Chapter 2. Independence from Nature: Preparing the Ground for Perpetual Peace in the Third Critique
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51 Chapter 2 Independence from Nature Preparing the Ground for Perpetual Peace in the Third Critique The third Critique represents a shift in emphasis for Kant in that he moves away from a concern with the limits of knowledge and the content of rational morality as explored in the first two critiques toward an approach based on universal subjectivity designed to address those issues of human existence that are outside the purview of the strict domains of understanding and reason. It is this shift in emphasis that allows Kant to enter the final phase of his career, a period of speculation on politics, anthropology, and theology—­ subjects directly related to the achievement of the final ends of mankind. If human beings are constitutionally incapable of actualizing or approximating these final ends then all that could and should serve as the basis for the reorientation of human beings to humanity—­ freedom, rationality, the moral law, i.e., the very core of Kant’s project—­would be the vain delusions of a creature out of tune with nature . In such a condition, human existence would be essentially meaningless. The political theoretical significance of the Critique of the Power of Judgment is that it is (at least in part) an attempt to argue the possibility of there being a positive telos for the human race: that a reformed human species may be thought of as the end of nature. Kant’s sacrifice of knowledge enables not only faith in God and humanity but also hope in the future.1 These elements of hope and faith inform Kant’s political project as expressed in Perpetual Peace, which in many respects is a sequel to the Critique of the Power of Judgment that elaborates on many of its themes in a more specifically political context.2 52    kant’s international relations Philosophy, Politics, and Judgment Kant’s first task is to restate what he considers to be the “real system of philosophy itself,” namely the division of philosophy into two constituent parts, the “theoretical,” which deals with the philosophy of nature, and the “practical,” which is the philosophy of morals.3 These two categories are quite separate, and Kant stresses the distinction between natural laws (derived from natural philosophy ) and laws of freedom (derived from practical philosophy). Kant is particularly anxious to stress the fundamental difference between a moral, practical proposition and a proposition that is merely natural.4 Given the finality of this impasse it is imperative for Kant to employ a different kind of thought in which the natural and the practical are no longer stymied, which is why Kant revisits and extends the power of judgment that he first outlined in the Critique of Pure Reason.5 Philosophy and the Faculties of Cognition: The Special Role of the Faculty of the Power of Judgment Kant argues that “the systematic representation of the faculty for thinking is tripartite,” and identifies the three parts as the faculty for the cognition of the general (of rules), i.e., the understanding; the faculty for the subsumption of the particular under the general, the power of judgment; and the faculty for the determination of the particular through the general (for the derivation from principles), i.e., reason.6 The faculty of understanding is responsible for yielding the laws of nature, the faculty of reason provides the laws of freedom, and the faculty of the power of judgment is responsible for transposing the ideas and concepts of both faculties into a different, discursive realm under a new rubric, that of subjective relations in the reflective power of judgment. A particularly significant aspect of the faculty of the power of judgment is that it allows the examination of human existence under the assumption of what might be the case if, as is to be believed and hoped, nature is purposive. The category of the power of judgment is designed to act as a thinking space between and distinct from the two other faculties; its significance lies in the fact that “the power of judgment makes possible the transition from the domain of the concept of nature to that of the concept of freedom.”7 Kant proposes to resolve the problem of the space between nature and freedom by transposing it to the reflective power of judgment, where, in Henry Allison’s formulation, “the independence from nature    53 requisite Ubergang is not from nature to freedom per se, but from our way of thinking [Denkungsart] about the former (in terms...