarded as beautiful or
not, the judgement upon beauty would belong to science and would not
be a judgement of taste. And as far as the second point is concerned,
a science which should be beautiful as such is a nonentity. For if
in such a science we were to ask for grounds and proofs, we would be
put off with tasteful phrases (bon-mots).--The source of the common
expression, _beautiful science_, is without doubt nothing else than
this, as it has been rightly remarked, that for beautiful art in its
entire completeness much science is requisite; _e.g._ a knowledge
of ancient languages, a learned familiarity with classical authors,
history, a knowledge of antiquities, etc. And hence these historical
sciences, because they form the necessary preparation and basis for
beautiful art, and also partly because under them is included the
knowledge of the products of beautiful art (rhetoric and poetry), have
come to be called beautiful sciences by a confusion of words.

If art which is adequate to the _cognition_ of a possible object
performs the actions requisite therefore merely in order to make it
actual, it is _mechanical_ art; but if it has for its immediate design
the feeling of pleasure, it is called _aesthetical_ art. This is again
either _pleasant_ or _beautiful_. It is the first, if its purpose is
that the pleasure should accompany the representations [of the object]
regarded as mere _sensations_; it is the second if they are regarded as
_modes of cognition_.

Pleasant arts are those that are directed merely to enjoyment. Of
this class are all those charming arts that can gratify a company at
table; _e.g._ the art of telling stories in an entertaining way, of
starting the company in frank and lively conversation, of raising them
by jest and laugh to a certain pitch of merriment;[77] when, as people
say, there may be a great deal of gossip at the feast, but no one
will be answerable for what he says, because they are only concerned
with momentary entertainment, and not with any permanent material
for reflection or subsequent discussion. (Among these are also to be
reckoned the way of arranging the table for enjoyment, and, at great
feasts, the management of the music. This latter is a wonderful thing.
It is meant to dispose to gaiety the minds of the guests, regarded
solely as a pleasant noise, without any one paying the least attention
to its composition; and it favours the free conversation of each
with his neighbour.) Again, to this class belong all games which
bring with them no further interest than that of making the time pass

On the other hand, beautiful art is a mode of representation which is
purposive for itself, and which, although devoid of [definite] purpose,
yet furthers the culture of the mental powers in reference to social

The universal communicability of a pleasure carries with it in its very
concept that the pleasure is not one of enjoyment, from mere sensation,
but must be derived from reflection; and thus aesthetical art, as
the art of beauty, has for standard the reflective Judgement and not

§ 45. _Beautiful Art is an art, in so far as it seems like nature_

In a product of beautiful art we must become conscious that it is Art
and not Nature; but yet the purposiveness in its form must seem to be
as free from all constraint of arbitrary rules as if it were a product
of mere nature. On this feeling of freedom in the play of our cognitive
faculties, which must at the same time be purposive, rests that
pleasure which alone is universally communicable, without being based
on concepts. Nature is beautiful because it looks like Art; and Art can
only be called beautiful if we are conscious of it as Art while yet it
looks like Nature.

For whether we are dealing with natural or with artificial beauty we
can say generally: _That is beautiful which pleases in the mere act of
judging it_ (not in the sensation of it, or by means of a concept). Now
art has always a definite design of producing something. But if this
something were bare sensation (something merely subjective), which is
to be accompanied with pleasure, the product would please in the act
of judgement only by mediation of sensible feeling. And again, if the
design were directed towards the production of a definite Object, then,
if this were attained by art, the Object would only please by means of
concepts. But in both cases the art would not please _in the mere act
of judging_; _i.e._ it would not please as beautiful, but as mechanical.

Hence the purposiveness in the product of beautiful art, although it
is designed, must not seem to be designed; _i.e._ beautiful art must
_look_ like nature, although we are conscious of it as art. But a
product of art appears like nature when, although its agreement with
the rules, according to which alone the product can become what it
ought to be, is _punctiliously_ observed, yet this is not _painfully_
apparent; [the form of the schools does not obtrude itself][78]--it
shows no trace of the rule having been before the eyes of the artist
and having fettered his mental powers.

§ 46. _Beautiful Art is the art of genius_

_Genius_ is the talent (or natural gift) which gives the rule to Art.
Since talent, as the innate productive faculty of the artist, belongs
itself to Nature, we may express the matter thus: _Genius_ is the
innate mental disposition (_ingenium_) _through which_ Nature gives the
rule to Art.

Whatever may be thought of this definition, whether it is merely
arbitrary or whether it is adequate to the concept that we are
accustomed to combine with the word _genius_ (which is to be examined
in the following paragraphs), we can prove already beforehand that
according to the signification of the word here adopted, beautiful arts
must necessarily be considered as arts of _genius_.

For every art presupposes rules by means of which in the first instance
a product, if it is to be called artistic, is represented as possible.
But the concept of beautiful art does not permit the judgement upon the
beauty of a product to be derived from any rule, which has a _concept_
as its determining ground, and therefore has at its basis a concept
of the way in which the product is possible. Therefore, beautiful art
cannot itself devise the rule according to which it can bring about its
product. But since at the same time a product can never be called Art
without some precedent rule, Nature in the subject must (by the harmony
of its faculties) give the rule to Art; _i.e._ beautiful Art is only
possible as a product of Genius.

We thus see (1) that genius is a _talent_ for producing that for which
no definite rule can be given; it is not a mere aptitude for what can
be learnt by a rule. Hence _originality_ must be its first property.
(2) But since it also can produce original nonsense, its products
must be models, _i.e._ _exemplary_; and they consequently ought not
to spring from imitation, but must serve as a standard or rule of
judgement for others. (3) It cannot describe or indicate scientifically
how it brings about its products, but it gives the rule just as nature
does. Hence the author of a product for which he is indebted to his
genius does not himself know how he has come by his Ideas; and he has
not the power to devise the like at pleasure or in accordance with a
plan, and to communicate it to others in precepts that will enable them
to produce similar products. (Hence it is probable that the word genius
is derived from _genius_, that peculiar guiding and guardian spirit
given to a man at his birth, from whose suggestion these original
Ideas proceed.) (4) Nature by the medium of genius does not prescribe
rules to Science, but to Art; and to it only in so far as it is to be
beautiful Art.

§ 47. _Elucidation and confirmation of the above explanation of Genius_

Every one is agreed that genius is entirely opposed to the _spirit of
imitation_. Now since learning is nothing but imitation, it follows
that the greatest ability and teachableness (capacity) regarded _quâ_
teachableness, cannot avail for genius. Even if a man thinks or invents
for himself, and does not merely take in what others have taught,
even if he discovers many things in art and science, this is not the
right ground for calling such a (perhaps great) _head_, a genius (as
opposed to him who because he can only learn and imitate is called a
_shallow-pate_). For even these things could be learned, they lie in
the natural path of him who investigates and reflects according to
rules; and they do not differ specifically from what can be acquired
by industry through imitation. Thus we can readily learn all that
_Newton_ has set forth in his immortal work on the Principles of
Natural Philosophy, however great a head was required to discover it;
but we cannot learn to write spirited poetry, however express may be
the precepts of the art and however excellent its models. The reason
is that _Newton_ could make all his steps, from the first elements
of geometry to his own great and profound discoveries, intuitively
plain and definite as regards consequence, not only to himself but
to every one else. But a _Homer_ or a _Wieland_ cannot show how his
Ideas, so rich in fancy and yet so full of thought, come together in
his head, simply because he does not know and therefore cannot teach
others. In Science then the greatest discoverer only differs in degree
from his laborious imitator and pupil; but he differs specifically
from him whom Nature has gifted for beautiful Art. And in this there
is no depreciation of those great men to whom the human race owes so
much gratitude, as compared with nature’s favourites in respect of
the talent for beautiful art. For in the fact that the former talent
is directed to the ever-advancing greater perfection of knowledge and
every advantage depending on it, and at the same time to the imparting
this same knowledge to others--in this it has a great superiority
over [the talent of] those who deserve the honour of being called
geniuses. For art stands still at a certain point; a boundary is set to
it beyond which it cannot go, which presumably has been reached long
ago and cannot be extended further. Again, artistic skill cannot be
communicated; it is imparted to every artist immediately by the hand
of nature; and so it dies with him, until nature endows another in the
same way, so that he only needs an example in order to put in operation
in a similar fashion the talent of which he is conscious.

If now it is a natural gift which must prescribe its rule to art (as
beautiful art), of what kind is this rule? It cannot be reduced to
a formula and serve as a precept, for then the judgement upon the
beautiful would be determinable according to concepts; but the rule
must be abstracted from the fact, _i.e._ from the product, on which
others may try their own talent by using it as a model, not to be
_copied_ but to be _imitated_. How this is possible is hard to explain.
The Ideas of the artist excite like Ideas in his pupils if nature has
endowed them with a like proportion of their mental powers. Hence
models of beautiful art are the only means of handing down these Ideas
to posterity. This cannot be done by mere descriptions, especially not
in the case of the arts of speech, and in this latter classical models
are only to be had in the old dead languages, now preserved only as
“the learned languages.”

Although mechanical and beautiful art are very different, the first
being a mere art of industry and learning and the second of genius, yet
there is no beautiful art in which there is not a mechanical element
that can be comprehended by rules and followed accordingly, and in
which therefore there must be something _scholastic_ as an essential
condition. For [in every art] some purpose must be conceived; otherwise
we could not ascribe the product to art at all, and it would be a mere
product of chance. But in order to accomplish a purpose, definite rules
from which we cannot dispense ourselves are requisite. Now since the
originality of the talent constitutes an essential (though not the
only) element in the character of genius, shallow heads believe that
they cannot better show themselves to be full-blown geniuses than by
throwing off the constraint of all rules; they believe, in effect, that
one could make a braver show on the back of a wild horse than on the
back of a trained animal. Genius can only furnish rich _material_ for
products of beautiful art; its execution and its _form_ require talent
cultivated in the schools, in order to make such a use of this material
as will stand examination by the Judgement. But it is quite ridiculous
for a man to speak and decide like a genius in things which require
the most careful investigation by Reason. One does not know whether to
laugh more at the impostor who spreads such a mist round him that we
cannot clearly use our Judgement and so use our Imagination the more,
or at the public which naïvely imagines that his inability to cognise
clearly and to comprehend the masterpiece before him arises from new
truths crowding in on him in such abundance that details (duly weighed
definitions and accurate examination of fundamental propositions) seem
but clumsy work.

§ 48. _Of the relation of Genius to Taste_

For _judging_ of beautiful objects as such, _taste_ is requisite;
but for beautiful art, _i.e._ for the _production_ of such objects,
_genius_ is requisite.

If we consider genius as the talent for beautiful art (which the
special meaning of the word implies) and in this point of view analyse
it into the faculties which must concur to constitute such a talent, it
is necessary in the first instance to determine exactly the difference
between natural beauty, the judging of which requires only Taste, and
artificial beauty, whose possibility (to which reference must be made
in judging such an object) requires Genius.

A natural beauty is a _beautiful thing_; artificial beauty is a
_beautiful representation_ of a thing.

In order to judge of a natural beauty as such I need not have
beforehand a concept of what sort of thing the object is to be; _i.e._
I need not know its material purposiveness (the purpose), but its mere
form pleases by itself in the act of judging it without any knowledge
of the purpose. But if the object is given as a product of art, and as
such is to be declared beautiful, then, because art always supposes a
purpose in the cause (and its causality), there must be at bottom in
the first instance a concept of what the thing is to be. And as the
agreement of the manifold in a thing with its inner destination, its
purpose, constitutes the perfection of the thing, it follows that in
judging of artificial beauty the perfection of the thing must be taken
into account; but in judging of natural beauty (as _such_) there is no
question at all about this.--It is true that in judging of objects of
nature, especially objects endowed with life, _e.g._ a man or a horse,
their objective purposiveness also is commonly taken into consideration
in judging of their beauty; but then the judgement is no longer purely
aesthetical, _i.e._ a mere judgement of taste. Nature is no longer
judged inasmuch as it appears like art, but in so far as it _is_ actual
(although superhuman) art; and the teleological judgement serves as the
basis and condition of the aesthetical, as a condition to which the
latter must have respect. In such a case, _e.g._ if it is said “that is
a beautiful woman,” we think nothing else than this: nature represents
in her figure the purposes in view in the shape of a woman’s figure.
For we must look beyond the mere form to a concept, if the object
is to be thought in such a way by means of a logically conditioned
aesthetical judgement.

Beautiful art shows its superiority in this, that it describes as
beautiful things which may be in nature ugly or displeasing.[79]
The Furies, diseases, the devastations of war, etc., may [even
regarded as calamitous],[80] be described as very beautiful, and even
represented in a picture. There is only one kind of ugliness which
cannot be represented in accordance with nature, without destroying
all aesthetical satisfaction and consequently artificial beauty;
viz. that which excites _disgust_. For in this peculiar sensation,
which rests on mere imagination, the object is represented as it
were obtruding itself for our enjoyment while we strive against it
with all our might. And the artistic representation of the object
is no longer distinguished from the nature of the object itself in
our sensation, and thus it is impossible that it can be regarded as
beautiful. The art of sculpture again, because in its products art is
almost interchangeable with nature, excludes from its creations the
immediate representation of ugly objects; _e.g._ it represents death
by a beautiful genius, the warlike spirit by Mars, and permits [all
such things] to be represented only by an allegory or attribute[81]
that has a pleasing effect, and thus only indirectly by the aid of the
interpretation of Reason, and not for the mere aesthetical Judgement.

So much for the beautiful representation of an object, which is
properly only the form of the presentation of a concept, and the means
by which the latter is communicated universally.--But to give this form
to the product of beautiful art, mere taste is requisite. By taste,
after he has exercised and corrected it by manifold examples from art
or nature, the artist checks his work; and after many, often toilsome,
attempts to content taste he finds the form which satisfies him. Hence
this form is not, as it were, a thing of inspiration or the result of a
free swing of the mental powers, but of a slow and even painful process
of improvement, by which he seeks to render it adequate to his thought,
without detriment to the freedom of the play of his powers.

But taste is merely a judging and not a productive faculty; and what
is appropriate to it is not therefore a work of beautiful art. It
may be only a product belonging to useful and mechanical art or even
to science, produced according to definite rules that can be learned
and must be exactly followed. But the pleasing form that is given to
it is only the vehicle of communication, and a mode, as it were, of
presenting it, in respect of which we remain free to a certain extent,
although it is combined with a definite purpose. Thus we desire that
table appointments, a moral treatise, even a sermon, should have
in themselves this form of beautiful art, without it seeming to be
_sought_: but we do not therefore call these things works of beautiful
art. Under the latter class are reckoned a poem, a piece of music, a
picture gallery, etc.; and in some would-be works of beautiful art
we find genius without taste, while in others we find taste without

§ 49. _Of the faculties of the mind that constitute Genius_

We say of certain products of which we expect that they should at
least in part appear as beautiful art, they are without _spirit_[82];
although we find nothing to blame in them on the score of taste. A poem
may be very neat and elegant, but without spirit. A history may be
exact and well arranged, but without spirit. A festal discourse may be
solid and at the same time elaborate, but without spirit. Conversation
is often not devoid of entertainment, but yet without spirit: even of
a woman we say that she is pretty, an agreeable talker, and courteous,
but without spirit. What then do we mean by spirit?

_Spirit_, in an aesthetical sense, is the name given to the animating
principle of the mind. But that whereby this principle animates the
soul, the material which it applies to that [purpose], is that which
puts the mental powers purposively into swing, _i.e._ into such a
play as maintains itself and strengthens the [mental] powers in their

Now I maintain that this principle is no other than the faculty of
presenting _aesthetical Ideas_. And by an aesthetical Idea I understand
that representation of the Imagination which occasions much thought,
without, however, any definite thought, _i.e._ any _concept_, being
capable of being adequate to it; it consequently cannot be completely
compassed and made intelligible by language.--We easily see that it is
the counterpart (pendant) of a _rational Idea_, which conversely is a
concept to which no _intuition_ (or representation of the Imagination)
can be adequate.

The Imagination (as a productive faculty of cognition) is very powerful
in creating another nature, as it were, out of the material that
actual nature gives it. We entertain ourselves with it when experience
proves too commonplace, and by it we remould experience, always indeed
in accordance with analogical laws, but yet also in accordance with
principles which occupy a higher place in Reason (laws too which are
just as natural to us as those by which Understanding comprehends
empirical nature). Thus we feel our freedom from the law of association
(which attaches to the empirical employment of Imagination), so that
the material which we borrow from nature in accordance with this law
can be worked up into something different which surpasses nature.

Such representations of the Imagination we may call _Ideas_, partly
because they at least strive after something which lies beyond the
bounds of experience, and so seek to approximate to a presentation of
concepts of Reason (intellectual Ideas), thus giving to the latter the
appearance of objective reality,--but especially because no concept can
be fully adequate to them as internal intuitions. The poet ventures to
realise to sense, rational Ideas of invisible beings, the kingdom of
the blessed, hell, eternity, creation, etc.; or even if he deals with
things of which there are examples in experience,--_e.g._ death, envy
and all vices, also love, fame, and the like,--he tries, by means of
Imagination, which emulates the play of Reason in its quest after a
maximum, to go beyond the limits of experience and to present them
to Sense with a completeness of which there is no example in nature.
It is, properly speaking, in the art of the poet, that the faculty
of aesthetical Ideas can manifest itself in its full measure. But
this faculty, considered in itself, is properly only a talent (of the

If now we place under a concept a representation of the Imagination
belonging to its presentation, but which occasions solely by itself
more thought than can ever be comprehended in a definite concept,
and which therefore enlarges aesthetically the concept itself in an
unbounded fashion,--the Imagination is here creative, and it brings
the faculty of intellectual Ideas (the Reason) into movement; _i.e._ a
movement, occasioned by a representation, towards more thought (though
belonging, no doubt, to the concept of the object) than can be grasped
in the representation or made clear.

Those forms which do not constitute the presentation of a given concept
itself but only, as approximate representations of the Imagination,
express the consequences bound up with it and its relationship to
other concepts, are called (aesthetical) _attributes_ of an object,
whose concept as a rational Idea cannot be adequately presented.
Thus Jupiter’s eagle with the lightning in its claws is an attribute
of the mighty king of heaven, as the peacock is of its magnificent
queen. They do not, like _logical attributes_, represent what lies in
our concepts of the sublimity and majesty of creation, but something
different, which gives occasion to the Imagination to spread itself
over a number of kindred representations, that arouse more thought
than can be expressed in a concept determined by words. They furnish
an _aesthetical Idea_, which for that rational Idea takes the place
of logical presentation; and thus as their proper office they enliven
the mind by opening out to it the prospect into an illimitable field
of kindred representations. But beautiful art does this not only in
the case of painting or sculpture (in which the term “attribute” is
commonly employed): poetry and rhetoric also get the spirit that
animates their works simply from the aesthetical attributes of the
object, which accompany the logical and stimulate the Imagination, so
that it thinks more by their aid, although in an undeveloped way, than
could be comprehended in a concept and therefore in a definite form of
words.-- For the sake of brevity I must limit myself to a few examples

When the great King[83] in one of his poems expresses himself as

    “Oui, finissons sans trouble et mourons sans regrets,
    En laissant l’univers comblé de nos bienfaits.
    Ainsi l’astre du jour au bout de sa carrière,
    Répand sur l’horizon une douce lumière;
    Et les derniers rayons qu’il darde dans les airs,
    Sont les derniers soupirs qu’il donne à l’univers;”

he quickens his rational Idea of a cosmopolitan disposition at the end
of life by an attribute which the Imagination (in remembering all the
pleasures of a beautiful summer day that are recalled at its close
by a serene evening) associates with that representation, and which
excites a number of sensations and secondary representations for which
no expression is found. On the other hand, an intellectual concept may
serve conversely as an attribute for a representation of sense and
so can quicken this latter by means of the Idea of the supersensible;
but only by the aesthetical [element], that subjectively attaches to
the concept of the latter, being here employed. Thus, for example, a
certain poet[84] says, in his description of a beautiful morning:

          “The sun arose
    As calm from virtue springs.”

The consciousness of virtue, even if one only places oneself in
thought in the position of a virtuous man, diffuses in the mind a
multitude of sublime and restful feelings and a boundless prospect of
a joyful future, to which no expression measured by a definite concept
completely attains.[85]

In a word the aesthetical Idea is a representation of the Imagination
associated with a given concept, which is bound up with such a
multiplicity of partial representations in its free employment, that
for it no expression marking a definite concept can be found; and such
a representation, therefore, adds to a concept much ineffable thought,
the feeling of which quickens the cognitive faculties, and with
language, which is the mere letter, binds up spirit also.

The mental powers, therefore, whose union (in a certain relation)
constitutes _genius_ are Imagination and Understanding. In the
employment of the Imagination for cognition it submits to the
constraint of the Understanding and is subject to the limitation of
being conformable to the concept of the latter. On the other hand, in
an aesthetical point of view it is free to furnish unsought, over and
above that agreement with a concept, abundance of undeveloped material
for the Understanding; to which the Understanding paid no regard in its
concept, but which it applies, though not objectively for cognition,
yet subjectively to quicken the cognitive powers and therefore also
indirectly to cognitions. Thus genius properly consists in the happy
relation [between these faculties], which no science can teach and no
industry can learn, by which Ideas are found for a given concept; and
on the other hand, we thus find for these Ideas the _expression_, by
means of which the subjective state of mind brought about by them,
as an accompaniment of the concept, can be communicated to others.
The latter talent is properly speaking what is called spirit; for
to express the ineffable element in the state of mind implied by a
certain representation and to make it universally communicable--whether
the expression be in speech or painting or statuary--this requires
a faculty of seizing the quickly passing play of Imagination and of
unifying it in a concept (which is even on that account original
and discloses a new rule that could not have been inferred from any
preceding principles or examples), that can be communicated without any
constraint [of rules].[86]

       *       *       *       *       *

If after this analysis we look back to the explanation given above
of what is called _genius_, we find: _first_, that it is a talent for
Art, not for Science, in which clearly known rules must go beforehand
and determine the procedure. _Secondly_, as an artistic talent it
presupposes a definite concept of the product, as the purpose, and
therefore Understanding; but it also presupposes a representation
(although an indeterminate one) of the material, _i.e._ of the
intuition, for the presentment of this concept; and, therefore, a
relation between the Imagination and the Understanding. _Thirdly_, it
shows itself not so much in the accomplishment of the proposed purpose
in a presentment of a definite _concept_, as in the enunciation or
expression of _aesthetical Ideas_, which contain abundant material for
that very design; and consequently it represents the Imagination as
free from all guidance of rules and yet as purposive in reference to
the presentment of the given concept. Finally, in the _fourth_ place,
the unsought undesigned subjective purposiveness in the free accordance
of the Imagination with the legality of the Understanding presupposes
such a proportion and disposition of these faculties as no following of
rules, whether of science or of mechanical imitation, can bring about,
but which only the nature of the subject can produce.

In accordance with these suppositions genius is the exemplary
originality of the natural gifts of a subject in the _free_ employment
of his cognitive faculties. In this way the product of a genius (as
regards what is to be ascribed to genius and not to possible learning
or schooling) is an example, not to be imitated (for then that which
in it is genius and constitutes the spirit of the work would be lost),
but to be followed, by another genius; whom it awakens to a feeling of
his own originality and whom it stirs so to exercise his art in freedom
from the constraint of rules, that thereby a new rule is gained for
art, and thus his talent shows itself to be exemplary. But because a
genius is a favourite of nature and must be regarded by us as a rare
phenomenon, his example produces for other good heads a school, _i.e._
a methodical system of teaching according to rules, so far as these can
be derived from the peculiarities of the products of his spirit. For
such persons beautiful art is so far imitation, to which nature through
the medium of a genius supplied the rule.

But this imitation becomes a mere _aping_, if the scholar _copies_
everything down to the deformities, which the genius must have let
pass only because he could not well remove them without weakening his
Idea. This mental characteristic is meritorious only in the case of
a genius. A certain _audacity_ in expression--and in general many a
departure from common rules--becomes him well, but it is in no way
worthy of imitation; it always remains a fault in itself which we
must seek to remove, though the genius is as it were privileged to
commit it, because the inimitable rush of his spirit would suffer
from over-anxious carefulness. _Mannerism_ is another kind of aping,
viz. of mere _peculiarity_ (originality) in general; by which a man
separates himself as far as possible from imitators, without however
possessing the talent to be at the same time _exemplary_.--There
are indeed in general two ways (_modi_) in which such a man may put
together his notions of expressing himself; the one is called a
_manner_ (_modus aestheticus_), the other a _method_ (_modus logicus_).
They differ in this, that the former has no other standard than the
_feeling_ of unity in the presentment, but the latter follows definite
_principles_; hence the former alone avails for beautiful art. But an
artistic product is said to show _mannerism_ only when the exposition
of the artist’s Idea is _founded_ on its very singularity, and is not
made appropriate to the Idea itself. The ostentatious (_précieux_),
contorted, and affected [manner, adopted] to differentiate oneself from
ordinary persons (though devoid of spirit) is like the behaviour of a
man of whom we say, that he hears himself talk, or who stands and moves
about as if he were on a stage in order to be stared at; this always
betrays a bungler.

§ 50. _Of the combination of Taste with Genius in the products of
beautiful Art_

To ask whether it is more important for the things of beautiful art
that Genius or Taste should be displayed, is the same as to ask whether
in it more depends on Imagination or on Judgement. Now, since in
respect of the first an art is rather said to be _full of spirit_, but
only deserves to be called a _beautiful_ art on account of the second;
this latter is at least, as its indispensable condition (_conditio sine
qua non_), the most important thing to which one has to look in the
judging of art as beautiful art. Abundance and originality of Ideas
are less necessary to beauty than the accordance of the Imagination in
its freedom with the conformity to law of the Understanding. For all
the abundance of the former produces in lawless freedom nothing but
nonsense; on the other hand, the Judgement is the faculty by which it
is adjusted to the Understanding.

Taste, like the Judgement in general, is the discipline (or training)
of Genius; it clips its wings closely, and makes it cultured and
polished; but, at the same time, it gives guidance as to where and
how far it may extend itself, if it is to remain purposive. And while
it brings clearness and order into the multitude of the thoughts, it
makes the Ideas susceptible of being permanently and, at the same time,
universally assented to, and capable of being followed by others, and
of an ever-progressive culture. If, then, in the conflict of these two
properties in a product something must be sacrificed, it should be
rather on the side of genius; and the Judgement, which in the things of
beautiful art gives its decision from its own proper principles, will
rather sacrifice the freedom and wealth of the Imagination than permit
anything prejudicial to the Understanding.

For beautiful art, therefore, _Imagination_, _Understanding_, _Spirit_,
and _Taste_ are requisite.[87]

§ 51. _Of the division of the beautiful arts_

We may describe beauty in general (whether natural or artificial) as
the _expression_ of aesthetical Ideas; only that in beautiful Art this
Idea must be occasioned by a concept of the Object; whilst in beautiful
Nature the mere reflection upon a given intuition, without any concept
of what the object is to be, is sufficient for the awakening and
communicating of the Idea of which that Object is regarded as the

If, then, we wish to make a division of the beautiful arts, we
cannot choose a more convenient principle, at least tentatively,
than the analogy of art with the mode of expression of which men
avail themselves in speech, in order to communicate to one another
as perfectly as possible not merely their concepts but also their
sensations.[88]--This is done by _word_, _deportment_, and _tone_
(articulation, gesticulation, and modulation). It is only by the
combination of these three kinds of expression that communication
between the speaker [and his hearers] can be complete. For thus
thought, intuition, and sensation are transmitted to others
simultaneously and conjointly.

There are, therefore, only three kinds of beautiful arts; the arts of
_speech_, the _formative_ arts, and the art of the _play of sensations_
(as external sensible impressions). We may also arrange a division by
dichotomy; thus beautiful art may be divided into the art of expression
of thoughts and of intuitions; and these further subdivided in
accordance with their form or their matter (sensation). But this would
appear to be too abstract, and not so accordant with ordinary concepts.

(1) The arts of SPEECH are _rhetoric_ and _poetry_. _Rhetoric_ is the
art of carrying on a serious business of the Understanding as if it
were a free play of the Imagination; _poetry_, the art of conducting a
free play of the Imagination as if it were a serious business of the

The _orator_, then, promises a serious business, and in order to
entertain his audience conducts it as if it were a mere _play_ with
Ideas. The _poet_ merely promises an entertaining play with Ideas,
and yet it has the same effect upon the Understanding as if he had
only intended to carry on its business. The combination and harmony of
both cognitive faculties, Sensibility and Understanding, which cannot
dispense with one another, but which yet cannot well be united without
constraint and mutual prejudice, must appear to be undesigned and so
to be brought about by themselves: otherwise it is not _beautiful_
art. Hence, all that is studied and anxious must be avoided in it, for
beautiful art must be free art in a double sense. It is not a work like
that of a tradesman, the magnitude of which can be judged, exacted, or
paid for, according to a definite standard; and again, though the mind
is occupied, still it feels itself contented and stimulated, without
looking to any other purpose (independently of reward.)

The orator therefore gives something which he does not promise, viz.
an entertaining play of the Imagination; but he also fails to supply
what he did promise, which is indeed his announced business, viz. the
purposive occupation of the Understanding. On the other hand, the poet
promises little and announces a mere play with Ideas; but he supplies
something which is worth occupying ourselves with, because he provides
in this play food for the Understanding, and by the aid of Imagination
gives life to his concepts. [Thus the orator on the whole gives less,
the poet more, than he promises.][89]

(2) The FORMATIVE arts, or those by which expression is found for Ideas
in _sensible intuition_ (not by representations of mere Imagination
that are aroused by words), are either arts of _sensible truth_ or
of _sensible illusion_. The former is called _Plastic_, the latter
_Painting_. Both express Ideas by figures in space; the former makes
figures cognisable by two senses, sight and touch (although not by
the latter as far as beauty is concerned); the latter only by one,
the first of these. The aesthetical Idea (the archetype or original
image) is fundamental for both in the Imagination, but the figure which
expresses this (the ectype or copy) is either given in its bodily
extension (as the object itself exists), or as it paints itself on the
eye (according to its appearance when projected on a flat surface). In
the first case[90] the condition given to reflection may be either the
reference to an actual purpose or only the semblance of it.

To _Plastic_, the first kind of beautiful formative Art, belong
_Sculpture_ and _Architecture_. The _first_ presents corporeally
concepts of things, _as they might have existed in nature_ (though
as beautiful art it has regard to aesthetical purposiveness). The
_second_ is the art of presenting concepts of things that are possible
_only through Art_, and whose form has for its determining ground not
nature but an arbitrary purpose, with the view of presenting them with
aesthetical purposiveness. In the latter the chief point is a certain
_use_ of the artistic object, by which condition the aesthetical Ideas
are limited. In the former the main design is the mere _expression_ of
aesthetical Ideas. Thus statues of men, gods, animals, etc., are of
the first kind; but temples, splendid buildings for public assemblies,
even dwelling-houses, triumphal arches, columns, mausoleums, and the
like, erected in honourable remembrance, belong to Architecture. Indeed
all house furniture (upholsterer’s work and such like things which are
for use) may be reckoned under this art; because the suitability of a
product for a certain use is the essential thing in an _architectural
work_. On the other hand, a mere _piece of sculpture_, which is simply
made for show and which is to please in itself, is as a corporeal
presentation a mere imitation of nature, though with a reference to
aesthetical Ideas; in it _sensible truth_ is not to be carried so far
that the product ceases to look like art and looks like a product of
the elective will.

_Painting_, as the second kind of formative art, which presents a
_sensible illusion_ artificially combined with Ideas, I would divide
into the art of the beautiful _depicting of nature_ and that of the
beautiful _arrangement of its products_. The first is _painting
proper_, the second is the art of _landscape gardening_. The first
gives only the illusory appearance of corporeal extension; the second
gives this in accordance with truth, but only the appearance of
utility and availableness for other purposes than the mere play of
the Imagination in the contemplation of its forms.[91] This latter is
nothing else than the ornamentation of the soil with a variety of
those things (grasses, flowers, shrubs, trees, even ponds, hillocks,
and dells) which nature presents to an observer, only arranged
differently and in conformity with certain Ideas. But, again, the
beautiful arrangement of corporeal things is only apparent to the
eye, like painting; the sense of touch cannot supply any intuitive
presentation of such a form. Under painting in the wide sense I would
reckon the decoration of rooms by the aid of tapestry, bric-a-brac, and
all beautiful furniture which is merely available to be _looked_ at;
and the same may be said of the art of tasteful dressing (with rings,
snuff-boxes, etc.). For a bed of various flowers, a room filled with
various ornaments (including under this head even ladies’ finery), make
at a fête a kind of picture; which, like pictures properly so-called
(that are not intended to _teach_ either history or natural science),
has in view merely the entertainment of the Imagination in free play
with Ideas, and the occupation of the aesthetical Judgement without
any definite purpose. The detailed work in all this decoration may be
quite distinct in the different cases and may require very different
artists; but the judgement of taste upon whatever is beautiful in
these various arts is always determined in the same way: viz. it only
judges the forms (without any reference to a purpose) as they present
themselves to the eye either singly or in combination, according to the
effect they produce upon the Imagination.--But that formative art may
be compared (by analogy) with deportment in speech is justified by the
fact that the spirit of the artist supplies by these figures a bodily
expression to his thought and its mode, and makes the thing itself as
it were speak in mimic language. This is a very common play of our
fancy, which attributes to lifeless things a spirit suitable to their
form by which they speak to us.

(3) The art of the BEAUTIFUL PLAY OF SENSATIONS (externally
stimulated), which admits at the same time of universal communication,
can be concerned with nothing else than the proportion of the
different degrees of the disposition (tension) of the sense, to which
the sensation belongs, _i.e._ with its tone. In this far-reaching
signification of the word it may be divided into the artistic play of
the sensations of hearing and sight, _i.e._ into _Music_ and the _Art
of colour_.--It is noteworthy that these two senses, besides their
susceptibility for impressions so far as these are needed to gain
concepts of external objects, are also capable of a peculiar sensation
bound up therewith, of which we cannot strictly decide whether it is
based on sense or reflection. This susceptibility may sometimes be
wanting, although in other respects the sense, as regards its use for
the cognition of Objects, is not at all deficient but is peculiarly
fine. That is, we cannot say with certainty whether colours or tones
(sounds) are merely pleasant sensations or whether they form in
themselves a beautiful play of sensations, and as such bring with them
in aesthetical judgement a satisfaction in their form. If we think
of the velocity of the vibrations of light, or in the second case
of the air, which probably far surpasses all our faculty of judging
immediately in perception the time interval between them, we must
believe that it is only the _effect_ of these vibrations upon the
elastic parts of our body that is felt, but that the _time interval_
between them is not remarked or brought into judgement; and thus that
only pleasantness and not beauty of composition is bound up with
colours and tones. But on the other hand, _first_, we think of the
mathematical [element] which enables us to pronounce on the proportion
between these oscillations in music and thus to judge of them; and by
analogy with which we easily may judge of the distinctions between
colours. _Secondly_, we recall instances (although they are rare) of
men who with the best sight in the world cannot distinguish colours,
and with the sharpest hearing cannot distinguish tones; whilst for
those who can do this the perception of an altered quality (not merely
of the degree of sensation) in the different intensities in the scale
of colours and tones is definite; and further, the very number of these
is fixed by _intelligible_ differences. Thus we may be compelled to see
that both kinds of sensations are to be regarded not as mere sensible
impressions, but as the effects of a judgement passed upon the form
in the play of divers sensations. The difference in our definition,
according as we adopt the one or the other opinion in judging of the
grounds of Music, would be just this: either, as we have done, we
must explain it as the beautiful play of sensations (of hearing), or
else as a play of _pleasant_ sensations. According to the former mode
of explanation music is represented altogether as a _beautiful_ art;
according to the latter, as a _pleasant_ art (at least in part).

§ 52. _Of the combination of beautiful arts in one and the same product_

Rhetoric may be combined with a pictorial presentation of its subjects
and objects in a _theatrical piece_; poetry may be combined with music
in a _song_, and this again with pictorial (theatrical) presentation in
an _opera_; the play of sensations in music may be combined with the
play of figures in the _dance_, and so on. Even the presentation of
the sublime, so far as it belongs to beautiful art, may combine with
beauty in a _tragedy in verse_, in a _didactic poem_, in an _oratorio_;
and in these combinations beautiful art is yet more artistic. Whether
it is also more beautiful may in some of these cases be doubted (since
so many different kinds of satisfaction cross one another). Yet in
all beautiful art the essential thing is the form, which is purposive
as regards our observation and judgement, where the pleasure is at
the same time cultivation and disposes the spirit to Ideas, and
consequently makes it susceptible of still more of such pleasure and
entertainment. The essential element is not the matter of sensation
(charm or emotion), which has only to do with enjoyment; this leaves
behind nothing in the Idea, and it makes the spirit dull, the object
gradually distasteful, and the mind, on account of its consciousness of
a disposition that conflicts with purpose in the judgement of Reason,
discontented with itself and peevish.

If the beautiful arts are not brought into more or less close
combination with moral Ideas, which alone bring with them a
self-sufficing satisfaction, this latter fate must ultimately be
theirs. They then serve only as a distraction, of which we are the
more in need the more we avail ourselves of them to disperse the
discontent of the mind with itself; so that we thus render ourselves
ever more useless and ever more discontented. The beauties of nature
are generally of most benefit in this point of view, if we are early
accustomed to observe, appreciate, and admire them.

§ 53. _Comparison of the respective aesthetical worth of the beautiful

Of all the arts _poetry_ (which owes its origin almost entirely to
genius and will least be guided by precept or example) maintains
the first rank. It expands the mind by setting the Imagination at
liberty; and by offering within the limits of a given concept amid
the unbounded variety of possible forms accordant therewith, that
which unites the presentment of this concept with a wealth of thought,
to which no verbal expression is completely adequate; and so rising
aesthetically to Ideas. It strengthens the mind by making it feel its
faculty--free, spontaneous and independent of natural determination--of
considering and judging nature as a phenomenon in accordance with
aspects which it does not present in experience either for Sense or
Understanding, and therefore of using it on behalf of, and as a sort
of schema for, the supersensible. It plays with illusion, which it
produces at pleasure, but without deceiving by it; for it declares
its exercise to be mere play, which however can be purposively used
by the Understanding.--Rhetoric, in so far as this means the art of
persuasion, _i.e._ of deceiving by a beautiful show (_ars oratoria_),
and not mere elegance of speech (eloquence and style), is a Dialectic,
which borrows from poetry only so much as is needful to win minds
to the side of the orator before they have formed a judgement, and
to deprive them of their freedom; it cannot therefore be recommended
either for the law courts or for the pulpit. For if we are dealing
with civil law, with the rights of individual persons, or with lasting
instruction and determination of people’s minds to an accurate
knowledge and a conscientious observance of their duty, it is unworthy
of so important a business to allow a trace of any exuberance of wit
and imagination to appear, and still less any trace of the art of
talking people over and of captivating them for the advantage of any
chance person. For although this art may sometimes be directed to
legitimate and praiseworthy designs, it becomes objectionable, when in
this way maxims and dispositions are spoiled in a subjective point of
view, though the action may objectively be lawful. It is not enough to
do what is right; we should practise it solely on the ground that it
is right. Again, the mere concept of this species of matters of human
concern, when clear and combined with a lively presentation of it in
examples, without any offence against the rules of euphony of speech
or propriety of expression, has by itself for Ideas of Reason (which
collectively constitute eloquence), sufficient influence upon human
minds; so that it is not needful to add the machinery of persuasion,
which, since it can be used equally well to beautify or to hide vice
and error, cannot quite lull the secret suspicion that one is being
artfully overreached. In poetry everything proceeds with honesty and
candour. It declares itself to be a mere entertaining play of the
Imagination, which wishes to proceed as regards form in harmony with
the laws of the Understanding; and it does not desire to steal upon
and ensnare the Understanding by the aid of sensible presentation.[92]

After poetry, _if we are to deal with charm and mental movement_, I
would place that art which comes nearest to the art of speech and can
very naturally be united with it, viz. _the art of tone_. For although
it speaks by means of mere sensations without concepts, and so does
not, like poetry, leave anything over for reflection, it yet moves
the mind in a greater variety of ways and more intensely, although
only transitorily. It is, however, rather enjoyment than culture (the
play of thought that is incidentally excited by its means is merely
the effect of a kind of mechanical association); and in the judgement
of Reason it has less worth than any other of the beautiful arts.
Hence, like all enjoyment, it desires constant change, and does not
bear frequent repetition without producing weariness. Its charm, which
admits of universal communication, appears to rest on this, that every
expression of speech has in its context a tone appropriate to the
sense. This tone indicates more or less an affection of the speaker,
and produces it also in the hearer; which affection excites in its
turn in the hearer the Idea that is expressed in speech by the tone
in question. Thus as modulation is as it were a universal language of
sensations intelligible to every man, the art of tone employs it by
itself alone in its full force, viz. as a language of the affections,
and thus communicates universally according to the laws of association
the aesthetical Ideas naturally combined therewith. Now these
aesthetical Ideas are not concepts or determinate thoughts. Hence the
form of the composition of these sensations (harmony and melody) only
serves instead of the form of language, by means of their proportionate
accordance, to express the aesthetical Idea of a connected whole of an
unspeakable wealth of thought, corresponding to a certain theme which
produces the dominating affection in the piece. This can be brought
mathematically under certain rules, because it rests in the case of
tones on the relation between the number of vibrations of the air in
the same time, so far as these tones are combined simultaneously or
successively. To this mathematical form, although not represented by
determinate concepts, alone attaches the satisfaction that unites
the mere reflection upon such a number of concomitant or consecutive
sensations with this their play, as a condition of its beauty valid for
every man. It is this alone which permits Taste to claim in advance a
rightful authority over every one’s judgement.

But in the charm and mental movement produced by Music, Mathematic
has certainly not the slightest share. It is only the indispensable
condition (_conditio sine qua non_) of that proportion of the
impressions in their combination and in their alternation by which
it becomes possible to gather them together and prevent them from
destroying one another, and to harmonise them so as to produce a
continual movement and animation of the mind, by means of affections
consonant therewith, and thus a delightful personal enjoyment.

