April 13 & 20: Critique of Judgment

For Kant, to understand something is to be awed by its beauty.

As a response to Hume’s skepticism, Kant’s work provides theoretical foundations for modern science. While the better known Critique of Pure Reason does show the conditions for the possibility of knowledge, only Kant’s Third Critique, The Critique of Judgment, accounts both for experience and for actual scientific knowledge of the world. The third Critique shows the vital connection between Pure Reason, Practical Reason and our lives through the elaboration of a third transcendental faculty which is not knowledge but feeling—the pleasure we take in the experience of beauty.

Join us Fridays, April 13 and 20, at 5pm in Hagerty 159 for discussion of Kant’s Third Critique. No preparation is expected, but participants may choose to consult some of the following in advance:

Introductory handout: Critique of Judgment

Preface & Introduction

Analytic of the Beautiful

Analytic of the Sublime

Critique of Judgement poster

February 23: Critique of Practical Reason

Morality against happiness?

Science tells us that craving pleasure lawfully destroys happiness.[1] The Buddha and Greek philosophers like Plato see the pursuit of happiness as the basis for moral law.

Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason is about the relationship of moral law and happiness.

For Kant, law and happiness and are not merely distinct but opposed to one another. The Second Critique focuses on the power of will to effect change in the world; to think the limited content of our activity as unconditionally necessary is to understand practical reason.

Join us for discussion of Kant’s Second Critique on Friday, February 23 at 4pm in Hagerty Hall 159. The text of the preface, introducion, and analytic (first part) can be found here.  of the dialectic (second part) here.

[1] The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains, by Robert H. Lustig (2017)

Working Group meetings resume in January 2018

Tomorrow’s meeting of the Working Group is cancelled. We shall resume meeting in January at 4pm on Fridays by finishing up the Critique of Practical Reason and discussing the Critique of Judgment before moving on to Hegel’s Logic.

Happy holidays and a happy 2018 to everybody.