Natural purposes and the category of community: Strengths and weaknesses of Kant's account

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In the second part of the Critique of Judgment, Immanuel Kant provides a transcendental analysis of the bases of our right to employ teleological conceptions in biology. A living organism exemplifies the conception of a natural end insofar as the organization of the parts to form a whole is the result of a process in which the organism is both cause and effect of itself. Kant's analysis of the concept of a natural purpose is guided, in part, by his general theory of logic. By examining the manner in which the logical modes of relation are used as a basis for analyzing the concept of a natural purpose, I hope to accomplish two goals: (1) to compare Kant's analysis of the category of community to the analysis of the concept of a natural purpose; (2) to evaluate some of the strengths and weaknesses of Kant's account of community and natural purpose; (3) to consider one criticism of Kant's use of the logical form of the disjunctive as a basis for the analysis of these conceptions that is developed by Charles Sanders Peirce. Peirce indicates that Darwin's theory of biological evolution was one of the primary causes that led him revisit Kant's logic and his analysis of the categories of relation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-499
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Philosophical Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

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