If, on the other hand, we estimate the worth of the Beautiful Arts
by the culture they supply to the mind, and take as a standard
the expansion of the faculties which must concur in the Judgement
for cognition, Music will have the lowest place among them (as
it has perhaps the highest among those arts which are valued for
their pleasantness), because it merely plays with sensations. The
formative arts are far before it in this point of view; for in putting
the Imagination in a free play, which is also accordant with the
Understanding, they at the same time carry on a serious business.
This they do by producing a product that serves for concepts as a
permanent self-commendatory vehicle for promoting their union with
sensibility and thus, as it were, the urbanity of the higher cognitive
powers. These two species of art take quite different courses; the
first proceeds from sensations to indeterminate Ideas, the second
from determinate Ideas to sensations. The latter produce _permanent_,
the former only _transitory_ impressions. The Imagination can recall
the one and entertain itself pleasantly therewith; but the other
either vanish entirely, or if they are recalled involuntarily by the
Imagination they are rather wearisome than pleasant.[93] Besides,
there attaches to Music a certain want of urbanity from the fact
that, chiefly from the character of its instruments, it extends its
influence further than is desired (in the neighbourhood), and so as it
were obtrudes itself, and does violence to the freedom of others who
are not of the musical company. The Arts which appeal to the eyes do
not do this; for we need only turn our eyes away, if we wish to avoid
being impressed. The case of music is almost like that of the delight
derived from a smell that diffuses itself widely. The man who pulls his
perfumed handkerchief out of his pocket attracts the attention of all
round him, even against their will, and he forces them, if they are to
breathe at all, to enjoy the scent; hence this habit has gone out of

Among the formative arts I would give the palm to painting; partly
because as the art of delineation it lies at the root of all the other
formative arts, and partly because it can penetrate much further
into the region of Ideas, and can extend the field of intuition in
conformity with them further than the others can.

§ 54. _Remark_

As we have often shown, there is an essential difference between _what
satisfies simply in the act of judging it_, and that which _gratifies_
(pleases in sensation). We cannot ascribe the latter to every one,
as we can the former. Gratification (the causes of which may even
be situate in Ideas) appears always to consist in a feeling of the
furtherance of the whole life of the man, and consequently, also of his
bodily well-being, _i.e._ his health; so that _Epicurus_, who gave out
that all gratification was at bottom bodily sensation, may, perhaps,
not have been wrong, but only misunderstood himself when he reckoned
intellectual and even practical satisfaction under gratification. If we
have this distinction in view we can explain how a gratification may
dissatisfy the man who sensibly feels it (_e.g._ the joy of a needy but
well-meaning man at becoming the heir of an affectionate but penurious
father); or how a deep grief may satisfy the person experiencing it
(the sorrow of a widow at the death of her excellent husband); or how
a gratification can in addition satisfy (as in the sciences that we
pursue); or how a grief (_e.g._ hatred, envy, revenge) can moreover
dissatisfy. The satisfaction or dissatisfaction here depends on Reason,
and is the same as _approbation_ or _disapprobation_; but gratification
and grief can only rest on the feeling or prospect of a possible (on
whatever grounds) _well-being_ or _its opposite_.

All changing free play of sensations (that have no design at their
basis) gratifies, because it promotes the feeling of health. In the
judgement of Reason we may or may not have any satisfaction in its
object or even in this gratification; and this latter may rise to the
height of an affection, although we take no interest in the object,
at least none that is proportionate to the degree of the affection.
We may subdivide this free play of sensations into the _play of
fortune_ [games of chance], the _play of tone_ [music], and the _play
of thought_ [wit]. The _first_ requires an _interest_, whether of
vanity or of selfishness; which, however, is not nearly so great as the
interest that attaches to the way in which we are striving to procure
it. The _second_ requires merely the change of _sensations_, all of
which have a relation to affection, though they have not the degree of
affection, and excite aesthetical Ideas. The _third_ springs merely
from the change of representations in the Judgement; by it, indeed, no
thought that brings an interest with it is produced, but yet the mind
is animated thereby.

How much gratification games must afford, without any necessity of
placing at their basis an interested design, all our evening parties
show; for hardly any of them can be carried on without a game. But the
affections of hope, fear, joy, wrath, scorn, are put in play by them,
alternating every moment; and they are so vivid that by them, as by
a kind of internal motion, all the vital processes of the body seem
to be promoted, as is shown by the mental vivacity excited by them,
although nothing is gained or learnt thereby. But as the beautiful does
not enter into games of chance, we will here set them aside. On the
other hand, music and that which excites laughter are two different
kinds of play with aesthetical Ideas, or with representations of the
Understanding through which ultimately nothing is thought; and yet
they can give lively gratification merely by their changes. Thus we
recognise pretty clearly that the animation in both cases is merely
bodily, although it is excited by Ideas of the mind; and that the
feeling of health produced by a motion of the intestines corresponding
to the play in question makes up that whole gratification of a gay
party, which is regarded as so refined and so spiritual. It is not the
judging the harmony in tones or sallies of wit,--which serves only
in combination with their beauty as a necessary vehicle,--but the
furtherance of the vital bodily processes, the affection that moves
the intestines and the diaphragm, in a word, the feeling of health
(which without such inducements one does not feel) that makes up the
gratification felt by us; so that we can thus reach the body through
the soul and use the latter as the physician of the former.

In music this play proceeds from bodily sensations to aesthetical Ideas
(the Objects of our affections), and then from these back again to the
body with redoubled force. In the case of jokes (the art of which,
just like music, should rather be reckoned as pleasant than beautiful)
the play begins with the thoughts which together occupy the body, so
far as they admit of sensible expression; and as the Understanding
stops suddenly short at this presentment, in which it does not find
what it expected, we feel the effect of this slackening in the body
by the oscillation of the organs, which promotes the restoration of
equilibrium and has a favourable influence upon health.

In everything that is to excite a lively convulsive laugh there must
be something absurd (in which the Understanding, therefore, can find
no satisfaction). _Laughter is an affection arising from the sudden
transformation of a strained expectation into nothing._[95] This
transformation, which is certainly not enjoyable by the Understanding,
yet indirectly gives it very active enjoyment for a moment. Therefore
its cause must consist in the influence of the representation upon the
body, and the reflex effect of this upon the mind; not, indeed, through
the representation being objectively an object of gratification[96]
(for how could a delusive expectation gratify?), but simply through it
as a mere play of representations bringing about an equilibrium of the
vital powers in the body.

Suppose this story to be told: An Indian at the table of an Englishman
in Surat, when he saw a bottle of ale opened and all the beer turned
into froth and overflowing, testified his great astonishment with many
exclamations. When the Englishman asked him, “What is there in this
to astonish you so much?” he answered, “I am not at all astonished
that it should flow out, but I do wonder how you ever got it in.” At
this story we laugh, and it gives us hearty pleasure; not because
we deem ourselves cleverer than this ignorant man, or because of
anything else in it that we note as satisfactory to the Understanding,
but because our expectation was strained [for a time] and then was
suddenly dissipated into nothing. Again: The heir of a rich relative
wished to arrange for an imposing funeral, but he lamented that he
could not properly succeed; “for” (said he) “the more money I give
my mourners to look sad, the more cheerful they look!”[97] When we
hear this story we laugh loud, and the reason is that an expectation
is suddenly transformed into nothing. We must note well that it
does not transform itself into the positive opposite of an expected
object--for then there would still be something, which might even be
a cause of grief--but it must be transformed into nothing. For if a
man arouses great expectations in us when telling a story, and at the
end we see its falsehood immediately, it displeases us; _e.g._ the
story of the people whose hair in consequence of great grief turned
gray in one night. But if a wag, to repair the effect of this story,
describes very circumstantially the grief of the merchant returning
from India to Europe with all his wealth in merchandise who was forced
to throw it overboard in a heavy storm, and who grieved thereat so
much that his _wig_ turned gray the same night--we laugh and it gives
us gratification. For we treat our own mistake in the case of an
object otherwise indifferent to us, or rather the Idea which we are
following out, as we treat a ball which we knock to and fro for a
time, though our only serious intention is to seize it and hold it
fast. It is not the mere rebuff of a liar or a simpleton that arouses
our gratification; for the latter story told with assumed seriousness
would set a whole company in a roar of laughter, while the former would
ordinarily not be regarded as worth attending to.

It is remarkable that in all such cases the jest must contain something
that is capable of deceiving for a moment. Hence, when the illusion is
dissipated, the mind turns back to try it once again, and thus through
a rapidly alternating tension and relaxation it is jerked back and
put into a state of oscillation. This, because the strain on the cord
as it were is suddenly (and not gradually) relaxed, must occasion a
mental movement, and an inner bodily movement harmonising therewith,
which continues involuntarily and fatigues, even while cheering us (the
effects of a motion conducive to health).

For if we admit that with all our thoughts is harmonically combined
a movement in the organs of the body, we shall easily comprehend how
to this sudden transposition of the mind, now to one now to another
standpoint in order to contemplate its object, may correspond an
alternating tension and relaxation of the elastic portions of our
intestines, which communicates itself to the diaphragm (like that which
ticklish people feel). In connexion with this the lungs expel the
air at rapidly succeeding intervals, and thus bring about a movement
beneficial to health; which alone, and not what precedes it in the
mind, is the proper cause of the gratification in a thought that at
bottom represents nothing.--_Voltaire_ said that heaven had given us
two things to counterbalance the many miseries of life, _hope_ and
_sleep_.[98] He could have added _laughter_, if the means of exciting
it in reasonable men were only as easily attainable, and the requisite
wit or originality of humour were not so rare, as the talent is common
of imagining things which _break one’s head_, as mystic dreamers do, or
which _break one’s neck_, as your genius does, or which _break one’s
heart_, as sentimental romance-writers (and even moralists of the same
kidney) do.

We may therefore, as it seems to me, readily concede to _Epicurus_
that all gratification, even that which is occasioned through concepts,
excited by aesthetical Ideas, is _animal_, _i.e._ bodily sensation;
without the least prejudice to the _spiritual_ feeling of respect for
moral Ideas, which is not gratification at all but an esteem for self
(for humanity in us), that raises us above the need of gratification,
and even without the slightest prejudice to the less noble [feeling] of

We find a combination of these two last in _naiveté_, which is the
breaking out of the sincerity originally natural to humanity in
opposition to that art of dissimulation which has become a second
nature. We laugh at the simplicity that does not understand how
to dissemble; and yet we are delighted with the simplicity of the
nature which thwarts that art. We look for the commonplace manner of
artificial utterance devised with foresight to make a fair show; and
behold! it is the unspoiled innocent nature which we do not expect to
find, and which he who displays it did not think of disclosing. That
the fair but false show which generally has so much influence upon
our judgement is here suddenly transformed into nothing, so that, as
it were, the rogue in us is laid bare, produces a movement of the
mind in two opposite directions, which gives a wholesome shock to the
body. But the fact that something infinitely better than all assumed
manner, viz. purity of disposition (or at least the tendency thereto),
is not quite extinguished yet in human nature, blends seriousness and
high esteem with this play of the Judgement. But because it is only
a transitory phenomenon and the veil of dissimulation is soon drawn
over it again, there is mingled therewith a compassion which is an
emotion of tenderness; this, as play, readily admits of combination
with a good-hearted laugh, and ordinarily is actually so combined, and
withal is wont to compensate him who supplies its material for the
embarrassment which results from not yet being wise after the manner
of men.--An art that is to be _naive_ is thus a contradiction; but the
representation of naiveté in a fictitious personage is quite possible,
and is a beautiful though a rare art. Naiveté must not be confounded
with open-hearted simplicity, which does not artificially spoil nature
solely because it does not understand the art of social intercourse.

The _humorous_ manner again may be classified as that which, as
exhilarating us, is near akin to the gratification that proceeds
from laughter; and belongs to the originality of spirit, but not to
the talent of beautiful art. _Humour_ in the good sense means the
talent of being able voluntarily to put oneself into a certain mental
disposition, in which everything is judged quite differently from the
ordinary method (reversed, in fact), and yet in accordance with certain
rational principles in such a frame of mind. He who is involuntarily
subject to such mutations is called _a man of humours_ [launisch]; but
he who can assume them voluntarily and purposively (on behalf of a
lively presentment brought about by the aid of a contrast that excites
a laugh)--he and his manner of speech are called _humorous_ [launigt].
This manner, however, belongs rather to pleasant than to beautiful art,
because the object of the latter must always exhibit intrinsic worth,
and hence requires a certain seriousness in the presentation, as taste
does in the act of judgement.



§ 55

A faculty of Judgement that is to be dialectical must in the
first place be rationalising, _i.e._ its judgements must claim
universality[99] and that _a priori_; for it is in the opposition of
such judgements that Dialectic consists. Hence the incompatibility of
aesthetical judgements of Sense (about the pleasant and the unpleasant)
is not dialectical. And again, the conflict between judgements of
Taste, so far as each man depends merely on his own taste, forms no
Dialectic of taste; because no one proposes to make his own judgement a
universal rule. There remains therefore no other concept of a Dialectic
which has to do with taste than that of a Dialectic of the _Critique_
of taste (not of taste itself) in respect of its _principles_; for
here concepts that contradict one another (as to the ground of
the possibility of judgements of taste in general) naturally and
unavoidably present themselves. The transcendental Critique of taste
will therefore contain a part which can bear the name of a Dialectic
of the aesthetical Judgement, only if and so far as there is found an
antinomy of the principles of this faculty which renders its conformity
to law, and consequently also its internal possibility, doubtful.

§ 56. _Representation of the antinomy of Taste_

The first commonplace of taste is contained in the proposition, with
which every tasteless person proposes to avoid blame: _every one has
his own taste_. That is as much as to say that the determining ground
of this judgement is merely subjective (gratification or grief), and
that the judgement has no right to the necessary assent of others.

The second commonplace invoked even by those who admit for judgements
of taste the right to speak with validity for every one is: _there
is no disputing about taste_. That is as much as to say that the
determining ground of a judgement of taste may indeed be objective, but
that it cannot be reduced to definite concepts, and that consequently
about the judgement itself nothing can be _decided_ by proofs, although
much may rightly be _contested_. For _contesting_ [quarrelling] and
_disputing_ [controversy] are doubtless the same in this, that by means
of the mutual opposition of judgements they seek to produce their
accordance; but different in that the latter hopes to bring this about
according to definite concepts as determining grounds, and consequently
assumes _objective concepts_ as grounds of the judgement. But where
this is regarded as impracticable, controversy is regarded as alike

We easily see that between these two commonplaces there is a
proposition wanting, which, though it has not passed into a proverb,
is yet familiar to every one, viz. _there may be a quarrel about
taste_ (although there can be no controversy). But this proposition
involves the contradictory of the former one. For wherever quarrelling
is permissible, there must be a hope of mutual reconciliation; and
consequently we can count on grounds of our judgement that have not
merely private validity, and therefore are not merely subjective. And
to this the proposition, _every one has his own taste_, is directly

There emerges therefore in respect of the principle of taste the
following Antinomy:--

(1) _Thesis._ The judgement of taste is not based upon concepts; for
otherwise it would admit of controversy (would be determinable by

(2) _Antithesis._ The judgement of taste is based on concepts; for
otherwise, despite its diversity, we could not quarrel about it (we
could not claim for our judgement the necessary assent of others).

§ 57. _Solution of the antinomy of Taste_

There is no possibility of removing the conflict between these
principles that underlie every judgement of taste (which are nothing
else than the two peculiarities of the judgement of taste exhibited
above in the Analytic), except by showing that the concept to which we
refer the Object in this kind of judgement is not taken in the same
sense in both maxims of the aesthetical Judgement. This twofold sense
or twofold point of view is necessary to our transcendental Judgement;
but also the illusion which arises from the confusion of one with the
other is natural and unavoidable.

The judgement of taste must refer to some concept; otherwise it could
make absolutely no claim to be necessarily valid for every one. But
it is not therefore capable of being proved _from_ a concept; because
a concept may be either determinable or in itself undetermined and
undeterminable. The concepts of the Understanding are of the former
kind; they are determinable through predicates of sensible intuition
which can correspond to them. But the transcendental rational concept
of the supersensible, which lies at the basis of all sensible
intuition, is of the latter kind, and therefore cannot be theoretically
determined further.

Now the judgement of taste is applied to objects of Sense, but not with
a view of determining a _concept_ of them for the Understanding; for
it is not a cognitive judgement. It is thus only a private judgement,
in which a singular representation intuitively perceived is referred
to the feeling of pleasure; and so far would be limited as regards its
validity to the individual judging. The object is _for me_ an object of
satisfaction; by others it may be regarded quite differently--every one
has his own taste.

Nevertheless there is undoubtedly contained in the judgement of taste
a wider reference of the representation of the Object (as well as of
the subject), whereon we base an extension of judgements of this kind
as necessary for every one. At the basis of this there must necessarily
be a concept somewhere; though a concept which cannot be determined
through intuition. But through a concept of this sort we know nothing,
and consequently it can _supply no proof_ for the judgement of taste.
Such a concept is the mere pure rational concept of the supersensible
which underlies the object (and also the subject judging it), regarded
as an Object of sense and thus as phenomenon.[100] For if we do
not admit such a reference, the claim of the judgement of taste to
universal validity would not hold good. If the concept on which it is
based were only a mere confused concept of the Understanding, like that
of perfection, with which we could bring the sensible intuition of the
Beautiful into correspondence, it would be at least possible in itself
to base the judgement of taste on proofs; which contradicts the thesis.

But all contradiction disappears if I say: the judgement of taste is
based on a concept (viz. the concept of the general ground of the
subjective purposiveness of nature for the Judgement); from which,
however, nothing can be known and proved in respect of the Object,
because it is in itself undeterminable and useless for knowledge. Yet
at the same time and on that very account the judgement has validity
for every one (though of course for each only as a singular judgement
immediately accompanying his intuition); because its determining ground
lies perhaps in the concept of that which may be regarded as the
supersensible substrate of humanity.

The solution of an antinomy only depends on the possibility of showing
that two apparently contradictory propositions do not contradict
one another in fact, but that they may be consistent; although the
explanation of the possibility of their concept may transcend our
cognitive faculties. That this illusion is natural and unavoidable
by human Reason, and also why it is so, and remains so, although it
ceases to deceive after the analysis of the apparent contradiction, may
be thus explained.

In the two contradictory judgements we take the concept, on which the
universal validity of a judgement must be based, in the same sense; and
yet we apply to it two opposite predicates. In the Thesis we mean that
the judgement of taste is not based upon _determinate_ concepts; and
in the Antithesis that the judgement of taste is based upon a concept,
but an _indeterminate_ one (viz. of the supersensible substrate of
phenomena). Between these two there is no contradiction.

We can do nothing more than remove this conflict between the claims and
counter-claims of taste. It is absolutely impossible to give a definite
objective principle of taste, in accordance with which its judgements
could be derived, examined, and established; for then the judgement
would not be one of taste at all. The subjective principle, viz. the
indefinite Idea of the supersensible in us, can only be put forward as
the sole key to the puzzle of this faculty whose sources are hidden
from us: it can be made no further intelligible.

The proper concept of taste, that is of a merely reflective aesthetical
Judgement, lies at the basis of the antinomy here exhibited and
adjusted. Thus the two apparently contradictory principles are
reconciled--_both can be true_; which is sufficient. If, on the other
hand, we assume, as some do, _pleasantness_ as the determining ground
of taste (on account of the singularity of the representation which
lies at the basis of the judgement of taste), or, as others will
have it, the principle of perfection (on account of the universality
of the same), and settle the definition of taste accordingly; then
there arises an antinomy which it is absolutely impossible to adjust
except by showing that _both_ the contrary (though not contradictory)
_propositions are false_. And this would prove that the concept on
which they are based is self-contradictory. Hence we see that the
removal of the antinomy of the aesthetical Judgement takes a course
similar to that pursued by the Critique in the solution of the
antinomies of pure theoretical Reason. And thus here, as also in the
Critique of practical Reason, the antinomies force us against our will
to look beyond the sensible and to seek in the supersensible the point
of union for all our _a priori_ faculties; because no other expedient
is left to make our Reason harmonious with itself.

_Remark I._

As we so often find occasion in Transcendental Philosophy for
distinguishing Ideas from concepts of the Understanding, it may be of
use to introduce technical terms to correspond to this distinction.
I believe that no one will object if I propose some.--In the most
universal signification of the word, Ideas are representations referred
to an object, according to a certain (subjective or objective)
principle, but so that they can never become a cognition of it.
They are either referred to an intuition, according to a merely
subjective principle of the mutual harmony of the cognitive powers
(the Imagination and the Understanding), and they are then called
_aesthetical_; or they are referred to a concept according to an
objective principle, although they can never furnish a cognition of
the object and are called _rational Ideas_. In the latter case the
concept is a _transcendent_ one, which is different from a concept of
the Understanding, to which an adequately corresponding experience can
always be supplied, and which therefore is called _immanent_.

An _aesthetical Idea_ cannot become a cognition, because it is an
_intuition_ (of the Imagination) for which an adequate concept can
never be found. A _rational Idea_ can never become a cognition, because
it involves a concept (of the supersensible), corresponding to which an
intuition can never be given.

Now I believe we might call the aesthetical Idea an _inexponible_
representation of the Imagination, and a rational Idea an
_indemonstrable_ concept of Reason. It is assumed of both that they are
not generated without grounds, but (according to the above explanation
of an Idea in general) in conformity with certain principles of the
cognitive faculties to which they belong (subjective principles in the
one case, objective in the other).

_Concepts of the Understanding_ must, as such, always be demonstrable
[if by demonstration we understand, as in anatomy, merely
_presentation_];[101] _i.e._ the object corresponding to them must
always be capable of being given in intuition (pure or empirical); for
thus alone could they become cognitions. The concept of _magnitude_
can be given _a priori_ in the intuition of space, _e.g._ of a right
line, etc.; the concept of _cause_ in impenetrability, in the collision
of bodies, etc. Consequently both can be authenticated by means of
an empirical intuition, _i.e._ the thought of them can be proved
(demonstrated, verified) by an example; and this must be possible,
for otherwise we should not be certain that the concept was not empty,
_i.e._ devoid of any _Object_.

In Logic we ordinarily use the expressions demonstrable or
indemonstrable only in respect of _propositions_, but these might
be better designated by the titles respectively of _mediately and
immediately certain_ propositions; for pure Philosophy has also
propositions of both kinds, _i.e._ true propositions, some of which
are susceptible of proof and others not. It can, as philosophy, prove
them on _a priori_ grounds, but it cannot demonstrate them; unless
we wish to depart entirely from the proper meaning of this word,
according to which _to demonstrate_ (_ostendere_, _exhibere_) is
equivalent to presenting a concept in intuition (whether in proof or
merely in definition). If the intuition is _a priori_ this is called
construction; but if it is empirical, then the Object is displayed by
means of which objective reality is assured to the concept. Thus we say
of an anatomist that he demonstrates the human eye, if by a dissection
of this organ he makes intuitively evident the concept which he has
previously treated discursively.

It hence follows that the rational concept of the supersensible
substrate of all phenomena in general, or even of that which must be
placed at the basis of our arbitrary will in respect of the moral law,
viz. of transcendental freedom, is already, in kind, an indemonstrable
concept and a rational Idea; while virtue is so, in degree. For there
can be given in experience, as regards its quality, absolutely nothing
corresponding to the former; whereas in the latter case no empirical
product attains to the degree of that causality, which the rational
Idea prescribes as the rule.

As in a rational Idea the _Imagination_ with its intuitions does
not attain to the given concept, so in an aesthetical Idea the
_Understanding_ by its concepts never attains completely to that
internal intuition which the Imagination binds up with a given
representation. Since, now, to reduce a representation of the
Imagination to concepts is the same thing as to _expound_ it, the
aesthetical Idea may be called an _inexponible_ representation of the
Imagination (in its free play). I shall have occasion in the sequel to
say something more of Ideas of this kind; now I only note that both
kinds of Ideas, rational and aesthetical, must have their principles;
and must have them in Reason--the one in the objective, the other in
the subjective principles of its employment.

We can consequently explain _genius_ as the faculty of _aesthetical
Ideas_; by which at the same time is shown the reason why in the
products of genius it is the nature (of the subject) and not a
premeditated purpose that gives the rule to the art (of the production
of the beautiful). For since the beautiful must not be judged by
concepts, but by the purposive attuning of the Imagination to agreement
with the faculty of concepts in general, it cannot be rule and precept
which can serve as the subjective standard of that aesthetical but
unconditioned purposiveness in beautiful art, that can rightly claim
to please every one. It can only be that in the subject which is
nature and cannot be brought under rules or concepts, _i.e._ the
supersensible substrate of all his faculties (to which no concept of
the Understanding extends), and consequently that with respect to which
it is the final purpose given by the intelligible [part] of our nature
to harmonise all our cognitive faculties. Thus alone is it possible
that there should be _a priori_ at the basis of this purposiveness, for
which we can prescribe no objective principle, a principle subjective
and yet of universal validity.

_Remark II._

The following important remark occurs here: There are _three kinds of
Antinomies_ of pure Reason, which, however, all agree in this, that
they compel us to give up the otherwise very natural hypothesis that
objects of sense are things in themselves, and force us to regard them
merely as phenomena, and to supply to them an intelligible substrate
(something supersensible of which the concept is only an Idea, and
supplies no proper knowledge). Without such antinomies Reason could
never decide upon accepting a principle narrowing so much the field of
its speculation, and could never bring itself to sacrifices by which so
many otherwise brilliant hopes must disappear. For even now when, by
way of compensation for these losses, a greater field in a practical
aspect opens out before it, it appears not to be able without grief to
part from those hopes, and disengage itself from its old attachment.

That there are three kinds of antinomies has its ground in this, that
there are three cognitive faculties,--Understanding, Judgement, and
Reason; of which each (as a superior cognitive faculty) must have
its _a priori_ principles. For Reason, in so far as it judges of
these principles and their use, inexorably requires, in respect of
them all, the unconditioned for the given conditioned; and this can
never be found if we consider the sensible as belonging to things
in themselves, and do not rather supply to it, as mere phenomenon,
something supersensible (the intelligible substrate of nature both
external and internal) as the reality in itself [Sache an sich selbst].
There are then: (1) _For the cognitive faculty_ an antinomy of Reason
in respect of the theoretical employment of the Understanding extended
to the unconditioned; (2) _for the feeling of pleasure and pain_ an
antinomy of Reason in respect of the aesthetical employment of the
Judgement; and (3) _for the faculty of desire_ an antinomy in respect
of the practical employment of the self-legislative Reason; so far as
all these faculties have their superior principles _a priori_, and, in
conformity with an inevitable requirement of Reason, must judge and be
able to determine their Object, _unconditionally_ according to those

As for the two antinomies of the theoretical and practical employment
of the superior cognitive faculties, we have already shown their
_unavoidableness_, if judgements of this kind are not referred to
a supersensible substrate of the given Objects, as phenomena; and
also the _possibility of their solution_, as soon as this is done.
And as for the antinomies in the employment of the Judgement, in
conformity with the requirements of Reason, and their solution which
is here given, there are only two ways of avoiding them. _Either_:
we must deny that any _a priori_ principle lies at the basis of the
aesthetical judgement of taste; we must maintain that all claim to
necessary universal agreement is a groundless and vain fancy, and that
a judgement of taste only deserves to be regarded as correct because
_it happens_ that many people agree about it; and this, not because we
_assume_ an _a priori_ principle behind this agreement, but because
(as in the taste of the palate) of the contingent similar organisation
of the different subjects. _Or_: we must assume that the judgement of
taste is really a disguised judgement of Reason upon the perfection
discovered in a thing and the reference of the manifold in it to a
purpose, and is consequently only called aesthetical on account of the
confusion here attaching to our reflection, although it is at bottom
teleological. In the latter case we could declare the solution of the
antinomies by means of transcendental Ideas to be needless and without
point, and thus could harmonise these laws of taste with Objects of
sense, not as mere phenomena but as things in themselves. But we have
shown in several places in the exposition of judgements of taste how
little either of these expedients will satisfy.

However, if it be granted that our deduction at least proceeds by the
right method, although it be not yet plain enough in all its parts,
three Ideas manifest themselves. _First_, there is the Idea of the
supersensible in general, without any further determination of it, as
the substrate of nature. _Secondly_, there is the Idea of the same
as the principle of the subjective purposiveness of nature for our
cognitive faculty. And _thirdly_, there is the Idea of the same as the
principle of the purposes of freedom, and of the agreement of freedom
with its purposes in the moral sphere.

§ 58. _Of the Idealism of the purposiveness of both Nature and Art as
the unique principle of the aesthetical Judgement_

To begin with, we can either place the principle of taste in the fact
that it always judges in accordance with grounds which are empirical
and therefore are only given _a posteriori_ by sense, or concede that
it judges on _a priori_ grounds. The former would be the _empiricism_
of the Critique of Taste; the latter its _rationalism_. According to
the _former_ the Object of our satisfaction would not differ from
the _pleasant_; according to the latter, if the judgement rests on
definite concepts, it would not differ from the _good_. Thus all
_beauty_ would be banished from the world, and only a particular name,
expressing perhaps a certain mingling of the two above-named kinds of
satisfaction, would remain in its place. But we have shown that there
are also _a priori_ grounds of satisfaction which can subsist along
with the principle of rationalism, although they cannot be comprehended
in _definite concepts_.

On the other hand, the rationalism of the principle of taste is either
that of the _realism_ of the purposiveness, or of its _idealism_.
Because a judgement of taste is not a cognitive judgement, and beauty
is not a characteristic of the Object, considered in itself, the
rationalism of the principle of taste can never be placed in the fact
that the purposiveness in this judgement is thought as objective,
_i.e._ that the judgement theoretically, and therefore also logically
(although only in a confused way), refers to the perfection of the
Object. It only refers _aesthetically_ to the agreement of the
representation of the Object in the Imagination with the essential
principles of Judgement in general in the subject. Consequently, even
according to the principle of rationalism, the judgement of taste
and the distinction between its realism and idealism can only be
settled thus. Either in the first case, this subjective purposiveness
is assumed as an actual (designed) _purpose_ of nature (or art)
harmonising with our Judgement; or, in the second case, as a purposive
harmony with the needs of Judgement, in respect of nature and its forms
produced according to particular laws, which shows itself, without
purpose, spontaneously, and contingently.

The beautiful formations in the kingdom of organised nature speak
loudly for the realism of the aesthetical purposiveness of nature;
since we might assume that behind the production of the beautiful there
is an Idea of the beautiful in the producing cause, viz. a _purpose_
in respect of our Imagination. Flowers, blossoms, even the shapes
of entire plants; the elegance of animal formations of all kinds,
unneeded for their proper use, but, as it were, selected for our taste;
especially the charming variety so satisfying to the eye and the
harmonious arrangement of colours (in the pheasant, in shell-fish, in
insects, even in the commonest flowers), which, as it only concerns the
surface and not the figure of these creations (though perhaps requisite
in regard of their internal purposes), seems to be entirely designed
for external inspection; these things give great weight to that mode of
explanation which assumes actual purposes of nature for our aesthetical

On the other hand, not only is Reason opposed to this assumption in
its maxims, which bid us always avoid as far as possible unnecessary
multiplication of principles; but nature everywhere shows in its
free formations much mechanical tendency to the productions of forms
which seem, as it were, to be made for the aesthetical exercise of
our Judgement, without affording the least ground for the supposition
that there is need of anything more than its mechanism, merely as
nature, according to which, without any Idea lying at their root,
they can be purposive for our judgement. But I understand by _free
formations_ of nature _those_ whereby from a _fluid at rest_, through
the volatilisation or separation of a portion of its constituents
(sometimes merely of caloric), the remainder in becoming solid
assumes a definite shape or tissue (figure or texture), which is
different according to the specific difference of the material, but
in the same material is constant. Here it is always presupposed that
we are speaking of a perfect fluid, _i.e._ that the material in it
is completely dissolved, and that it is not a mere medley of solid
particles in a state of suspension.

Formation, then, takes place by a _shooting together_, _i.e._ by a
sudden solidification, not by a gradual transition from the fluid to
the solid state, but all at once by a _saltus_; which transition is
also called _crystallisation_. The commonest example of this kind of
formation is the freezing of water, where first icicles are produced,
which combine at angles of 60°, while others attach themselves to each
vertex, until it all becomes ice; and so that, while this is going
on, the water does not gradually become viscous, but is as perfectly
fluid as if its temperature were far higher, although it is absolutely
ice-cold. The matter that disengages itself, which is dissipated
suddenly at the moment of solidification, is a considerable quantum
of caloric, the disappearance of which, as it was only required for
preserving fluidity, leaves the new ice not in the least colder than
the water which shortly before was fluid.

Many salts, and also rocks, of a crystalline figure, are produced thus
from a species of earth dissolved in water, we do not exactly know
how. Thus are formed the glandular configurations of many minerals,
the cubical sulphide of lead, the ruby silver ore, etc., in all
probability in water and by the shooting together of particles, as they
become forced by some cause to dispense with this vehicle and to unite
in definite external shapes.

But also all kinds of matter, which have been kept in a fluid state
by heat, and have become solid by cooling, show internally, when
fractured, a definite texture. This makes us judge that if their own
weight or the disturbance of the air had not prevented it, they would
also have exhibited on the outer surface their specifically peculiar
shapes. This has been observed in some metals on their inner surface,
which have been hardened externally by fusion but are fluid in the
interior, by the drawing off the internal fluid and the consequent
undisturbed crystallisation of the remainder. Many of these mineral
crystallisations, such as spars, hematite, arragonite, etc., often
present beautiful shapes, the like of which art can only conceive; and
the halo in the cavern of Antiparos[102] is merely produced by water
trickling down strata of gypsum.

The fluid state is, to all appearance, older than the solid state, and
plants as well as animal bodies are fashioned out of fluid nutritive
matter, so far as this forms itself in a state of rest. This last
of course primarily combines and forms itself in freedom according
to a certain original disposition directed towards purposes (which,
as will be shown in Part II., must not be judged aesthetically but
teleologically according to the principle of realism), but also perhaps
in conformity with the universal law of the affinity of materials.
Again, the watery fluids dissolved in an atmosphere that is a mixture
of different gases, if they separate from the latter on account of
cooling, produce snow figures, which in correspondence with the
character of the special mixture of gases, often seem very artistic and
are extremely beautiful. So, without detracting from the teleological
principle by which we judge of organisation, we may well think that
the beauty of flowers, of the plumage of birds, or of shell-fish,
both in shape and colour, may be ascribed to nature and its faculty
of producing forms in an aesthetically purposive way, in its freedom,
without particular purposes adapted thereto, according to chemical laws
by the arrangement of the material requisite for the organisation in

But what shows the principle of the _Ideality_ of the purposiveness in
the beauty of nature, as that which we always place at the basis of
an aesthetical judgement, and which allows us to employ, as a ground
of explanation for our representative faculty, no realism of purpose,
is the fact that in judging beauty we invariably seek its gauge in
ourselves _a priori_, and that our aesthetical Judgement is itself
legislative in respect of the judgement whether anything is beautiful
or not. This could not be, on the assumption of the Realism of the
purposiveness of nature; because in that case we must have learned from
nature what we ought to find beautiful, and the aesthetical judgement
would be subjected to empirical principles. For in such an act of
judging the important point is not, what nature is, or even, as a
purpose, is in relation to us, but how we take it. There would be an
objective purposiveness in nature if it had fashioned its forms for our
satisfaction; and not a subjective purposiveness which depended upon
the play of the Imagination in its freedom, where it is we who receive
nature with favour, not nature which shows us favour. The property
of nature that gives us occasion to perceive the inner purposiveness
in the relation of our mental faculties in judging certain of its
products--a purposiveness which is to be explained on supersensible
grounds as necessary and universal--cannot be a natural purpose or be
judged by us as such; for otherwise the judgement hereby determined
would not be free, and would have at its basis heteronomy, and not, as
beseems a judgement of taste, autonomy.

In beautiful Art the principle of the Idealism of purposiveness
is still clearer. As in the case of the beautiful in Nature, an
aesthetical Realism of this purposiveness cannot be perceived by
sensations (for then the art would be only pleasant, not beautiful).
But that the satisfaction produced by aesthetical Ideas must not depend
on the attainment of definite purposes (as in mechanically designed
art), and that consequently, in the very rationalism of the principle,
the ideality of the purposes and not their reality must be fundamental,
appears from the fact that beautiful Art, as such, must not be
considered as a product of Understanding and Science, but of Genius,
and therefore must get its rule through _aesthetical_ Ideas, which are
essentially different from rational Ideas of definite purposes.

Just as the _ideality_ of the objects of sense as phenomena is the only
way of explaining the possibility of their forms being susceptible
of _a priori_ determination, so the _idealism_ of purposiveness, in
judging the beautiful in nature and art, is the only hypothesis under
which Criticism can explain the possibility of a judgement of taste
which demands _a priori_ validity for every one (without grounding on
concepts the purposiveness that is represented in the Object).

§ 59. _Of Beauty as the symbol of Morality_

Intuitions are always required to establish the reality of our
concepts. If the concepts are empirical, the intuitions are called
_examples_. If they are pure concepts of Understanding, the intuitions
are called _schemata_. If we desire to establish the objective reality
of rational concepts, _i.e._ of Ideas, on behalf of theoretical
cognition, then we are asking for something impossible, because
absolutely no intuition can be given which shall be adequate to them.

All _hypotyposis_ (presentation, _subjectio sub adspectum_), or
sensible illustration, is twofold. It is either _schematical_, when to
a concept comprehended by the Understanding the corresponding intuition
is given _a priori_; or it is _symbolical_. In the latter case to a
concept only thinkable by the Reason, to which no sensible intuition
can be adequate, an intuition is supplied with which accords a
procedure of the Judgement analogous to what it observes in schematism:
it accords with it, that is, in respect of the rule of this procedure
merely, not of the intuition itself; consequently in respect of the
form of reflection merely, and not of its content.

There is a use of the word _symbolical_ that has been adopted by modern
logicians, which is misleading and incorrect, _i.e._ to speak of the
_symbolical_ mode of representation as if it were opposed to the
_intuitive_; for the symbolical is only a mode of the intuitive. The
latter (the intuitive), that is, may be divided into the _schematical_
and the _symbolical_ modes of representation. Both are hypotyposes,
_i.e._ presentations (_exhibitiones_); not mere _characterisations_, or
designations of concepts by accompanying sensible signs which contain
nothing belonging to the intuition of the Object, and only serve as a
means for reproducing the concepts, according to the law of association
of the Imagination, and consequently in a subjective point of view.
These are either words, or visible (algebraical, even mimetical) signs,
as mere expressions for concepts.[103]

All intuitions, which we supply to concepts _a priori_, are therefore
either _schemata_ or _symbols_, of which the former contain direct,
the latter indirect, presentations of the concept. The former do
this demonstratively; the latter by means of an analogy (for which
we avail ourselves even of empirical intuitions) in which the
Judgement exercises a double function; first applying the concept
to the object of a sensible intuition, and then applying the mere
rule of the reflection made upon that intuition to a quite different
object of which the first is only the symbol. Thus a monarchical
state is represented by a living body, if it is governed by national
laws, and by a mere machine (like a hand-mill) if governed by an
individual absolute will; but in both cases only _symbolically_.
For between a despotic state and a hand-mill there is, to be sure,
no similarity; but there is a similarity in the rules according to
which we reflect upon these two things and their causality. This
matter has not been sufficiently analysed hitherto, for it deserves
a deeper investigation; but this is not the place to linger over it.
Our language [_i.e._ German] is full of indirect presentations of
this sort, in which the expression does not contain the proper schema
for the concept, but merely a symbol for reflection. Thus the words
_ground_ (support, basis), _to depend_ (to be held up from above), to
_flow_ from something (instead of, to follow), _substance_ (as _Locke_
expresses it, the support of accidents), and countless others, are not
schematical but symbolical hypotyposes and expressions for concepts,
not by means of a direct intuition, but only by analogy with it,
_i.e._ by the transference of reflection upon an object of intuition
to a quite different concept to which perhaps an intuition can never
directly correspond. If we are to give the name of cognition to a mere
mode of representation (which is quite permissible if the latter is
not a principle of the theoretical determination of what an object is
in itself, but of the practical determination of what the Idea of it
should be for us and for its purposive use), then all our knowledge
of God is merely symbolical; and he who regards it as schematical,
along with the properties of Understanding, Will, etc., which only
establish their objective reality in beings of this world, falls into
Anthropomorphism, just as he who gives up every intuitive element
falls into Deism, by which nothing at all is cognised, not even in a
practical point of view.

Now I say the Beautiful is the symbol of the morally Good, and that it
is only in this respect (a reference which is natural to every man and
which every man postulates in others as a duty) that it gives pleasure
with a claim for the agreement of every one else. By this the mind
is made conscious of a certain ennoblement and elevation above the
mere sensibility to pleasure received through sense, and the worth of
others is estimated in accordance with a like maxim of their Judgement.
That is the _intelligible_, to which, as pointed out in the preceding
paragraph, Taste looks; with which our higher cognitive faculties are
in accord; and without which a downright contradiction would arise
between their nature and the claims made by taste. In this faculty the
Judgement does not see itself, as in empirical judging, subjected to
a heteronomy of empirical laws; it gives the law to itself in respect
of the objects of so pure a satisfaction, just as the Reason does in
respect of the faculty of desire. Hence, both on account of this inner
possibility in the subject and of the external possibility of a nature
that agrees with it, it finds itself to be referred to something within
the subject as well as without him, something which is neither nature
nor freedom, but which yet is connected with the supersensible ground
of the latter. In this supersensible ground, therefore, the theoretical
faculty is bound together in unity with the practical, in a way which
though common is yet unknown. We shall indicate some points of this
analogy, while at the same time we shall note the differences.

(1) The beautiful pleases _immediately_ (but only in reflective
intuition, not, like morality, in its concept). (2) It pleases _apart
from any interest_ (the morally good is indeed necessarily bound up
with an interest, though not with one which precedes the judgement upon
the satisfaction, but with one which is first of all produced by it).
(3) The _freedom_ of the Imagination (and therefore of the sensibility
of our faculty) is represented in judging the beautiful as harmonious
with the conformity to law of the Understanding (in the moral judgement
the freedom of the will is thought as the harmony of the latter with
itself according to universal laws of Reason). (4) The subjective
principle in judging the beautiful is represented as _universal_,
_i.e._ as valid for every man, though not cognisable through any
universal concept. (The objective principle of morality is also
expounded as universal, _i.e._ for every subject and for every action
of the same subject, and thus as cognisable by means of a universal
concept). Hence the moral judgement is not only susceptible of definite
constitutive principles, but is possible _only_ by grounding its maxims
on these in their universality.

