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moral unity as a necessary law of the universe, and to give this law effect, a supreme will. This unity of ends, however, (by which all things “work together for good,”) in the world which is both a moral world and a world of nature, leads inevitably also to the admission of a unity of design in all things which constitute this great universe, according to general natural laws, thus uniting the practical and speculative reason. In this way the study of nature tends to assume the form of a system of ends and becomes in its widest extension physico-theology."
This is the broadest application thus far made of the teleological principle, and Kant goes on to say in the next sentence in language which reminds us of that form of unity in the Sole Proof which is not accidental but necessary in the nature of things: “ And this, as it starts from the moral order as a unity founded on the essence of freedom and not accidentally brought about by external commands, traces the design of nature to grounds which must be inseparably connected a priori with the internal possibility of things, and leads thus to a transcendental theology.” Kant's expressions in some cases occasion the criticism that God is for him only an external agent to adjust rewards to deserts. The passage just quoted shows that this was not his real view, and there is contained here the promise of what is later worked out in greater detail in the two later Critiques.
1A. 815 f; B. 843 f. 2 A. 816; B. 844.
DEVELOPMENT OF TELEOLOGY AFTER 1781.
1. Just as Kant was bringing his first Critique to a close he received the translation of Hume's Dialogues on Natural Religion, and these gave occasion for a fuller treatment in the Prolegomena of the question, "What conception of God is legitimate?” There is, however, no essential development of the view advanced in the Metaphysik and already noticed in that connection, and we pass to an essay written a year later.
The thought that the world is really a moral universe whose laws have their source in God was, as we have seen in the last section, the culmination of the teleology of the first Critique, but no attempt was there made to apply this thought to the study of nature. This was the aim of the short essay, Idea for a Universal History in a Cosmopolitan Point of View, which shows how the history of man may be explained on the theory that nature is really working for his progress, and working not externally, but through the fundamental disposition of man. Starting from the teleological premise that the natural disposition of a creature is bound to develop completely and purposively--if not in the individual, then in the race-- he lays down the further principle, “Natnre has willed that man should produce entirely from himself all that goes beyond the mechanical arrangement of his animal existence and share no other happiness than that which he creates himself through his own reason, without the aid of instinct. He then goes on to show how nature uses man's natural bent to antagonism in society in order to develop in the end all human capacities in a cosmopolitan society, so that it is possible to regard in general the history of the race was the execution of a secret plan of nature to bring about a government intrinsically perfect, and for attaining this end, externally perfect also, inasmuch as such a govern
iH. IV. 145.
ment is the only condition in which nature can fully develop capacities in humanity.” Is it reasonable to assume that there is purposiveness in parts and none in the whole?" And of what advantage is it to praise the splendor and wisdom of creation in the realm of inanimate nature if the history of man remains a constant objection, and forces us to turn in despair from this world to the next in the search for a completed reasonable purpose?” 2 “Optimism,” in Kant's phrase, “served to cut the knot which could not be untied.” 3
In this essay a part of the knot was at least loosened, and the Harmony between the realms of nature and of grace was made to mean more than vague assertion that all is . for the best. *
2. The next aspect of Kant's teleology to show a development was that which we have called formal purposiveness, and the stimulus thereto was, as we know from Kant's letters, the attempt to complete the work of criticism by finding the principles involved in the feelings of the beautiful and sublime. These phenomena had early engaged his attention as is shown by his Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime in 1764, and in 1770 he projected a work in which the nature of the doctrine of the Taste was to be treated, but at the time of the first edition of the Critique he considered it impossible “to bring the critical estimation of the beautiful under principles of reason and raise its rules to a science,” for the rules or criteria are, as regards their sources, merely empirical. This judgment was somewhat modified in the second edition and, as we learn from the letter to Reinhold at the end of 1787, a Critique of Taste was then in preparation. From the fact that in this letter “Teleologie” is used as an equivalent for “Kritik des Geschmacks,” it seems safe to conclude that the a priori element in the Beautiful and the Sublime had already been explained through the idea of purposiveness, and from the proposed title it would seem equally clear that only the æsthetic judgments were to be treated.
1H. IV. 153. 2H. IV. 156. 3 Met. 335.
