The Function of Kant’s Miltonic Citations on a Page of the Opus postumum


Kant repeatedly reflected on particular verses of Milton’s Paradise Lost (8.140–52) as a way of locating the role of aesthetic activity in transcendental philosophy’s grasp of a whole of experience. The intent of his last citations of these verses, in the Opus postumum, at first seems highly obscure. (In my Kant and Milton I ignored them completely, as have all other commentators.) I here demonstrate that, in fact, these late deployments of Milton’s verses represent a continuous development from Kant’s earlier citations of them, and that their interaction with his argumentation points concretely toward new dimensions of his aesthetic thought.