A reference to this analogy is usual even with the common Understanding
[of men], and we often describe beautiful objects of nature or art by
names that seem to put a moral appreciation at their basis. We call
buildings or trees majestic and magnificent, landscapes laughing and
gay; even colours are called innocent, modest, tender, because they
excite sensations which have something analogous to the consciousness
of the state of mind brought about by moral judgements. Taste makes
possible the transition, without any violent leap, from the charm of
Sense to habitual moral interest; for it represents the Imagination
in its freedom as capable of purposive determination for the
Understanding, and so teaches us to find even in objects of sense a
free satisfaction apart from any charm of sense.


§ 60. _Of the method of Taste_

The division of a Critique into Elementology and Methodology, as
preparatory to science, is not applicable to the Critique of taste,
because there neither is nor can be a science of the Beautiful, and
the judgement of taste is not determinable by means of principles. As
for the scientific element in every art, which regards _truth_ in the
presentation of its Object, this is indeed the indispensable condition
(_conditio sine qua non_) of beautiful art, but not beautiful art
itself. There is therefore for beautiful art only a _manner_ (_modus_),
not a _method of teaching_ (_methodus_). The master must show what the
pupil is to do and how he is to do it; and the universal rules, under
which at last he brings his procedure, serve rather for bringing the
main points back to his remembrance when occasion requires, than for
prescribing them to him. Nevertheless regard must be had here to a
certain ideal, which art must have before its eyes, although it cannot
be completely attained in practice. It is only through exciting the
Imagination of the pupil to accordance with a given concept, by making
him note the inadequacy of the expression for the Idea, to which the
concept itself does not attain because it is an aesthetical Idea, and
by severe criticism, that he can be prevented from taking the examples
set before him as types and models for imitation, to be subjected to
no higher standard or independent judgement. It is thus that genius,
and with it the freedom of the Imagination, is stifled by its very
conformity to law; and without these no beautiful art, and not even an
accurately judging individual taste, is possible.

The propaedeutic to all beautiful art, regarded in the highest degree
of its perfection, seems to lie, not in precepts, but in the culture
of the mental powers by means of those elements of knowledge called
_humaniora_, probably because _humanity_ on the one side indicates
the universal _feeling of sympathy_, and on the other the faculty
of being able to _communicate_ universally our inmost [feelings].
For these properties taken together constitute the characteristic
social spirit[104] of humanity by which it is distinguished from the
limitations of animal life. The age and peoples, in which the impulse
towards a _law-abiding_ social life, by which a people becomes a
permanent community, contended with the great difficulties presented by
the difficult problem of uniting freedom (and therefore equality also)
with compulsion (rather of respect and submission from a sense of duty
than of fear)--such an age and such a people naturally first found out
the art of reciprocal communication of Ideas between the cultivated
and uncultivated classes and thus discovered how to harmonise the
large-mindedness and refinement of the former with the natural
simplicity and originality of the latter. In this way they first found
that mean between the higher culture and simple nature which furnishes
that true standard for taste as a sense common to all men which no
universal rules can supply.

With difficulty will a later age dispense with those models, because
it will be always farther from nature; and in fine, without having
permanent examples before it, a concept will hardly be possible, in one
and the same people, of the happy union of the law-abiding constraint
of the highest culture with the force and truth of free nature which
feels its own proper worth.

Now taste is at bottom a faculty for judging of the sensible
illustration of moral Ideas (by means of a certain analogy involved
in our reflection upon both these); and it is from this faculty also
and from the greater susceptibility grounded thereon for the feeling
arising from the latter (called moral feeling), that the pleasure is
derived which taste regards as valid for mankind in general and not
merely for the private feeling of each. Hence it appears plain that the
true propaedeutic for the foundation of taste is the development of
moral Ideas and the culture of the moral feeling; because it is only
when sensibility is brought into agreement with this that genuine taste
can assume a definite invariable form.




§ 61. _Of the objective purposiveness of Nature_

We have on transcendental principles good ground to assume a subjective
purposiveness in nature, in its particular laws, in reference to its
comprehensibility by human Judgement and to the possibility of the
connexion of particular experiences in a system. This may be expected
as possible in many products of nature, which, as if they were devised
quite specially for our Judgement, contain a specific form conformable
thereto; which through their manifoldness and unity serve at once to
strengthen and to sustain the mental powers (that come into play in the
employment of this faculty); and to which therefore we give the name of
_beautiful_ forms.

But that the things of nature serve one another as means to purposes,
and that their possibility is only completely intelligible through
this kind of causality--for this we have absolutely no ground in the
universal Idea of nature, as the complex of the objects of sense. In
the above-mentioned case, the representation of things, because it
is something in ourselves, can be quite well thought _a priori_ as
suitable and useful for the internally purposive determination of our
cognitive faculties; but that purposes, which neither are our own
nor belong to nature (for we do not regard nature as an intelligent
being), could or should constitute a particular kind of causality, at
least a quite special conformity to law,--this we have absolutely no
_a priori_ reason for presuming. Yet more, experience itself cannot
prove to us the actuality of this; there must then have preceded a
rationalising subtlety which only sportively introduces the concept of
purpose into the nature of things, but which does not derive it from
Objects or from their empirical cognition. To this latter it is of
more service to make nature comprehensible according to analogy with
the subjective ground of the connexion of our representations, than to
cognise it from objective grounds.

Further, objective purposiveness, as a principle of the possibility of
things of nature, is so far removed from _necessary_ connexion with
the concept of nature, that it is much oftener precisely that upon
which one relies to prove the contingency of nature and of its form.
When, _e.g._ we adduce the structure of a bird, the hollowness of its
bones, the disposition of its wings for motion and of its tail for
steering, _etc._, we say that all this is contingent in the highest
degree according to the mere _nexus effectivus_ of nature, without
calling in the aid of a particular kind of causality, namely that of
purpose (_nexus finalis_). In other words, nature, considered as mere
mechanism, could have produced its forms in a thousand other ways
without stumbling upon the unity which is in accordance with such a
principle. It is not in the concept of nature but quite apart from it
that we can hope to find the least ground _a priori_ for this.

Nevertheless the teleological act of judgement is rightly brought to
bear, at least problematically, upon the investigation of nature;
but only in order to bring it under principles of observation and
inquiry according to the _analogy_ with the causality of purpose,
without any pretence to _explain_ it thereby. It belongs therefore to
the reflective and not to the determinant judgement. The concept of
combinations and forms of nature in accordance with purposes is then
at least _one principle more_ for bringing its phenomena under rules
where the laws of simply mechanical causality do not suffice. For we
bring in a teleological ground, where we attribute causality in respect
of an Object to the concept of an Object, as if it were to be found in
nature (not in ourselves); or rather when we represent to ourselves the
possibility of the Object after the analogy of that causality which
we experience in ourselves, and consequently think nature technically
as through a special faculty. If we did not ascribe to it such a
method of action, its causality would have to be represented as blind
mechanism. If, on the contrary, we supply to nature causes acting
_designedly_, and consequently place at its basis teleology, not merely
as a _regulative_ principle for the mere _judging_ of phenomena, to
which nature can be thought as subject in its particular laws, but as a
_constitutive_ principle of the _derivation_ of its products from their
causes; then would the concept of a natural purpose no longer belong
to the reflective but to the determinant Judgement. Then, in fact, it
would not belong specially to the Judgement (like the concept of beauty
regarded as formal subjective purposiveness), but as a rational concept
it would introduce into natural science a new causality, which we only
borrow from ourselves and ascribe to other beings, without meaning to
assume them to be of the same kind with ourselves.



§ 62. _Of the objective purposiveness which is merely formal as
distinguished from that which is material_

All geometrical figures drawn on a principle display a manifold,
oft admired, objective purposiveness; _i.e._ in reference to
their usefulness for the solution of several problems by a single
principle, or of the same problem in an infinite variety of ways. The
purposiveness is here obviously objective and intellectual, not merely
subjective and aesthetical. For it expresses the suitability of the
figure for the production of many intended figures, and is cognised
through Reason. But this purposiveness does not make the concept of the
object itself possible, _i.e._ it is not regarded as possible merely
with reference to this use.

In so simple a figure as the circle lies the key to the solution of a
multitude of problems, each of which would demand various appliances;
whereas the solution results of itself, as it were, as one of the
infinite number of elegant properties of this figure. Are we, for
example, asked to construct a triangle, being given the base and
vertical angle? The problem is indeterminate, _i.e._ it can be solved
in an infinite number of ways. But the circle embraces them altogether
as the geometrical locus of the vertices of triangles satisfying
the given conditions. Again, suppose that two lines are to cut one
another so that the rectangle under the segments of the one should be
equal to the rectangle under the segments of the other; the solution
of the problem from this point of view presents much difficulty. But
all chords intersecting inside a circle divide one another in this
_proportion_. Other curved lines suggest other purposive solutions
of which nothing was thought in the rule that furnished their
construction. All conic sections in themselves and when compared with
one another are fruitful in principles for the solution of a number of
possible problems, however simple is the definition which determines
their concept.--It is a true joy to see the zeal with which the old
geometers investigated the properties of lines of this class, without
allowing themselves to be led astray by the questions of narrow-minded
persons, as to what use this knowledge would be. Thus they worked out
the properties of the parabola without knowing the law of gravitation,
which would have suggested to them its application to the trajectory of
heavy bodies (for the motion of a heavy body can be seen to be parallel
to the curve of a parabola). Again, they found out the properties
of an ellipse without surmising that any of the heavenly bodies had
weight, and without knowing the law of force at different distances
from the point of attraction, which causes it to describe this curve
in free motion. While they thus unconsciously worked for the science
of the future, they delighted themselves with a purposiveness in
the [essential] being of things which yet they were able to present
completely _a priori_ in its necessity. _Plato_, himself master of
this science, hinted at such an original constitution of things in
the discovery of which we can dispense with all experience, and at
the power of the mind to produce from its supersensible principle the
harmony of beings (where the properties of number come in, with which
the mind plays in music). This [he touches upon] in the inspiration
that raised him above the concepts of experience to Ideas, which seem
to him to be explicable only through an intellectual affinity with the
origin of all beings. No wonder that he banished from his school the
man who was ignorant of geometry, since he thought he could derive
from pure intuition, which has its home in the human spirit, that
which _Anaxagoras_ drew from empirical objects and their purposive
combination. For in the very necessity of that which is purposive,
and is constituted just as if it were designedly intended for our
use,--but at the same time seems to belong originally to the being
of things without any reference to our use--lies the ground of our
great admiration of nature, and that not so much external as in our
own Reason. It is surely excusable that this admiration should through
misunderstanding gradually rise to the height of fanaticism.

But this intellectual purposiveness, although no doubt objective (not
subjective like aesthetical purposiveness), is in reference to its
possibility merely formal (not real). It can only be conceived as
purposiveness in general without any [definite] purpose being assumed
as its basis, and consequently without teleology being needed for it.
The figure of a circle is an intuition which is determined by means
of the Understanding according to a principle. The unity of this
principle which I arbitrarily assume and use as fundamental concept,
applied to a form of intuition (space) which is met with in myself as
a representation and yet _a priori_, renders intelligible the unity of
many rules resulting from the construction of that concept, which are
purposive for many possible designs. But this purposiveness does not
imply a _purpose_ or any other ground whatever. It is quite different
if I meet with order and regularity in complexes of _things_, external
to myself, enclosed within certain boundaries; as, _e.g._ in a garden,
the order and regularity of the trees, flower-beds, and walks. These
I cannot expect to derive _a priori_ from my bounding of space made
after a rule of my own; for this order and regularity are existing
things which must be given empirically in order to be known, and not
a mere representation in myself determined _a priori_ according to a
principle. So then the latter (empirical) purposiveness, as _real_, is
dependent on the concept of a purpose.

But the ground of admiration for a perceived purposiveness, although
it be in the being of things (so far as their concepts can be
constructed), may very well be seen, and seen to be legitimate.
The manifold rules whose unity (derived from a principle) excites
admiration, are all synthetical and do not follow from the _concept_
of the Object, _e.g._ of a circle; but require this Object to be
given in intuition. Hence this unity gets the appearance of having
empirically an external basis of rules distinct from our representative
faculty; as if therefore the correspondence of the Object to that
need of rules which is proper to the Understanding were contingent in
itself, and therefore only possible by means of a purpose expressly
directed thereto. Now because this harmony, notwithstanding all
this purposiveness, is not cognised empirically but _a priori_, it
should bring us of itself to this point--that space, through whose
determination (by means of the Imagination, in accordance with a
concept) the Object is alone possible, is not a characteristic of
things external to me, but a mere mode of representation in myself.
Hence, in the figure which I draw _in conformity with a concept_,
_i.e._ in my own mode of representing that which is given to me
externally, whatever it may be in itself, _it is I that introduce
the purposiveness_; I get no empirical instruction from the Object
about the purposiveness, and so I require in it no particular purpose
external to myself. But because this consideration already calls for
a critical employment of Reason, and consequently cannot be involved
in the judging of the Object according to its properties; so this
latter [judging] suggests to me immediately nothing but the unification
of heterogeneous rules (even according to their very diversity) in
a principle. This principle, without requiring any particular _a
priori_ basis external to my concept, or indeed, generally speaking,
to my representation, is yet cognised _a priori_ by me as true. Now
_wonder_ is a shock of the mind arising from the incompatibility of a
representation, and the rule given by its means, with the principles
already lying at its basis; which provokes a doubt as to whether
we have rightly seen or rightly judged. _Admiration_, however, is
wonder which ever recurs, despite the disappearance of this doubt.
Consequently the latter is a quite natural effect of that observed
purposiveness in the being of things (as phenomena). It cannot
indeed be censured, whilst the unification of the form of sensible
intuition (space)--with the faculty of concepts (the Understanding)--is
inexplicable to us; and that not only on account of the union being
just of the kind that it is, but because it is enlarging for the mind
to surmise [the existence of] something lying outside our sensible
representations in which, although unknown to us, the ultimate
ground of that agreement may be met with. We are, it is true, not
necessitated to cognise this if we have only to do _a priori_ with the
formal purposiveness of our representations; but the fact that we are
compelled to look out beyond it inspires at the same time an admiration
for the object that impels us thereto.

We are accustomed to speak of the above-mentioned properties of
geometrical figures or of numbers as _beautiful_, on account of a
certain _a priori_ purposiveness they have for all kinds of cognitive
uses, this purposiveness being quite unexpected on account of the
simplicity of the construction. We speak, _e.g._ of this or that
_beautiful_ property of the circle, which was discovered in this or
that way. But there is no aesthetical act of judgement through which we
find it purposive, no act of judgement without a concept which renders
noticeable a mere _subjective_ purposiveness in the free play of our
cognitive faculties; but an intellectual act according to concepts
which enables us clearly to cognise an objective purposiveness,
_i.e._ availableness for all kinds of (infinitely manifold) purposes.
We must rather call this _relative perfection_ than a beauty of the
mathematical figure. To speak thus of an _intellectual beauty_ cannot
in general be permissible; for otherwise the word beauty would lose
all determinate significance, or the intellectual satisfaction all
superiority over the sensible. We should rather call a _demonstration_
of such properties beautiful, because through it the Understanding
as the faculty of concepts, and the Imagination as the faculty of
presenting them, feel themselves strengthened _a priori_. (This, when
viewed in connexion with the precision introduced by Reason, is spoken
of as elegant.) Here, however, the satisfaction, although it is based
on concepts, is subjective; while perfection brings with itself an
objective satisfaction.

§ 63. _Of the relative, as distinguished from the inner, purposiveness
of nature_

Experience leads our Judgement to the concept of an objective and
material purposiveness, _i.e._ to the concept of a purpose of nature,
only when[105] we have to judge of a relation of cause to effect which
we find ourselves able to apprehend as legitimate only by presupposing
the Idea of the effect of the causality of the cause as the fundamental
condition, in the cause, of the possibility of the effect. This can
take place in two ways. We may regard the effect directly as an art
product, or only as material for the art of other possible natural
beings; in other words, either as a purpose or as a means towards the
purposive employment of other causes. This latter purposiveness is
called utility (for man) or mere advantage (for other creatures), and
is merely relative; while the former is an inner purposiveness of the
natural being.

For example, rivers bring down with them all kinds of earth serviceable
for the growth of plants which sometimes is deposited inland, often
also at their mouths. The tide brings this mud to many coasts over
the land or deposits it on the shore; and so, more especially if men
give their aid so that the ebb shall not carry it back again, the
fruit-bearing land increases in area, and the vegetable kingdom gains
the place which formerly was the habitation of fish and shells. In
this way has nature itself brought about most of the extensions of the
land, and still continues to do so, although very slowly.--Now the
question is whether this is to be judged a purpose of nature, because
it contains utility for men. We cannot put it down to the account of
the vegetable kingdom, because just as much is subtracted from sea-life
as is added to land-life.

Or, to give an example of the advantageousness of certain natural
things as means for other creatures (if we suppose them to be means),
no soil is more suitable to pine trees than a sandy soil. Now the deep
sea, before it withdrew from the land, left behind large tracts of sand
in our northern regions, so that on this soil, so unfavourable for all
cultivation, widely extended pine forests were enabled to grow, for the
unreasoning destruction of which we frequently blame our ancestors.
We may ask if this original deposit of tracts of sand was a purpose
of nature for the benefit of the possible pine forests? So much is
clear, that if we regard this as a purpose of nature, we must also
regard the sand as a relative purpose, in reference to which the ocean
strand and its withdrawal were means: for in the series of the mutually
subordinated members of a purposive combination, every member must be
regarded as a purpose (though not as a final purpose), to which its
proximate cause is the means. So too if cattle, sheep, horses, etc.,
are to exist, there must be grass on the earth, but there must also
be saline plants in the desert if camels are to thrive; and again
these and other herbivorous animals must be met with in numbers if
there are to be wolves, tigers, and lions. Consequently the objective
purposiveness, which is based upon advantage, is not an objective
purposiveness of things in themselves; as if the sand could not be
conceived for itself as an effect of a cause, viz. the sea, without
attributing to the latter a purpose, and regarding the effect, namely,
the sand, as a work of art. It is a merely relative purposiveness
contingent upon the thing to which it is ascribed; and although in the
examples we have cited, the different kinds of grass are to be judged
as in themselves organised products of nature, and consequently as
artificial, yet are they to be regarded, in reference to the beasts
which feed upon them, as mere raw material.

But above all, though man, through the freedom of his causality, finds
certain natural things of advantage for his designs--designs often
foolish, such as using the variegated plumage of birds to adorn his
clothes, or coloured earths and the juices of plants for painting his
face; often again reasonable as when the horse is used for riding, the
ox or (as in Minorca) the ass or pig for ploughing--yet we cannot even
here assume a relative natural purpose. For his Reason knows how to
give things a conformity with his own arbitrary fancies for which he
was not at all predestined by nature. Only, _if_ we assume that men are
to live upon the earth, then the means must be there without which they
could not exist as animals, and even as rational animals (in however
low a degree of rationality); and thereupon those natural things,
which are indispensable in this regard, must be considered as natural

We can hence easily see that external purposiveness (advantage of one
thing in respect of others) can be regarded as an external natural
purpose only under the condition, that the existence of that [being],
to which it is immediately or distantly advantageous, is in itself a
purpose of nature. Since that can never be completely determined by
mere contemplation of nature, it follows that relative purposiveness,
although it hypothetically gives indications of natural purposes, yet
justifies no absolute teleological judgement.

Snow in cold countries protects the crops from the frost; it makes
human intercourse easier (by means of sleighs). The Laplander finds in
his country animals by whose aid this intercourse is brought about,
_i.e._ reindeer, who find sufficient sustenance in a dry moss which
they have to scratch out for themselves from under the snow, and who
are easily tamed and readily permit themselves to be deprived of that
freedom in which they could have remained if they chose. For other
people in the same frozen regions marine animals afford rich stores;
in addition to the food and clothing which are thus supplied, and the
wood which is floated in by the sea to their dwellings, these marine
animals provide material for fuel by which their huts are warmed. Here
is a wonderful concurrence of many references of nature to one purpose;
and all this applies to the cases of the Greenlander, the Lapp, the
Samoyede, the inhabitant of Yakutsk, etc. But then we do not see why,
generally, men must live there at all. Therefore to say that vapour
falls out of the atmosphere in the form of snow, that the sea has its
currents which float down wood that has grown in warmer lands, and that
there are in it great sea monsters filled with oil, _because_ the idea
of advantage for certain poor creatures is fundamental for the cause
which collects all these natural products, would be a very venturesome
and arbitrary judgement. For even if there were none of this natural
utility, we should miss nothing as regards the adequateness of natural
causes to nature’s constitution; much more even to desire such a
tendency in, and to attribute such a purpose to, nature would be the
part of a presumptuous and inconsiderate fancy. For indeed it might be
observed that it could only have been the greatest unsociability among
men which thus scattered them into such inhospitable regions.

§ 64. _Of the peculiar character of things as natural purposes_

In order to see that a thing is only possible as a purpose, that is,
to be forced to seek the causality of its origin not in the mechanism
of nature but in a cause whose faculty of action is determined through
concepts, it is requisite that its form be not possible according to
mere natural laws, _i.e._ laws which can be cognised by us through the
Understanding alone when applied to objects of Sense; but that even the
empirical knowledge of it as regards its cause and effect presupposes
concepts of Reason. This _contingency_ of its form in all empirical
natural laws in reference to Reason affords a ground for regarding its
causality as possible only through Reason. For Reason, which must
cognise the necessity of every form of a natural product in order to
comprehend even the conditions of its genesis, cannot assume such
[natural] necessity in that particular given form. The causality of its
origin is then referred to the faculty of acting in accordance with
purposes (a will); and the Object which can only thus be represented as
possible is represented as a purpose.

If in a seemingly uninhabited country a man perceived a geometrical
figure, say a regular hexagon, inscribed on the sand, his reflection
busied with such a concept would attribute, although obscurely, the
unity in the principle of its genesis to Reason, and consequently would
not regard as a ground of the possibility of such a shape the sand, or
the neighbouring sea, or the winds, or beasts with familiar footprints,
or any other irrational cause. For the chance against meeting with
such a concept, which is only possible through Reason, would seem so
infinitely great, that it would be just as if there were no natural
law, no cause in the mere mechanical working of nature capable of
producing it; but as if only the concept of such an Object, as a
concept which Reason alone can supply and with which it can compare the
thing, could contain the causality for such an effect. This then would
be regarded as a purpose, but as a product of _art_, not as a natural
purpose (_vestigium hominis video_).[106]

But in order to regard a thing cognised as a natural product as a
purpose also--consequently as a _natural purpose_, if this is not a
contradiction--something more is required. I would say provisionally:
a thing exists as a natural purpose, if it is [although in a double
sense][107] both _cause and effect of itself_. For herein lies a
causality the like of which cannot be combined with the mere concept
of a nature without attributing to it a purpose; it can certainly be
thought without contradiction, but cannot be comprehended. We shall
elucidate the determination of this Idea of a natural purpose by an
example, before we analyse it completely.

In the first place, a tree generates another tree according to a
known natural law. But the tree produced is of the same genus; and so
it produces itself _generically_. On the one hand, as effect it is
continually self-produced; on the other hand, as cause it continually
produces itself, and so perpetuates itself generically.

Secondly, a tree produces itself as an _individual_. This kind of
effect no doubt we call growth; but it is quite different from any
increase according to mechanical laws, and is to be reckoned as
generation, though under another name. The matter that the tree
incorporates it previously works up into a specifically peculiar
quality, which natural mechanism external to it cannot supply; and
thus it develops itself by aid of a material which, as compounded,
is its own product. No doubt, as regards the constituents got from
nature without, it must only be regarded as an educt; but yet in
the separation and recombination of this raw material we see such
an originality in the separating and formative faculty of this kind
of natural being, as is infinitely beyond the reach of art, if the
attempt is made to reconstruct such vegetable products out of elements
obtained by their dissection or material supplied by nature for their

_Thirdly_, each part of a tree generates itself in such a way that the
maintenance of any one part depends reciprocally on the maintenance of
the rest. A bud of one tree engrafted on the twig of another produces
in the alien stock a plant of its own kind, and so also a scion
engrafted on a foreign stem. Hence we may regard each twig or leaf of
the same tree as merely engrafted or inoculated into it, and so as an
independent tree attached to another and parasitically nourished by
it. At the same time, while the leaves are products of the tree they
also in turn give support to it; for the repeated defoliation of a tree
kills it, and its growth thus depends on the action of the leaves upon
the stem. The self-help of nature in case of injury in the vegetable
creation, when the want of a part that is necessary for the maintenance
of its neighbours is supplied by the remaining parts; and the abortions
or malformations in growth, in which certain parts, on account of
casual defects or hindrances, form themselves in a new way to maintain
what exists, and so produce an anomalous creature, I shall only mention
in passing, though they are among the most wonderful properties of
organised creatures.

§ 65. _Things regarded as natural purposes are organised beings_

According to the character alleged in the preceding section, a thing,
which, though a natural product, is to be cognised as only possible as
a natural purpose, must bear itself alternately as cause and as effect.
This, however, is a somewhat inexact and indeterminate expression
which needs derivation from a determinate concept.

Causal combination as thought merely by the Understanding is a
connexion constituting an ever-progressive series (of causes and
effects); and things which as effects presuppose others as causes
cannot be reciprocally at the same time causes of these. This sort
of causal combination we call that of effective causes (_nexus
effectivus_). But on the other hand, a causal combination according to
a concept of Reason (of purposes) can also be thought, which regarded
as a series would lead either forwards or backwards; in this the thing
that has been called the effect may with equal propriety be termed the
cause of that of which it is the effect. In the practical department of
human art we easily find connexions such as this; _e.g._ a house, no
doubt, is the cause of the money received for rent, but also conversely
the representation of this possible income was the cause of building
the house. Such a causal connexion we call that of final causes (_nexus
finalis_). We may perhaps suitably name the first the connexion of
real causes, the second of those which are ideal; because from this
nomenclature it is at once comprehended that there can be no more than
these two kinds of causality.

For a thing to be a natural purpose in the _first_ place it is
requisite that its parts (as regards their being and their form) are
only possible through their reference to the whole. For the thing
itself is a purpose and so is comprehended under a concept or an Idea
which must determine _a priori_ all that is to be contained in it.
But so far as a thing is only thought as possible in this way, it is
a mere work of art; _i.e._ a product of one rational cause distinct
from the matter (of the parts), whose causality (in the collection and
combination of the parts) is determined through its Idea of a whole
possible by their means (and consequently not through external nature).

But if a thing as a natural product is to involve in itself and in its
internal possibility a reference to purposes,--_i.e._ to be possible
only as a natural purpose, and without the causality of the concepts of
rational beings external to itself,--then it is requisite _secondly_
that its parts should so combine in the unity of a whole that they are
reciprocally cause and effect of each other’s form. Only in this way
can the Idea of the whole conversely (reciprocally) determine the form
and combination of all the parts; not indeed as cause--for then it
would be an artificial product--but as the ground of cognition, for him
who is judging it, of the systematic unity and combination of all the
manifold contained in the given material.

For a body then which is to be judged in itself and its internal
possibility as a natural purpose, it is requisite that its parts
mutually depend upon each other both as to their form and their
combination, and so produce a whole by their own causality; while
conversely the concept of the whole may be regarded as its cause
according to a principle (in a being possessing a causality according
to concepts adequate to such a product). In this case then the
connexion of _effective causes_ may be judged as an _effect through
final causes_.

In such a product of nature every part not only exists _by means
of_ the other parts, but is thought as existing _for the sake of_
the others and the whole, that is as an (organic) instrument. Thus,
however, it might be an artificial instrument, and so might be
represented only as a purpose that is possible in general; but also
its parts are all organs reciprocally _producing_ each other. This can
never be the case with artificial instruments, but only with nature
which supplies all the material for instruments (even for those of
art). Only a product of such a kind can be called a _natural purpose_,
and this because it is an _organised_ and _self-organising being_.

In a watch one part is the instrument for moving the other parts, but
the wheel is not the effective cause of the production of the others;
no doubt one part is for the sake of the others, but it does not exist
by their means. In this case the producing cause of the parts and of
their form is not contained in the nature (of the material), but is
external to it in a being which can produce effects according to Ideas
of a whole possible by means of its causality. Hence a watch wheel
does not produce other wheels, still less does one watch produce other
watches, utilising (organising) foreign material for that purpose;
hence it does not replace of itself parts of which it has been
deprived, nor does it make good what is lacking in a first formation by
the addition of the missing parts, nor if it has gone out of order does
it repair itself--all of which, on the contrary, we may expect from
organised nature.--An organised being is then not a mere machine, for
that has merely _moving_ power, but it possesses in itself _formative_
power of a self-propagating kind which it communicates to its materials
though they have it not of themselves; it organises them, in fact, and
this cannot be explained by the mere mechanical faculty of motion.

We say of nature and its faculty in organised products far too little
if we describe it as an _analogon of art_; for this suggests an
artificer (a rational being) external to it. Much rather does it
organise itself and its organised products in every species, no doubt
after one general pattern but yet with suitable deviations, which
self-preservation demands according to circumstances. We perhaps
approach nearer to this inscrutable property, if we describe it as
an _analogon of life_; but then we must either endow matter, as mere
matter, with a property which contradicts its very being (hylozoism),
or associate therewith an alien principle _standing in communion_ with
it (a soul). But in the latter case we must, if such a product is to be
a natural product, either presuppose organised matter as the instrument
of that soul, which does not make the soul a whit more comprehensible;
or regard the soul as artificer of this structure and so remove
the product from (corporeal) nature. To speak strictly, then, the
organisation of nature has in it nothing analogous to any causality we
know.[108] Beauty in nature can be rightly described as an analogon of
art, because it is ascribed to objects only in reference to reflection
upon their _external_ aspect, and consequently only on account of the
form of their external surface. But _internal natural perfection_,
as it belongs to those things which are only possible as _natural
purposes_, and are therefore called organised beings, is not analogous
to any physical, _i.e._ natural, faculty known to us; nay even,
regarding ourselves as, in the widest sense, belonging to nature, it
is not even thinkable or explicable by means of any exactly fitting
analogy to human art.

The concept of a thing as in itself a natural purpose is therefore no
constitutive concept of Understanding or of Reason, but it can serve
as a regulative concept for the reflective Judgement, to guide our
investigation about objects of this kind by a distant analogy with our
own causality according to purposes generally, and in our meditations
upon their ultimate ground. This latter use, however, is not in
reference to the knowledge of nature or of its original ground, but
rather to our own practical faculty of Reason, in analogy with which we
considered the cause of that purposiveness.

Organised beings are then the only beings in nature which, considered
in themselves and apart from any relation to other things, can be
thought as possible only as purposes of nature. Hence they first
afford objective reality to the concept of a _purpose of nature_, as
distinguished from a practical purpose; and so they give to the science
of nature the basis for a teleology, _i.e._ a mode of judgement about
natural Objects according to a special principle which otherwise we
should in no way be justified in introducing (because we cannot see _a
priori_ the possibility of this kind of causality).

§ 66. _Of the principle of judging of internal purposiveness in
organised beings_

This principle, which is at the same time a definition, is as follows:
_An organised product of nature is one in which every part is
reciprocally purpose, [end] and means._ In it nothing is vain, without
purpose, or to be ascribed to a blind mechanism of nature.

This principle, as regards its occasion, is doubtless derived from
experience, viz. from that methodised experience called observation;
but on account of the universality and necessity which it ascribes to
such purposiveness it cannot rest solely on empirical grounds, but
must have at its basis an _a priori_ principle, although it be merely
regulative and these purposes lie only in the idea of the judging
[subject] and not in an effective cause. We may therefore describe
the aforesaid principle as a _maxim_ for judging of the internal
purposiveness of organised beings.

It is an acknowledged fact that the dissectors of plants and animals,
in order to investigate their structure and to find out the reasons,
why and for what end such parts, such a disposition and combination
of parts, and just such an internal form have been given them, assume
as indisputably necessary the maxim that nothing in such a creature
is _vain_; just as they lay down as the fundamental proposition of
the universal science of nature, that _nothing_ happens _by chance_.
In fact, they can as little free themselves from this teleological
proposition as from the universal physical proposition; for as without
the latter we should have no experience at all, so without the former
we should have no guiding thread for the observation of a species of
natural things which we have thought teleologically under the concept
of natural purposes.

Now this concept brings the Reason into a quite different order of
things from that of a mere mechanism of nature, which is no longer
satisfying here. An Idea is to be the ground of the possibility
of the natural product. But because this is an absolute unity of
representation, instead of the material being a plurality of things
that can supply by itself no definite unity of composition,--if that
unity of the Idea is to serve at all as the _a priori_ ground of
determination of a natural law of the causality of such a form of
composition,--the purpose of nature must be extended to _everything_
included in its product. For if we once refer action of this sort _on
the whole_ to any supersensible ground of determination beyond the
blind mechanism of nature, we must judge of it altogether according to
this principle; and we have then no reason to regard the form of such
a thing as partly dependent on mechanism--for by such mixing up of
disparate principles no certain rule of judging would be left.

For example, it may be that in an animal body many parts can be
conceived as concretions according to mere mechanical laws (as the
hide, the bones, the hair). And yet the cause which brings together the
required matter, modifies it, forms it, and puts it in its appropriate
place, must always be judged of teleologically; so that here everything
must be considered as organised, and everything again in a certain
relation to the thing itself is an organ.

§ 67. _Of the principle of the teleological judging of nature in
general as a system of purposes_

We have already said above that the _external_ purposiveness of natural
things affords no sufficient warrant for using them as purposes of
nature in order to explain their presence, and for regarding their
contingently purposive effects as the grounds of their presence
according to the principle of final causes. Thus we cannot take
for natural purposes, _rivers_ because they promote intercourse
among inland peoples, _mountains_ because they contain the sources
of the rivers and for their maintenance in rainless seasons have a
store of snow, or the _slope_ of the land which carries away the
water and leaves the country dry; because although this shape of the
earth’s surface be very necessary for the origin and maintenance of
the vegetable and animal kingdoms, it has nothing in itself for the
possibility of which we are forced to assume a causality according to
purposes. The same is true of plants which man uses for his needs or
his pleasures; of beasts, the camel, the ox, the horse, dog, etc.,
which are indispensable to him as well for food as because they are
used in his service in many different ways. In the case of things
which we have no reason for regarding in themselves as purposes, such
external relation can only be hypothetically judged as purposive.

To judge of a thing as a natural purpose on account of its internal
form is something very different from taking the existence of that
thing to be a purpose of nature. For the latter assertion we require
not merely the concept of a possible purpose, but the knowledge of
the final purpose (_scopus_) of nature. But this requires a reference
of such knowledge to something supersensible far transcending all our
teleological knowledge of nature, for the purpose of [the existence
of][109] nature must itself be sought beyond nature. The internal form
of a mere blade of grass is sufficient to show that for our human
faculty of judgement its origin is possible only according to the
rule of purposes. But if we change our point of view and look to the
use which other natural beings make of it, abandon the consideration
of its internal organisation and only look to its externally purposive
references, we shall arrive at no categorical purpose; all this
purposive reference rests on an ever more distant condition, which, as
unconditioned (the presence of a thing as final purpose), lies quite
outside the physico-teleological view of the world. For example, grass
is needful for the ox, which again is needful for man as a means of
existence, but then we do not see why it is necessary that men should
exist (a question this, which we shall not find so easy to answer if we
sometimes cast our thoughts on the New Hollanders or the inhabitants
of Tierra del Fuego). So conceived, the thing is not even a natural
purpose, for neither it (nor its whole genus) is to be regarded as a
natural product.

Hence it is only so far as matter is organised that it necessarily
carries with it the concept of a natural purpose, because this its
specific form is at the same time a product of nature. But this concept
leads necessarily to the Idea of collective nature as a system in
accordance with the rule of purposes, to which Idea all the mechanism
of nature must be subordinated according to principles of Reason (at
least in order to investigate natural phenomena therein). The principle
of Reason belongs to it only as a subjective principle or a maxim: viz.
everything in the World is some way good for something; nothing is vain
in it. By the example that nature gives us in its organic products we
are justified, nay called upon, to expect of it and of its laws nothing
that is not purposive on the whole.

It is plain that this is not a principle for the determinant but
only for the reflective Judgement; that it is regulative and not
constitutive; and that we derive from it a clue by which we consider
natural things in reference to an already given ground of determination
according to a new law-abiding order; and extend our natural science
according to a different principle, viz. that of final causes, but
yet without prejudice to the principle of mechanical causality.
Furthermore, it is in no wise thus decided, whether anything of which
we judge by this principle, is a _designed_ purpose of nature; whether
the grass is for the ox or the sheep, or whether these and the other
things of nature are here for men. It is well also from this side
to consider the things which are unpleasant to us and are contrary
to purpose in particular references. Thus, for example, we can say:
The vermin that torment men in their clothes, their hair, or their
beds, may be, according to a wise appointment of nature, a motive to
cleanliness which is in itself an important means for the preservation
of health. Or again the mosquitoes and other stinging insects that
make the wildernesses of America so oppressive to the savages, may be
so many goads to activity for these primitive men, [inducing them] to
drain the marshes and bring light into the forests which intercept
every breath of air, and in this way, as well as by cultivating the
soil, to make their habitations more healthy. The same thing, which
appears to men contradictory to nature in its inner organisation, if
viewed in this light gives an entertaining, sometimes an instructive,
outlook into a teleological order of things, to which, without such
a principle, mere physical observation would not lead us by itself.
Thus some persons regard the tapeworm as given to the men or animals
in whom it resides, as a kind of set-off for some defect in their
vital organs; now I would ask if dreams (without which we never sleep,
though we seldom remember them) may not be a purposive ordinance of
nature? For during the relaxation of all the moving powers of the body,
they serve to excite internally the vital organs by the medium of the
Imagination and its great activity (which in this state generally rises
to the height of affection). During sleep the Imagination commonly is
more actively at play when the stomach is overloaded, in which case
this excitement is the more necessary. Consequently, then, without this
internal power of motion and this fatiguing unrest, on account of which
we complain about our dreams (though in fact they are rather remedial),
sleep even in a sound state of health would be a complete extinction of

Also the beauty of nature, _i.e._ its connexion with the free play of
our cognitive faculties in apprehending and judging of its appearance,
can be regarded as a kind of objective purposiveness of nature in its
whole [content] as a system of which man is a member; if once the
teleological judging of the same by means of the natural purposes which
organised beings suggest to us, has justified for us the Idea of a
great system of purposes of nature. We can regard it as a favour[110]
which nature has felt for us, that in addition to what is useful it
has so profusely dispensed beauty and charm; and we can therefore love
it, as well as regard it with respect on account of its immensity,
and feel ourselves ennobled by such regard; just as if nature had
established and adorned its splendid theatre precisely with this view.

We shall say only one thing more in this paragraph. If we have once
discovered in nature a faculty of bringing forth products that can
only be thought by us in accordance with the concept of final causes,
we go further still. We venture to judge that things belong to a
system of purposes, which yet do not (either in themselves or in their
purposive relations) necessitate our seeking for any principle of
their possibility beyond the mechanism of causes working blindly. For
the first Idea, as concerns its ground, already brings us beyond the
world of sense; since the unity of the supersensible principle must be
regarded as valid in this way not merely for certain species of natural
beings, but for the whole of nature as a system.

§ 68. _Of the principle of Teleology as internal principle of natural

The principles of a science are either internal to it and are then
called domestic (_principia domestica_), or are based on concepts that
can only find their place outside it and so are _foreign_ principles
(_peregrina_). Sciences that contain the latter, place at the basis of
their doctrines auxiliary propositions (_lemmata_), _i.e._ they borrow
some concept, and with it a ground of arrangement, from another science.

Every science is in itself a system, and it is not enough in it to
build in accordance with principles and thus to employ a technical
procedure, but we must go to work with it architectonically, as a
building subsisting for itself; we must not treat it as an additional
wing or part of another building, but as a whole in itself, although we
may subsequently make a passage from it into that other or conversely.

If then we introduce into the context of natural science the concept of
God in order to explain the purposiveness in nature, and subsequently
use this purposiveness to prove that there is a God, there is no
internal consistency in either science [_i.e._ either in natural
science or theology]; and a delusive circle brings them both into
uncertainty, because they have allowed their boundaries to overlap.

The expression, a purpose of nature, already sufficiently prevents the
confusion of mixing up natural science and the occasion that it gives
for judging _teleologically_ of its objects, with the consideration of
God, and so of a _theological_ derivation of them. We must not regard
it as insignificant, if one interchanges this expression with that of
a divine purpose in the ordering of nature, or gives out the latter
as more suitable and proper for a pious soul, because it must come in
the end to deriving these purposive forms in nature from a wise author
of the world. On the contrary, we must carefully and modestly limit
ourselves to the expression, a purpose of nature, which asserts exactly
as much as we know. Before we ask after the cause of nature itself, we
find in nature, and in the course of its development, products of the
same kind which are developed in it according to known empirical laws,
in accordance with which natural science must judge of its objects,
and, consequently, must seek in nature their causality according to
the rule of purposes. So then it must not transgress its bounds in
order to introduce into itself as a domestic principle that, to whose
concept no experience can be commensurate, upon which we are only
entitled to venture after the completion of natural science.

Natural characteristics which demonstrate themselves _a priori_, and
consequently admit of insight into their possibility from universal
principles without any admixture of experience, although they carry
with them a technical purposiveness, yet cannot, because they are
absolutely necessary, be referred to the Teleology of nature, as to a
method belonging to Physic for solving its problems. Arithmetical or
geometrical analogies, as well as universal mechanical laws,--however
strange and admirable may seem to us the union of different rules,
quite independent of one another according to all appearance, in a
single principle,--possess on that account no claim to be teleological
grounds of explanation in Physic. Even if they deserve to be brought
into consideration in the universal theory of the purposiveness
of things of nature, yet they belong to another [science], _i.e._
Metaphysic, and constitute no internal principle of natural science;
as with the empirical laws of natural purposes in organised beings, it
is not only permissible but unavoidable to use the teleological _mode
of judging_ as a principle of the doctrine of nature in regard to a
particular class of its objects.