* Prof. Caird brings out the significance of this essay, but in a logical rather than a historical connection. In view of the relative times of appearance, it seems a reversal of historical order to say: “So far Kant had already gone in the Critique of Practical Reason; now he adds,” etc. The Critical Philosophy of Kant, II., 556. The thought of the essay seems jather a development of the passage in the “Canon,” as cited in the last section, though of course its immediate occasion was the item in the Gothaischen Gel. Zeit.
For though the problem of teleology in its theoretical and later in its moral aspect had been a favorite one, there seems no reason to suppose that he meditated discussing in this work any of the questions treated in the Critique of Teleological Judgment. I cannot therefore understand why Erdmann' assumes that the latter was already treated, and in fact constituted the essential part of the work, though not related to the æsthetic judgments through the medium of the Urtheilskraft. Erdmann insists
Erdmann insists that the word “Teleologie” is no fitting designation for the Critique of the Æsthetic Judgment in its present form, that from the concept of purposiveness the teleological, not the æsthetic, judgments are the proper functions of the Judgment, and that the reference of purposiveness to the æsthetic judgments is nothing more than a transfer of a series of thoughts which originally belonged to the problem of teleology. From the fact that purposiveness is to be conceived as entirely “ohne Zweck,” he concludes that it could not have entered on the ground of an independent conception, but was only possible through the effort to make the judgment of taste capable of being subsumed under the concept of purposive
This view that the treatment of æsthetic judgment was merely a sort of device to help fill out a favorite conception with a new content, seems to me to be disproved by a fragment published by Reicke. This fragment was written on a blank page of a letter written to Kant, Feb., 1784. This date alone would not certainly fix the date of what was written upon it, though it certainly raises a strong presumption that it was written about that time. This presumption is strengthened, however, by the contents, which indicate that Kant is feeling his way toward the solution of the possibility of asthetic judgments. “Wie ist ein obiectiv gültiges Urtheil möglich welches doch durch keinen Be
Einleitung to his edition of Kritik der Urtheilskraft, XXI., XXIX. f,
grif vom Obiect bestimmt wird?” is the question raised, and the answer is: "Wenn das Urtheil das Verhältnis aller Erkentnisvermögen in Ubereinstimmung zur Erkenntnis eines obiects überhaupt ausdrückt mithin nur die wechselseitige. Beförderung der Erkentniskräfte unter einander ausdrückt so wie es gefühlt wird.” But why should this feeling of harmony and of furtherance of the activity of our faculties give pleasure? This is answered by connecting this fact with other psychological experiences. “Lust ist überhaupt das Gefühl der Beförderung des Lebens die der Beförderung des Lebens der Sinne durch Empfindung heisst Vergnügen u. sein Gegentheil Schmerz. Die an der Beförderung des Lebens im Spiel der Erkentniskräfte überhaupt heisst Geschmak. Die an der Beförderung des Lebens der Verstandeskräfte ins besondere Billigung.” 1 Now these extracts show first, that the judgment of taste is already based on the felt furtherance of the faculties when they are in harmony, and secondly, that this is not by aame connected with teleology but rather with the psychological and physiological conception of a general furtherance of life, whether through the senses or through the play of intellectual faculties. While, however, this connection is against the view of a forced subsumption of the æsthetic judgments under the concepts of teleology, it really involves the essence of the principle of purposiveness and waits only the application of the name.
Here, too, lies the solution of the difficulty which Erdmann finds in a “Zweckmüssigkeit ohne Zweck.” For if an object furthers my activities I may well say that it is adapted for that purpose, (zweckmässig) without thereby assuming any design (Zweck) on the part of the object or of its maker (objective Zweck), nor that I am first conscious of its good effect upon me and so that pleasure results from my concept of an end attained (subjective Zweck). The furtherance of the play of my faculties is felt, not known. In other words, formal purposiveness is really quite a different aspect from thc purposiveness of the teleological judgments, and was probably thought out independently of the latter.
In this same fragment the Judgment is also referred to as a faculty which makes possible the harmony of the other faculties in a concrete case. This indicates an earlier recognition of the
1“ Lose Blätter,” B. 11, p. 112 f.