So to the end that Physic may keep within its own bounds, it
abstracts itself entirely from the question, whether natural purposes
are _designed_ or _undesigned_; for that would be to meddle in an
extraneous business, in Metaphysic. It is enough that there are
objects, alone _explicable_ according to natural laws which we
can only think by means of the Idea of purposes as principle, and
also alone internally _cognisable_ as concerns their internal form,
in this way. In order, therefore, to remove the suspicion of the
slightest assumption,--as if we wished to mix with our grounds
of cognition something not belonging to Physic at all, viz. a
supernatural cause,--we speak in Teleology, indeed, of nature as if the
purposiveness therein were designed, but in such a way that this design
is ascribed to nature, _i.e._ to matter. Now in this way there can be
no misunderstanding, because no design in the proper meaning of the
word can possibly be ascribed to inanimate matter; we thus give notice
that this word here only expresses a principle of the reflective not of
the determinant Judgement, and so is to introduce no particular ground
of causality; but only adds for the use of the Reason a different kind
of investigation from that according to mechanical laws, in order to
supplement the inadequacy of the latter even for empirical research
into all particular laws of nature. Hence we speak quite correctly
in Teleology, so far as it is referred to Physic, of the wisdom, the
economy, the forethought, the beneficence of Nature, without either
making an intelligent being of it, for that would be preposterous; or
even without presuming to place another intelligent Being above it as
its Architect, for that would be presumptuous.[111] But there should
be only signified thereby a kind of causality of nature after the
analogy of our own in the technical use of Reason, in order to have
before us the rule according to which certain products of nature must
be investigated.

But now why is it that Teleology usually forms no proper part of
theoretical natural science, but is regarded as a propaedeutic or
transition to Theology? This is done in order to restrict the study
of nature, mechanically considered, to that which we can so subject
to observation or experiment that we are able to produce it ourselves
as nature does, or at least by similar laws. For we see into a thing
completely only so far as we can make it in accordance with our
concepts and bring it to completion. But organisation, as an inner
purpose of nature, infinitely surpasses all our faculty of presenting
the like by means of art. And as concerns the external contrivances
of nature regarded as purposive (wind, rain, etc.), Physic, indeed,
considers their mechanism, but it cannot at all present their reference
to purposes, so far as this is a condition necessarily belonging to
cause; for this necessity of connexion has to do altogether with the
combination of our concepts and not with the constitution of things.



§ 69. _What is an antinomy of the Judgement?_

The _determinant_ Judgement has for itself no principles which are
the foundation of _concepts of Objects_. It has no autonomy, for it
_subsumes_ only under given laws or concepts as principles. Hence it
is exposed to no danger of an antinomy of its own or to a conflict of
its principles. So [we saw that] the transcendental Judgement which
contains the conditions of subsuming under categories was for itself
not _nomothetic_, but that it only indicated the conditions of sensuous
intuition, under which reality (application) can be supplied to a given
concept, as law of the Understanding, whereby the Judgement could never
fall into discord with itself (at least as far as its principles are

But the _reflective_ Judgement must subsume under a law, which is not
yet given, and is therefore in fact only a principle of reflection
upon objects, for which we are objectively quite in want of a law or
of a concept of an Object that would be adequate as a principle for
the cases that occur. Since now no use of the cognitive faculties
can be permitted without principles, the reflective Judgement must
in such cases serve as a principle for itself. This, because it is
not objective and can supply no ground of cognition of the Object
adequate for design, must serve as a mere subjective principle, for the
purposive employment of our cognitive faculties, _i.e._ for reflecting
upon a class of objects. Therefore in reference to such cases the
reflective Judgement has its maxims--necessary maxims--on behalf of
the cognition of natural laws in experience, in order to attain by
their means to concepts, even concepts of Reason; since it has absolute
need of such in order to learn merely to cognise nature according to
its empirical laws.--Between these necessary maxims of the reflective
Judgement there may be a conflict and consequently an antinomy, upon
which a Dialectic bases itself. If each of two conflicting maxims has
its ground in the nature of the cognitive faculties, this may be called
a natural Dialectic, and an unavoidable illusion which we must expose
and resolve in our Critique, to the end that it may not deceive us.

§ 70. _Representation of this antinomy_

So far as Reason has to do with nature, as the complex of objects
of external sense, it can base itself partly upon laws which the
Understanding itself prescribes _a priori_ to nature, partly upon
laws which it can extend indefinitely by means of the empirical
determinations occurring in experience. To apply the former kind of
laws, _i.e._ the _universal_ laws of material nature in general, the
Judgement needs no special principle of reflection, since it is there
determinant because an objective principle is given to it through
Understanding. But as regards the particular laws that can only be made
known to us through experience, there can be under them such great
manifoldness and diversity, that the Judgement must serve as its own
principle in order to investigate and search into the phenomena of
nature in accordance with a law. Such a guiding thread is needed, if
we are only to hope for a connected empirical cognition according to
a thoroughgoing conformity of nature to law, even its unity according
to empirical laws. In this contingent unity of particular laws it may
very well happen that the Judgement in its reflection proceeds from
two maxims. One of these is suggested to it _a priori_ by the mere
Understanding; but the other is prompted by particular experiences,
which bring the Reason into play in order to form a judgement upon
corporeal nature and its laws in accordance with a particular
principle. Hence it comes about that these two kinds of maxims seem to
be incapable of existing together, and consequently a Dialectic arises
which leads the Judgement into error in the principle of its reflection.

The _first maxim_ of Judgement is the _proposition_: all production of
material things and their forms must be judged to be possible according
to merely mechanical laws.

The _second maxim_ is the _counter-proposition_: some products of
material nature cannot be judged to be possible according to merely
mechanical laws. (To judge them requires quite a different law of
causality, namely, that of final causes.)

If these regulative principles of investigation be converted into
constitutive principles of the possibility of Objects, they will run

_Proposition_: All production of material things is possible according
to merely mechanical laws.

_Counter-proposition_: Some production of material things is not
possible according to merely mechanical laws.

In this latter aspect, as objective principles for the determinant
Judgement, they would contradict each other; and consequently one of
the two propositions must necessarily be false. We shall then, it is
true, have an antinomy, but not of Judgement; there will be a conflict
in the legislation of Reason. Reason, however, can prove neither the
one nor the other of these fundamental propositions, because we can
have _a priori_ no determinant principle of the possibility of things
according to mere empirical laws of nature.

On the other hand, as regards the first-mentioned maxims of a
reflective Judgement, they involve no contradiction in fact. For if
I say, I must _judge_, according to merely mechanical laws, of the
possibility of all events in material nature, and consequently of all
forms regarded as its products, I do not therefore say: _They are
possible in this way alone_ (apart from any other kind of causality).
All that is implied is: I _must_ always _reflect_ upon them _according
to the principle_ of the mere mechanism of nature, and consequently
investigate this as far as I can; because unless this lies at the
basis of investigation, there can be no proper knowledge of nature at
all. But this does not prevent us, if occasion offers, from following
out the second maxim in the case of certain natural forms (and even
by occasion of these in the whole of nature), in order to reflect
upon them according to the principle of final causes, which is quite
a different thing from explaining them according to the mechanism of
nature. Reflection in accordance with the first maxim is thus not
abrogated; on the contrary, we are told to follow it as far as we can.
Nor is it said that these forms would not be possible in accordance
with the mechanism of nature. It is only asserted that _human Reason_
in following up this maxim and in this way could never find the least
ground for that which constitutes the specific [character] of a natural
purpose, although it would increase its knowledge of natural laws.
Thus it is left undecided whether or not in the unknown inner ground
of nature, physico-mechanical and purposive combination may be united
in the same things in one principle. We only say that our Reason is
not in a position so to unite them; and that therefore the Judgement
(as _reflective_--from subjective grounds, not as determinant, in
consequence of an objective principle of the possibility of things in
themselves) is compelled to think a different principle from that of
natural mechanism as the ground of the possibility of certain forms in

§ 71. _Preliminary to the solution of the above antinomy_

We can in no way prove the impossibility of the production of organised
natural products by the mere mechanism of nature, because we cannot
see into the first inner ground of the infinite multiplicity of the
particular laws of nature, which are contingent for us since they
are only empirically known; and so we cannot arrive at the inner
all-sufficient principle of the possibility of a nature (a principle
which lies in the supersensible). Whether therefore the productive
faculty of nature is sufficient for that which we judge to be formed
or combined in accordance with the Idea of purposes, as well as
for that which we believe to require merely a mechanical system
[Maschinenwesen] of nature; or whether there lies at the basis of
things which we must necessarily judge as properly natural purposes,
a quite different kind of original causality, which cannot be
contained in material nature or in its intelligible substrate, viz. an
architectonic Understanding--this is a question to which our Reason,
very narrowly limited in respect of the concept of causality if it
is to be specified _a priori_, can give no answer whatever.--But it
is just as certain and beyond doubt that, in regard to our cognitive
faculties, the mere mechanism of nature can furnish no ground of
explanation of the production of organised beings. _For the reflective
Judgement_ it is therefore a quite correct fundamental proposition,
that for that connexion of things according to final causes which is
so plain, there must be thought a causality distinct from that of
mechanism, viz. that of an (intelligent) cause of the world acting in
accordance with purposes; but _for the determinant Judgement_ this
would be a hasty and unprovable proposition. In the first case it is a
mere maxim of the Judgement, wherein the concept of that causality is
a mere Idea, to which we by no means undertake to concede reality, but
which we use as a guide to reflection, which remains thereby always
open to all mechanical grounds of explanation and does not withdraw
out of the world of Sense. In the second case the proposition would be
an objective principle prescribed by Reason, to which the determinant
Judgement must subject itself, whereby however it withdraws beyond the
world of Sense into the transcendent and perhaps is led into error.

All appearance of an antinomy between the maxims of the proper
physical (mechanical) and the teleological (technical) methods of
explanation rests therefore on this; that we confuse a fundamental
proposition of the reflective with one of the determinant Judgement,
and the _autonomy_ of the first (which has mere subjective validity for
our use of Reason in respect of particular empirical laws) with the
_heteronomy_ of the second, which must regulate itself according to
laws (universal or particular) given to it by the Understanding.

§ 72. _Of the different systems which deal with the purposiveness of

No one has ever doubted the correctness of the proposition that
judgement must be passed upon certain things of nature (organised
beings) and their possibility in accordance with the concept of final
causes, even if we only desire a _guiding thread_ to learn how to
cognise their constitution through observation, without aspiring to an
investigation into their first origin. The question therefore can only
be: whether this fundamental proposition is merely subjectively valid,
_i.e._ is a mere maxim of our Judgement; or whether it is an objective
principle of nature, in accordance with which, apart from its mechanism
(according to the mere laws of motion), quite a different kind of
causality attaches to it, viz. that of final causes, under which these
laws (of moving forces) stand only as intermediate causes.

We could leave this question or problem quite undecided and unsolved
speculatively; because if we content ourselves with speculation
within the bounds of mere natural knowledge, we have enough in these
maxims for the study of nature and for the tracking out of its hidden
secrets, as far as human powers reach. There is then indeed a certain
presentiment of our Reason or a hint as it were given us by nature,
that, by means of this concept of final causes, we go beyond nature,
and could unite it to the highest point in the series of causes, if we
were to abandon or at least to lay aside for a time the investigation
of nature (although we may not have advanced far in it), and seek
thenceforth to find out whither this stranger in natural science, viz.
the concept of natural purposes, would lead us.

But here these undisputed maxims pass over into problems opening out
a wide field for difficulties. Does purposive connexion in nature
_prove_ a particular kind of causality? Or is it not rather, considered
in itself and in accordance with objective principles, similar to the
mechanism of nature, resting on one and the same ground? Only, as
this ground in many natural products is often hidden too deep for our
investigation, we make trial of a subjective principle, that of art,
_i.e._ of causality according to Ideas, and we ascribe it to nature
by analogy. This expedient succeeds in many cases, but seems in some
to mislead, and in no case does it justify us in introducing into
natural science a particular kind of operation quite distinct from the
causality according to the mere mechanical laws of nature. We give
the name of _Technic_ to the procedure (the causality) of nature, on
account of the appearance of purpose that we find in its products; and
we shall divide this into _designed_ (_technica intentionalis_) and
_undesigned_ (_technica naturalis_). The first is meant to signify
that the productive faculty of nature according to final causes must
be taken for a particular kind of causality; the second that it is
at bottom quite similar to the mechanism of nature, and that its
contingent agreement with our artistic concepts and their rules should
be explained as a mere subjective condition of judging it, and not,
falsely, as a particular kind of natural production.

If we now speak of systems explanatory of nature in regard of final
causes, it must be remarked that they all controvert each other
dogmatically, _i.e._ as to objective principles of the possibility of
things, whether there are causes which act designedly or whether they
are quite without design. They do not dispute as to the subjective
maxims, by which we merely judge of the causes of such purposive
products. In this latter case _disparate_ principles could very well
be unified; but in the former, contradictorily opposed laws annul each
other and cannot subsist together.

There are two sorts of systems as to the Technic of nature, _i.e._
its productive power in accordance with the rule of purposes; viz.
_Idealism_ or _Realism_ of natural purposes. The first maintains that
all purposiveness of nature is _undesigned_; the second that some (in
organised beings) is _designed_. From this latter the hypothetical
consequence can be deduced that the Technic of Nature, as concerns
all its other products in reference to the whole of nature, is also
designed, _i.e._ is a purpose.

(1) The _Idealism_ of purposiveness (I always understand here by
this, objective purposiveness) is either that of the _casuality_ or
the _fatality_ of the determination of nature in the purposive form
of its products. The former principle treats of the reference of
matter to the physical basis of its form, viz. the laws of motion;
the second, its reference to the _hyperphysical_ basis of itself and
of the whole of nature. The system of _casuality_ that is ascribed to
_Epicurus_ or _Democritus_ is, taken literally, so plainly absurd
that it need not detain us. Opposed to this is the system of fatality,
of which _Spinoza_ is taken as the author, although it is much
older according to all appearance. This, as it appeals to something
supersensible to which our insight does not extend, is not so easy to
controvert; but that is because its concept of the original Being is
not possible to understand. But so much is clear, that on this theory
the purposive combination in the world must be taken as undesigned;
for although derived from an original Being, it is not derived from
its Understanding or from any design on its part, but rather from
the necessity of its nature and of the world-unity which emanates
therefrom. Consequently the Fatalism of purposiveness is at the same
time an Idealism.

(2) The _Realism_ of the purposiveness of nature is also either
physical or hyperphysical. The _former_ bases the purposes in nature,
by the analogy of a faculty acting with design, on the _life of matter_
(either its own or the life of an inner principle in it, a world-soul)
and is called _Hylozoism_. The _latter_ derives them from the original
ground of the universe, as from an intelligent Being (originally
living), who produces them with design, and is _Theism_.[112]

§ 73. _None of the above systems give what they pretend_

What do all these systems desire? They desire to explain our
teleological judgements about nature, and they go so to work therewith
that some deny their truth and, consequently, explain them as an
Idealism of Nature (represented as Art); others recognise them as true,
and promise to establish the possibility of a nature in accordance with
the Idea of final causes.

(1) The systems which defend the Idealism of final causes in nature
grant, it is true, on the one hand to their principle a causality in
accordance with the laws of motion (through which [causality] natural
things exist purposively); but they deny to it _intentionality_, _i.e._
that it designedly determines itself to this its purposive production;
in other words, they deny that the cause is a purpose. This is
_Epicurus’s_ method of explanation, according to which the distinction
between a Technic of nature and mere mechanism is altogether denied.
Blind chance is taken as the explanatory ground not only of the
agreement of the developed products with our concepts of the purpose,
and consequently of [nature’s] Technic; but also of the determination
of the causes of this production in accordance with the laws of motion,
and consequently of their mechanism. Thus nothing is explained, not
even the illusion in our teleological judgements, and consequently, the
would-be Idealism of these in no way established.

On the other hand, _Spinoza_ wishes to dispense with all inquiries into
the ground of the possibility of purposes of nature, and to take away
all reality from this Idea. He allows their validity in general not as
products but as accidents inhering in an original Being; and to this
Being, as substrate of those natural things, he ascribes not causality
in regard to them but mere subsistence. On account of its unconditioned
necessity, and also that of all natural things as accidents inhering
in it, he secures, it is true, to the forms of nature that unity of
ground which is requisite for all purposiveness; but at the same time
he tears away their contingence, without which no _unity of purpose_
can be thought, and with it all _design_, inasmuch as he takes away all
intelligence from the original ground of natural things.

But Spinozism does not furnish what it desires. It desires to afford
an explanatory ground of the purposive connexion (which it does not
deny) of the things of nature, and it merely speaks of the unity of the
subject in which they all inhere. But even if we concede to it that
the beings of the world exist in this way, such ontological unity is
not therefore a _unity of purpose_, and does not make this in any way
comprehensible. For this latter is a quite particular kind of unity
which does not follow from the connexion of things (the beings of
the world) in a subject (the original Being), but implies in itself
reference to a _cause_ which has Understanding; and even if we unite
all these things in a simple subject, this never exhibits a purposive
reference. For we do not think of them, first, as the inner _effects_
of the substance, as if it were a _cause_; nor, secondly, of this
cause as a cause producing effects _by means of its Understanding_.
Without these formal conditions all unity is mere natural necessity;
and, if it is ascribed as well to things which we represent as
external to one another, blind necessity. But if we wish to give the
name of purposiveness of nature to that which the schoolmen call the
transcendental perfection of things (in reference to their proper
being), according to which everything has in itself that which is
requisite to make it one thing and not another, then we are only like
children playing with words instead of concepts. For if all things
must be thought as purposes, then to be a thing is the same as to be a
purpose, and there is at bottom nothing which specially deserves to be
represented as a purpose.

We hence see at once that Spinoza by his reducing our concepts of
the purposive in nature to our own consciousness of existing in an
all-embracing (though simple) Being, and by his seeking that form
merely in the unity of this Being, must have intended to maintain not
the realism, but the idealism of its purposiveness. Even this he was
not able to accomplish, because the mere representation of the unity of
the substrate cannot bring about the Idea of a purposiveness, even that
which is only undesigned.

(2) Those who not only maintain the _Realism_ of natural purposes, but
also set about explaining it, believe that they can comprehend, at
least as regards its possibility, a practical kind of causality, viz.
that of causes working designedly; otherwise they could not undertake
to supply this explanation. For to authorise even the most daring of
hypotheses, at least the _possibility_ of what we assume as basis must
be _certain_, and we must be able to assure objective reality to its

But the possibility of living matter cannot even be thought; its
concept involves a contradiction because lifelessness, _inertia_,
constitutes the essential character of matter. The possibility of
matter endowed with life, and of collective nature regarded as an
animal, can only be used in an inadequate way (in the interests of
the hypothesis of purposiveness in the whole of nature), so far as it
is manifested by experience in the organisation of nature on a small
scale; but in no way can we have insight into its possibility _a
priori_. There must then be a circle in the explanation, if we wish to
derive the purposiveness of nature in organised beings from the life
of matter, and yet only know this life in organised beings, and can
form no concept of its possibility without experience of this kind.
Hylozoism, therefore, does not furnish what it promises.

Finally, _Theism_ can just as little establish dogmatically the
possibility of natural purposes as a key to Teleology; although it
certainly is superior to all other grounds of explanation in that,
through the Understanding which it ascribes to the original Being, it
rescues in the best way the purposiveness of nature from Idealism, and
introduces a causality acting with design for its production.

But we must first prove satisfactorily to the determinant Judgement the
impossibility of the unity of purpose in matter resulting from its mere
mechanism, before we are justified in placing the ground of this beyond
nature in a determinate way. We can, however, advance no further than
this. In accordance with the constitution and limits of our cognitive
faculties (whilst we do not comprehend even the first inner ground
of this mechanism) we must in no wise seek in matter a principle of
determinate purposive references; but no other way of judging of the
origination of its products as natural purposes remains to us than
that by means of a supreme Understanding as cause of the world. But
this is only a ground for the reflective, not for the determinant
Judgement, and can justify absolutely no objective assertion.

§ 74. _The reason that we cannot treat the concept of a Technic of
nature dogmatically is the fact that a natural purpose is inexplicable_

We deal with a concept dogmatically (even though it should be
empirically conditioned) if we consider it as contained under another
concept of the Object which constitutes a principle[113] of Reason,
and determine it in conformity with this. But we deal with it merely
critically, if we consider it only in reference to our cognitive
faculties and consequently to the subjective conditions of thinking
it, without undertaking to decide anything about its Object. Dogmatic
procedure with a concept is then that which is conformable to law
for the determinant Judgement, critical procedure for the reflective

Now the concept of a thing as a natural purpose is a concept which
subsumes nature under a causality only thinkable through Reason,
in order to judge in accordance with this principle about that
which is given of the Object in experience. But in order to use it
dogmatically for the determinant Judgement, we must be assured first
of the objective reality of this concept, because otherwise we could
subsume no natural thing under it. Again, the concept of a thing as
a natural purpose is, no doubt, empirically conditioned, _i.e._ only
possible under certain conditions given in experience, though not to be
abstracted therefrom; but it is a concept only possible in accordance
with a rational principle in the judgement about the object. Its
objective reality, therefore (_i.e._ that an object in conformity with
it is possible), cannot be comprehended and dogmatically established as
such a principle; and we do not know whether it is merely a sophistical
and objectively empty concept (_conceptus ratiocinans_), or a rational
concept, establishing a cognition and confirmed by Reason (_conceptus
ratiocinatus_).[114] Therefore it cannot be dogmatically treated for
the determinant Judgement, _i.e._ it is not only impossible to decide
whether or not things of nature considered as natural purposes require
for their production a causality of a quite peculiar kind (that acting
on design); but the question cannot even be put, because the concept of
a natural purpose is simply not susceptible of proof through Reason as
regards its objective reality. That is, it is not constitutive for the
determinant Judgement, but merely regulative for the reflective.

That it is not susceptible of proof is clear because (as concept of
a _natural product_) it embraces in itself natural necessity, and at
the same time (as purpose) a contingency of the form of the Object (in
reference to the mere laws of nature) in the very same thing. Hence,
if there is to be no contradiction here it must contain a ground for
the possibility of the thing in nature, and also a ground of the
possibility of this nature itself and of its reference to something
which, not being empirically cognisable nature (supersensible), is
therefore for us not cognisable at all. [This is requisite] if it is
to be judged according to a different kind of causality from that
of natural mechanism when we wish to establish its possibility. The
concept of a thing, then, as a natural purpose, is transcendent _for
the determinant Judgement_, if we consider the Object through Reason
(although for the reflective Judgement it certainly may be immanent in
respect of the objects of experience). Hence for determinant judgements
objective reality cannot be supplied to it; and so it is intelligible
how all systems that one may project for the dogmatic treatment of
the concept of natural purposes and of nature itself [considered]
as a whole connected together by means of final causes, can decide
nothing either by objective affirmation or by objective denial. For if
things be subsumed under a concept that is merely problematical, its
synthetical predicates (_e.g._ in the question whether the purpose of
nature which we conceive for the production of things is designed or
undesigned) can furnish only problematical judgements of the Object,
whether affirmative or negative; and we do not know whether we are
judging about something or about nothing. The concept of a causality
through purposes (of art) has at all events objective reality, and
also the concept of a causality according to the mechanism of nature.
But the concept of a causality of nature according to the rule of
purposes,--still more of a Being such as cannot be given us in
experience, a Being who is the original cause of nature,--though it
can be thought without contradiction, yet is of no avail for dogmatic
determinations. For, since it cannot be derived from experience,
and also is not requisite for the possibility thereof, its objective
reality can in no way be assured. But even if this could be done, how
can I number among the products of nature things which are definitely
accounted products of divine art, when it is just the incapacity of
nature to produce such things according to its own laws that made it
necessary to invoke a cause different from it?

§ 75. _The concept of an objective purposiveness of nature is a
critical principle of Reason for the reflective Judgement_

It is then one thing to say, “the production of certain things of
nature or that of collective nature is only possible through a cause
which determines itself to action according to design”; and quite
another to say, “I can _according to the peculiar constitution of my
cognitive faculties_ judge concerning the possibility of these things
and their production, in no other fashion than by conceiving for this a
cause working according to design, _i.e._ a Being which is productive
in a way analogous to the causality of an intelligence.” In the former
case I wish to establish something concerning the Object, and am
bound to establish the objective reality of an assumed concept; in
the latter, Reason only determines the use of my cognitive faculties,
conformably to their peculiarities and to the essential conditions
of their range and their limits. Thus the former principle is an
objective proposition for the determinant Judgement, the latter merely
a subjective proposition for the reflective Judgement, _i.e._ a maxim
which Reason prescribes to it.

We are in fact indispensably obliged to ascribe the concept of design
to nature if we wish to investigate it, though only in its organised
products, by continuous observation; and this concept is therefore an
absolutely necessary maxim for the empirical use of our Reason. It
is plain that once such a guiding thread for the study of nature is
admitted and verified, we must at least try the said maxim of Judgement
in nature as a whole; because thereby many of nature’s laws might
discover themselves, which otherwise, on account of the limitation
of our insight into its inner mechanism, would remain hidden. But
though in regard to this latter employment that maxim of Judgement is
certainly useful, it is not indispensable, for nature as a whole is not
given as organised (in the narrow sense of the word above indicated).
On the other hand, in regard to those natural products, which must
be judged of as designed and not formed otherwise (if we are to have
empirical knowledge of their inner constitution), this maxim of the
reflective Judgement is essentially necessary; because the very thought
of them as organised beings is impossible without combining therewith
the thought of their designed production.

Now the concept of a thing whose existence or form we represent to
ourselves as possible under the condition of a purpose is inseparably
bound up with the concept of its contingency (according to natural
laws). Hence the natural things that we find possible only as purposes
supply the best proof of the contingency of the world-whole; to the
common Understanding and to the philosopher alike they are the only
valid ground of proof for its dependence on and origin from a Being
existing outside the world--a Being who must also be intelligent on
account of that purposive form. Teleology then finds the consummation
of its investigations only in Theology.

But what now in the end does the most complete Teleology prove? Does
it prove that there is such an intelligent Being? No. It only proves
that according to the constitution of our cognitive faculties and in
the consequent combination of experience with the highest principles of
Reason, we can form absolutely no concept of the possibility of such a
world [as this] save by thinking a _designedly-working_ supreme cause
thereof. Objectively we cannot therefore lay down the proposition,
there is an intelligent original Being; but only subjectively, for the
use of our Judgement in its reflection upon the purposes in nature,
which can be thought according to no other principle than that of a
designing causality of a highest cause.

If we wished to establish on teleological grounds the above proposition
dogmatically we should be beset with difficulties from which we could
not extricate ourselves. For then the proposition must at bottom be
reduced to the conclusion, that the organised beings in the world
are no otherwise possible than by a designedly-working cause. And we
should unavoidably have to assert that, because we can follow up these
things in their causal combination only under the Idea of purposes, and
cognise them only according to their conformity to law, we are thereby
justified in assuming this as a condition necessary for every thinking
and cognising being--a condition consequently attaching to the Object
and not merely to our subject. But such an assertion we do not succeed
in sustaining. For, since we do not, properly speaking, _observe_ the
purposes in nature as designed, but only in our reflection upon its
products _think_ this concept as a guiding thread for our Judgement,
they are not given to us through the Object. It is quite impossible for
us _a priori_ to vindicate, as capable of assumption, such a concept
according to its objective reality. It remains therefore a proposition
absolutely resting upon subjective conditions alone, viz. of the
Judgement reflecting in conformity with our cognitive faculties. If
we expressed this proposition dogmatically as objectively valid, it
would be: “There is a God.” But for us men there is only permissible
the limited formula: “We cannot otherwise think and make comprehensible
the purposiveness which must lie at the bottom of our cognition of
the internal possibility of many natural things, than by representing
it and the world in general as a product of an intelligent cause, [a

Now if this proposition, based on an inevitably necessary maxim of our
Judgement, is completely satisfactory from every _human_ point of view
for both the speculative and practical use of our Reason, I should like
to know what we lose by not being able to prove it as also valid for
higher beings, from objective grounds (which unfortunately are beyond
our faculties). It is indeed quite certain that we cannot adequately
cognise, much less explain, organised beings and their internal
possibility, according to mere mechanical principles of nature; and we
can say boldly it is alike certain that it is absurd for men to make
any such attempt or to hope that another _Newton_ will arise in the
future, who shall make comprehensible by us the production of a blade
of grass according to natural laws which no design has ordered.[116]
We must absolutely deny this insight to men. But then how do we know
that in nature, if we could penetrate to the principle by which it
specifies the universal laws known to us, there _cannot_ lie hidden (in
its mere mechanism) a sufficient ground of the possibility of organised
beings without supposing any design in their production? would it
not be judged by us presumptuous to say this? Probabilities here are
of no account when we have to do with judgements of pure Reason.--We
cannot therefore judge objectively, either affirmatively or negatively,
concerning the proposition: “Does a Being acting according to design
lie at the basis of what we rightly call natural purposes, as the cause
of the world (and consequently as its author)?” So much only is sure,
that if we are to judge according to what is permitted us to see by
our own proper nature (the conditions and limitations of our Reason),
we can place at the basis of the possibility of these natural purposes
nothing else than an intelligent Being. This alone is in conformity
with the maxim of our reflective Judgement and therefore with a ground
which, though subjective, is inseparably attached to the human race.

§ 76. _Remark_

This consideration, which very well deserves to be worked out in
detail in Transcendental Philosophy, can come in here only in passing,
by way of elucidation (not as a proof of what is here proposed).

Reason is a faculty of principles and proceeds in its extremest advance
to the unconditioned; on the other hand, the Understanding stands at
its service always only under a certain condition which must be given.
But without concepts of Understanding, to which objective reality
must be given, the Reason cannot form any objective (synthetical)
judgement; and contains in itself, as theoretical Reason, absolutely
no constitutive but merely regulative principles. We soon see that
where the Understanding cannot follow, the Reason is transcendent, and
shows itself in Ideas formerly established (as regulative principles),
but not in objectively valid concepts. But the Understanding which
cannot keep pace with Reason but yet is requisite for the validity of
Objects, limits the validity of these Ideas to the subject, although
[extending it] generally to all [subjects] of this kind. That is, the
Understanding limits their validity to the condition, that according
to the nature of our (human) cognitive faculties, or, generally,
according to the concept which we _ourselves_ can _make_ of the faculty
of a finite intelligent being, nothing else can or must be thought;
though this is not to assert that the ground of such a judgement lies
in the Object. We shall adduce some examples which, though they are
too important and difficult to impose them on the reader as proved
propositions, yet will give him material for thought and may serve to
elucidate what we are here specially concerned with.

It is indispensably necessary for the human Understanding to
distinguish between the possibility and the actuality of things. The
ground for this lies in the subject and in the nature of our cognitive
faculties. Such a distinction (between the possible and the actual)
would not be given were there not requisite for knowledge two quite
different elements, Understanding for concepts and sensible intuition
for Objects corresponding to them. If our Understanding were intuitive
it would have no objects but those which are actual. Concepts (which
merely extend to the possibility of an object) and sensible intuitions
(which give us something without allowing us to cognise it thus as an
object) would both disappear. But now the whole of our distinction
between the merely possible and the actual rests on this, that the
former only signifies the positing of the representation of a thing
in respect of our concept, and, in general, in respect of the faculty
of thought; while the latter signifies the positing of the thing in
itself [outside this concept].[117] The distinction, then, of possible
things from actual is one which has merely subjective validity for the
human Understanding, because we can always have a thing in our thoughts
although it is [really] nothing, or we can represent a thing as given
although we have no concept of it. The propositions therefore--that
things can be possible without being actual, and that consequently no
conclusion can be drawn as to actuality from mere possibility--are
quite valid for human Reason, without thereby proving that this
distinction lies in things themselves. That this does not follow, and
that consequently these propositions, though valid of Objects (in
so far as our cognitive faculty, as sensuously conditioned, busies
itself with Objects of sense), do not hold for things in general,
appears from the irrepressible demand of Reason to assume something
(the original ground) necessarily existing as unconditioned, in which
possibility and actuality should no longer be distinguished, and
for which Idea our Understanding has absolutely no concept; _i.e._
it can find no way of representing such a thing and its manner of
existence. For if the Understanding _thinks_ such a thing (which it
may do at pleasure), the thing is merely represented as possible. If
it is conscious of it as given in intuition, then is it actual; but
nothing as to its possibility is thus thought. Hence the concept of
an absolutely necessary Being is no doubt an indispensable Idea of
Reason, but yet it is a problematical concept unattainable by the human
Understanding. It is indeed valid for the employment of our cognitive
faculties in accordance with their peculiar constitution, but not
valid of the Object. Nor is it valid for every knowing being, because
I cannot presuppose in every such being thought and intuition as two
distinct conditions of the exercise of its cognitive faculties, and
consequently as conditions of the possibility and actuality of things.
An Understanding into which this distinction did not enter, might
say: All Objects that I know _are_, _i.e._ exist; and the possibility
of some, which yet do not exist (_i.e._ the contingency or the
contrasted necessity of those which do exist), might never come into
the representation of such a being at all. But what makes it difficult
for our Understanding to treat its concepts here as Reason does, is
merely that for it, as human Understanding, that is transcendent
(_i.e._ impossible for the subjective conditions of its cognition)
which Reason makes into a principle appertaining to the Object.--Here
the maxim always holds, that all Objects whose cognition surpasses
the faculty of the Understanding are thought by us according to the
subjective conditions of the exercise of that faculty which necessarily
attach to our (human) nature. If judgements laid down in this way (and
there is no other alternative in regard to transcendent concepts)
cannot be constitutive principles determining the Object as it is, they
will remain regulative principles adapted to the human point of view,
immanent in their exercise and sure.

Just as Reason in the theoretical consideration of nature must assume
the Idea of an unconditioned necessity of its original ground, so also
it presupposes in the practical [sphere] its own (in respect of nature)
unconditioned causality, or freedom, in that it is conscious of its
own moral command. Here the objective necessity of the act, as a duty,
is opposed to that necessity which it would have as an event, if its
ground lay in nature and not in freedom (_i.e._ in the causality of
Reason). The morally absolutely necessary act is regarded as physically
quite contingent, since that which _ought_ necessarily to happen often
does not happen. It is clear then that it is owing to the subjective
constitution of our practical faculty that the moral laws must be
represented as commands, and the actions conforming to them as duties;
and that Reason expresses this necessity not by an “_is_” (happens),
but by an “ought to be.” This would not be the case were Reason
considered as in its causality independent of sensibility (as the
subjective condition of its application to objects of nature), and so
as cause in an intelligible world entirely in agreement with the moral
law. For in such a world there would be no distinction between “ought
to do” and “does,” between a practical law of that which is possible
through us, and the theoretical law of that which is actual through
us. Though, therefore, an intelligible world in which everything would
be actual merely because (as something good) it is possible, together
with freedom as its formal condition, is for us a transcendent concept,
not available as a constitutive principle to determine an Object and
its objective reality; yet, because of the constitution of our (in
part sensuous) nature and faculty it is, so far as we can represent
it in accordance with the constitution of our Reason, for us and for
all rational beings that have a connexion with the world of sense, a
universal _regulative principle_. This principle does not objectively
determine the constitution of freedom, as a form of causality, but it
makes the rule of actions according to that Idea a command for every
one, with no less validity than if it did so determine it.

In the same way we may concede thus much as regards the case in hand.
Between natural mechanism and the Technic of nature, _i.e._ its
purposive connexion, we should find no distinction, were it not that
our Understanding is of the kind that must proceed from the universal
to the particular. The Judgement then in respect of the particular can
cognise no purposiveness and, consequently, can form no determinant
judgements, without having a universal law under which to subsume that
particular. Now the particular, as such, contains something contingent
in respect of the universal, while yet Reason requires unity and
conformity to law in the combination of particular laws of nature.
This conformity of the contingent to law is called purposiveness; and
the derivation of particular laws from the universal, as regards their
contingent element, is impossible _a priori_ through a determination
of the concept of the Object. Hence, the concept of the purposiveness
of nature in its products is necessary for human Judgement in respect
of nature, but has not to do with the determination of Objects. It is,
therefore, a subjective principle of Reason for the Judgement, which
as regulative (not constitutive) is just as necessarily valid for our
_human Judgement_ as if it were an objective principle.

§ 77. _Of the peculiarity of the human Understanding, by means of which
the concept of a natural purpose is possible_

We have brought forward in the _Remark_ peculiarities of our cognitive
faculties (even the higher ones) which we are easily led to transfer as
objective predicates to the things themselves. But they concern Ideas,
no object adequate to which can be given in experience, and they could
only serve as regulative principles in the pursuit of experience. This
is the case with the concept of a natural purpose, which concerns the
cause of the possibility of such a predicate, which cause can only lie
in the Idea. But the result corresponding to it (_i.e._ the product)
is given in nature; and the concept of a causality of nature as of a
being acting according to purposes seems to make the Idea of a natural
purpose into a constitutive principle, which Idea has thus something
different from all other Ideas.

This difference consists, however, in the fact that the Idea in
question is not a rational principle for the Understanding but
for the Judgement. It is, therefore, merely the application of an
Understanding in general to possible objects of experience, in cases
where the judgement can only be reflective, not determinant, and where,
consequently, the object, although given in experience, cannot be
_determinately judged_ in conformity with the Idea (not to say with
complete adequacy), but can only be reflected on.

There emerges, therefore, a peculiarity of _our_ (human) Understanding
in respect of the Judgement in its reflection upon things of nature.
But if this be so, the Idea of a possible Understanding different
from the human must be fundamental here. (Just so in the Critique
of Pure Reason we must have in our thoughts another possible [kind
of] intuition, if ours is to be regarded as a particular species
for which objects are only valid as phenomena.) And so we are able
to say: Certain natural products, from the special constitution of
our Understanding, _must be considered by us_, in regard to their
possibility, as if produced designedly and as purposes. But we
do not, therefore, demand that there should be actually given a
particular cause which has the representation of a purpose as its
determining ground; and we do not deny that an Understanding, different
from (_i.e._ higher than) the human, might find the ground of the
possibility of such products of nature in the mechanism of nature,
_i.e._ in a causal combination for which an Understanding is not
explicitly assumed as cause.

We have now to do with the relation of _our_ Understanding to the
Judgement; viz. we seek for a certain contingency in the constitution
of our Understanding, to which we may point as a peculiarity
distinguishing it from other possible Understandings.

This contingency is found, naturally enough, in the _particular_,
which the Judgement is to bring under the _universal_ of the concepts
of Understanding. For the universal of _our_ (human) Understanding does
not determine the particular, and it is contingent in how many ways
different things which agree in a common characteristic may come before
our perception. Our Understanding is a faculty of concepts, _i.e._ a
discursive Understanding, for which it obviously must be contingent
of what kind and how very different the particular may be that can be
given to it in nature and brought under its concepts. But now intuition
also belongs to knowledge, and a faculty of a _complete spontaneity
of intuition_ would be a cognitive faculty distinct from sensibility,
and quite independent of it, in other words, an Understanding in the
most general sense. Thus we can think an _intuitive_ Understanding
[negatively, merely as not discursive[118]], which does not proceed
from the universal to the particular, and so to the individual (through
concepts). For it that contingency of the accordance of nature in its
products according to _particular_ laws with the Understanding would
not be met with; and it is this contingency that makes it so hard for
our Understanding to reduce the manifold of nature to the unity of
knowledge. This reduction our Understanding can only accomplish by
bringing natural characteristics into a very contingent correspondence
with our faculty of concepts, of which an intuitive Understanding would
have no need.

Our Understanding has then this peculiarity as concerns the Judgement,
that in cognition by it the particular is not determined by the
universal and cannot therefore be derived from it; but at the same
time this particular in the manifold of nature must accord with the
universal (by means of concepts and laws) so that it may be capable
of being subsumed under it. This accordance under such circumstances
must be very contingent and without definite principle as concerns the

In order now to be able at least to think the possibility of such an
accordance of things of nature with our Judgement (which accordance
we represent as contingent and consequently as only possible by means
of a purpose directed thereto), we must at the same time think of
another Understanding, by reference to which and apart from any purpose
ascribed to it, we may represent as _necessary_ that accordance of
natural laws with our Judgement, which for our Understanding is only
thinkable through the medium of purposes.

In fact our Understanding has the property of proceeding in
its cognition, _e.g._ of the cause of a product, from the
_analytical-universal_ (concepts) to the particular (the given
empirical intuition). Thus as regards the manifold of the latter it
determines nothing, but must await this determination by the Judgement,
which subsumes the empirical intuition (if the object is a natural
product) under the concept. We can however think an Understanding
which, being, not like ours, discursive, but intuitive, proceeds from
the _synthetical-universal_ (the intuition of a whole as such) to the
particular, _i.e._ from the whole to the parts. The _contingency_
of the combination of the parts, in order that a definite form of
the whole shall be possible, is not implied by such an Understanding
and its representation of the whole. Our Understanding requires this
because it must proceed from the parts as universally conceived
grounds to different forms possible to be subsumed under them, as
consequences. According to the constitution of our Understanding a
real whole of nature is regarded only as the effect of the concurrent
motive powers of the parts. Suppose then that we wish not to represent
the possibility of the whole as dependent on that of the parts (after
the manner of our discursive Understanding), but according to the
standard of the intuitive (original) Understanding to represent
the possibility of the parts (according to their constitution and
combination) as dependent on that of the whole. In accordance with the
above peculiarity of our Understanding it cannot happen that the whole
shall contain the ground of the possibility of the connexion of the
parts (which would be a contradiction in discursive cognition), but
only that the _representation_ of a whole may contain the ground of the
possibility of its form and the connexion of the parts belonging to it.
Now such a whole would be an effect (_product_) the _representation_ of
which is regarded as the _cause_ of its possibility; but the product
of a cause whose determining ground is merely the representation of
its effect is called a purpose. Hence it is merely a consequence of
the particular constitution of our Understanding, that it represents
products of nature as possible, according to a different kind of
causality from that of the natural laws of matter, namely, that of
purposes and final causes. Hence also this principle has not to do
with the possibility of such things themselves (even when considered
as phenomena) according to the manner of their production, but merely
with the judgement upon them which is possible to our Understanding.
Here we see at once why it is that in natural science we are not
long contented with an explanation of the products of nature by a
causality according to purposes. For there we desire to judge of
natural production merely in a manner conformable to our faculty of
judging, _i.e._ to the reflective Judgement, and not in reference to
things themselves on behalf of the determinant Judgement. It is here
not at all requisite to prove that such an _intellectus archetypus_ is
possible, but only that we are led to the Idea of it,--which contains
no contradiction,--in contrast to our discursive Understanding which
has need of images (_intellectus ectypus_) and to the contingency of
its constitution.

If we consider a material whole, according to its form, as a product
of the parts with their powers and faculties of combining with one
another (as well as of bringing in foreign materials), we represent to
ourselves a mechanical mode of producing it. But in this way no concept
emerges of a whole as purpose, whose internal possibility presupposes
throughout the Idea of a whole on which depend the constitution and
mode of action of the parts, as we must represent to ourselves an
organised body. It does not follow indeed, as has been shown, that
the mechanical production of such a body is impossible; for to say so
would be to say that it would be impossible (contradictory) for _any
Understanding_ to represent to itself such a unity in the connexion of
the manifold, without the Idea of the unity being at the same time its
producing cause, _i.e._ without designed production. This, however,
would follow in fact if we were justified in regarding material beings
as things in themselves. For then the unity that constitutes the
ground of the possibility of natural formations would be simply the
unity of space. But space is no real ground of the products, but only
their formal condition, although it has this similarity to the real
ground which we seek that in it no part can be determined except in
relation to the whole (the representation of which therefore lies at
the ground of the possibility of the parts). But now it is at least
possible to consider the material world as mere phenomenon, and to
think as its substrate something like a thing in itself (which is
not phenomenon), and to attach to this a corresponding intellectual
intuition (even though it is not ours). Thus there would be, although
incognisable by us, a supersensible real ground for nature, to which
we ourselves belong. In this we consider according to mechanical laws
what is necessary in nature regarded as an object of Sense; but we
consider according to teleological laws the agreement and unity of its
particular laws and its forms--which in regard to mechanism we must
judge contingent--regarded as objects of Reason (in fact the whole
of nature as a system). Thus we should judge nature according to two
different kinds of principles without the mechanical way of explanation
being shut out by the teleological, as if they contradicted one another.

From this we are enabled to see what otherwise, though we could easily
surmise it, could with difficulty be maintained with certainty and
proved, viz. that the principle of a mechanical derivation of purposive
natural products is consistent with the teleological, but in no way
enables us to dispense with it. In a thing that we must judge as a
natural purpose (an organised being) we can no doubt try all the known
and yet to be discovered laws of mechanical production, and even hope
to make good progress therewith; but we can never get rid of the call
for a quite different ground of production for the possibility of such
a product, viz. causality by means of purposes. Absolutely no human
Reason (in fact no finite Reason like ours in quality, however much it
may surpass it in degree) can hope to understand the production of even
a blade of grass by mere mechanical causes. As regards the possibility
of such an object, the teleological connexion of causes and effects
is quite indispensable for the Judgement, even for studying it by the
clue of experience. For external objects as phenomena an adequate
ground related to purposes cannot be met with; this, although it lies
in nature, must only be sought in the supersensible substrate of
nature, from all possible insight into which we are cut off. Hence it
is absolutely impossible for us to produce from nature itself grounds
of explanation for purposive combinations; and it is necessary by the
constitution of the human cognitive faculties to seek the supreme
ground of these purposive combinations in an original Understanding as
the cause of the world.

§ 78. _Of the union of the principle of the universal mechanism of
matter with the teleological principle in the Technic of nature_

It is infinitely important for Reason not to let slip the mechanism
of nature in its products, and in their explanation not to pass it
by, because without it no insight into the nature of things can be
attained. Suppose it admitted that a supreme Architect immediately
created the forms of nature as they have been from the beginning, or
that He predetermined those which in the course of nature continually
form themselves on the same model. Our knowledge of nature is not thus
in the least furthered, because we cannot know the mode of action of
that Being and the Ideas which are to contain the principles of the
possibility of natural beings, and we cannot by them explain nature
as from above downwards (_a priori_). And if, starting from the forms
of the objects of experience, from below upwards (_a posteriori_),
we wish to explain the purposiveness, which we believe is met with
in experience, by appealing to a cause working in accordance with
purposes, then is our explanation quite tautological and we are only
mocking Reason with words. Indeed when we lose ourselves with this way
of explanation in the transcendent, whither natural knowledge cannot
follow, Reason is seduced into poetical extravagance, which it is its
peculiar destination to avoid.

On the other hand, it is just as necessary a maxim of Reason not
to pass by the principle of purposes in the products of nature.
For, although it does not make their mode of origination any more
comprehensible, yet it is a heuristic principle for investigating the
particular laws of nature; supposing even that we wish to make no use
of it for explaining nature itself,--in which we still always speak
only of natural purposes, although it apparently exhibits a designed
unity of purpose,--_i.e._ without seeking beyond nature the ground of
the possibility of these particular laws. But since we must come in
the end to this latter question, it is just as necessary to think for
nature a particular kind of causality which does not present itself in
it, as the mechanism of natural causes which does. To the receptivity
of several forms, different from those of which matter is susceptible
by mechanism, must be added a spontaneity of a cause (which therefore
cannot be matter), without which no ground can be assigned for those
forms. No doubt Reason, before it takes this step, must proceed with
caution, and not try to explain teleologically every Technic of nature,
_i.e._ every productive faculty of nature which displays in itself (as
in regular bodies) purposiveness of figure to our mere apprehension;
but must always regard such as so far mechanically possible. But on
that account to wish entirely to exclude the teleological principle,
and to follow simple mechanism only--in cases where, in the rational
investigation of the possibility of natural forms through their causes,
purposiveness shows itself quite undeniably as the reference to a
different kind of causality--to do this must make Reason fantastic, and
send it wandering among chimeras of unthinkable natural faculties; just
as a mere teleological mode of explanation which takes no account of
natural mechanism makes it visionary.

In the same natural thing both principles cannot be connected as
fundamental propositions of explanation (deduction) of one by the
other, _i.e._ they do not unite for the determinant Judgement as
dogmatical and constitutive principles of insight into nature. If I
choose, _e.g._ to regard a maggot as the product of the mere mechanism
of nature (of the new formation that it produces of itself, when
its elements are set free by corruption), I cannot derive the same
product from the same matter as from a causality that acts according
to purposes. Conversely, if I regard the same product as a natural
purpose, I cannot count on any mechanical mode of its production and
regard this as the constitutive principle of my judgement upon its
possibility, and so unite both principles. One method of explanation
excludes the other; even supposing that objectively both grounds of
the possibility of such a product rested on a single ground, to which
we did not pay attention. The principle which should render possible
the compatibility of both in judging of nature must be placed in
that which lies outside both (and consequently outside the possible
empirical representation of nature), but yet contains their ground,
_i.e._ in the supersensible; and each of the two methods of explanation
must be referred thereto. Now of this we can have no concept but the
indeterminate concept of a ground, which makes the judging of nature
by empirical laws possible, but which we cannot determine more nearly
by any predicate. Hence the union of both principles cannot rest upon
a ground of _explanation_ of the possibility of a product according to
given laws, for the _determinant_ Judgement, but only upon a ground
of its _exposition_ for the _reflective_ Judgement.--To explain is to
derive from a principle, which therefore we must clearly know and of
which we can give an account. No doubt the principle of the mechanism
of nature and that of its causality in one and the same natural product
must coalesce in a single higher principle, which is their common
source, because otherwise they could not subsist side by side in the
observation of nature. But if this principle, objectively common to
the two, which therefore warrants the association of the maxims of
natural investigation depending on both, be such that, though it
can be pointed to, it cannot be determinately known nor clearly put
forward for use in cases which arise, then from such a principle we
can draw no explanation, _i.e._ no clear and determinate derivation
of the possibility of a natural product in accordance with those
two heterogeneous principles. But now the principle common to the
mechanical and teleological derivations is the _supersensible_, which
we must place at the basis of nature, regarded as phenomenon. And of
this, in a theoretical point of view, we cannot form the smallest
positive determinate concept. It cannot, therefore, in any way be
explained how, according to it as principle, nature (in its particular
laws) constitutes for us one system, which can be cognised as possible
either by the principle of physical development or by that of final
causes. If it happens that objects of nature present themselves which
cannot be thought by us, as regards their possibility, according to
the principle of mechanism (which always has a claim on a natural
being), without relying on teleological propositions, we can only make
an hypothesis. Namely, we suppose that we may hopefully investigate
natural laws with reference to both (according as the possibility of
its product is cognisable by our Understanding by one or the other
principle), without stumbling at the apparent contradiction which comes
into view between the principles by which they are judged. For at least
the possibility is assured that both may be united objectively in one
principle, since they concern phenomena that presuppose a supersensible

Mechanism, then, and the teleological (designed) Technic of nature,
in respect of the same product and its possibility, may stand under
a common supreme principle of nature in particular laws. But since
this principle is _transcendent_ we cannot, because of the limitation
of our Understanding, unite both principles _in the explanation_ of
the same production of nature even if the inner possibility of this
product is only _intelligible_ [verständlich] through a causality
according to purposes (as is the case with organised matter). We
revert then to the above fundamental proposition of Teleology.
According to the constitution of the human Understanding, no other
than designedly-working causes can be assumed for the possibility of
organised beings in nature; and the mere mechanism of nature cannot
be adequate to the explanation of these its products. But we do not
attempt to decide anything by this fundamental proposition as to the
possibility of such things themselves.

This is only a maxim of the reflective, not of the determinant
Judgement; consequently only subjectively valid for us, not objectively
for the possibility of things themselves of this kind (in which both
kinds of production may well cohere in one and the same ground).
Further, without any concept,--besides the teleologically conceived
method of production,--of a simultaneously presented mechanism of
nature, no judgement can be passed on this kind of production as a
natural product. Hence the above maxim leads to the necessity of
an unification of both principles in judging of things as natural
purposes in themselves, but does not lead us to substitute one for
the other either altogether or in certain parts. For in the place of
what is thought (at least by us) as possible only by design we cannot
set mechanism, and in the place of what is cognised as mechanically
necessary we cannot set contingency, which would need a purpose as its
determining ground; but we can only subordinate the one (Mechanism)
to the other (designed Technic), which may quite well be the case
according to the transcendental principle of the purposiveness of

For where purposes are thought as grounds of the possibility of certain
things, we must assume also means, whose law of working requires _for
itself_ nothing presupposing a purpose,--a mechanical law--and yet
can be a subordinate cause of designed effects. Thus--in the organic
products of nature, and specially when prompted by their infinite
number, we assume (at least as a permissible hypothesis) design in
the combination of natural causes by particular laws as a _universal
principle_ of the reflective Judgement for the whole of nature (the
world),--we can think a great and indeed universal combination of
mechanical with teleological laws in the productions of nature, without
interchanging the principles by which they are judged or putting one
in the place of the other. For, in a teleological judgement, the
matter, even if the form that it assumes be judged possible only by
design, can also, conformably to the mechanical laws of its nature,
be subordinated as a means to the represented purpose. But, since the
ground of this compatibility lies in that which is neither one nor
the other (neither mechanism nor purposive combination), but is the
supersensible substrate of nature of which we know nothing, the two
ways of representing the possibility of such Objects are not to be
blended together by our (human) Reason. However, we cannot judge of
their possibility otherwise than by judging them as ultimately resting
on a supreme Understanding by the connexion of final causes; and thus
the teleological method of explanation is not eliminated.

Now it is quite indeterminate, and for our Understanding always
indeterminable, how much the mechanism of nature does as a means
towards each final design in nature. However, on account of the
above-mentioned intelligible principle of the possibility of a nature
in general, it may be assumed that it is possible throughout according
to the two kinds of universally accordant laws (the physical and
those of final causes), although we cannot see into the way how this
takes place. Hence we do not know how far the mechanical method of
explanation which is possible for us may extend. So much only is
certain that, so far as we can go in this direction, it must always
be inadequate for things that we once recognise as natural purposes;
and therefore we must, by the constitution of our Understanding,
subordinate these grounds collectively to a teleological principle.

Hereon is based a privilege, and on account of the importance which the
study of nature by the principle of mechanism has for the theoretical
use of our Reason, also an appeal. We should explain all products
and occurrences in nature, even the most purposive, by mechanism as
far as is in our power (the limits of which we cannot specify in
this kind of investigation). But at the same time we are not to lose
sight of the fact that those things which we cannot even state for
investigation except under the concept of a purpose of Reason, must, in
conformity with the essential constitution of our Reason, mechanical
causes notwithstanding, be subordinated by us finally to causality in
accordance with purposes.


§ 79. _Whether teleology must be treated as if it belonged to the
doctrine of nature_

Every science must have its definite position in the encyclopaedia of
all the sciences. If it is a philosophical science its position must be
either in the theoretical or practical part. If again it has its place
in the former of these, it must be either in the doctrine of nature, so
far as it concerns that which can be an object of experience (in the
doctrine of bodies, the doctrine of the soul, or the universal science
of the world), or in the doctrine of God (the original ground of the
world as the complex of all objects of experience).

Now the question is, what place is due to Teleology? Does it belong
to Natural Science (properly so called) or to Theology? One of the
two it must be; for no science belongs to the transition from one to
the other, because this transition only marks the articulation or
organisation of the system, and not a place in it.

That it does not belong to Theology as a part thereof, although it may
be made of the most important use therein, is self-evident. For it has
as its objects, natural productions, and their cause, and although it
refers at the same time to the latter as to a ground lying outside of
and beyond nature (a Divine Author), yet it does not do this for the
determinant but only for the reflective Judgement in the consideration
of nature (in order to guide our judgement on things in the world by
means of such an Idea as a regulative principle, in conformity with the
human Understanding).

But it appears to belong just as little to Natural Science, which needs
determinant and not merely reflective principles in order to supply
objective grounds for natural effects. In fact, nothing is gained for
the theory of nature or the mechanical explanation of its phenomena
by means of its effective causes, by considering them as connected
according to the relation of purposes. The exhibition of the purposes
of nature in its products, so far as they constitute a system according
to teleological concepts, properly belongs only to a description of
nature which is drawn up in accordance with a particular guiding
thread. Here Reason, no doubt, accomplishes a noble work, instructive
and practically purposive in many points of view; but it gives no
information as to the origin and the inner possibility of these
forms, which is the special business of theoretical Natural Science.
Teleology, therefore, as science, belongs to no Doctrine, but only to
Criticism; and to the criticism of a special cognitive faculty, viz.
Judgement. But so far as it contains principles _a priori_, it can and
must furnish the method by which nature must be judged according to the
principle of final causes. Hence its Methodology has at least negative
influence upon the procedure in theoretical Natural Science, and also
upon the relation which this can have in Metaphysic to Theology as its

§ 80. _Of the necessary subordination of the mechanical to the
teleological principle in the explanation of a thing as a natural

The _privilege of aiming at_ a merely mechanical method of explanation
of all natural products is in itself quite unlimited; but the _faculty
of attaining_ thereto is by the constitution of our Understanding, so
far as it has to do with things as natural purposes, not only very much
limited but also clearly bounded. For, according to a principle of the
Judgement, by this process alone nothing can be accomplished towards
an explanation of these things; and consequently the judgement upon
such products must always be at the same time subordinated by us to a
teleological principle.

It is therefore rational, even meritorious, to pursue natural
mechanism, in respect of the explanation of natural products, so far
as can be done with probability; and if we give up the attempt it is
not because it is impossible _in itself_ to meet in this path with the
purposiveness of nature, but only because it is impossible _for us_
as men. For there would be required for that an intuition other than
sensuous, and a determinate knowledge of the intelligible substrate
of nature from which a ground could be assigned for the mechanism of
phenomena according to particular laws, which quite surpasses our

Hence if the naturalist would not waste his labour he must in judging
of things, the concept of any of which is indubitably established
as a natural purpose (organised beings), always lay down as basis an
original organisation, which uses that very mechanism in order to
produce fresh organised forms or to develop the existing ones into new
shapes (which, however, always result from that purpose and conformably
to it).

It is praiseworthy by the aid of comparative anatomy to go through the
great creation of organised natures, in order to see whether there may
not be in it something similar to a system and also in accordance with
the principle of production. For otherwise we should have to be content
with the mere principle of judgement (which gives no insight into
their production) and, discouraged, to give up all claim to _natural
insight_ in this field. The agreement of so many genera of animals
in a certain common schema, which appears to be fundamental not only
in the structure of their bones but also in the disposition of their
remaining parts,--so that with an admirable simplicity of original
outline, a great variety of species has been produced by the shortening
of one member and the lengthening of another, the involution of this
part and the evolution of that,--allows a ray of hope, however faint,
to penetrate into our minds, that here something may be accomplished
by the aid of the principle of the mechanism of nature (without
which there can be no natural science in general). This analogy of
forms, which with all their differences seem to have been produced
according to a common original type, strengthens our suspicions of an
actual relationship between them in their production from a common
parent, through the gradual approximation of one animal-genus to
another--from those in which the principle of purposes seems to be
best authenticated, _i.e._ from man, down to the polype, and again from
this down to mosses and lichens, and finally to the lowest stage of
nature noticeable by us, viz. to crude matter. And so the whole Technic
of nature, which is so incomprehensible to us in organised beings that
we believe ourselves compelled to think a different principle for it,
seems to be derived from matter and its powers according to mechanical
laws (like those by which it works in the formation of crystals).

Here it is permissible for the _archaeologist_ of nature to derive
from the surviving traces of its oldest revolutions, according to all
its mechanism known or supposed by him, that great family of creatures
(for so we must represent them if the said thoroughgoing relationship
is to have any ground). He can suppose the bosom of mother earth, as
she passed out of her chaotic state (like a great animal), to have
given birth in the beginning to creatures of less purposive form, that
these again gave birth to others which formed themselves with greater
adaptation to their place of birth and their relations to each other;
until this womb becoming torpid and ossified, limited its births to
definite species not further modifiable, and the manifoldness remained
as it was at the end of the operation of that fruitful formative
power.--Only he must still in the end ascribe to this universal mother
an organisation purposive in respect of all these creatures; otherwise
it would not be possible to think the possibility of the purposive form
of the products of the animal and vegetable kingdoms.[120] He has then
only pushed further back the ground of explanation and cannot pretend
to have made the development of those two kingdoms independent of the
condition of final causes.

Even as concerns the variation to which certain individuals of
organised genera are accidentally subjected, if we find that the
character so changed is hereditary and is taken up into the generative
power, then we cannot pertinently judge the variation to be anything
else than an occasional development of purposive capacities originally
present in the species with a view to the preservation of the race.
For in the complete inner purposiveness of an organised being, the
generation of its like is closely bound up with the condition of taking
nothing up into the generative power which does not belong, in such
a system of purposes, to one of its undeveloped original capacities.
Indeed, if we depart from this principle, we cannot know with certainty
whether several parts of the form which is now apparent in a species
have not a contingent and unpurposive origin; and the principle of
Teleology, to judge nothing in an organised being as unpurposive
which maintains it in its propagation, would be very unreliable in its
application and would be valid solely for the original stock (of which
we have no further knowledge).

_Hume_[121] takes exception to those who find it requisite to
assume for all such natural purposes a teleological principle of
judgement, _i.e._ an architectonic Understanding. He says that it may
fairly be asked: how is such an Understanding possible? How can the
manifold faculties and properties that constitute the possibility
of an Understanding, which has at the same time executive force,
be found so purposively together in one Being? But this objection
is without weight. For the whole difficulty which surrounds the
question concerning the first production of a thing containing in
itself purposes and only comprehensible by means of them, rests on
the further question as to the unity of the ground of the combination
in this product of the various elements [des Mannichfaltigen] which
are _external to one another_. For if this ground be placed in the
Understanding of a producing cause as simple substance, the question,
so far as it is teleological, is sufficiently answered; but if the
cause be sought merely in matter as an aggregate of many substances
external to one another, the unity of the principle is quite
wanting for the internally purposive form of its formation, and the
_autocracy_ of matter in productions which can only be conceived by our
Understanding as purposes is a word without meaning.

Hence it comes to pass that those who seek a supreme ground of
possibility for the objectively-purposive forms of matter, without
attributing to it Understanding, either make the world-whole into
a single all-embracing substance (Pantheism), or (which is only a
more determinate explanation of the former) into a complex of many
determinations inhering in a single _simple substance_ (Spinozism);
merely in order to satisfy that condition of all purposiveness--the
_unity_ of ground. Thus they do justice indeed to _one_ condition of
the problem, viz. the unity in the purposive combination, by means
of the mere ontological concept of a simple substance; but they
adduce nothing for the _other_ condition, viz. the relation of this
substance to its result as _purpose_, through which relation that
ontological ground is to be more closely determined in respect of
the question at issue. Hence they answer _the whole_ question in no
way. It remains absolutely unanswerable (for our Reason) if we do
not represent that original ground of things, as simple _substance_;
its property which has reference to the specific constitution of the
forms of nature grounded thereon, viz. its purposive unity, as the
property of an intelligent substance; and the relation of these forms
to this intelligence (on account of the contingency which we ascribe
to everything that we think possible only as a purpose) as that of

§ 81. _Of the association of mechanism with the teleological principle
in the explanation of a natural purpose as a natural product_

According to the preceding paragraphs the mechanism of nature alone
does not enable us to think the possibility of an organised being;
but (at least according to the constitution of our cognitive faculty)
it must be originally subordinated to a cause working designedly.
But, just as little is the mere teleological ground of such a being
sufficient for considering it and judging it as a product of nature,
if the mechanism of the latter be not associated with the former,
like the instrument of a cause working designedly, to whose purposes
nature is subordinated in its mechanical laws. The possibility of such
a unification of two quite different kinds of causality,--of nature
in its universal conformity to law with an Idea which limits it to a
particular form, for which it contains no ground in itself--is not
comprehended by our Reason. It lies in the supersensible substrate
of nature, of which we can determine nothing positively, except that
it is the being in itself of which we merely know the phenomenon.
But the principle, “all that we assume as belonging to this nature
(_phenomenon_) and as its product, must be thought as connected
therewith according to mechanical laws,” has none the less force,
because without this kind of causality organised beings (as purposes of
nature) would not be natural products.

Now if the teleological principle of the production of these beings
be assumed (as is inevitable), we can place at the basis of the
cause of their internally purposive form either _Occasionalism_ or
_Pre-established Harmony_. According to the former the Supreme Cause
of the world would, conformably to its Idea, furnish immediately the
organic formation on the occasion of every union of intermingling
materials. According to the latter it would, in the original products
of its wisdom, only have supplied the capacity by means of which
an organic being produces another of like kind, and the species
perpetually maintains itself; whilst the loss of individuals is
continually replaced by that nature which at the same time works
towards their destruction. If we assume the Occasionalism of the
production of organised beings, all nature is quite lost, and with
it all employment of Reason in judging of the possibility of such
products; hence we may suppose that no one will adopt this system, who
has anything to do with philosophy.

[The theory of] _Pre-established Harmony_ may proceed in two different
ways. It regards every organised being as generated by one of like
kind, either as an _educt_ or a _product_. The system which regards
generations as mere educts is called the theory of _individual
preformation_ or the theory of _evolution_: that which regards them
as products is entitled the system of _epigenesis_. This latter may
also be entitled the system of _generic preformation_, because the
productive faculty of the generator and consequently the specific
form would be _virtually_ performed according to the inner purposive
capacities which are part of its stock. In correspondence with this the
opposite theory of individual preformations would be better entitled
the _theory of involution_.

The advocates of the _theory of evolution_, who remove every
individual from the formative power of nature, in order to make
it come immediately from the hand of the Creator, would, however,
not venture to regard this as happening according to the hypothesis
of Occasionalism. For according to this the copulation is a mere
formality, _à propos_ of which a supreme intelligent Cause of the
world has concluded to form a fruit immediately by his hand, and only
to leave to the mother its development and nourishment. They declare
themselves for preformation; as if it were not all the same, whether
a supernatural origin is assigned to these forms in the beginning
or in the course of the world. On the contrary, a great number of
supernatural arrangements would be spared by occasional creation,
which would be requisite, in order that the embryo formed in the
beginning of the world might not be injured throughout the long period
of its development by the destructive powers of nature, and might keep
itself unharmed; and there would also be requisite an incalculably
greater number of such preformed beings than would ever be developed,
and with them many creations would be made without need and without
purpose. They would, however, be willing to leave at least something
to nature, so as not to fall into a complete Hyperphysic which can
dispense with all natural explanations. It is true, they hold so
fast by their Hyperphysic that they find even in abortions (which
it is quite impossible to take for purposes of nature) an admirable
purposiveness; though it be only directed to the fact that an anatomist
would take exception to it as a purposeless purposiveness, and would
feel a disheartened wonder thereat. But the production of hybrids
could absolutely not be accommodated with the system of preformation;
and to the seeds of the male creature, to which they had attributed
nothing but the mechanical property of serving as the first means of
nourishment for the embryo, they must attribute in addition a purposive
formative power, which in the case of the product of two creatures of
the same genus they would concede to neither parent.

On the other hand, even if we do not recognise the great superiority
which the theory of _Epigenesis_ has over the former as regards the
empirical grounds of its proof, still prior to proof Reason views this
way of explanation with peculiar favour. For in respect of the things
which we can only represent as possible originally according to the
causality of purposes, at least as concerns their propagation, this
theory regards nature as self-producing, not merely as self-evolving:
and so with the least expenditure of the supernatural leaves to nature
all that follows after the first beginning (though without determining
anything about this first beginning by which Physic generally is
thwarted, however it may essay its explanation by a chain of causes).

As regards this theory of Epigenesis, no one has contributed more
either to its proof or to the establishment of the legitimate
principles of its application,--partly by the limitation of a too
presumptuous employment of it,--than Herr Hofr. _Blumenbach_.[122]
In all physical explanations of these formations he starts from
organised matter. That crude matter should have originally formed
itself according to mechanical laws, that life should have sprung from
the nature of what is lifeless, that matter should have been able to
dispose itself into the form of a self-maintaining purposiveness--this
he rightly declares to be contradictory to Reason. But at the same
time he leaves to natural mechanism under this to us indispensable
_principle_ of an original _organisation_, an undeterminable but yet
unmistakeable element, in reference to which the faculty of matter in
an organised body is called by him a _formative impulse_ (in contrast
to, and yet standing under the higher guidance and direction of, that
merely mechanical _formative power_ universally resident in matter).

§ 82. _Of the teleological system in the external relations of
organised beings_

By external purposiveness I mean that by which one thing of nature
serves another as means to a purpose. Now things which have no internal
purposiveness and which presuppose none for their possibility, _e.g._
earth, air, water, etc., may at the same time be very purposive
externally, _i.e._ in relation to other beings. But these latter
must be organised beings, _i.e._ natural purposes, for otherwise the
former could not be judged as means to them. Thus water, air, and
earth cannot be regarded as means to the raising of mountains, because
mountains contain nothing in themselves that requires a ground of their
possibility according to purposes, in reference to which therefore
their cause can never be represented under the predicate of a means (as
useful therefor).

External purposiveness is a quite different concept from that of
internal purposiveness, which is bound up with the possibility of an
object irrespective of its actuality being itself a purpose. We can ask
about an organised being the question: What is it for? But we cannot
easily ask this about things in which we recognise merely the working
of nature’s mechanism. For in the former, as regards their internal
possibility, we represent a causality according to purposes, a creative
Understanding, and we refer this active faculty to its determining
ground, viz. design. There is only one external purposiveness which
is connected with the internal purposiveness of organisation, and yet
serves in the external relation of a means to a purpose, without the
question necessarily arising, as to what end this being so organised
must have existed for. This is the organisation of both sexes in their
mutual relation for the propagation of their kind; since here we can
always ask, as in the case of an individual, why must such a pair
exist? The answer is: This pair first constitutes an _organising_
whole, though not an organised whole in a single body.

If we now ask, wherefore anything is, the answer is either: Its
presence and its production have no reference at all to a cause working
according to design, and so we always refer its origin to the mechanism
of nature, or: There is somewhere a designed ground of its presence
(as a contingent natural being). This thought we can hardly separate
from the concept of an organised thing; for, since we must place at
the basis of its internal possibility a causality of final causes and
an Idea lying at the ground of this, we cannot think the existence
of this product except as a purpose. For the represented effect, the
representation of which is at the same time the determining ground
of the intelligent cause working towards its production, is called a
_purpose_. In this case therefore we can either say: The purpose of
the existence of such a natural being is in itself; _i.e._ it is not
merely a purpose but a _final purpose_, or: This is external to it in
another natural being, _i.e._ it exists purposively not as a final
purpose, but necessarily as a means.

But if we go through the whole of nature we find in it, as nature,
no being which could make claim to the eminence of being the final
purpose of creation; and we can even prove _a priori_ that what might
be for nature an _ultimate purpose_, according to all the thinkable
determinations and properties wherewith one could endow it, could yet
as a natural thing never be a _final purpose_.

If we consider the vegetable kingdom we might at first sight, on
account of the immeasurable fertility with which it spreads itself
almost on every soil, be led to take it for a mere product of that
mechanism which nature displays in the formations of the mineral
kingdom. But a more intimate knowledge of its indescribably wise
organisation does not permit us to hold to this thought, but prompts
the question: What are these things created for? If it is answered:
For the animal kingdom, which is thereby nourished and has thus been
able to spread over the earth in genera so various, then the further
question comes: What are these plant-devouring animals for? The answer
would be something like this: For beasts of prey, which can only be
nourished by that which has life. Finally we have the question: What
are these last, as well as the first-mentioned natural kingdoms, good
for? For man, in reference to the manifold use which his Understanding
teaches him to make of all these creatures. He is the ultimate purpose
of creation here on earth, because he is the only being upon it who
can form a concept of purposes, and who can by his Reason make out of
an aggregate of purposively formed things a system of purposes.

We might also with the chevalier _Linnaeus_[123] go the apparently
opposite way and say: The herbivorous animals are there to moderate
the luxurious growth of the vegetable kingdom, by which many of its
species are choked. The carnivora are to set bounds to the voracity of
the herbivora. Finally man, by his pursuit of these and his diminution
of their numbers, preserves a certain equilibrium between the producing
and the destructive powers of nature. And so man, although in a certain
reference he might be esteemed a purpose, yet in another has only the
rank of a means.

If an objective purposiveness in the variety of the genera of creatures
and their external relations to one another, as purposively constructed
beings, be made a principle, then it is conformable to Reason to
conceive in these relations a certain organisation and a system of all
natural kingdoms according to final causes. Only here experience seems
flatly to contradict the maxims of Reason, especially as concerns an
ultimate purpose of nature, which is indispensable for the possibility
of such a system and which we can put nowhere else but in man. For
regarding him as one of the many animal genera, nature has not in the
least excepted him from its destructive or its productive powers, but
has subjected everything to a mechanism thereof without any purpose.

The first thing that must be designedly prepared in an arrangement
for a purposive complex of natural beings on the earth would be their
place of habitation, the soil and the element on and in which they
are to thrive. But a more exact knowledge of the constitution of
this basis of all organic production indicates no other causes than
those working quite undesignedly, causes which rather destroy than
favour production, order, and purposes. Land and sea not only contain
in themselves memorials of ancient mighty desolations which have
confounded them and all creatures that are in them; but their whole
structure, the strata of the one and the boundaries of the other, have
quite the appearance of being the product of the wild and violent
forces of a nature working in a state of chaos. Although the figure,
the structure, and the slope of the land might seem to be purposively
ordered for the reception of water from the air, for the welling
up of streams between strata of different kinds (for many kinds of
products), and for the course of rivers--yet a closer investigation
shows that they are merely the effects of volcanic eruptions or of
inundations of the ocean, as regards not only the first production of
this figure, but, above all, its subsequent transformation, as well as
the disappearance of its first organic productions.[124] Now if the
place of habitation of all these creatures, the soil (of the land)
or the bosom (of the sea), indicates nothing but a quite undesigned
mechanism of its production, how and with what right can we demand and
maintain a different origin for these latter products? The closest
examination, indeed (in _Camper’s_[125] judgement), of the remains
of the aforesaid devastations of nature seems to show that man was
not comprehended in these revolutions; but yet he is so dependent on
the remaining creatures that, if a universally directing mechanism of
nature be admitted in the case of the others, he must also be regarded
as comprehended under it; even though his Understanding (for the most
part at least) has been able to deliver him from these devastations.

But this argument seems to prove more than was intended by it. It seems
to prove not merely that man cannot be the ultimate purpose of nature,
and that on the same grounds the aggregate of the organised things of
nature on the earth cannot be a system of purposes; but also that the
natural products formerly held to be natural purposes have no other
origin than the mechanism of nature.

But in the solution given above of the Antinomy of the principles
of the mechanical and teleological methods of production of organic
beings of nature, we have seen that they are merely principles of
the reflective Judgement in respect of nature as it produces forms
in accordance with particular laws (for the systematic connexion of
which we have no key). They do not determine the origin of these
beings in themselves; but only say that we, by the constitution of
our Understanding and our Reason, cannot conceive it in this kind of
being except according to final causes. The greatest possible effort,
even audacity, in the attempt to explain them mechanically is not only
permitted, but we are invited to it by Reason; notwithstanding that
we know from the subjective grounds of the particular species and
limitations of our Understanding (not _e.g._ because the mechanism
of production would contradict in itself an origin according to
purposes) that we can never attain thereto. Finally, the compatibility
of both ways of representing the possibility of nature may lie in
the supersensible principle of nature (external to us, as well as in
us); whilst the method of representation according to final causes
may be only a subjective condition of the use of our Reason, when it
not merely wishes to form a judgement upon objects as phenomena, but
desires to refer these phenomena together with their principles to
their supersensible substrate, in order to find certain laws of their
unity possible, which it cannot represent to itself except through
purposes (of which the Reason also has such as are supersensible).

§ 83. _Of the ultimate purpose of nature as a teleological system_

We have shown in the preceding that, though not for the determinant but
for the reflective Judgement, we have sufficient cause for judging man
to be, not merely like all organised beings a _natural purpose_, but
also the _ultimate purpose_ of nature here on earth; in reference to
whom all other natural things constitute a system of purposes according
to fundamental propositions of Reason. If now that must be found in
man himself, which is to be furthered as a purpose by means of his
connexion with nature, this purpose must either be of a kind that
can be satisfied by nature in its beneficence; or it is the aptitude
and skill for all kinds of purposes for which nature (external and
internal) can be used by him. The first purpose of nature would be
man’s _happiness_, the second his _culture_.

The concept of happiness is not one that man derives by abstraction
from his instincts and so deduces from his animal nature; but it is a
mere _Idea_ of a state, that he wishes to make adequate to the Idea
under merely empirical conditions (which is impossible). This Idea he
projects in such different ways on account of the complication of his
Understanding with Imagination and Sense, and changes so often, that
nature, even if it were entirely subjected to his elective will, could
receive absolutely no determinate, universal and fixed law, so as to
harmonise with this vacillating concept and thus with the purpose which
each man arbitrarily sets before himself. And even if we reduce this
to the true natural wants as to which our race is thoroughly agreed,
or on the other hand, raise ever so high man’s skill to accomplish his
imagined purposes; yet, even thus, what man understands by happiness,
and what is in fact his proper, ultimate, natural purpose (not purpose
of freedom), would never be attained by him. For it is not his nature
to rest and be contented with the possession and enjoyment of anything
whatever. On the other side, too, there is something wanting. Nature
has not taken him for her special darling and favoured him with benefit
above all animals. Rather, in her destructive operations,--plague,
hunger, perils of waters, frost, assaults of other animals great and
small, etc.,--in these things has she spared him as little as any other
animal. Further, the inconsistency of his own _natural dispositions_
drives him into self-devised torments, and also reduces others of his
own race to misery, by the oppression of lordship, the barbarism of
war, and so forth; he, himself, as far as in him lies, works for the
destruction of his own race; so that even with the most beneficent
external nature, its purpose, if it were directed to the happiness
of our species, would not be attained in an earthly system, because
our nature is not susceptible of it. Man is then always only a link
in the chain of natural purposes; a principle certainly in respect
of many purposes, for which nature seems to have destined him in her
disposition, and towards which he sets himself, but also a means for
the maintenance of purposiveness in the mechanism of the remaining
links. As the only being on earth which has an Understanding and,
consequently, a faculty of setting arbitrary purposes before itself, he
is certainly entitled to be the lord of nature; and if it be regarded
as a teleological system he is, by his destination, the ultimate
purpose of nature. But this is subject to the condition of his having
an Understanding and the Will to give to it and to himself such a
reference to purposes, as can be self-sufficient independently of
nature, and, consequently, can be a final purpose; which, however, must
not be sought in nature itself.

But in order to find out where in man we have to place that _ultimate
purpose_ of nature, we must seek out what nature can supply to prepare
him for what he must do himself in order to be a final purpose, and
we must separate it from all those purposes whose possibility depends
upon things that one can expect only from nature. Of the latter
kind is earthly happiness, by which is understood the complex of all
man’s purposes possible through nature, whether external nature or
man’s nature; _i.e._ the matter of all his earthly purposes, which,
if he makes it his whole purpose, renders him incapable of positing
his own existence as a final purpose, and being in harmony therewith.
There remains therefore of all his purposes in nature only the formal
subjective condition; viz. the aptitude of setting purposes in
general before himself, and (independent of nature in his purposive
determination) of using nature, conformably to the maxims of his free
purposes in general, as a means. This nature can do in regard to the
final purpose that lies outside it, and it therefore may be regarded
as its ultimate purpose. The production of the aptitude of a rational
being for arbitrary purposes in general (consequently in his freedom)
is _culture_. Therefore, culture alone can be the ultimate purpose
which we have cause for ascribing to nature in respect to the human
race (not man’s earthly happiness or the fact that he is the chief
instrument of instituting order and harmony in irrational nature
external to himself).

But all culture is not adequate to this ultimate purpose of nature. The
culture of _skill_ is indeed the chief subjective condition of aptitude
for furthering one’s purposes in general; but it is not adequate to
furthering the _will_[126] in the determination and choice of purposes,
which yet essentially belongs to the whole extent of an aptitude for
purposes. The latter condition of aptitude, which we might call the
culture of training (discipline), is negative, and consists in the
freeing of the will from the despotism of desires. By these, tied as
we are to certain natural things, we are rendered incapable even of
choosing, while we allow those impulses to serve as fetters, which
Nature has given us as guiding threads that we should not neglect or
violate the destination of our animal nature--we being all the time
free enough to strain or relax, to extend or diminish them, according
as the purposes of Reason require.

Skill cannot be developed in the human race except by means of
inequality among men; for the great majority provide the necessities
of life, as it were, mechanically, without requiring any art in
particular, for the convenience and leisure of others who work at the
less necessary elements of culture, science and art. In an oppressed
condition they have hard work and little enjoyment, although much of
the culture of the higher classes gradually spreads to them. Yet with
the progress of this culture (the height of which is called luxury,
reached when the propensity to what can be done without begins to be
injurious to what is indispensable), their calamities increase equally
in two directions, on the one hand through violence from without, on
the other hand through internal discontent; but still this splendid
misery is bound up with the development of the natural capacities of
the human race, and the purpose of nature itself, although not our
purpose, is thus attained. The formal condition under which nature
can alone attain this its final design, is that arrangement of men’s
relations to one another, by which lawful authority in a whole,
which we call a _civil community_, is opposed to the abuse of their
conflicting freedoms; only in this can the greatest development
of natural capacities take place. For this also there would be
requisite,--if men were clever enough to find it out and wise enough
to submit themselves voluntarily to its constraint,--a _cosmopolitan_
whole, _i.e._ a system of all states that are in danger of acting
injuriously upon each other.[127] Failing this, and with the obstacles
which ambition, lust of dominion, and avarice, especially in those
who have the authority in their hands, oppose even to the possibility
of such a scheme, there is, inevitably, _war_ (by which sometimes
states subdivide and resolve themselves into smaller states, sometimes
a state annexes other smaller states and strives to form a greater
whole). Though war is an undesigned enterprise of men (stirred up by
their unbridled passions), yet is it [perhaps][128] a deep-hidden
and designed enterprise of supreme wisdom for preparing, if not for
establishing, conformity to law amid the freedom of states, and with
this a unity of a morally grounded system of those states. In spite of
the dreadful afflictions with which it visits the human race, and the
perhaps greater afflictions with which the constant preparation for it
in time of peace oppresses them, yet is it (although the hope for a
restful state of popular happiness is ever further off) a motive for
developing all talents serviceable for culture, to the highest possible

As concerns the discipline of the inclinations,--for which our
natural capacity in regard of our destination as an animal race is
quite purposive, but which render the development of humanity very
difficult,--there is manifest in respect of this second requirement for
culture a purposive striving of nature to a cultivation which makes us
receptive of higher purposes than nature itself can supply. We cannot
strive against the preponderance of evil, which is poured out upon us
by the refinement of taste pushed to idealisation, and even by the
luxury of science as affording food for pride, through the insatiable
number of inclinations thus aroused. But yet we cannot mistake the
purpose of nature--ever aiming to win us away from the rudeness and
violence of those inclinations (inclinations to enjoyment) which belong
rather to our animality, and for the most part are opposed to the
cultivation of our higher destiny, and to make way for the development
of our humanity. The beautiful arts and the sciences which, by their
universally-communicable pleasure, and by the polish and refinement
of society, make man more civilised, if not morally better, win us in
large measure from the tyranny of sense-propensions, and thus prepare
men for a lordship, in which Reason alone shall have authority;
whilst the evils with which we are visited, partly by nature, partly
by the intolerant selfishness of men, summon, strengthen, and harden
the powers of the soul not to submit to them, and so make us feel an
aptitude for higher purposes, which lies hidden in us.[130]

§ 84. _Of the final purpose of the existence of a world, i.e. of
creation itself_

A _final purpose_ is that purpose which needs no other as condition of
its possibility.

If the mere mechanism of nature be assumed as the ground of explanation
of its purposiveness, we cannot ask: what are things in the world
there for? For according to such an idealistic system it is only the
physical possibility of things (to think which as purposes would be
mere subtlety without any Object) that is under discussion; whether we
refer this form of things to chance or to blind necessity, in either
case the question would be vain. If, however, we assume the purposive
combination in the world to be real and to be [brought about] by a
particular kind of causality, viz. that of a _designedly-working_
cause, we cannot stop at the question: why have things of the world
(organised beings) this or that form? why are they placed by nature
in this or that relation to one another? But once an Understanding
is thought that must be regarded as the cause of the possibility of
such forms as are actually found in things, it must be also asked
on objective grounds: Who could have determined this productive
Understanding to an operation of this kind? This being is then the
final purpose in reference to which such things are there.

I have said above that the final purpose is not a purpose which nature
would be competent to bring about and to produce in conformity with
its Idea, because it is unconditioned. For there is nothing in nature
(regarded as a sensible being) for which the determining ground present
in itself would not be always conditioned; and this holds not merely of
external (material) nature, but also of internal (thinking) nature--it
being of course understood that I only am considering that in myself
which is nature. But a thing that is to exist necessarily, on account
of its objective constitution, as the final purpose of an intelligent
cause, must be of the kind that in the order of purposes it is
dependent on no further condition than merely its Idea.

Now we have in the world only one kind of beings whose causality
is teleological, _i.e._ is directed to purposes and is at the same
time so constituted that the law according to which they have to
determine purposes for themselves is represented as unconditioned and
independent of natural conditions, and yet as in itself necessary. The
being of this kind is man, but man considered as noumenon; the only
natural being in which we can recognise, on the side of its peculiar
constitution, a supersensible faculty (_freedom_) and also the law of
causality, together with its Object, which this faculty may propose to
itself as highest purpose (the highest good in the world).

Now of man (and so of every rational creature in the World) as a moral
being it can no longer be asked: why (_quem in finem_) he exists? His
existence involves the highest purpose to which, as far as is in his
power, he can subject the whole of nature; contrary to which at least
he cannot regard himself as subject to any influence of nature.--If now
things of the world, as beings dependent in their existence, need a
supreme cause acting according to purposes, man is the final purpose of
creation; since without him the chain of mutually subordinated purposes
would not be complete as regards its ground. Only in man, and only in
him as subject of morality, do we meet with unconditioned legislation
in respect of purposes, which therefore alone renders him capable of
being a final purpose, to which the whole of nature is teleologically

§ 85. _Of Physico-theology_

_Physico-theology_ is the endeavour of Reason to infer the Supreme
Cause of nature and its properties from the _purposes_ of nature (which
can only be empirically known). _Moral theology_ (ethico-theology)
would be the endeavour to infer that Cause and its properties from
the moral purpose of rational beings in nature (which can be known _a

The former naturally precedes the latter. For if we wish to infer a
World Cause _teleologically_ from the things in the world, purposes
of nature must first be given, for which we afterwards have to seek
a final purpose, and for this the principle of the causality of this
Supreme Cause.

Many investigations of nature can and must be conducted according to
the teleological principle, without our having cause to inquire into
the ground of the possibility of purposive working with which we meet
in various products of nature. But if we wish to have a concept of this
we have absolutely no further insight into it than the maxim of the
reflective Judgement affords: viz. if only a single organic product of
nature were given to us, by the constitution of our cognitive faculty
we could think no other ground for it than that of a cause of nature
itself (whether the whole of nature or only this bit of it) which
contains the causality for it through Understanding. This principle of
judging, though it does not bring us any further in the explanation of
natural things and their origin, yet discloses to us an outlook over
nature, by which perhaps we may be able to determine more closely the
concept, otherwise so unfruitful, of an Original Being.

Now I say that Physico-theology, however far it may be pursued, can
disclose to us nothing of a _final purpose_ of creation; for it does
not even extend to the question as to this. It can, it is true, justify
the concept of an intelligent World Cause, as a subjective concept
(only available for the constitution of our cognitive faculty) of
the possibility of things that we can make intelligible to ourselves
according to purposes; but it cannot determine this concept further,
either in a theoretical or a practical point of view. Its endeavour
does not come up to its design of being the basis of a Theology, but
it always remains only a physical Teleology; because the purposive
reference therein is and must be always considered only as conditioned
in nature, and it consequently cannot inquire into the purpose for
which nature itself exists (for which the ground must be sought outside
nature),--notwithstanding that it is upon the determinate Idea of this
that the determinate concept of that Supreme Intelligent World Cause,
and the consequent possibility of a Theology, depend.

What the things in the world are mutually useful for; what good the
manifold in a thing does for the thing; how we have ground to assume
that nothing in the world is in vain, but that everything _in nature_
is good for something,--the condition being granted that certain things
are to exist (as purposes), whence our Reason has in its power for
the Judgement no other principle of the possibility of the Object,
which it inevitably judges teleologically, than that of subordinating
the mechanism of nature to the Architectonic of an intelligent Author
of the world--all this the teleological consideration of the world
supplies us with excellently and to our extreme admiration. But
because the data, and so the principles, for _determining_ that concept
of an intelligent World Cause (as highest artist) are merely empirical,
they do not enable us to infer any of its properties beyond those which
experience reveals in its effects. Now experience, since it can never
embrace collective nature as a system, must often (apparently) happen
upon this concept (and by mutually conflicting grounds of proof); but
it can never, even if we had the power of surveying empirically the
whole system as far as it concerns mere nature, raise us above nature
to the purpose of its existence, and so to the determinate concept of
that supreme Intelligence.

If we lessen the problem with the solution of which Physico-theology
has to do, its solution appears easy. If we reduce the concept of a
_Deity_ to that of an intelligent being thought by us, of which there
may be one or more, which possesses many and very great properties,
but not all the properties which are requisite for the foundation of a
nature in harmony with the greatest possible purpose; or if we do not
scruple in a theory to supply by arbitrary additions what is deficient
in the grounds of proof, and so, where we have only ground for assuming
_much_ perfection (and what is “much” for us?), consider ourselves
entitled to presuppose _all possible_ perfection; thus indeed physical
Teleology may make weighty claims to the distinction of being the basis
of a Theology. But if we are desired to point out what impels and
moreover authorises us to add these supplements, then we shall seek in
vain for a ground of justification in the principles of the theoretical
use of Reason, which is ever desirous in the explanation of an Object
of experience to ascribe to it no more properties than those for which
empirical data of possibility are to be found. On closer examination
we should see that properly speaking an Idea of a Supreme Being, which
rests on a quite different use of Reason (the practical use), lies in
us fundamentally _a priori_, impelling us to supplement, by the concept
of a Deity, the defective representation, supplied by a physical
Teleology, of the original ground of the purposes in nature; and we
should not falsely imagine that we had worked out this Idea, and with
it a Theology by means of the theoretical use of Reason in the physical
cognition of the world--much less that we had proved its reality.

One cannot blame the ancients much, if they thought of their gods as
differing much from each other both as regards their faculties and as
regards their designs and volitions, but yet thought of all of them,
the Supreme One not excepted, as always limited after human fashion.
For if they considered the arrangement and the course of things in
nature, they certainly found ground enough for assuming something
more than mechanism as its cause, and for conjecturing behind the
machinery of this world designs of certain higher causes, which they
could not think otherwise than superhuman. But because they met with
good and evil, the purposive and the unpurposive, mingled together (at
least as far as our insight goes), and could not permit themselves
to assume nevertheless that wise and benevolent purposes of which
they saw no proof lay hidden at bottom, on behalf of the arbitrary
Idea of a supremely perfect original Author, their judgement upon
the supreme World Cause could hardly have been other than it was, so
long as they proceeded consistently according to maxims of the mere
theoretical use of Reason. Others, who wished to be theologians as
well as physicists, thought to find contentment for the Reason by
providing for the absolute unity of the principle of natural things
which Reason demands, the Idea of a Being of which as sole Substance
the things would be all only inherent determinations. This Substance
would not be Cause of the World by means of intelligence, but in it all
the intelligences of the beings in the world would be comprised. This
Being consequently would produce nothing according to purposes; but in
it all things, on account of the unity of the subject of which they are
mere determinations, must necessarily relate themselves purposively to
one another, though without purpose and design. Thus they introduced
the Idealism of final causes, by changing the unity (so difficult to
explain) of a number of purposively combined substances, from being
the unity of causal dependence _on one_ Substance to be the unity of
inherence _in one_. This system--which in the sequel, considered on the
side of the inherent world beings, becomes _Pantheism_, and (later) on
the side of the Subject subsisting by itself as Original Being, becomes
_Spinozism_,--does not so much resolve as explain away into nothing the
question of the first ground of the purposiveness of nature; because
this latter concept, bereft of all reality, must be taken for a mere
misinterpretation of a universal ontological concept of a thing in

Hence the concept of a Deity, which would be adequate for our
teleological judging of nature, can never be derived from mere
theoretical principles of the use of Reason (on which Physico-theology
alone is based). For as one alternative we may explain all Teleology
as a mere deception of the Judgement in its judging of the causal
combination of things, and fly to the sole principle of a mere
mechanism of nature, which merely seems to us, on account of the unity
of the Substance of whose determinations nature is but the manifold,
to contain a universal reference to purposes. Or if, instead of this
Idealism of final causes, we wish to remain attached to the principle
of the Realism of this particular kind of causality, we may set
beneath natural purposes many intelligent original beings or only a
single one. But so far as we have for the basis of this concept [of
Realism] only empirical principles derived from the actual purposive
combination in the world, we cannot on the one hand find any remedy for
the discordance that nature presents in many examples in respect of
unity of purpose; and on the other hand, as to the concept of a single
intelligent Cause, so far as we are authorised by mere experience, we
can never draw it therefrom in a manner sufficiently determined for any
serviceable Theology whatever (whether theoretical or practical).

Physical Teleology impels us, it is true, to seek a Theology; but it
cannot produce one, however far we may investigate nature by means of
experience and, in reference to the purposive combination apparent in
it, call in Ideas of Reason (which must be theoretical for physical
problems). What is the use, one might well complain, of placing at the
basis of all these arrangements a great Understanding incommensurable
by us, and supposing it to govern the world according to design, if
nature does not and cannot tell us anything of the final design? For
without this we cannot refer all these natural purposes to any common
point, nor can we form any teleological principle, sufficient either
for cognising the purposes collected in a system, or for forming a
concept of the Supreme Understanding, as Cause of such a nature, that
could serve as a standard for our Judgement reflecting teleologically
thereon. I should thus have an _artistic Understanding_ for scattered
purposes, but no _Wisdom_ for a final purpose, in which final purpose
nevertheless must be contained the determining ground of the said
Understanding. But in the absence of a final purpose which pure Reason
alone can supply (because all purposes in the world are empirically
conditioned, and can contain nothing absolutely good but only what is
good for this or that regarded as a contingent design), and which alone
would teach me what properties, what degree, and what relation of the
Supreme Cause to nature I have to think in order to judge of nature as
a teleological system; how and with what right do I dare to extend at
pleasure my very limited concept of that original Understanding (which
I can base on my limited knowledge of the world), of the Might of that
original Being in actualising its Ideas, and of its Will to do so, and
complete this into the Idea of an Allwise, Infinite Being? If this is
to be done theoretically, it would presuppose omniscience in me, in
order to see into the purposes of nature in their whole connexion, and
in addition the power of conceiving all possible plans, in comparison
with which the present plan would be judged on [sufficient] grounds
as the best. For without this complete knowledge of the effect I can
arrive at no determinate concept of the Supreme Cause, which can only
be found in the concept of an Intelligence infinite in every respect,
_i.e._ the concept of a Deity, and so I can supply no foundation for

Hence, with every possible extension of physical Teleology, according
to the propositions above laid down we may say: By the constitution
and the principles of our cognitive faculty we can think of nature, in
its purposive arrangements which have become known to us, in no other
way than as the product of an Understanding to which it is subject.
But the theoretical investigation of nature can never reveal to us
whether this Understanding may not also, with the whole of nature and
its production, have had a final design (which would not lie in the
nature of the sensible world). On the contrary, with all our knowledge
of nature it remains undecided whether that Supreme Cause is its
original ground according to a final purpose, or not rather by means
of an Understanding determined by the mere necessity of its nature to
produce certain forms (according to the analogy of what we call the
art-instinct in animals); without it being necessary to ascribe to
it even wisdom, much less the highest wisdom combined with all other
properties requisite for the perfection of its product.

Hence Physico-theology is a misunderstood physical Teleology, only
serviceable as a preparation (propaedeutic) for Theology; and it is
only adequate to this design by the aid of a foreign principle on which
it can rely, and not in itself, as its name would intimate.

§ 86. _Of Ethico-theology_

The commonest Understanding, if it thinks over the presence of things
in the world, and the existence of the world itself, cannot forbear
from the judgement that all the various creatures, no matter how great
the art displayed in their arrangement, and how various their purposive
mutual connexion,--even the complex of their numerous systems (which
we incorrectly call worlds),--would be for nothing, if there were not
also men (rational beings in general). Without men the whole creation
would be a mere waste, in vain, and without final purpose. But it is
not in reference to man’s cognitive faculty (theoretical Reason) that
the being of everything else in the world gets its worth; he is not
there merely that there may be some one to _contemplate_ the world.
For if the contemplation of the world only afforded a representation
of things without any final purpose, no worth could accrue to its
being from the mere fact that it is known; we must presuppose for it
a final purpose, in reference to which its contemplation itself has
worth. Again it is not in reference to the feeling of pleasure, or to
the sum of pleasures, that we think a final purpose of creation as
given; _i.e._ we do not estimate that absolute worth by well-being or
by enjoyment (whether bodily or mental), or in a word, by happiness.
For the fact that man, if he exists, takes this for his final design,
gives us no concept as to why in general he should exist, and as to
what worth he has in himself to make his existence pleasant. He must,
therefore, be supposed to be the final purpose of creation, in order
to have a rational ground for holding that nature must harmonise with
his happiness, if it is considered as an absolute whole according
to principles of purposes.--Hence there remains only the faculty of
desire; not, however, that which makes man dependent (through sensuous
impulses) upon nature, nor that in respect of which the worth of his
being depends upon what he receives and enjoys. But the worth which
he alone can give to himself, and which consists in what he does, how
and according to what principles he acts, and that not as a link in
nature’s chain but in the _freedom_ of his faculty of desire--_i.e._ a
good will--is that whereby alone his being can have an absolute worth,
and in reference to which the being of the world can have a _final

The commonest judgement of healthy human Reason completely accords
with this, that it is only as a moral being that man can be a final
purpose of creation; if we but direct men’s attention to the question
and incite them to investigate it. What does it avail, one will say,
that this man has so much talent, that he is so active therewith, and
that he exerts thereby a useful influence over the community, thus
having a great worth both in relation to his own happy condition and
to the benefit of others, if he does not possess a good will? He is a
contemptible Object considered in respect of his inner self; and if the
creation is not to be without any final purpose at all, he, who as man
belongs to it, must, in a world under moral laws, inasmuch as he is a
bad man, forfeit his subjective purpose (happiness). This is the only
condition under which his existence can accord with the final purpose.

If now we meet with purposive arrangements in the world and, as Reason
inevitably requires, subordinate the purposes that are only conditioned
to an unconditioned, supreme, _i.e._ final, purpose; then we easily see
in the first place that we are thus concerned not with a purpose of
nature (internal to itself), so far as it exists, but with the purpose
of its existence along with all its ordinances, and, consequently, with
the ultimate _purpose of creation_, and specially with the supreme
condition under which can be posited a final purpose (_i.e._ the ground
which determines a supreme Understanding to produce the beings of the

Since now it is only as a moral being that we recognise man as the
purpose of creation, we have in the first place a ground (at least, the
chief condition) for regarding the world as a whole connected according
to purposes, and as a _system_ of final causes. And, more especially,
as regards the reference (necessary for us by the constitution of our
Reason) of natural purposes to an intelligent World Cause, we have _one
principle_ enabling us to think the nature and properties of this First
Cause as supreme ground in the kingdom of purposes, and to determine
its concept. This physical Teleology could not do; it could only lead
to indeterminate concepts thereof, unserviceable alike in theoretical
and in practical use.

From the principle, thus determined, of the causality of the Original
Being we must not think Him merely as Intelligence and as legislative
for nature, but also as legislating supremely in a moral kingdom of
purposes. In reference to the _highest good_, alone possible under
His sovereignty, viz. the existence of rational beings under moral
laws, we shall think this Original Being as _all-knowing_: thus our
inmost dispositions (which constitute the proper moral worth of the
actions of rational beings of the world) will not be hid from Him.
We shall think Him as _all-mighty_: thus He will be able to make the
whole of nature accord with this highest purpose. We shall think Him
as _all-good_, and at the same time as _just_: because these two
properties (which when united constitute _Wisdom_) are the conditions
of the causality of a supreme Cause of the world, as highest good,
under moral laws. So also all the other transcendental properties,
such as _Eternity_, _Omnipresence_, etc. [for goodness and justice are
moral properties[132]], which are presupposed in reference to such a
final purpose, must be thought in Him.--In this way _moral Teleology_
supplies the deficiency in _physical Teleology_, and first establishes
a _Theology_; because the latter, if it did not borrow from the former
without being observed, but were to proceed consistently, could only
found a _Demonology_, which is incapable of any definite concept.

But the principle of the reference of the world to a supreme Cause, as
Deity, on account of the moral purposive destination of certain beings
in it, does not accomplish this by completing the physico-teleological
ground of proof and so taking this necessarily as its basis. It is
sufficient _in itself_ and directs attention to the purposes of
nature and the investigation of that incomprehensible great art lying
hidden behind its forms, in order to confirm incidentally by means of
natural purposes the Ideas that pure practical Reason furnishes. For
the concept of beings of the world under moral laws is a principle
(_a priori_) according to which man must of necessity judge himself.
Further, if there is in general a World Cause acting designedly and
directed towards a purpose, this moral relation must be just as
necessarily the condition of the possibility of a creation, as that
in accordance with physical laws (if, that is, this intelligent Cause
has also a final purpose). This is regarded _a priori_ by Reason as a
necessary fundamental proposition for it in its teleological judging
of the existence of things. It now only comes to this, whether we have
sufficient ground for Reason (either speculative or practical) to
ascribe to the supreme Cause, acting in accordance with purposes, a
_final purpose_. For it may _a priori_ be taken by us as certain that
this, by the subjective constitution of our Reason and even of the
Reason of other beings as far as we can think it, can be nothing else
than _man under moral laws_: since otherwise the purposes of nature in
the physical order could not be known _a priori_, especially as it can
in no way be seen that nature could not exist without such purposes.


Suppose the case of a man at the moment when his mind is disposed to a
moral sensation. If surrounded by the beauties of nature, he is in a
state of restful, serene enjoyment of his being, he feels a want, viz.
to be grateful for this to some being or other. Or if another time he
finds himself in the same state of mind when pressed by duties that he
can and will only adequately discharge by a voluntary sacrifice, he
again feels in himself a want, viz. to have thus executed a command
and obeyed a Supreme Lord. Or, again; if he has in some heedless way
transgressed his duty, but without becoming answerable to men, his
severe self-reproach will speak to him with the voice of a judge to
whom he has to give account. In a word, he needs a moral Intelligence,
in order to have a Being for the purpose of his existence, which may
be, conformably to this purpose, the cause of himself and of the
world. It is vain to assign motives behind these feelings, for they
are immediately connected with the purest moral sentiment, because
_gratitude_, _obedience_, and _humiliation_ (submission to deserved
chastisement) are mental dispositions that make for duty; and the mind
which is inclined towards a widening of its moral sentiment here only
voluntarily conceives an object that is not in the world in order where
possible to render its duty before such an one. It is therefore at
least possible and grounded too in our moral disposition to represent
a pure moral need of the existence of a Being, by which our morality
gains strength or even (at least according to our representation) more
scope, viz. a new object for its exercise. That is, [there is a need]
to assume a morally-legislating Being outside the world, without any
reference to theoretical proofs, still less to self-interest, from pure
moral grounds free from all foreign influence (and consequently only
subjective), on the mere recommendation of a pure practical Reason
legislating by itself alone. And although such a mental disposition
might seldom occur or might not last long, but be transient and without
permanent effect, or might even pass away without any meditation on the
object represented in such shadowy outline, or without care to bring
it under clear concepts--there is yet here unmistakably the ground why
our moral capacity, as a subjective principle, should not be contented
in its contemplation of the world with its purposiveness by means of
natural causes, but should ascribe to it a supreme Cause governing
nature according to moral principles.--In addition, we feel ourselves
constrained by the moral law to strive for a universal highest purpose
which yet we, in common with the rest of nature, are incapable of
attaining; and it is only so far as we strive for it that we can judge
ourselves to be in harmony with the final purpose of an intelligent
World Cause (if such there be). Thus is found a pure moral ground
of practical Reason for assuming this Cause (since it can be done
without contradiction), in order that we may no more regard that effort
of Reason as quite idle, and so run the risk of abandoning it from

With all this, so much only is to be said, that though _fear_ first
produces _gods_ (demons), it is _Reason_ by means of its moral
principles that can first produce the concept of _God_ (even when, as
commonly is the case, one is unskilled in the Teleology of nature,
or is very doubtful on account of the difficulty of adjusting by
a sufficiently established principle its mutually contradictory
phenomena). Also, the inner _moral_ purposive destination of man’s
being supplies that in which natural knowledge is deficient, by
directing us to think, for the final purpose of the being of all things
(for which no other principle than an _ethical_ one is satisfactory to
Reason), the supreme Cause [as endowed] with properties, whereby it is
able to subject the whole of nature to that single design (for which
nature is merely the instrument),--_i.e._ to think it as a _Deity_.

§ 87. _Of the moral proof of the Being of God_

There is a _physical Teleology_, which gives sufficient ground of
proof to our theoretical reflective Judgement to assume the being of
an intelligent World-Cause. But we find also in ourselves and still
more in the concept of a rational being in general endowed with freedom
(of his causality) a _moral Teleology_. However, as the purposive
reference, together with its law, is determined _a priori_ in ourselves
and therefore can be cognised as necessary, this internal conformity
to law requires no intelligent cause external to us; any more than we
need look to a highest Understanding as the source of the purposiveness
(for every possible exercise of art) that we find in the geometrical
properties of figures. But this moral Teleology concerns us as beings
of the world, and therefore as beings bound up with other things in the
world; upon which latter, whether as purposes or as objects in respect
of which we ourselves are final purpose, the same moral laws require
us to pass judgement. This moral Teleology, then, has to do with the
reference of our own causality to purposes and even to a final purpose
that we must aim at in the world, as well as with the reciprocal
reference of the world to that moral purpose, and the external
possibility of its accomplishment (to which no physical Teleology can
lead us). Hence the question necessarily arises, whether it compels
our rational judgement to go beyond the world and seek an intelligent
supreme principle for that reference of nature to the moral in us; in
order to represent nature as purposive even in reference to our inner
moral legislation and its possible accomplishment. There is therefore
certainly a moral Teleology, which is connected on the one hand with
the _nomothetic_ of freedom and on the other with that of nature; just
as necessarily as civil legislation is connected with the question
where the executive authority is to be sought, and in general in every
case [with the question] wherein Reason is to furnish a principle
of the actuality of a certain regular order of things only possible
according to Ideas.-- We shall first set forth the progress of Reason
from that moral Teleology and its reference to physical, to _Theology_;
and then make some observations upon the possibility and the validity
of this way of reasoning.

If we assume the being of certain things (or even only certain forms of
things) to be contingent and so to be possible only through something
else which is their cause, we may seek for the unconditioned ground of
this causality of the supreme (and so of the conditioned) either in
the physical or the teleological order (either according to the _nexus
effectivus_ or the _nexus finalis_). That is, we may either ask, what
is the supreme productive cause of these things; or what is their
supreme (absolutely unconditioned) purpose, _i.e._ the final purpose of
that cause in its production of this or all its products generally? In
the second case it is plainly presupposed that this cause is capable
of representing purposes to itself, and consequently is an intelligent
Being; at least it must be thought as acting in accordance with the
laws of such a being.

If we follow the latter order, it is a FUNDAMENTAL PROPOSITION to
which even the commonest human Reason is compelled to give immediate
assent, that if there is to be in general a _final purpose_ furnished
_a priori_ by Reason, this can be no other than _man_ (every rational
being of the world) _under moral laws_.[133] For (and so every one
judges) if the world consisted of mere lifeless, or even in part of
living but irrational, beings, its existence would have no worth
because in it there would be no being who would have the least concept
of what worth is. Again, if there were intelligent beings, whose
Reason were only able to place the worth of the existence of things
in the relation of nature to themselves (their well-being), but not
to furnish of itself an original worth (in freedom), then there would
certainly be (relative) purposes in the world, but no (absolute) final
purpose, because the existence of such rational beings would be always
purposeless. But the moral laws have this peculiar characteristic that
they prescribe to Reason something as a purpose without any condition,
and consequently exactly as the concept of a final purpose requires.
The existence of a Reason that can be for itself the supreme law in the
purposive reference, in other words the existence of rational beings
under moral laws, can therefore alone be thought as the final purpose
of the being of a world. If on the contrary this be not so, there would
be either no purpose at all in the cause of its being, or there would
be purposes, but no final purpose.

The moral law as the formal rational condition of the use of our
freedom obliges us by itself alone, without depending on any purpose as
material condition; but it nevertheless determines for us, and indeed
_a priori_, a final purpose towards which it obliges us to strive;
and this purpose is the _highest good in the world_ possible through

The subjective condition under which man (and, according to all our
concepts, every rational finite being) can set a final purpose before
himself under the above law is happiness. Consequently, the highest
physical good possible in the world, to be furthered as a final purpose
as far as in us lies, is _happiness_, under the objective condition of
the harmony of man with the law of _morality_ as worthiness to be happy.

But it is impossible for us in accordance with all our rational
faculties to represent these two requirements of the final purpose
proposed to us by the moral law, as _connected_ by merely natural
causes, and yet as conformable to the Idea of that final purpose. Hence
the concept of the _practical necessity_ of such a purpose through
the application of our powers does not harmonise with the theoretical
concept of the _physical possibility_ of working it out, if we connect
with our freedom no other causality (as a means) than that of nature.

Consequently, we must assume a moral World-Cause (an Author of the
world), in order to set before ourselves a final purpose consistently
with the moral law; and in so far as the latter is necessary, so far
(_i.e._ in the same degree and on the same ground) the former also must
be necessarily assumed; _i.e._ we must admit that there is a God.[134]

This proof, to which we can easily give the form of logical precision,
does not say: it is as necessary to assume the Being of God as to
recognise the validity of the moral law; and consequently he who
cannot convince himself of the first, can judge himself free from the
obligations of the second. No! there must in such case only be given
up the _aiming at_ the final purpose in the world, to be brought about
by the pursuit of the second (viz. a happiness of rational beings
in harmony with the pursuit of moral laws, regarded as the highest
good). Every rational being would yet have to cognise himself as
straitly bound by the precepts of morality, for its laws are formal
and command unconditionally without respect to purposes (as the matter
of volition). But the one requisite of the final purpose, as practical
Reason prescribes it to beings of the world, is an irresistible purpose
imposed on them by their nature (as finite beings), which Reason wishes
to know as subject only to the moral law as inviolable _condition_, or
even as universally set up in accordance with it. Thus Reason takes for
final purpose the furthering of happiness in harmony with morality. To
further this so far as is in our power (_i.e._ in respect of happiness)
is commanded us by the moral law; be the issue of this endeavour what
it may. The fulfilling of duty consists in the form of the earnest
will, not in the intermediate causes of success.

Suppose then that partly through the weakness of all the speculative
arguments so highly extolled, and partly through many irregularities
in nature and the world of sense which come before him, a man is
persuaded of the proposition, There is no God; he would nevertheless be
contemptible in his own eyes if on that account he were to imagine the
laws of duty as empty, invalid and inobligatory, and wished to resolve
to transgress them boldly. Such an one, even if he could be convinced
in the sequel of that which he had doubted at the first, would always
be contemptible while having such a disposition, although he should
fulfil his duty as regards its [external] effect as punctiliously
as could be desired, for [he would be acting] from fear or from the
aim at recompense, without the sentiment of reverence for duty. If,
conversely, as a believer [in God] he performs his duty according
to his conscience, uprightly and disinterestedly, and nevertheless
believes that he is free from all moral obligation so soon as he is
convinced that there is no God, this could accord but badly with an
inner moral disposition.

We may then suppose the case of a righteous man [_e.g. Spinoza_],[135]
who holds himself firmly persuaded that there is no God, and also
(because in respect of the Object of morality a similar consequence
results) no future life; how is he to judge of his own inner purposive
destination, by means of the moral law, which he reveres in practice?
He desires no advantage to himself from following it, either in this
or another world; he wishes, rather, disinterestedly to establish
the good to which that holy law directs all his powers. But his
effort is bounded; and from nature, although he may expect here and
there a contingent accordance, he can never expect a regular harmony
agreeing according to constant rules (such as his maxims are and must
be, internally), with the purpose that he yet feels himself obliged
and impelled to accomplish. Deceit, violence, and envy will always
surround him, although he himself be honest, peaceable, and kindly; and
the righteous men with whom he meets will, notwithstanding all their
worthiness of happiness, be yet subjected by nature which regards not
this, to all the evils of want, disease, and untimely death, just like
the beasts of the earth. So it will be until one wide grave engulfs
them together (honest or not, it makes no difference), and throws
them back--who were able to believe themselves the final purpose of
creation--into the abyss of the purposeless chaos of matter from which
they were drawn.-- The purpose, then, which this well-intentioned
person had and ought to have before him in his pursuit of moral laws,
he must certainly give up as impossible. Or else, if he wishes to
remain dependent upon the call of his moral internal destination,
and not to weaken the respect with which the moral law immediately
inspires him, by assuming the nothingness of the single, ideal, final
purpose adequate to its high demand (which cannot be brought about
without a violation of moral sentiment), he must, as he well can--since
there is at least no contradiction from a practical point of view in
forming a concept of the possibility of a morally prescribed final
purpose--assume the being of a _moral_ author of the world, that is, a

§ 88. _Limitation of the validity of the moral proof_

Pure Reason, as a practical faculty, _i.e._ as the faculty of
determining the free use of our causality by Ideas (pure rational
concepts), not only comprises in the moral law a regulative principle
of our actions, but supplies us at the same time with a subjective
constitutive principle in the concept of an Object which Reason
alone can think, and which is to be actualised by our actions in
the world according to that law. The Idea of a final purpose in the
employment of freedom according to moral laws has therefore subjective
_practical_ reality. We are _a priori_ determined by Reason to promote
with all our powers the _summum bonum_ [Weltbeste] which consists in
the combination of the greatest welfare of rational beings with the
highest condition of the good in itself, _i.e._ in universal happiness
conjoined with morality most accordant to law. In this final purpose
the possibility of one part, happiness, is empirically conditioned,
_i.e._ dependent on the constitution of nature (which may or may not
agree with this purpose) and is in a theoretical aspect problematical;
whilst the other part, morality, in respect of which we are free from
the effects of nature, stands fast _a priori_ as to its possibility,
and is dogmatically certain. It is then requisite for the objective
theoretical reality of the concept of the final purpose of rational
beings, that we should not only have _a priori_ presupposed a final
purpose for ourselves, but also that the creation, _i.e._ the world
itself, should have as regards its existence a final purpose, which if
it could be proved _a priori_ would add objectivity to the subjective
reality of the final purpose [of rational beings]. For if the creation
has on the whole a final purpose, we cannot think it otherwise than as
harmonising with the moral purpose (which alone makes the concept of a
purpose possible). Now we find without doubt purposes in the world, and
physical Teleology exhibits them in such abundance, that if we judge
in accordance with Reason, we have ground for assuming as a principle
in the investigation of nature that nothing in nature is without a
purpose; but the final purpose of nature we seek there in vain. This
can and must therefore, as its Idea only lies in Reason, be sought as
regards its objective possibility only in rational beings. And the
practical Reason of these latter not only supplies this final purpose;
it also determines this concept in respect of the conditions under
which alone a final purpose of creation can be thought by us.

The question is now, whether the objective reality of the concept
of a final purpose of creation cannot be exhibited adequately to the
theoretical requirements of pure Reason--if not apodictically for the
determinant Judgement yet adequately for the maxims of the theoretical
reflective Judgement? This is the least one could expect from
theoretical philosophy, which undertakes to combine the moral purpose
with natural purposes by means of the Idea of one single purpose; but
yet this little is far more than it can accomplish.

According to the principle of the theoretical reflective Judgement we
should say: if we have ground for assuming for the purposive products
of nature a supreme Cause of nature--whose causality in respect of the
actuality of creation is of a different kind from that required for
the mechanism of nature, _i.e._ must be thought as the causality of
an Understanding--we have also sufficient ground for thinking in this
original Being not merely the purposes everywhere in nature but also
a final purpose. This is not indeed a final purpose by which we can
explain the presence of such a Being, but one of which we may at least
convince ourselves (as was the case in physical Teleology) that we can
make the possibility of such a world conceivable, not merely according
to purposes, but only through the fact that we ascribe to its existence
a final purpose.

But a final purpose is merely a concept of our practical Reason,
and can be inferred from no data of experience for the theoretical
judging of nature, nor can it be applied to the cognition of nature.
No use of this concept is possible except its use for practical Reason
according to moral laws; and the final purpose of creation is that
constitution of the world which harmonises with that which alone we
can put forward definitely according to laws, viz. the final purpose of
our pure practical Reason, in so far as it is to be practical.-- Now
we have in the moral law, which enjoins on us in a practical point of
view the application of our powers to the accomplishment of this final
purpose, a ground for assuming its possibility and practicability, and
consequently too (because without the concurrence of nature with a
condition not in our power, its accomplishment would be impossible) a
nature of things harmonious with it. Hence we have a moral ground for
thinking in a world also a final purpose of creation.

We have not yet advanced from moral Teleology to a Theology, _i.e._ to
the being of a moral Author of the world, but only to a final purpose
of creation which is determined in this way. But in order to account
for this creation, _i.e._ the existence of things, in accordance with
a _final purpose_, we must assume not only first an intelligent Being
(for the possibility of things of nature which we are compelled to
judge of as _purposes_), but also a _moral_ Being, as author of the
world, _i.e._ a _God_. This second conclusion is of such a character
that we see it holds merely for the Judgement according to concepts
of practical Reason, and as such for the reflective and not the
determinant Judgement. It is true that in us morally practical Reason
is essentially different in its principles from technically practical
Reason. But we cannot assume that it must be so likewise in the supreme
World-Cause, regarded as Intelligence, and that a peculiar mode of
its causality is requisite for the final purpose, different from that
which is requisite merely for purposes of nature. We cannot therefore
assume that in our final purpose we have not merely a _moral ground_
for admitting a final purpose of creation (as an effect), but also
for admitting a _moral Being_ as the original ground of creation. But
we may well say, that, _according to the constitution of our rational
faculty_, we cannot comprehend the possibility of such a purposiveness
_in respect of the moral law_, and its Object, as there is in this
final purpose, apart from an Author and Governor of the world, who is
at the same time its moral Lawgiver.

The actuality of a highest morally-legislating Author is therefore
sufficiently established merely _for the practical use_ of our Reason,
without determining anything theoretically as regards its being. For
Reason requires, in respect of the possibility of its purpose, which
is given to us independently by its own legislation, an Idea through
which the inability to follow up this purpose, according to the mere
natural concepts of the world, is removed (sufficiently for the
reflective Judgement). Thus this Idea gains practical reality, although
all means of creating such for it in a theoretical point of view, for
the explanation of nature and determination of the supreme Cause,
are entirely wanting for speculative cognition. For the theoretical
reflective Judgement physical Teleology sufficiently proves from the
purposes of nature an intelligent World-Cause; for the practical
Judgement moral Teleology establishes it by the concept of a final
purpose, which it is forced to ascribe to creation in a practical
point of view. The objective reality of the Idea of God, as moral
Author of the world, cannot, it is true, be established by physical
purposes _alone_. But nevertheless, if the cognition of these purposes
is combined with that of the moral purpose, they are, by virtue of the
maxim of pure Reason which bids us seek unity of principles so far as
is possible, of great importance for the practical reality of that
Idea, by bringing in the reality which it has for the Judgement in a
theoretical point of view.

To prevent a misunderstanding which may easily arise, it is in the
highest degree needful to remark that, in the first place, we can
_think_ these properties of the highest Being only according to
analogy. How indeed could we explore the nature of that, to which
experience can show us nothing similar? Secondly, in this way we only
think the supreme Being; we cannot thereby _cognise_ Him and ascribe
anything theoretically to Him. It would be needful for the determinant
Judgement in the speculative aspect of our Reason, to consider what
the supreme World-Cause is in Himself. But here we are only concerned
with the question what concept we can form of Him, according to the
constitution of our cognitive faculties; and whether we have to assume
His existence in order merely to furnish practical reality to a
purpose, which pure Reason without any such presupposition enjoins upon
us _a priori_ to bring about with all our powers, _i.e._ in order to
be able to think as possible a designed effect. Although that concept
may be transcendent for the speculative Reason, and the properties
which we ascribe to the Being thereby thought may, objectively used,
conceal an anthropomorphism in themselves; yet the design of its use
is not to determine the nature of that Being which is unattainable by
us, but to determine ourselves and our will accordingly. We may call
a cause after the concept which we have of its effect (though only
in reference to this relation), without thereby meaning to determine
internally its inner constitution, by means of the properties which
can be made known to us solely by similar causes and must be given in
experience. For example, amongst other properties we ascribe to the
soul a _vis locomotiva_ because bodily movements actually arise whose
cause lies in the representation of them; without therefore meaning
to ascribe to it the only mode [of action] that we know in moving
forces (viz. by attraction, pressure, impulse, and consequently motion,
which always presuppose an extended being). Just so we must assume
_something_, which contains the ground of the possibility and practical
reality, _i.e._ the practicability, of a necessary moral final purpose;
but we can think of this, in accordance with the character of the
effect expected of it, as a wise Being governing the world according
to moral laws, and, conformably to the constitution of our cognitive
faculties, as a cause of things distinct from nature, only in order
to express the _relation_ of this Being (which transcends all our
cognitive faculties) to the Objects of _our_ practical Reason. We do
not pretend thus to ascribe to it theoretically the only causality of
this kind known to us, viz. an Understanding and a Will: we do not
even pretend to distinguish objectively the causality thought in this
Being, as regards what is _for us_ final purpose, from the causality
thought in it as regards nature (and its purposive determinations in
general). We can only assume this distinction as subjectively necessary
by the constitution of our cognitive faculties, and as valid for the
reflective, not for the objectively determinant Judgement. But if we
come to practice, then such a _regulative_ principle (of prudence or
wisdom) [commanding us] to act conformably to that as purpose, which
by the constitution of our cognitive faculties can only be thought
as possible in a certain way, is at the same _constitutive_, _i.e._
practically determinant. Nevertheless, as a principle for judging
of the objective possibility of things, it is no way theoretically
determinant (_i.e._ it does not say that the only kind of possibility
which belongs to the Object is that which belongs to our thinking
faculty), but is a mere _regulative_ principle for the reflective


This moral proof is not one newly discovered, although perhaps its
basis is newly set forth; since it has lain in man’s rational faculty
from its earliest germ, and is only continually developed with its
advancing cultivation. So soon as men begin to reflect upon right and
wrong--at a time when, quite indifferent as to the purposiveness of
nature, they avail themselves of it without thinking anything more of
it than that it is the accustomed course of nature--this judgement is
inevitable, viz. that the issue cannot be the same, whether a man has
behaved candidly or falsely, fairly or violently, even though up to his
life’s end, as far as can be seen, he has met with no happiness for
his virtues, no punishment for his vices. It is as if they perceived a
voice within [saying] that the issue must be different. And so there
must lie hidden in them a representation, however obscure, of something
after which they feel themselves bound to strive; with which such a
result would not agree,--with which, if they looked upon the course of
the world as the only order of things, they could not harmonise that
inner purposive determination of their minds. Now they might represent
in various rude fashions the way in which such an irregularity could
be adjusted (an irregularity which must be far more revolting to the
human mind than the blind chance that we are sometimes willing to use
as a principle for judging of nature). But they could never think
any other principle of the possibility of the unification of nature
with its inner ethical laws, than a supreme Cause governing the world
according to moral laws; because a final purpose in them proposed as
duty, and a nature without any final purpose beyond them in which that
purpose might be actualised, would involve a contradiction. As to the
[inner][136] constitution of that World-Cause they could contrive much
nonsense. But that moral relation in the government of the world would
remain always the same, which by the uncultivated Reason, considered
as practical, is universally comprehensible, but with which the
speculative Reason can make far from the like advance.--And in all
probability attention would be directed first by this moral interest to
the beauty and the purposes in nature, which would serve excellently
to strengthen this Idea though they could not be the foundation of it.
Still less could that moral interest be dispensed with, because it is
only in reference to the final purpose that the investigation of the
purposes of nature acquires that immediate interest which displays
itself in such a great degree in the admiration of them without any
reference to the advantage to be derived from them.

§ 89. _Of the use of the moral argument_

The limitation of Reason in respect of all our Ideas of the
supersensible to the conditions of its practical employment has, as
far as the Idea of God is concerned, undeniable uses. For it prevents
_Theology_ from rising into THEOSOPHY (into transcendent concepts which
confound Reason), or from sinking into DEMONOLOGY (an anthropomorphic
way of representing the highest Being). And it also prevents _Religion_
from turning into _Theurgy_ (a fanatical belief that we can have a
feeling of other supersensible beings and can reciprocally influence
them), or into _Idolatry_ (a superstitious belief that we can please
the Supreme Being by other means than by a moral sentiment).[137]

For if we permit the vanity or the presumption of sophistry to
determine the least thing theoretically (in a way that extends our
knowledge) in respect of what lies beyond the world of sense, or
if we allow any pretence to be made of insight into the being and
constitution of the nature of God, of His Understanding and Will, of
the laws of both and of His properties which thus affect the world,
I should like to know where and at what point we will bound these
assumptions of Reason. For wherever such insight can be derived, there
may yet more be expected (if we only strain our reflection, as we have
a mind to do). Bounds must then be put to such claims according to a
certain principle, and not merely because we find that all attempts
of the sort have hitherto failed, for that proves nothing against the
possibility of a better result. But here no principle is possible,
except either to assume that in respect of the supersensible absolutely
nothing can be theoretically determined (except mere negations);
or else that our Reason contains in itself a yet unused mine of
cognitions, reaching no one knows how far, stored up for ourselves and
our posterity.--But as concerns Religion, _i.e._ morals in reference
to God as legislator, if the theoretical cognition of Him is to come
first, morals must be adjusted in accordance with Theology; and not
only is an external arbitrary legislation of a Supreme Being introduced
in place of an internal necessary legislation of Reason, but also
whatever is defective in our insight into the nature of this Being
must extend to ethical precepts, and thus make Religion immoral and

As regards the hope of a future life, if instead of the final purpose
we have to accomplish in conformity with the precept of the moral law,
we ask of our theoretical faculty of cognition a clue for the judgement
of Reason upon our destination (which clue is only considered as
necessary or worthy of acceptance in a practical reference), then in
this aspect Psychology, like Theology, gives no more than a negative
concept of our thinking being. That is, none of its actions or of the
phenomena of the internal sense can be explained materialistically; and
hence of its separate nature and of the continuance or non-continuance
of its personality after death absolutely no ampliative determinant
judgement is possible on speculative grounds by means of our whole
theoretical cognitive faculty. Here then everything is handed over to
the teleological judging of our existence in a practically necessary
aspect, and to the assumption of our continuance as a condition
requisite for the final purpose absolutely furnished by Reason. And so
this advantage (which indeed at first glance seems to be a loss) is
apparent; that, as Theology for us can never be Theosophy, or rational
_Psychology_ become _Pneumatology_--an ampliative science--so on the
other hand this latter is assured of never falling into _Materialism_.
Psychology, rather, is a mere anthropology of the internal sense,
_i.e._ is the knowledge of our thinking self _in life_; and, as
theoretical cognition, remains merely empirical. On the other hand,
rational Psychology, as far as it is concerned with questions as to
our eternal existence, is not a theoretical science at all, but rests
on a single conclusion of moral Teleology; as also its whole use is
necessary merely on account of the latter, _i.e._ on account of our
practical destination.

§ 90. _Of the kind of belief in a teleological proof of the Being of

The first requisite for every proof, whether it be derived from the
immediate empirical presentation (as in the proof from observation of
the object or from experiment) of that which is to be proved, or by
Reason _a priori_ from principles, is this. It should not _persuade_,
but _convince_,[138] or at least should tend to conviction. _I.e._ the
ground of proof or the conclusion should not be merely a subjective
(aesthetical) determining ground of assent (mere illusion), but
objectively valid and a logical ground of cognition; for otherwise
the Understanding is ensnared, but not convinced. Such an illusory
proof is that which, perhaps with good intent but yet with wilful
concealment of its weaknesses, is adduced in Natural Theology. In this
we bring in the great number of indications of the origin of natural
things according to the principle of purposes, and take advantage
of the merely subjective basis of human Reason, viz. its special
propensity to think only one principle instead of several, whenever
this can be done without contradiction; and, when in this principle
only one or more requisites for determining a concept are furnished, to
add in our thought these additional [features] so as to complete the
concept of the thing by arbitrarily supplementing it. For, in truth,
when we meet with so many products in nature which are to us marks of
an intelligent cause, why should we not think One cause rather than
many; and in this One, not merely great intelligence, power, etc.,
but rather Omniscience, and Omnipotence--in a word, think it as a
Cause that contains the sufficient ground of such properties in all
possible things? Further, why should we not ascribe to this unique,
all-powerful, original Being not only intelligence for natural laws
and products, but also, as to a moral Cause of the world, supreme,
ethical, practical Reason? For by this completion of the concept a
sufficient principle is furnished both for insight into nature and
for moral wisdom; and no objection grounded in any way can be made
against the possibility of such an Idea. If now at the same time
the moral motives of the mind are aroused, and a lively interest in
the latter is added by the force of eloquence (of which they are
indeed very worthy), then there arises therefrom a persuasion of the
objective adequacy of the proof; and also (in most cases of its use)
a wholesome illusion which quite dispenses with all examination of
its logical strictness, and even on the contrary regards this with
abhorrence and dislike as if an impious doubt lay at its basis.--Now
against this there is indeed nothing to say, so long as we only have
regard to its popular usefulness. But then the division of the proof
into the two dissimilar parts involved in the argument--belonging to
physical and moral Teleology respectively--cannot and must not be
prevented. For the blending of these makes it impossible to discern
where the proper force of the proof lies, and in what part and how it
must be elaborated in order that its validity may be able to stand the
strictest examination (even if we should be compelled to admit in one
part the weakness of our rational insight). Thus it is the duty of
the philosopher (supposing even that he counts as nothing the claims
of sincerity) to expose the above illusion, however wholesome it is,
which such a confusion can produce; and to distinguish what merely
belongs to persuasion from that which leads to conviction (for these
are determinations of assent which differ not merely in degree but in
kind), in order to present plainly the state of the mind in this proof
in its whole clearness, and to be able to subject it frankly to the
closest examination.

But a proof which is intended to convince, can again be of two kinds;
either deciding what the object is _in itself_, or what it is _for us_
(for men in general) according to our necessary rational principles of
judgement (proof κατ’ ἀλήθειαν or κατ’ ἄνθρωπον, the last word being
taken in its universal signification of man in general). In the first
case it is based on adequate principles for the determinant Judgement,
in the second for the reflective Judgement. In the latter case it
can never, when resting on merely theoretical principles, tend to
conviction; but if a practical principle of Reason (which is therefore
universally and necessarily valid) lies at its basis, it may certainly
lay claim to conviction adequate in a pure practical point of view,
_i.e._ to moral conviction. But a proof _tends to conviction_, though
without convincing, if it is [merely][139] brought on the way thereto;
_i.e._ if it contains in itself only objective grounds, which although
not attaining to certainty are yet of such a kind that they do not
serve merely for persuasion as subjective grounds of the judgement.[140]

All theoretical grounds of proof resolve themselves either into: (1)
Proofs by logically strict _Syllogisms of Reason_; or where this is not
the case, (2) _Conclusions_ according to _analogy_; or where this also
has no place, (3) _Probable opinion_; or finally, which has the least
weight, (4) Assumption of a merely possible ground of explanation,
_i.e._ _Hypothesis_.--Now I say that all grounds of proof in general,
which aim at theoretical conviction, can bring about no belief of this
kind from the highest to the lowest degree, if there is to be proved
the proposition of the _existence_ of an original Being, as a God, in
the signification adequate to the whole content of this concept; viz. a
_moral_ Author of the world, by whom the final purpose of creation is
at the same time supplied.

(1.) As to the _logically accurate_ proof proceeding from universal
to particular, we have sufficiently established in the Critique
the following: Since no intuition possible for us corresponds to
the concept of a Being that is to be sought beyond nature--whose
concept therefore, so far as it is to be theoretically determined by
synthetical predicates, remains always problematical for us--there
is absolutely no cognition of it to be had (by which the extent of
our theoretical knowledge is in the least enlarged). The particular
concept of a supersensible Being cannot be subsumed under the universal
principles of the nature of things, in order to conclude from them to
it, because those principles are valid simply for nature, as an object
of sense.

(2.) We can indeed _think_ one of two dissimilar things, even in
the very point of their dissimilarity, in accordance with the
_analogy_[141] of the other; but we cannot, from that wherein they are
dissimilar, _conclude_ from the one to the other by analogy, _i.e._
transfer from the one to the other this sign of specific distinction.
Thus I can, according to the analogy of the law of the equality of
action and reaction in the mutual attraction and repulsion of bodies,
also conceive of the association of the members of a commonwealth
according to rules of right; but I cannot transfer to it those specific
determinations (material attraction or repulsion), and ascribe them
to the citizens in order to constitute a system called a state.--Just
so we can indeed conceive of the causality of the original Being in
respect of the things of the world, as natural purposes, according to
the analogy of an Understanding, as ground of the forms of certain
products which we call works of art (for this only takes place on
behalf of the theoretical or practical use that we have to make by our
cognitive faculty of this concept in respect of the natural things
in the world according to a certain principle). But we can in no way
conclude according to analogy, because in the case of beings of the
world Understanding must be ascribed to the cause of an effect which
is judged artificial, that in respect of nature the same causality
which we perceive in men attaches also to the Being which is quite
distinct from nature. For this concerns the very point of dissimilarity
which is thought between a cause sensibly conditioned in respect of its
effects and the supersensible original Being itself in our concept of
it, and which therefore cannot be transferred from one to the other.--
In the very fact that I must conceive the divine causality only
according to the analogy of an Understanding (which faculty we know in
no other being than in sensibly-conditioned man) lies the prohibition
to ascribe to it this Understanding in its peculiar signification.[142]

(3.) _Opinion_ finds in _a priori_ judgements no place whatever, for
by them we either cognise something as quite certain or else cognise
nothing at all. But if the given grounds of proof from which we start
(as here from the purposes in the world) are empirical, then we cannot
even with their aid form any opinion as to anything beyond the world of
sense, nor can we concede to such venturesome judgements the smallest
claim to probability. For probability is part of a certainty possible
in a certain series of grounds (its grounds compare with the sufficient
ground as parts with a whole), the insufficient ground of which must
be susceptible of completion. But since, as determining grounds of one
and the same judgement, they must be of the same kind, for otherwise
they would not together constitute a whole (such as certainty is), one
part of them cannot lie within the bounds of possible experience and
another outside all possible experience. Consequently, since merely
empirical grounds of proof lead to nothing supersensible, and since
what is lacking in the series of them cannot in any way be completed,
we do not approach in the least nearer in our attempt to attain by
their means to the supersensible and to a cognition thereof. Thus in
any judgement about the latter by means of arguments derived from
experience, probability has no place.

(4.) If an _hypothesis_ is to serve for the explanation of the
possibility of a given phenomenon, at least its possibility must
be completely certain.[143] It is sufficient that in an hypothesis
I disclaim any cognition of actuality (which is claimed in an
opinion given out as probable); more than this I cannot give up. The
possibility of that which I place at the basis of my explanation,
must at least be exposed to no doubt; otherwise there would be no end
of empty chimeras. But to assume the possibility of a supersensible
Being determined according to certain concepts would be a completely
groundless supposition. For here none of the conditions requisite
for cognition, as regards that in it which rests upon intuition, is
given, and so the sole criterion of possibility remaining is the mere
principle of Contradiction (which can only prove the possibility of the
thought, not of the object thought).

The result then is this. For the existence [Dasein] of the original
Being, as a Godhead, or of the soul as an immortal spirit, absolutely
no proof in a theoretical point of view is possible for the human
Reason, which can bring about even the least degree of belief. The
ground of this is quite easy to comprehend. For determining our
Ideas of the supersensible we have no material whatever, and we
must derive this latter from things in the world of sense, which is
absolutely inadequate for such an Object. Thus, in the absence of all
determination of it, nothing remains but the concept of a non-sensible
something which contains the ultimate ground of the world of sense, but
which does not furnish any knowledge (any amplification of the concept)
of its inner constitution.

§ 91. _Of the kind of belief produced by a practical faith_

If we look merely to the way in which anything can be _for us_
(according to the subjective constitution of our representative powers)
an Object of knowledge (_res cognoscibilis_), then our concepts will
not cohere with Objects, but merely with our cognitive faculties and
the use which they can make of a given representation (in a theoretical
or practical point of view). Thus the question whether anything is or
is not a cognisable being is not a question concerning the possibility
of things but of our knowledge of them.

_Cognisable_ things are of three kinds: _things of opinion_
(_opinabile_); _things of fact_ (_scibile_); and _things of faith_
(_mere credibile_).

(1.) Objects of mere rational Ideas, which for theoretical knowledge
cannot be presented in any possible experience, are so far not
_cognisable_ things, and consequently in respect of them we can form
no _opinion_; for to form an opinion _a priori_ is absurd in itself
and the straight road to mere chimeras. Either then our proposition
is certain _a priori_ or it contains nothing for belief. Therefore
_things of opinion_ are always Objects of an empirical cognition at
least possible in itself (objects of the world of sense); but, which,
on account merely of the [low] degree of this faculty that we possess,
is _for us_ impossible. Thus the ether of the new physicists,[144]
an elastic fluid pervading all other matter (mingled intimately with
it) is a mere thing of opinion, yet is such that, if our external
senses were sharpened to the highest degree, it could be perceived;
though it can never be presented in any observation or experiment.
To assume [the existence of] rational inhabitants of other planets
is a thing of opinion; for if we could come closer to them, which is
in itself possible, we should decide by experience whether they did
or did not exist; but as we shall never come so near, it remains in
the region of opinion. But to hold the opinion that there are in the
material universe pure thinking spirits without bodies (viz. if we
dismiss as unworthy of our notice certain phenomena which have been
published as actual[145]) is to be called poetic fiction. This is no
thing of opinion, but a mere Idea which remains over, when we remove
from a thinking being everything material, and only leave thought
to it. Whether then the latter (which we know only in man, that is,
in combination with a body) does survive, we cannot decide. Such a
thing is a _sophistical being_ (_ens rationis ratiocinantis_), not a
_rational being_ (_ens rationis ratiocinatae_)[146]; of which latter it
is possible to show conclusively, the objective reality of its concept;
at least for the practical use of Reason, because this which has its
peculiar and apodictically certain principles _a priori_, demands
(postulates) it.

(2.) Objects for concepts, whose objective reality can be proved
(whether through pure Reason or through experience, and, in the first
case, from its theoretical or practical data, in all cases by means of
a corresponding intuition) are _things of fact_ (_res facti_).[147] Of
this kind are the mathematical properties of magnitudes (in geometry),
because they are susceptible of a _presentation a priori_ for the
theoretical use of Reason. Further, things or their characteristics,
which can be exhibited in experience (either our own or that of others
through the medium of testimony) are likewise things of fact.--And,
what is very remarkable, there is one rational Idea (susceptible in
itself of no presentation in intuition, and consequently, of no
theoretical proof of its possibility) which also comes under things of
fact. This is the Idea of _freedom_, whose reality, regarded as that
of a particular kind of causality (of which the concept, theoretically
considered, would be transcendent), may be exhibited by means of
practical laws of pure Reason, and conformably to this, in actual
actions, and, consequently, in experience.--This is the only one of all
the Ideas of pure Reason, whose object is a thing of fact, and to be
reckoned under the _scibilia_.

(3.) Objects, which in reference to the use of pure practical Reason
that is in conformity with duty must be thought _a priori_ (whether
as consequences or as grounds), but which are transcendent for its
theoretical use, are mere _things of faith_. Of this kind is the
_highest good_ in the world, to be brought about by freedom.[148]
The concept of this cannot be established as regards its objective
reality in any experience possible for us and thus adequately for
the theoretical use of Reason; but its use is commanded by practical
pure Reason [in reference to the best possible working out of that
purpose],[149] and it consequently must be assumed possible. This
commanded effect, _together with the only conditions of its possibility
thinkable by us_, viz. the Being of God and the immortality of the
soul, are _things of faith_ (_res fidei_), and of all objects are the
only ones which can be so called.[150] For though what we learn by
_testimony_ from the experience of others must be believed by us, yet
it is not therefore a thing of faith; for it was the proper experience
of some _one_ witness and so a thing of fact, or is presupposed as
such. Again it must be possible by this path (that of historical faith)
to arrive at knowledge; and the Objects of history and geography,
like everything in general which it is at least possible to know by
the constitution of our cognitive faculties, belong not to things of
faith but to things of fact. It is only objects of pure Reason which
can be things of faith at all, though not as objects of the mere pure
speculative Reason: for then they could not be reckoned with certainty
among things, _i.e._ Objects of that cognition which is possible for
us. They are Ideas, _i.e._ concepts of the objective reality of which
we cannot theoretically be certain. On the other hand, the highest
final purpose to be worked out by us, by which alone we can become
worthy of being ourselves the final purpose of creation, is an Idea
which has in a practical reference objective reality for us, and is
also a thing. But because we cannot furnish such reality to this
concept in a theoretical point of view, it is a mere thing of faith
of the pure Reason, along with God and Immortality, as the conditions
under which alone we, in accordance with the constitution of our
(human) Reason, can conceive the possibility of that effect of the use
of our freedom in conformity with law. But belief in things of faith is
a belief in a pure practical point of view, _i.e._ a moral faith, which
proves nothing for theoretical pure rational cognition, but only for
that which is practical and directed to the fulfilment of its duties;
it in no way extends speculation or the practical rules of prudence in
accordance with the principle of self-love. If the supreme principle
of all moral laws is a postulate, so is also the possibility of its
highest Object; and consequently, too, the condition under which we
can think this possibility is postulated along with it and by it.
Thus the cognition of the latter is neither knowledge nor opinion of
the being and character of these conditions, regarded as theoretical
cognition; but is a mere assumption in a reference which is practical
and commanded for the moral use of our Reason.

If we were able also plausibly to base upon the purposes of nature,
which physical Teleology presents to us in such rich abundance, a
_determinate_ concept of an intelligent World-Cause, then the existence
[Dasein] of this Being would not be a thing of faith. For since this
would not be assumed on behalf of the performance of my duty, but
only in reference to the explanation of nature, it would be merely
the opinion and hypothesis most conformable to our Reason. Now such
Teleology leads in no way to a determinate concept of God; on the
contrary, this can only be found in the concept of a moral Author of
the World, because this alone furnishes the final purpose to which
we can only reckon ourselves [as attached] if we behave conformably
to what the moral law prescribes as final purpose and consequently
obliges us [to do]. Hence it is only by its reference to the Object of
our duty, as the condition of the possibility of attaining the final
purpose of the same, that the concept of God attains the privilege
of counting as a thing of faith, in our belief; but on the other
hand, this same concept cannot make its Object valid as a thing of
fact. For, although the necessity of duty is very plain for practical
Reason, yet the attainment of its final purpose, so far as it is not
altogether in our own power, is only assumed on behalf of the practical
use of Reason, and therefore is not so practically necessary as duty

_Faith_ (as _habitus_, not as _actus_) is the moral attitude of Reason
as to belief in that which is unattainable by theoretical cognition.
It is therefore the constant principle of the mind, to assume as true,
on account of the obligation in reference to it, that which it is
necessary to presuppose as condition of the possibility of the highest
moral final purpose[152]; although its possibility or impossibility
be alike impossible for us to see into. Faith (absolutely so called)
is trust in the attainment of a design, the promotion of which is a
duty, but the possibility of the fulfilment of which (and consequently
also that of the only conditions of it thinkable by us) is not to be
_comprehended_ by us. Faith, then, that refers to particular objects,
which are not objects of possible knowledge or opinion (in which latter
case it ought to be called, especially in historical matters, credulity
and not faith), is quite moral. It is a free belief, not in that for
which dogmatical proofs for the theoretically determinant Judgement
are to be found, or in that to which we hold ourselves bound, but in
that which we assume on behalf of a design in accordance with laws of
freedom. This, however, is not, like opinion, without any adequate
ground; but, is grounded as in Reason (although only in respect of its
practical employment), and _adequately for its design_. For without
this, the moral attitude of thought in its repudiation of the claim of
the theoretical Reason for proofs (of the possibility of the Objects
of morality) has no permanence; but wavers between practical commands
and theoretical doubts. To be _incredulous_ means to cling to maxims,
and not to believe testimony in general; but he is _unbelieving_,
who denies all validity to rational Ideas, because there is wanting
a _theoretical_ ground of their reality.[154] He judges therefore
dogmatically. A dogmatical _unbelief_ cannot subsist together with a
moral maxim dominant in the mental attitude (for Reason cannot command
one to follow a purpose, which is cognised as nothing more than a
chimera); but a _doubtful faith_ can. To this the absence of conviction
by grounds of speculative Reason is only a hindrance, the influence of
which upon conduct a critical insight into the limits of this faculty
can remove, while it substitutes by way of compensation a paramount
practical belief.

       *       *       *       *       *

If, in place of certain mistaken attempts, we wish to introduce a
different principle into philosophy and to promote its influence, it
makes us highly contented to see how and why those attempts must have
disappointed us.

_God_, _freedom_, and _immortality_, are the problems at the solution
of which all the equipments of Metaphysic aim, as their ultimate and
unique purpose. Now it was believed that the doctrine of freedom is
needed for practical philosophy only as its negative condition; but
that on the other hand the doctrine of God and of the constitution of
the soul, as belonging to theoretical philosophy, must be established
for themselves and separately, in order afterwards to unite both
with that which the moral law (possible only under the condition of
freedom) commands, and so to constitute a religion. But we can easily
see that these attempts must fail. For from mere ontological concepts
of things in general, or of the existence of a necessary Being, it
is possible to form absolutely no determinate concept of an original
Being by means of predicates which can be given in experience and can
therefore serve for cognition. Again a concept based on experience of
the physical purposiveness of nature could furnish no adequate proof
for morality, or consequently for cognition of a Deity. Just as little
could the cognition of the soul by means of experience (which we only
apply in this life) supply us with a concept of its spiritual immortal
nature, a concept which would be adequate for morality. _Theology_ and
_Pneumatology_, regarded as problems of the sciences of a speculative
Reason, can be established by no empirical data and predicates,
because the concept of them is transcendent for our whole cognitive
faculty.--The determination of both concepts, God and the soul (in
respect of its immortality) alike, can only take place by means of
predicates, which, although they are only possible from a supersensible
ground, must yet prove their reality in experience; for thus alone can
they make possible a cognition of a quite supersensible Being.--The
only concept of this kind to be met with in human Reason is that of the
freedom of men under moral laws, along with the final purpose which
Reason prescribes by these laws. Of these two [the moral laws and the
final purpose] the first are useful for ascribing to the Author of
Nature, the second for ascribing to man, those properties which contain
the necessary condition of the possibility of both [God and the soul];
so that from this Idea a conclusion can be drawn as to the existence
and constitution of these beings which are otherwise quite hidden from

Thus the ground of the failure of the attempt to prove God and
immortality by the merely theoretical path lies in this, that no
cognition whatever is possible of the supersensible in this way (of
natural concepts). The ground of its success by the moral way (of the
concept of freedom) is as follows. Here the supersensible (freedom),
which in this case is fundamental, by a determinate law of causality
that springs from it, not only supplies material for cognition of other
supersensibles (the moral final purpose and the conditions of its
attainability), but also establishes its reality in actions as a fact;
though at the same time it can furnish a valid ground of proof in no
other than a practical point of view (the only one, however, of which
Religion has need).

It is thus very remarkable that of the three pure rational Ideas,
_God_, _freedom_, and _immortality_, that of freedom is the only
concept of the supersensible which (by means of the causality that is
thought in it) proves its objective reality in nature by means of the
effects it can produce there; and thus renders possible the connexion
of both the others with nature, and of all three together with
Religion. We have therefore in us a principle capable of determining
the Idea of the supersensible within us, and thus also that of the
supersensible without us, for knowledge, although only in a practical
point of view; a principle this of which mere speculative philosophy
(which could give a merely negative concept of freedom) must despair.
Consequently the concept of freedom (as fundamental concept of all
unconditioned practical laws) can extend Reason beyond those bounds,
within which every natural (theoretical) concept must remain hopelessly

_General remark on Teleology_

If the question is, what rank the moral argument, which proves the
Being of God only as a thing of faith for the practical pure Reason,
maintains among the other arguments in philosophy, it is easy to set
aside the whole achievement of this last; by which it appears that
there is no choice, but that our theoretical faculty must give up all
its pretensions before an impartial criticism.

All belief must in the first place be grounded upon facts, if it is
not to be completely groundless; and therefore the only distinction
in proofs that there can be is that belief in the consequence derived
therefrom can either be grounded on this fact as _knowledge_ for
theoretical cognition, or merely as _faith_ for practical. All facts
belong either to the _natural concept_ which proves its reality in the
objects of sense, given (or which may possibly be given) before all
natural concepts; or to the _concept of freedom_, which sufficiently
establishes its reality through the causality of Reason in regard of
certain effects in the world of sense, possible through it, which it
incontrovertibly postulates in the moral law. The natural concept
(merely belonging to theoretical cognition) is now either metaphysical
and thinkable completely _a priori_, or physical, _i.e._ thinkable
_a posteriori_ and as necessary only through determinate experience.
The metaphysical natural concept (which presupposes no determinate
experience) is therefore ontological.

The _ontological_ proof of the being of God from the concept of an
original Being is either that which from ontological predicates,
by which alone it can be thought as completely determined, infers
absolutely necessary being; or that which, from the absolute necessity
of the being somewhere of some thing, whatever it be, infers the
predicates of the original Being. For there belongs to the concept of
an original Being, inasmuch as it is not derived from anything, the
unconditioned necessity of its presence, and (in order to represent
this) its complete determination by its [mere][155] concept. It was
believed that both requirements were found in the concept of the
ontological Idea of a _Being the most real of all_; and thus two
metaphysical proofs originated.

The proof (properly called ontological) resting upon a merely
metaphysical natural concept concludes from the concept of the
Being the most real of all, its absolutely necessary existence;
for (it is said), if it did not exist, a reality would be wanting
to it, viz. existence.--The other (which is also called the
metaphysico-_cosmological_ proof) concludes from the necessity of the
existence somewhere of a thing (which must be conceded, for a being
is given to us in self-consciousness), its complete determination as
that of a Being the most real of all; for everything existing must be
completely determined, but the absolutely necessary (_i.e._ that which
_we_ ought to cognise as such and consequently _a priori_) must be
completely determined _by means of its own concept_. But this is only
the case with the concept of a thing the most real of all. It is not
needful to expose here the sophistry in both arguments, which has been
already done elsewhere;[156] it is only needful to remark that neither
proof, even if they could be defended by all manner of dialectical
subtlety, could ever pass from the schools into the world, or have the
slightest influence on the mere sound Understanding.

The proof, which rests on a natural concept that can only be empirical
and yet is to lead us beyond the bounds of nature regarded as the
complex of the objects of sense, can be no other than that derived from
the _purposes_ of nature. The concept of these cannot, it is true,
be given _a priori_ but only through experience; but yet it promises
such a concept of the original ground of nature as alone, among all
those which we can conceive, is suited to the supersensible, viz. that
of a highest Understanding as Cause of the world. This, in fact, it
completely performs in accordance with principles of the reflective
Judgement, _i.e._ in accordance with the constitution of our (human)
faculty of cognition.--But whether or not it is in a position to supply
from the same data this concept of a _supreme_, _i.e._ independent
intelligent Being, in short of a God or Author of a world under moral
laws, and consequently as sufficiently determined for the Idea of a
final purpose of the being of the world--this is the question upon
which everything depends, whether we desire a theoretically adequate
concept of the Original Being on behalf of our whole knowledge of
nature, or a practical concept for religion.

This argument derived from physical Teleology is worthy of respect. It
produces a similar effect in the way of conviction upon the common
Understanding as upon the subtlest thinker; and a _Reimarus_[157] has
acquired immortal honour in his work (not yet superseded), in which he
abundantly develops this ground of proof with his peculiar thoroughness
and lucidity.--But how does this proof acquire such mighty influence
upon the mind? How does a judgement by cold reason (for we might
refer to persuasion the emotion and elevation of reason produced by
the wonders of nature) issue thus in a calm and unreserved assent? It
is not the physical purposes, which all indicate in the World Cause
an unfathomable intelligence; these are inadequate thereto, because
they do not satisfy the need of the inquiring Reason. For, wherefore
(it asks) are all those natural things that exhibit art? Wherefore is
man himself, whom we must regard as the ultimate purpose of nature
thinkable by us? Wherefore is this collective Nature here, and what
is the final purpose of such great and manifold art? Reason cannot
be contented with enjoyment or with contemplation, observation, and
admiration (which, if it stops there, is only enjoyment of a particular
kind) as the ultimate final purpose for the creation of the world and
of man himself; for this presupposes a personal worth, which man alone
can give himself, as the condition under which alone he and his being
can be the final purpose. Failing this (which alone is susceptible
of a definite concept), the purposes of nature do not satisfactorily
answer our questions; especially because they cannot furnish any
_determinate_ concept of the highest Being as an all-sufficient (and
therefore unique and so properly called _highest_) being, and of the
laws according to which an Understanding is Cause of the world.

Hence that the physico-teleological proof convinces, just as if it were
a theological proof, does not arise from our availing ourselves of the
Ideas of purposes of nature as so many empirical grounds of proof of
a _highest_ Understanding. But it mingles itself unnoticed with that
moral ground of proof, which dwells in every man and influences him
secretly, in the conclusion by which we ascribe to the Being, which
manifests itself with such incomprehensible art in the purposes of
nature, a final purpose and consequently wisdom (without however being
justified in doing so by the perception of the former); and by which
therefore we arbitrarily fill up the lacunas of the [design] argument.
In fact it is only the moral ground of proof which produces conviction,
and that only in a moral reference with which every man feels inwardly
his agreement. But the physico-teleological proof has only the merit
of leading the mind, in its consideration of the world, by the way of
purposes and through them to an _intelligent_ Author of the world. The
moral reference to purposes and the Idea of a moral legislator and
Author of the world, as a theological concept, seem to be developed of
themselves out of that ground of proof, although they are in truth pure

Henceforward we may allow the customary statement to stand. For it
is generally difficult (if the distinction requires much reflection)
for ordinary sound Understanding to distinguish from one another as
heterogeneous the different principles which it confuses, and from
one of which alone it actually draws conclusions with correctness. The
moral ground of proof of the Being of God, properly speaking, does
not merely _complete_ and render perfect the physico-teleological
proof; but it is a special proof that _supplies_ the conviction which
is wanting in the latter. This latter in fact can do nothing more
than guide Reason, in its judgements upon the ground of nature and
that contingent but admirable order of nature only known to us by
experience, to the causality of a Cause containing the ground of the
same in accordance with purposes (which we by the constitution of our
cognitive faculties must think as an intelligent cause); and thus by
arresting the attention of Reason it makes it more susceptible of
the moral proof. For what is requisite to the latter concept is so
essentially different from everything which natural concepts contain
and can teach, that there is need of a particular ground of proof
quite independent of the former, in order to supply the concept of the
original Being adequately for Theology and to infer its existence.--The
moral proof (which it is true only proves the Being of God in a
practical though indispensable aspect of Reason) would preserve all
its force, if we found in the world no material, or only that which
is doubtful, for physical Teleology. It is possible to conceive
rational beings surrounded by a nature which displayed no clear trace
of organisation but only the effects of a mere mechanism of crude
matter; on behalf of which and amid the changeability of some merely
contingent purposive forms and relations there would appear to be no
ground for inferring an intelligent Author. In such case there would
be no occasion for a physical Teleology; and yet Reason, which here
gets no guidance from natural concepts, would find in the concept of
freedom and in the moral Ideas founded thereon a practically sufficient
ground for postulating the concept of the original Being in conformity
with these, _i.e._ as a Deity, and for postulating nature (even the
nature of our own being) as a final purpose in accordance with freedom
and its laws--and all this in reference to the indispensable command of
practical Reason.--However the fact that there is in the actual world
for the rational beings in it abundant material for physical Teleology
(even though this is not necessary) serves as a desirable confirmation
of the moral argument, as far as nature can exhibit anything analogous
to the (moral) rational Ideas. For the concept of a supreme Cause
possessing intelligence (though not reaching far enough for a Theology)
thus acquires sufficient reality for the reflective Judgement, but it
is not required as the basis of the moral proof; nor does this latter
serve to complete as a proof the former, which does not by itself point
to morality at all, by means of an argument developed according to
a single principle. Two such heterogeneous principles as nature and
freedom can only furnish two different kinds of proof; and the attempt
to derive one from the other is found unavailing as regards that which
is to be proved.

If the physico-teleological ground of proof sufficed for the proof
which is sought, it would be very satisfactory for the speculative
Reason; for it would furnish the hope of founding a Theosophy (for
so we must call the theoretical cognition of the divine nature and
its existence which would suffice at once for the explanation of the
constitution of the world and for the determination of moral laws).
In the same way if Psychology enabled us to arrive at a cognition
of the immortality of the soul it would make Pneumatology possible,
which would be just as welcome to the speculative Reason. But neither,
agreeable as they would be to the arrogance of our curiosity, would
satisfy the wish of Reason in respect of a theory which must be based
on a cognition of the nature of things. Whether the first, as Theology,
and the second, as Anthropology, when founded on the moral principle,
_i.e._ the principle of freedom, and consequently in accordance with
the practical use [of Reason] do not better fulfil their objective
final design, is another question which we need not here pursue.

The physico-teleological ground of proof does not reach to Theology,
because it does not and cannot give any determinate concept, sufficient
for this design, of the original Being; but we must derive this from
quite another quarter, or must supply its lacuna by an arbitrary
addition. You infer, from the great purposiveness of natural forms and
their relations, a world-cause endowed with Understanding; but what is
the degree of this Understanding? Without doubt you cannot assume that
it is the highest possible Understanding; because for that it would be
requisite that you should see that a greater Understanding than that
of which you perceive proofs in the world, is not thinkable; and this
would be to ascribe Omniscience to yourself.[158] In the same way,
if you infer from the magnitude of the world the very great might of
its Author, you must be content with this having only a comparative
significance for your faculty of comprehension; for since you do not
know all that is possible, so as to compare it with the magnitude of
the world as far as you know it, you cannot infer the Almightiness
of its Author from so small a standard, and so on. Now you arrive in
this way at no definite concept of an original Being available for a
Theology; for this can only be found in the concept of the totality of
perfections compatible with intelligence, and you cannot help yourself
to this by merely _empirical_ data. But without such a definite concept
you cannot infer a _unique_ intelligent original Being; you can only
assume it (with whatever motive).--Now it may certainly be conceded
that you should arbitrarily add (for Reason has nothing fundamental to
say to the contrary): Where so much perfection is found, we may well
assume that all perfection is united in a unique Cause of the world,
because Reason succeeds better both theoretically and practically with
a principle thus definite. But then you cannot regard this concept
of the original Being as proved by you, for you have only assumed it
on behalf of a better employment of Reason. Hence all lamentation or
impotent anger on account of the alleged mischief of rendering doubtful
the coherency of your chain of reasoning, is vain pretentiousness,
which would fain have us believe that the doubt here freely expressed
as to your argument is a doubting of sacred truth, in order that under
this cover the shallowness of your argument may pass unnoticed.

Moral Teleology, on the other hand, which is not less firmly based
than physical,--which, indeed, rather deserves the preference because
it rests _a priori_ on principles inseparable from our Reason--leads
to that which is requisite for the possibility of a Theology, viz. to
a determinate _concept_ of the supreme Cause, as Cause of the world
according to moral laws, and, consequently, to the concept of such a
cause as satisfies our moral final purpose. For this are required, as
natural properties belonging to it, nothing less than Omniscience,
Omnipotence, Omnipresence, and the like, which must be thought as
bound up with the moral final purpose which is infinite and thus as
adequate to it. Hence moral Teleology alone can furnish the concept of
a _unique_ Author of the world, which is available for a Theology.

In this way Theology leads immediately to _Religion_, _i.e._ _the
recognition of our duties as divine commands_[159]; because it is only
the recognition of our duty and of the final purpose enjoined upon us
by Reason which brings out with definiteness the concept of God. This
concept, therefore, is inseparable in its origin from obligation to
that Being. On the other hand, even if the concept of the original
Being could be also found determinately by the merely theoretical path
(viz. the concept of it as mere Cause of nature), it would afterwards
be very difficult--perhaps impossible without arbitrary interpolation
[of elements]--to ascribe to this Being by well-grounded proofs a
causality in accordance with moral laws; and yet without this that
quasi-theological concept could furnish no foundation for religion.
Even if a religion could be established by this theoretical path, it
would actually, as regards sentiment (wherein its essence lies) be
different from that in which the concept of God and the (practical)
conviction of His Being originate from the fundamental Ideas of
morality. For if we must suppose the Omnipotence, Omniscience, etc., of
an Author of the world as concepts given to us from another quarter,
in order afterwards only to apply our concepts of duties to our
relation to Him, then these latter concepts must bear very markedly
the appearance of compulsion and forced submission. If, instead of
this, the respect for the moral law, quite freely, in virtue of the
precept of our own Reason, represents to us the final purpose of our
destination, we admit among our moral views a Cause harmonising with
this and with its accomplishment, with the sincerest reverence, which
is quite distinct from pathological fear; and we willingly submit
ourselves thereto.[160]

If it be asked why it is incumbent upon us to have any Theology at all,
it appears clear that it is not needed for the extension or correction
of our cognition of nature or in general for any theory, but simply
in a subjective point of view for Religion, _i.e._ the practical or
moral use of our Reason. If it is found that the only argument which
leads to a definite concept of the object of Theology is itself moral,
it is not only not strange, but we miss nothing in respect of its
final purpose as regards the sufficiency of belief from this ground
of proof, provided that it be admitted that such an argument only
establishes the Being of God sufficiently for our moral destination,
_i.e._ in a practical point of view, and that here speculation neither
shows its strength in any way, nor extends by means of it the sphere
of its domain. Our surprise and the alleged contradiction between the
possibility of a Theology asserted here and that which the Critique
of speculative Reason said of the Categories--viz. that they can only
produce knowledge when applied to objects of sense, but in no way when
applied to the supersensible--vanish, if we see that they are here
used for a cognition of God not in a theoretical point of view (in
accordance with what His own nature, inscrutable to us, may be) but
simply in a practical.--In order then at this opportunity to make an
end of the misinterpretation of that very necessary doctrine of the
Critique, which, to the chagrin of the blind dogmatist, refers Reason
to its bounds, I add here the following elucidation.

If I ascribe to a body _motive force_ and thus think it by means of
the category of _causality_, then I at the same time _cognise_ it
by that [category]; _i.e._ I determine the concept of it, as of an
Object in general, by means of what belongs to it by itself (as the
condition of the possibility of that relation) as an object of sense.
If the motive force ascribed to it is repulsive, then there belongs to
it (although I do not place near it any other body upon which it may
exert force) a place in space, and moreover extension, _i.e._ space
in itself, besides the filling up of this by means of the repulsive
forces of its parts. In addition there is the law of this filling up
(that the ground of the repulsion of the parts must decrease in the
same proportion as the extension of the body increases, and as the
space, which it fills with the same parts by means of this force, is
augmented).--On the contrary, if I think a supersensible Being as the
first _mover_, and thus by the category of causality as regards its
determination of the world (motion of matter), I must not think it as
existing in any place in space nor as extended; I must not even think
it as existing in time or simultaneously with other beings. Hence I
have no determinations whatever, which could make intelligible to me
the condition of the possibility of motion by means of this Being as
its ground. Consequently, I do not in the very least cognise it by
means of the predicate of Cause (as first mover), for itself; but I
have only the representation of a something containing the ground
of the motions in the world; and the relation of the latter to it
as their cause, since it does not besides furnish me with anything
belonging to the constitution of the thing which is cause, leaves its
concept quite empty. The reason of this is, that by predicates which
only find their Object in the world of sense I can indeed proceed
to the being of something which must contain their ground, but not
to the determination of its concept as a supersensible being, which
excludes all these predicates. By the category of causality, then,
if I determine it by the concept of a _first mover_, I do not in the
very least cognise what God is. Perhaps, however, I shall have better
success if I start from the order of the world, not merely to _think_
its causality as that of a supreme _Understanding_, but to _cognise_
it by means of this determination of the said concept; because here
the troublesome condition of space and of extension disappears.--At
all events the great purposiveness in the world compels us to _think_
a supreme cause of it, and to _think_ its causality as that of an
Understanding; but we are not therefore entitled to _ascribe_ this to
it. (_E.g._ we think of the eternity of God as presence in all time,
because we can form no other concept of mere being as a quantum, _i.e._
as duration; or we think of the divine Omnipresence as presence in
all places in order to make comprehensible to ourselves His immediate
presence in things which are external to one another; without daring
to ascribe to God any of these determinations, as something cognised
in Him.) If I determine the causality of a man, in respect of certain
products which are only explicable by designed purposiveness, by
thinking it as that of Understanding, I need not stop here, but I can
ascribe to him this predicate as a well-known property and cognise him
accordingly. For I know that intuitions are given to the senses of men
and are brought by the Understanding under a concept and thus under a
rule; that this concept only contains the common characteristic (with
omission of the particular ones) and is thus discursive; and that the
rules for bringing given representations under a consciousness in
general are given by Understanding before those intuitions, etc. I
therefore ascribe this property to man as a property by means of which
I _cognise_ him. However, if I wish to _think_ a supersensible Being
(God) as an intelligence, this is not only permissible in a certain
aspect of my employment of Reason--it is unavoidable; but to ascribe
to Him Understanding and to flatter ourselves that we can _cognise_
Him by means of it as a property of His, is in no way permissible.
For I must omit all those conditions under which alone I know an
Understanding, and thus the predicate which only serves for determining
man cannot be applied at all to a supersensible Object; and therefore
by a causality thus determined, I cannot cognise what God is. And so it
is with all Categories, which can have no significance for cognition in
a theoretical aspect, if they are not applied to objects of possible
experience.--However, according to the analogy of an Understanding I
can in a certain other aspect think a supersensible being, without at
the same time meaning thereby to cognise it theoretically; viz. if this
determination of its causality concerns an effect in the world, which
contains a design morally necessary but unattainable by a sensible
being. For then a cognition of God and of His Being (Theology) is
possible by means of properties and determinations of His causality
merely thought in Him according to analogy, which has all requisite
reality in a practical reference though _only in respect of this_
(as moral).--An Ethical Theology is therefore possible; for though
morality can subsist without theology as regards its rule, it cannot
do so as regards the final design which this proposes, unless Reason
in respect of it is to be renounced. But a Theological Ethic (of pure
Reason) is impossible; for laws which Reason itself does not give and
whose observance it does not bring about as a pure practical faculty,
can not be moral. In the same way a Theological Physic would be a
nonentity, for it would propose no laws of nature but ordinances of a
Highest Will; while on the other hand a physical (properly speaking a
physico-teleological) Theology can serve at least as a propaedeutic
to Theology proper, by giving occasion for the Idea of a final purpose
which nature cannot present by the observation of natural purposes of
which it offers abundant material. It thus makes felt the need of a
Theology which shall determine the concept of God adequately for the
highest practical use of Reason, but it cannot develop this and base it
satisfactorily on its proofs.


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[1] Dr. Caird (_Critical Philosophy of Kant_, vol. ii. p. 406) has
given an instructive account of the gradual development in Kant’s mind
of the main idea of the Critique of Judgement.

[2] _Natural Theology and Modern Thought_, p. 158.

[3] I reproduce here in part a paper read before the Victoria Institute
in April 1892.

[4] _Critique of Pure Reason._ Dialectic, Bk. ii. chap. i. near the end.

[5] Cf. Kuno Fischer, _A Critique of Kant_, p. 142.

[6] Quoted by Caird, _Critical Philosophy of Kant_, vol. ii. p. 507,
who reiterates this criticism all through his account of Kant’s

[7] _Natural Theology and Modern Thought_, p. 241.

[8] [Reading, with Windelband, _in sicheren alleinigen Besitz_.]

[9] If we have cause for supposing that concepts which we use as
empirical principles stand in relationship with the pure cognitive
faculty _a priori_, it is profitable, because of this reference,
to seek for them a transcendental definition; _i.e._ a definition
through pure categories, so far as these by themselves adequately
furnish the distinction of the concept in question from others. We
here follow the example of the mathematician who leaves undetermined
the empirical data of his problem, and only brings their relation in
their pure synthesis under the concepts of pure Arithmetic, and thus
generalises the solution. Objection has been brought against a similar
procedure of mine (cf. the Preface to the Critique of Practical Reason,
_Abbott’s Translation_, p. 94), and my definition of the faculty
of desire has been found fault with, viz. that it is [the being’s]
_faculty of becoming by means of its representations the cause of the
actuality of the objects of these representations_; for the desires
might be mere _cravings_, and by means of these alone every one is
convinced the Object cannot be produced.--But this proves nothing more
than that there are desires in man, by which he is in contradiction
with himself. For here he strives for the production of the Object
by means of the representation _alone_, from which he can expect no
result, because he is conscious that his mechanical powers (if I may
so call those which are not psychological) which must be determined
by that representation to bring about the Object (mediately) are
either not competent, or even tend towards what is impossible; e.g.
to reverse the past (_O mihi praeteritos_ ... etc.), or to annihilate
in the impatience of expectation the interval before the wished for
moment.--Although in such fantastic desires we are conscious of the
inadequacy (or even the unsuitability) of our representations for
being _causes_ of their objects, yet their reference as causes, and
consequently the representation of their _causality_, is contained in
every _wish_; and this is specially evident if the wish is an affection
or _longing_. For these [longings] by their dilatation and contraction
of the heart and consequent exhaustion of its powers, prove that these
powers are continually kept on the stretch by representations, but that
they perpetually let the mind, having regard to the impossibility [of
the desire], fall back in exhaustion. Even prayers for the aversion
of great and (as far as one can see) unavoidable evils, and many
superstitious means for attaining in a natural way impossible purposes,
point to the causal reference of representations to their Objects; a
reference which cannot at all be checked by the consciousness of the
inadequacy of the effort to produce the effect.--As to why there should
be in our nature this propensity to desires which are consciously vain,
that is an anthropologico-teleological problem. It seems that if we
were not determined to the application of our powers before we were
assured of the adequacy of our faculties to produce an Object, these
powers would remain in great part unused. For we commonly learn to
know our powers only by first making trial of them. This deception in
the case of vain wishes is then only the consequence of a benevolent
ordinance in our nature. [This note was added by Kant in the Second

[10] One of the various pretended contradictions in this whole
distinction of the causality of nature from that of freedom is
this. It is objected that if I speak of _obstacles_ which nature
opposes to causality according to (moral) laws of freedom or of the
_assistance_ it affords, I am admitting an _influence_ of the former
upon the latter. But if we try to understand what has been said, this
misinterpretation is very easy to avoid. The opposition or assistance
is not between nature and freedom, but between the former as phenomenon
and the _effects_ of the latter as phenomena in the world of sense.
The causality of freedom itself (of pure and practical Reason) is
the causality of a natural cause subordinated to freedom (_i.e._
of the subject considered as man and therefore as phenomenon). The
intelligible, which is thought under freedom, contains the ground of
the _determination_ of this [natural cause] in a way not explicable
any further (just as that intelligible does which constitutes the
supersensible substrate of nature).

[11] It has been thought a doubtful point that my divisions in pure
Philosophy should always be threefold. But that lies in the nature of
the thing. If there is to be an _a priori_ division it must be either
_analytical_, according to the law of contradiction, which is always
twofold (_quodlibet ens est aut A aut non A_); or it is _synthetical_.
And if in this latter case it is to be derived from _a priori concepts_
(not as in Mathematic from the intuition corresponding to the concept),
the division must necessarily be trichotomy. For according to what
is requisite for synthetical unity in general there must be (1) a
condition, (2) a conditioned, and (3) the concept which arises from the
union of the conditioned with its condition.

[12] The definition of taste which is laid down here is that it is the
faculty of judging of the beautiful. But the analysis of judgements of
taste must show what is required in order to call an object beautiful.
The moments, to which this Judgement has regard in its reflection, I
have sought in accordance with the guidance of the logical functions of
judgement (for in a judgement of taste a reference to the Understanding
is always involved). I have considered the moment of quality first,
because the aesthetical judgement upon the beautiful first pays
attention to it.

[13] A judgement upon an object of satisfaction may be quite
_disinterested_, but yet very _interesting_, _i.e._ not based upon an
interest, but bringing an interest with it; of this kind are all pure
moral judgements. Judgements of taste, however, do not in themselves
establish any interest. Only in society is it _interesting_ to have
taste: the reason of this will be shown in the sequel.

[14] [Second Edition.]

[15] An obligation to enjoyment is a manifest absurdity. Thus the
obligation to all actions which have merely enjoyment for their aim can
only be a pretended one; however spiritually it may be conceived (or
decked out), even if it is a mystical, or so-called heavenly, enjoyment.

[16] [Second Edition.]

[17] [Second Edition.]

[18] [Ueberweg points out (_Hist. of Phil._, ii. 528, Eng. Trans.)
that Mendelssohn had already called attention to the disinterestedness
of our satisfaction in the Beautiful. “It appears,” says Mendelssohn,
“to be a particular mark of the beautiful, that it is contemplated
with quiet satisfaction, that it pleases, even though it be not in our
possession, and even though we be never so far removed from the desire
to put it to our use.” But, of course, as Ueberweg remarks, Kant’s
conception of disinterestedness extends far beyond the absence of a
desire to possess the object.]

[19] [Reading _besondere_ with Windelband; Hartenstein reads

[20] [_I.e._ _The Critique of Pure Reason_, Analytic, bk. ii. c. i.]

[21] [Second Edition. Spencer expresses much more concisely what Kant
has in his mind here. “Pleasure ... is a feeling which we seek to
bring into consciousness and retain there; pain is ... a feeling which
we seek to get out of consciousness and to keep out.” _Principles of
Psychology_, § 125.]

[22] [The editions of Hartenstein and Kirchmann omit _ohne_ before
_zweck_, which makes havoc of the sentence. It is correctly printed by
Rosenkranz and Windelband.]

[23] [First Edition.]

[24] [Cf. _Metaphysic of Morals_, Introd. I. “The pleasure which
is necessarily bound up with the desire (of the object whose
representation affects feeling) may be called _practical_ pleasure,
whether it be cause or effect of the desire. On the contrary, the
pleasure which is not necessarily bound up with the desire of the
object, and which, therefore, is at bottom not a pleasure in the
existence of the Object of the representation, but clings to the
representation only, may be called mere contemplative pleasure or
_passive satisfaction_. The feeling of the latter kind of pleasure we
call _taste_.”]

[25] [Second Edition.]

[26] [First Edition has _gleiche_; Second Edition has _solche_.]

[27] [First and Second Editions have _sehr zweifle_; but this was
corrected to _nicht zweifle_ in the Third Edition of 1799.]

[28] [_Belebt machen_; First Edition had _beliebt_.]

[29] [Second Edition.]

[30] [Kant probably alludes here to Baumgarten (1714-1762), who was the
first writer to give the name of Aesthetics to the Philosophy of Taste.
He defined beauty as “perfection apprehended through the senses.” Kant
is said to have used as a text-book at lectures a work by Meier, a
pupil of Baumgarten’s, on this subject.]

[31] [Cf. Preface to the _Metaphysical Elements of Ethics_, v.: “The
word _perfection_ is liable to many misconceptions. It is sometimes
understood as a concept belonging to Transcendental Philosophy; viz.
the concept of the _totality_ of the manifold, which, taken together,
constitutes a Thing; sometimes, again, it is understood as belonging to
_Teleology_, so that it signifies the agreement of the characteristics
of a thing with a _purpose_. Perfection in the former sense might be
called _quantitative_ (material), in the latter _qualitative_ (formal)

[32] [The words _even if ... general_ were added in the Second Edition.]

[33] [Second Edition.]

[34] Models of taste as regards the arts of speech must be composed
in a dead and learned language. The first, in order that they may not
suffer that change which inevitably comes over living languages, in
which noble expressions become flat, common ones antiquated, and newly
created ones have only a short currency. The second, because learned
languages have a grammar which is subject to no wanton change of
fashion, but the rules of which are preserved unchanged.

[35] [This distinction between an _Idea_ and an _Ideal_, as also
the further contrast between Ideals of the Reason and Ideals of the
Imagination, had already been given by Kant in the _Critique of Pure
Reason_, Dialectic, bk. ii. c. iii. § 1.]

[36] [Polycletus of Argos flourished about 430 B.C. His statue of the
_Spearbearer_ (_Doryphorus_), afterwards became known as the _Canon_;
because in it the artist was supposed to have embodied a perfect
representation of the ideal of the human figure.]

[37] [This was a celebrated statue executed by Myron, a Greek sculptor,
contemporary with Polycletus. It is frequently mentioned in the Greek

[38] It will be found that a perfectly regular countenance, such
as a painter might wish to have for a model, ordinarily tells us
nothing; because it contains nothing characteristic, and therefore
rather expresses the Idea of the race than the specific [traits] of
a person. The exaggeration of a characteristic of this kind, _i.e._
such as does violence to the normal Idea (the purposiveness of the
race) is called _caricature_. Experience also shows that these quite
regular countenances commonly indicate internally only a mediocre man;
presumably (if it may be assumed that external nature expresses the
proportions of internal) because, if no mental disposition exceeds that
proportion which is requisite in order to constitute a man free from
faults, nothing can be expected of what is called _genius_, in which
nature seems to depart from the ordinary relations of the mental powers
on behalf of some special one.

[39] It might be objected to this explanation that there are things, in
which we see a purposive form without cognising any [definite] purpose
in them, like the stone implements often got from old sepulchral
tumuli with a hole in them as if for a handle. These, although they
plainly indicate by their shape a purposiveness of which we do not
know the purpose, are nevertheless not described as beautiful. But if
we regard a thing as a work of art, that is enough to make us admit
that its shape has reference to some design and definite purpose. And
hence there is no immediate satisfaction in the contemplation of it.
On the other hand a flower, _e.g._ a tulip, is regarded as beautiful;
because in perceiving it we find a certain purposiveness which, in our
judgement, is referred to no purpose at all.

[40] [Cp. p. 170, _infra_.]

[41] [See _The History of Sumatra_, by W. Marsden (London, 1783), p.

[42] [Cf. § 42, _infra_.]

[43] [Second Edition.]

[44] [Second Edition.]

[45] [_Lettres sur l’Égypte_, par M. Savary, Amsterdam, 1787.]

[46] [Second Edition.]

[47] [With this should be compared the similar discussion in the
_Critique of Pure Reason_, Dialectic, bk. ii. c. ii. § 1, _On the
System of Cosmological Ideas_.]

[48] [Second Edition.]

[49] [Cf. § 83, _infra_.]

[50] [In the _Philosophical Theory of Religion_, pt. i. _sub fin._
(Abbott’s Translation, p. 360), Kant, as here, divides “all religions
into two classes--_favour-seeking_ religion (mere worship) and _moral_
religion, that is, the religion _of a good life_;” and he concludes
that “amongst all the public religions that have ever existed the
Christian alone is moral.”]

[51] [_Voyages dans les Alpes_, par H. B. de Saussure; vol. i. was
published at Neuchatel in 1779; vol. ii. at Geneva in 1786.]

[52] [Second Edition.]

[53] [_Als Vermögen der Independenz der absoluten Totalität_, a curious

[54] [Second Edition.]

[55] _Affections_ are specifically different from _passions_. The
former are related merely to feeling; the latter belong to the faculty
of desire, and are inclinations which render difficult or impossible
all determination of the [elective] will by principles. The former are
stormy and unpremeditated; the latter are steady and deliberate; thus
indignation in the form of wrath is an affection, but in the form of
hatred (revenge) is a passion. The latter can never and in no reference
be called sublime; because while in an affection the freedom of the
mind is _hindered_, in a passion it is abolished. [Cf. Preface to the
_Metaphysical Elements of Ethics_, § xvi., where this distinction is
more fully drawn out. Affection is described as _hasty_; and passion is
defined as the sensible _appetite_ grown into a permanent inclination.]

[56] [In the Preface to the _Metaphysical Elements of Ethics_, § xvii.,
Kant gives the term _moral apathy_ to that freedom from the sway of the
affections, which is distinguished from indifference to them.]

[57] [Reading _weiche_ with Rosenkranz and Windelband; Hartenstein and
Kirchmann have _weise_, which yields no sense.]

[58] [Cf. p. 129, _supra_.]

[59] [Kirchmann has _positiv_; but this is probably a mere misprint.]

[60] [L.c. vol. ii. p. 181.]

[61] [See Burke, _On the Sublime and Beautiful_, Part IV., Sect.
vii. “If the pain and terror are so modified as not to be actually
noxious; if the pain is not carried to violence, and the terror is
not conversant about the present destruction of the person, as these
emotions clear the parts, whether fine or gross, of a dangerous and
troublesome incumbrance, they are capable of producing delight; not
pleasure, but a sort of delightful horror, a sort of tranquillity
tinged with terror; which, as it belongs to self-preservation, is one
of the strongest of all the passions.” Kant quotes from the German
version published at Riga in 1773. This was a free translation made
from Burke’s fifth edition.]

[62] [See Burke, l.c., Part IV., Sect. xix. “Beauty acts by relaxing
the solids of the whole system. There are all the appearances of such
a relaxation; and a relaxation somewhat below the natural tone seems
to me to be the cause of all positive pleasure. Who is a stranger to
that manner of expression so common in all times and in all countries,
of being softened, relaxed, enervated, dissolved, melted away by

[63] [Reading _Gebot_; Kirchmann has _Gesetz_.]

[64] [Second Edition.]

[65] [Second Edition.]

[66] [Cf. _Critique of Pure Reason_, Methodology, c. 1, § 1. “The
construction of a concept is the _a priori_ presentation of the
corresponding intuition.”]

[67] [Charles Batteux (1713-1780), author of _Les Beaux Arts reduits à
un même principe_.]

[68] [Essay XVIII, _The Sceptic_. “Critics can reason and dispute
more plausibly than cooks or perfumers. We may observe, however, that
this uniformity among human kind, hinders not, but that there is a
considerable diversity in the sentiments of beauty and worth, and that
education, custom, prejudice, caprice, and humour, frequently vary
our taste of this kind.... Beauty and worth are merely of a relative
nature, and consist in an agreeable sentiment, produced by an object in
a particular mind, according to the peculiar structure and constitution
of that mind.”]

[69] [For the distinction, an important one in Kant, between judgements
of experience and judgements of perception, see his _Prolegomena_, §
18. Cf. _Kant’s Critical Philosophy for English Readers_, vol. i. p.

[70] [First Edition has “limited.”]

[71] In order to be justified in claiming universal assent for an
aesthetical judgement that rests merely on subjective grounds, it
is sufficient to assume, (1) that the subjective conditions of the
Judgement, as regards the relation of the cognitive powers thus put
into activity to a cognition in general, are the same in all men. This
must be true, because otherwise men would not be able to communicate
their representations or even their knowledge. (2) The judgement must
merely have reference to this relation (consequently to the _formal
condition_ of the Judgement) and be pure, _i.e._ not mingled either
with concepts of the Object or with sensations, as determining grounds.
If there has been any mistake as regards this latter condition, then
there is only an inaccurate application of the privilege, which a law
gives us, to a particular case; but that does not destroy the privilege
itself in general.

[72] [Kant lays down these three maxims in his _Introduction to Logic_,
§ vii., as “general rules and conditions of the avoidance of error.”]

[73] We soon see that although enlightenment is easy _in thesi_, yet
_in hypothesi_ it is difficult and slow of accomplishment. For not to
be passive as regards Reason, but to be always self-legislative, is
indeed quite easy for the man who wishes only to be in accordance with
his essential purpose, and does not desire to know what is beyond his
Understanding. But since we can hardly avoid seeking this, and there
are never wanting others who promise with much confidence that they
are able to satisfy our curiosity, it must be very hard to maintain in
or restore to the mind (especially the mind of the public) that bare
negative which properly constitutes enlightenment.

[74] We may designate Taste as _sensus communis aestheticus_, common
Understanding as _sensus communis logicus_.

[75] [Peter Camper (1722-1789), a celebrated naturalist and comparative
anatomist; for some years professor at Groningen.]

[76] In my country a common man, if you propose to him such a problem
as that of Columbus with his egg, says, _that is not art, it is only
science_. _I.e._ if we _know_ how, we can _do_ it; and he says the same
of all the pretended arts of jugglers. On the other hand, he will not
refuse to apply the term art to the performance of a rope-dancer.

[77] [Kant was accustomed to say that the talk at a dinner table
should always pass through these three stages--narrative, discussion,
and jest; and punctilious in this, as in all else, he is said to have
directed the conversation at his own table accordingly (Wallace’s
_Kant_, p. 39).]

[78] [Second Edition.]

[79] [Cf. Aristotle’s _Poetics_, c. iv. p. 1448 b: ἃ γὰρ αὐτὰ λυπηρῶς
ὁρῶμεν, τούτων τὰς εἰκόνας τὰς μάλιστα ἠκριβωμένας χαίρομεν θεωροῦντες
οἷον θηρίων τε μορφὰς τῶν ἀτιμοτάτων καὶ νεκρῶν. Cf. also _Rhetoric_,
I. 11, p. 1371 b; and Burke on the _Sublime and Beautiful_, Part I. §
16. Boileau (_L’art poétique_, chant 3), makes a similar observation:

    “Il n’est point de serpent ni de monstre odieux
    Qui, par l’art imité, ne puisse plaire aux yeux.
    D’un pinceau délicat l’artifice agréable
    Du plus affreux objet fait un objet aimable.”

[80] [Second Edition.]

[81] [Cf. p. 199, _infra_.]

[82] [In English we would rather say “without _soul_”; but I prefer to
translate _Geist_ consistently by _spirit_, to avoid the confusion of
it with _Seele_.]

[83] [These lines occur in one of Frederick the Great’s French poems:
Épître au maréchal Keith XVIII., “sur les vaines terreurs de la mort et
les frayeurs d’une autre vie.” Kant here translates them into German.]

[84] [Withof, whose “Moral Poems” appeared in 1755. This reference was
supplied by H. Krebs in _Notes and Queries_ 5th January 1895.]

[85] Perhaps nothing more sublime was ever said and no sublimer thought
ever expressed than the famous inscription on the Temple of _Isis_
(Mother _Nature_): “I am all that is and that was and that shall be,
and no mortal hath lifted my veil.” _Segner_ availed himself of this
Idea in a _suggestive_ vignette prefixed to his Natural Philosophy, in
order to inspire beforehand the pupil whom he was about to lead into
that temple with a holy awe, which should dispose his mind to serious
attention. [J. A. de Segner (1704-1777) was Professor of Natural
Philosophy at Göttingen, and the author of several scientific works of

[86] [Second Edition.]

[87] The three former faculties are _united_ in the first instance by
means of the fourth. Hume gives us to understand in his _History of
England_ that although the English are inferior in their productions
to no people in the world as regards the evidences they display of the
three former properties, _separately_ considered, yet they must be put
after their neighbours the French as regards that which unites these
properties. [In his _Observations on the Beautiful and Sublime_, § iv.
_sub init._, Kant remarks that the English have the keener sense of the
_sublime_, the French of the _beautiful_.]

[88] The reader is not to judge this scheme for a possible division of
the beautiful arts as a deliberate theory. It is only one of various
attempts which we may and ought to devise.

[89] [Second Edition.]

[90] [_I.e._ the case of Plastic art, with its subdivisions of
Architecture and Sculpture, as is explained in the next paragraph.]

[91] That landscape gardening may be regarded as a species of the
art of painting, although it presents its forms corporeally, seems
strange. But since it actually takes its forms from nature (trees,
shrubs, grasses, and flowers from forest and field--at least in the
first instance), and so far is not an art like Plastic; and since it
also has no concept of the object and its purpose (as in Architecture)
conditioning its arrangements, but involves merely the free play of the
Imagination in contemplation, it so far agrees with mere aesthetical
painting which has no definite theme (which arranges sky, land, and
water, so as to entertain us by means of light and shade only).--In
general the reader is only to judge of this as an attempt to combine
the beautiful arts under one principle, viz. that of the expression
of aesthetical Ideas (according to the analogy of speech), and not to
regard it as a definitive analysis of them.

[92] I must admit that a beautiful poem has always given me a pure
gratification; whilst the reading of the best discourse, whether of a
Roman orator or of a modern parliamentary speaker or of a preacher, has
always been mingled with an unpleasant feeling of disapprobation of
a treacherous art, which means to move men in important matters like
machines to a judgement that must lose all weight for them on quiet
reflection. Readiness and accuracy in speaking (which taken together
constitute Rhetoric) belong to beautiful art; but the art of the orator
(_ars oratoria_), the art of availing oneself of the weaknesses of men
for one’s own designs (whether these be well meant or even actually
good does not matter) is worthy of no _respect_. Again, this art only
reached its highest point, both at Athens and at Rome, at a time when
the state was hastening to its ruin and true patriotic sentiment had
disappeared. The man who along with a clear insight into things has in
his power a wealth of pure speech, and who with a fruitful Imagination
capable of presenting his Ideas unites a lively sympathy with what is
truly good, is the _vir bonus discendi peritus_, the orator without
art but of great impressiveness, as _Cicero_ has it; though he may not
always remain true to this ideal.

[93] [From this to the end of the paragraph, and the next note, were
added in the Second Edition.]

[94] Those who recommend the singing of spiritual songs at family
prayers do not consider that they inflict a great hardship upon
the public by such _noisy_ (and therefore in general pharisaical)
devotions; for they force the neighbours either to sing with them
or to abandon their meditations. [Kant suffered himself from such
annoyances, which may account for the asperity of this note. At one
period he was disturbed by the devotional exercises of the prisoners in
the adjoining jail. In a letter to the burgomaster “he suggested the
advantage of closing the windows during these hymn-singings, and added
that the warders of the prison might probably be directed to accept
less sonorous and neighbour-annoying chants as evidence of the penitent
spirit of their captives” (Wallace’s _Kant_, p. 42).]

[95] [Cf. “Parturiunt montes, nascitur _ridiculus_ mus.”]

[96] [The First Edition adds “as in the case of a man who gets the news
of a great commercial success.”]

[97] [The jest may have been taken from Steele’s play, “The Funeral or
Grief _à la mode_,” where it occurs verbatim. This play was published
in 1702.]

[98] [_Henriade_, _Chant 7_, sub init.

    “Du Dieu qui nous créa la clémence infinie,
    Pour adoucir les maux de cette courte vie,
    A placé parmi nous deux êtres bienfaisants,
    De la terre à jamais aimables habitants,
    Soutiens dans les travaux, trésors dans l’indigence:
    L’un est le doux sommeil, et l’autre est l’espérance.”

[99] We may describe as a rationalising judgement (_judicium
ratiocinans_) one which proclaims itself as universal, for as such it
can serve as the major premise of a syllogism. On the other hand, we
can only speak of a judgement as rational (_judicium ratiocinatum_)
which is thought as the conclusion of a syllogism, and consequently as
grounded _a priori_.

[100] [Cf. p. 241, _infra_.]

[101] [Second Edition.]

[102] [Antiparos is a small island in the Cyclades, remarkable for a
splendid stalactite cavern near the southern coast.]

[103] The intuitive in cognition must be opposed to the discursive
(not to the symbolical). The former is either _schematical_, by
_demonstration_; or _symbolical_ as a representation in accordance with
a mere _analogy_.

[104] [I read _Geselligkeit_ with Rosenkranz and Windelband;
Hartenstein and Kirchmann have _Glückseligkeit_.]

[105] As in pure mathematics we can never talk of the existence, but
only of the possibility of things, viz. of an intuition corresponding
to a concept, and so never of cause and effect, it follows that all
purposiveness observed there must be considered merely as formal and
never as a natural purpose.

[106] [The allusion is to _Vitruvius de Architectura_, Bk. vi.
Praef. “Aristippus philosophus Socraticus, naufragio cum eiectus ad
Rhodiensium litus animadvertisset geometrica schemata descripta,
exclamavisse ad comites ita dicitur, Bene speremus, hominum enim
vestigia video.”]

[107] [Second Edition.]

[108] We can conversely throw light upon a certain combination, much
more often met with in Idea than in actuality, by means of an analogy
to the so-called immediate natural purposes. In a recent complete
transformation of a great people into a state the word _organisation_
for the regulation of magistracies, etc., and even of the whole
body politic, has often been fitly used. For in such a whole every
member should surely be purpose as well as means, and, whilst all
work together towards the possibility of the whole, each should be
determined as regards place and function by means of the Idea of the
whole. [Kant probably alludes here to the organisation of the United
States of America.]

[109] [These words are inserted by Rosenkranz and Windelband, but
omitted by Hartenstein and Kirchmann.]

[110] In the aesthetical part [§ 58, p. 247] it was said: _We
view beautiful nature with favour_, whilst we have a quite free
(disinterested) satisfaction in its form. For in this mere judgement of
taste no consideration is given to the purpose for which these natural
beauties exist; whether to excite pleasure in us, or as purposes
without any reference to us at all. But in a teleological judgement we
pay attention to this reference, and here we can _regard it as a favour
of nature_ that it has been willing to minister to our culture by the
exhibition of so many beautiful figures.

[111] The German word _vermessen_ is a good word and full of meaning.
A judgement in which we forget to consider the extent of our powers
(our Understanding) may sometimes sound very humble, and yet make great
pretensions, and so be very presumptuous. Of this kind are most of
those by which we pretend to extol the divine wisdom by ascribing to
it designs in the works of creation and preservation which are really
meant to do honour to the private wisdom of the reasoner.

[112] We thus see that in most speculative things of pure Reason, as
regards dogmatic assertions, the philosophical schools have commonly
tried all possible solutions of a given question. To explain the
purposiveness of nature men have tried either _lifeless matter_ or
a _lifeless God_, or again, _living matter_ or a _living God_. It
only remains for us, if the need should arise, to abandon all these
objective _assertions_ and to examine critically our judgement merely
in reference to our cognitive faculties, in order to supply to their
principle a validity which, if not dogmatic, shall at least be that of
a maxim sufficient for the sure employment of Reason.

[113] [That is, the wider concept serves as a universal, under which
the particular may be brought; cognition from principles, in Kant’s
phrase, is the process of knowing the particular in the universal by
means of concepts.]

[114] [This distinction will be familiar to the student of the
_Critique of Pure Reason_. See Dialectic, bk. i., _Of the Concepts of
Pure Reason_.]

[115] [Second Edition.]

[116] [This principle, that for our intellect, the conception of an
organised body is impossible except by the aid of the Idea of design,
is frequently insisted on by Kant. Professor Wallace points out
(_Kant_, p. 110) that as far back as 1755, in his _General Physiogony
and Theory of the Heavens_, Kant classed the origin of animals and
plants with the secrets of Providence and the mystical number 666 “as
one of the topics on which ingenuity and thought are occasionally

[117] [Second Edition.]

[118] [Second Edition.]

[119] [This is marked as an _Appendix_ in the Second Edition.]

[120] We may call a hypothesis of this kind a daring venture of reason,
and there may be few even of the most acute naturalists through whose
head it has not sometimes passed. For it is not absurd, like that
_generatio aequivoca_ by which is understood the production of an
organised being through the mechanics of crude unorganised matter.
It would always remain _generatio univoca_ in the most universal
sense of the word, for it only considers one organic being as derived
from another organic being, although from one which is specifically
different; _e.g._ certain water-animals transform themselves gradually
into marsh-animals and from these, after some generations, into
land-animals. _A priori_, in the judgement of Reason alone, there is no
contradiction here. Only experience gives no example of it; according
to experience all generation that we know is _generatio homonyma_.
This is not merely _univoca_ in contrast to the generation out of
unorganised material, but in the organisation the product is of like
kind to that which produced it; and _generation heteronyma_, so far as
our empirical knowledge of nature extends, is nowhere found.

[121] [It is probable that Kant alludes here to Hume’s Essay _On a
Providence and a Future State_, § xi of the _Inquiry_. Hume argues that
though the inference from an effect to an intelligent cause may be
valid in the case of human contrivance, it is not legitimate to rise by
a like argument to Supreme Intelligence. “In human nature there is a
certain experienced coherence of designs and inclinations; so that when
from any fact we have discovered one intention of any man, it may often
be reasonable from experience to infer another, and draw a long chain
of conclusions concerning his past or future conduct. But this method
of reasoning can never have place with regard to a being so remote and
incomprehensible, who bears much less analogy to any other being in the
universe than the sun to a waxen taper, and who discovers himself only
by some faint traces or outlines, beyond which we have no authority to
ascribe to him any attribute or perfection.”]

[122] [J. F. Blumenbach (1752-1840), a German naturalist and professor
at Göttingen; the author of _Institutiones Physiologicae_ (1787) and
other works. An interesting account of him is given in Lever’s novel
_Adventures of Arthur O’Leary_, ch. xix.]

[123] [Carl von Linné (1707-1778), Knight of the Polar Star, the
celebrated Swedish botanist.]

[124] If the once adopted name _Natural history_ is to continue for the
description of nature, we may in contrast with art, give the title of
_Archaeology of nature_ to that which the former literally indicates,
viz. a representation of the _old_ condition of the earth, about
which, although we cannot hope for certainty, we have good ground for
conjecture. As sculptured stones, etc., belong to the province of art,
so petrefactions belong to the archaeology of nature. And since work
is actually being done in this [science] (under the name of the Theory
of the Earth), constantly, although of course slowly, this name is not
given to a merely imaginary investigation of nature, but to one to
which nature itself leads and invites us.

[125] [See p. 184 above.]

[126] [First Edition has _freedom_.]

[127] [These views are set forth by Kant more fully in the essay _Zum
ewigen Frieden_ (1795).]

[128] [Second Edition.]

[129] [Cf. _The Philosophical Theory of Religion_, Part i., _On the bad
principle in Human Nature_, III., where Kant remarks that although war
“is not so incurably bad as the deadness of a universal monarchy ...
yet, as an ancient observed, it makes more bad men than it takes away.”]

[130] The value of life for us, if it is estimated by that _which we
enjoy_ (by the natural purpose of the sum of all inclinations, _i.e._
happiness), is easy to decide. It sinks below zero; for who would be
willing to enter upon life anew under the same conditions? who would do
so even according to a new, self-chosen plan (yet in conformity with
the course of nature), if it were merely directed to enjoyment? We
have shown above what value life has in virtue of what it contains in
itself, when lived in accordance with the purpose that nature has along
with us, and which consists in what we do (not merely what we enjoy),
in which, however, we are always but means towards an undetermined
final purpose. There remains then nothing but the value which we
ourselves give our life, through what we can not only do, but do
purposively in such independence of nature that the existence of nature
itself can only be a purpose under this condition.

[131] It would be possible that the happiness of rational beings in
the world should be a purpose of nature, and then also this would be
its _ultimate_ purpose. At least we cannot see _a priori_ why nature
should not be so ordered, because by means of its mechanism this
effect would be certainly possible, at least so far as we see. But
morality, with a causality according to purposes subordinated thereto,
is absolutely impossible by means of natural causes; for the principle
by which it determines to action is supersensible, and is therefore
the only possible principle in the order of purposes that in respect
of nature is absolutely unconditioned. Its subject consequently alone
is qualified to be the _final purpose_ of creation to which the whole
of nature is subordinated.--_Happiness_, on the contrary, as has been
shown in the preceding paragraphs by the testimony of experience, is
not even a _purpose of nature_ in respect of man in preference to
other creatures; much less a _final purpose of creation_. Men may of
course make it their ultimate subjective purpose. But if I ask, in
reference to the final purpose of creation, why must men exist? then
we are speaking of an objective supreme purpose, such as the highest
Reason would require for creation. If we answer: These beings exist
to afford objects for the benevolence of that Supreme Cause; then we
contradict the condition to which the Reason of man subjects even his
inmost wish for happiness (viz. the harmony with his own internal moral
legislation). This proves that happiness can only be a conditioned
purpose, and that it is only as a moral being that man can be the final
purpose of creation; but that as concerns his state happiness is only
connected with it as a consequence, according to the measure of his
harmony with that purpose regarded as the purpose of his being.

[132] [Second Edition.]

[133] I say deliberately under moral laws. It is not man _in accordance
with_ moral laws, _i.e._ a being who behaves himself in conformity
with them, who is the final purpose of creation. For by using the
latter expression we should be asserting more than we know; viz. that
it is in the power of an Author of the world to cause man always to
behave himself in accordance with moral laws. But this presupposes a
concept of freedom and of nature (of which latter we can only think an
external author), which would imply an insight into the supersensible
substrate of nature and its identity with that which causality through
freedom makes possible in the world. And this far surpasses the
insight of our Reason. Only of _man under moral laws_ can we say,
without transgressing the limits of our insight: his being constitutes
the final purpose of the world. This harmonises completely with the
judgement of human Reason reflecting morally upon the course of the
world. We believe that we perceive in the case of the wicked the traces
of a wise purposive reference, if we only see that the wanton criminal
does not die before he has undergone the deserved punishment of his
misdeeds. According to our concepts of free causality, our good or bad
behaviour depends on ourselves; we regard it the highest wisdom in the
government of the world to ordain for the first, opportunity, and for
both, their consequence, in accordance with moral laws. In the latter
properly consists the glory of God, which is hence not unsuitably
described by theologians as the ultimate purpose of creation.-- It
is further to be remarked that when we use the word creation, we
understand nothing more than we have said here, viz. the cause of the
_being_ of the world or of the things in it (substances). This is
what the concept properly belonging to this word involves (_actuatio
substantiae est creatio_); and consequently there is not implied in it
the supposition of a freely working, and therefore intelligent, cause
(whose being we first of all want to prove).

[134] [Note added in Second Edition.] This moral argument does not
supply any _objectively-valid_ proof of the Being of God; it does
not prove to the sceptic that there is a God, but proves that if he
wishes to think in a way consonant with morality, he must admit the
_assumption_ of this proposition under the maxims of his practical
Reason.-- We should therefore not say: it is necessary _for morals_
[Sittlichkeit], to assume the happiness of all rational beings of the
world in proportion to their morality [Moralität]; but rather, this
is necessitated _by_ morality. Accordingly, this is a _subjective_
argument sufficient for moral beings.

[135] [Second Edition.]

[136] [Second Edition.]

[137] In a practical sense that religion is always idolatry which
conceives the Supreme Being with properties, according to which
something else besides morality can be a fit condition for that which
man can do being in accordance with His Will. For however pure and
free from sensible images the concept that we have formed may be in a
theoretical point of view, yet it will be in a practical point of view
still represented as an _idol_, _i.e._ in regard to the character of
His Will, anthropomorphically.

[138] [Cf. _Introd. to Logic_, ix. p. 63, “Conviction is opposed to
Persuasion, which is a belief from inadequate reasons, of which we do
not know whether they are only subjective or are also objective.”]

[139] [Second Edition.]

[140] [_I.e._ _Urtheils_. First Edition had _Urtheilens_, the judging

[141] _Analogy_ (in a qualitative signification) is the identity of
the relation between reasons and consequences (causes and effects), so
far as it is to be found, notwithstanding the specific difference of
the things or those properties in them which contain the reason for
like consequences (_i.e._ considered apart from this relation). Thus we
conceive of the artificial constructions of beasts by comparing them
with those of men; by comparing the ground of those effects brought
about by the former, which we do not know, with the ground of similar
effects brought about by men (reason), which we do know; _i.e._ we
regard the ground of the former as an analogon of reason. We then try
at the same time to show that the ground of the artisan faculty of
beasts, which we call instinct, specifically different as it is in fact
from reason, has yet a similar relation to its effect (the buildings of
the beaver as compared with those of men).--But then I cannot therefore
conclude that because man uses _reason_ for his building, the beaver
must have the like, and call this a _conclusion_ according to analogy.
But from the similarity of the mode of operation of beasts (of which
we cannot immediately perceive the ground) to that of men (of which we
are immediately conscious), we can quite rightly conclude _according
to analogy_, that beasts too act in accordance with _representations_
(not as _Descartes_ has it, that they are machines), and that despite
their specific distinction they are yet (as living beings) of the same
genus as man. The principle of our right so to conclude consists in
the sameness of the ground for reckoning beasts in respect of the said
determination in the same genus with men, regarded as men, so far as we
can externally compare them with one another in accordance with their
actions. There is _par ratio_. Just so I can conceive, according to the
analogy of an Understanding, the causality of the supreme World-Cause,
by comparing its purposive products in the world with the artificial
works of men; but I cannot conclude according to analogy to those
properties in it [which are in man], because here the principle of the
possibility of such a method of reasoning entirely fails, viz. the
_paritas rationis_ for counting the Supreme Being in one and the same
genus with man (in respect of the causality of both). The causality
of the beings of the world, which is always sensibly conditioned (as
is causality through Understanding) cannot be transferred to a Being
which has in common with them no generic concept save that of Thing in

[142] We thus miss nothing in the representation of the relations of
this Being to the world, as far as the consequences, theoretical or
practical, of this concept are concerned. To wish to investigate what
it is in itself, is a curiosity as purposeless as it is vain.

[143] [Cf. _Introd. to Logic_, p. 76, where the conditions of a
legitimate hypothesis are laid down. See also _Critique of Pure
Reason_, Methodology, c. i. § 3.]

[144] [This illustration is also given in the _Logic_ (p. 57);
where the three _modi_ of belief, Opinion, Faith, and Knowledge,
are distinguished from each other. Cf. _Critique of Pure Reason_,
Methodology, c. ii. § 3.]

[145] [The speculations of Swedenborg seem to have always had a strange
fascination for Kant. He says of two reported cases of Swedenborg’s
clairvoyance that he knows not how to disprove them (Rosenkranz vii.
5); but in his _Anthropology_ §§ 35, 37, he attacks Swedenborgianism
as folly. So in an early essay, _Dreams of a Visionary explained
by Dreams of Metaphysics_, he avows his scepticism as to the value
of the information which “psychical research” can supply about the
spirit-world, though he is careful not to commit himself to any
dogmatic statement on the subject of ghosts. In the _Critique of Pure
Reason_ (when discussing the Postulates of Empirical Thought) he
gives, as an instance of a concept inconsistent with the canons of
possibility, “a power of being in a community of thought with other
men, however distant from us.”]

[146] [Cf. _supra_, p. 229.]

[147] I here extend, correctly as it seems to me, the concept of a
thing of fact beyond the usual signification of this word. For it is
not needful, not even feasible, to limit this expression merely to
actual experience, if we are talking of the relation of things to
our cognitive faculties; for an experience merely possible is quite
sufficient in order that we may speak of them merely as objects of a
definite kind of cognition.

[148] [Cf. _introduction to Logic_, p. 59 note.]

[149] [Second Edition.]

[150] Things of faith are not therefore _articles of faith_; if we
understand by the latter things of faith to the _confession_ of which
(internal or external) we can be bound. Natural theology contains
nothing like this. For since they, as things of faith (like things of
fact) cannot be based on theoretical proofs, [they are accepted by]
a belief which is free and which only as such is compatible with the
morality of the subject.

[151] The final purpose which the moral law enjoins upon us to further,
is not the ground of duty; since this lies in the moral law, which,
as formal practical principle, leads categorically, independently
of the Objects of the faculty of desire (the material of the will)
and consequently of any purpose whatever. This formal characteristic
of my actions (their subordination under the principle of universal
validity), wherein alone consists their inner moral worth, is quite
in our power; and I can quite well abstract from the possibility or
the unattainableness of purposes which I am obliged to promote in
conformity with that law (because in them consists only the external
worth of my actions) as something which is never completely in my
power, in order only to look to that which is of my doing. But then
the design of promoting the final purpose of all rational beings
(happiness so far as it is possible for it to be accordant with duty)
is even yet prescribed by the law of duty. The speculative Reason,
however, does not see at all the attainableness of this (neither on
the side of our own physical faculty nor on that of the co-operation
of nature). It must rather, so far as we can judge in a rational way,
hold the derivation, by the aid of such causes, of such a consequence
of our good conduct from mere nature (internal and external) without
God and immortality, to be an ungrounded and vain, though well-meant,
expectation; and if it could have complete certainty of this judgement,
it would regard the moral law itself as the mere deception of our
Reason in a practical aspect. But since the speculative Reason fully
convinces itself that the latter can never take place, but that on the
other hand those Ideas whose object lies outside nature can be thought
without contradiction, it must for its own practical law and the
problem prescribed thereby, and therefore in a moral aspect, recognise
those Ideas as real in order not to come into contradiction with itself.

[152] It is a trust in the promise of the moral law; [not however such
as is contained in it, but such as I put into it and that on morally
adequate grounds.[153] For a final purpose cannot be commanded by any
law of Reason without this latter at the same time promising, however
uncertainly, its attainableness; and thus justifying our belief in
the special conditions under which alone our Reason can think it as
attainable. The word _fides_ expresses this; and it can only appear
doubtful, how this expression and this particular Idea came into moral
philosophy, since it first was introduced with Christianity, and the
adoption of it perhaps might seem to be only a flattering imitation
of Christian terminology. But this is not the only case in which this
wonderful religion with its great simplicity of statement has enriched
philosophy with far more definite and purer concepts of morality, than
it had been able to furnish before; but which, once they are there, are
_freely_ assented to by Reason and are assumed as concepts to which
it could well have come of itself and which it could and should have

[153] [Second Edition.]

[154] [Cf. _Introd. to Logic_, ix. p. 60, “That man is morally
_unbelieving_ who does not accept that which though _impossible_ to
know is _morally necessary_ to suppose.”]

[155] [First Edition.]

[156] [In the _Critique of Pure Reason_, Dialectic, bk. II. c. iii. §§
4, 5.]

[157] [H. S. Reimarus (1694-1768), the author of the famous
_Wolfenbüttel Fragments_, published after the death of Reimarus by
Lessing. The book alluded to by Kant is probably the _Abhandlungen von
den vornehmsten Wahrheiten der natürlichen Religion_ (1754), which had
great popularity in its day.]

[158] [These arguments are advanced by Hume, _Inquiry_, § vii. Cf. also
_Pure Reason_, Dialectic, bk. II. c. iii. § 6, and _Practical Reason_,
Dialectic, c. ii. § vii.]

[159] [Cf. _Practical Reason_, Dialectic, c. ii. § v.]

[160] The admiration for beauty, and also the emotion aroused by the
manifold purposes of nature, which a reflective mind is able to feel
even prior to a clear representation of a rational Author of the world,
have something in themselves like _religious_ feeling. They seem in the
first place by a method of judging analogous to moral to produce an
effect upon the moral feeling (gratitude to, and veneration for, the
unknown cause); and thus by exciting moral Ideas to produce an effect
upon the mind, when they inspire that admiration which is bound up with
far more interest than mere theoretical observation can bring about.

Transcriber’s Notes

Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were made consistent when a
predominant preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not

Simple typographical errors were corrected.

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.

Text has three occcurrences of “casuality”, which have been retained,
but which may be misprints for “causality”.

These are transliterations of the Greek text for use on devices that
cannot display such text:

  Page xvii: kosmos.

  Page xxii: kalo.

  Page xxiv: sôphrosynê.

  Page xxxiii: nous.

  Page 397: kat’ alêtheian (or) kat’ anthrôpon.

  Footnote 79 (originally on page 195): ha gar auta lypêrôs horômen,
    toutôn tas eikonas tas malista êkribômenas chairomen theôrountes
    hoion thêriôn te morphas tôn atimotatôn kai nekrôn.

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