"Stag at Sharkey's" le George Bellows 1909
§ 6 - FÀS A' BHUN-ANTÌNOMI ANN AN CRITÌG A' BHREITHNEACHAIDH.
§ 6 - THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BASIC ANTINOMY IN THE CRITIQUE OF JUDGMENT.
The attempt to resolve the dualism between the ideal of science and that of personality in the Critique of Judgment. The problem of individuality.
In both the "Critique of Pure Reason" and the "Critique of Practical Reason", KANT failed to resolve the antinomy between the ideals of science and of personality. In his third main work the "Critique of Judgment", KANT attempted to bridge the cleft between nature and freedom in another way. Here he surveyed the entire course which his philosophical thought had previously taken. In his famous introduction he wrote: "Now, to be sure, an immense cleft has been established between the realm of the nature-concept as the sensory, and the realm of the freedom-Idea as the super-sensory, so that no transition is possible from the former to the latter (that is to say by means of the theoretical use of reason), as if there were two different worlds, the one of which cannot have any influence on the other. Nevertheless, the super-sensory ought to influence the sensory, that is to say the freedom-Idea ought to realize in the sense-world the goal set by its laws; consequently nature must also be conceivable in such a way, that the laws of its forms at least agree with the possibility of the goals which are to he realized in it in conformity to laws of freedom. — Consequently, there must after all be a ground of unity of the super-sensory which lies at the foundation of nature, with the practical content of the freedom-Idea; and although the concept of this unity neither theoretically nor practically arrives at a knowledge of the same, and consequently does not have a proper realm" (I italicize), "nevertheless it must make possible the transition from the mode of thought according to the principles of the one to that according to the principles of the other" (1).
(1) Kritik der Urteilskraft (W.W. Bad. VI) pp. 19/20: "Oh nun zwar eine unübersehbare Kluft zwischen dem Gebiete des Naturbegriffs, als dem Sinnlichen, und dem Gebiete des Freiheitsbegriffs, als dem übersinnlichen, befestigt ist, so dasz von dem ersteren zum anderen (also vermittelst des theoretischen Gebrauchs der Vernunft) kein Übergang möglich ist, gleich als ob es so viel verscheidene Welten wären, deren erste auf die zweite keinen Einflusz haben kann: so soll doch diese auf jene einen Einflusz haben, nämlich der Freiheitsbegriff soll den durch seine Gesetze aufgegebenen Zweck in der Sinnenwelt wirklich machen; und die Natur musz folglich auch so gedacht werden können, dasz die Gesetzmäszigkeit ihrer Form wenigstens zur Möglichkeit der in ihr zu bewirkenden Zwecke nach Freiheitsgesetzen zusammenstimme. -- Also musz es doch einen Grund der Einheit des Übersinnlichen, welches der Natur zum Grunde liegt, mit dem, was der Freiheitsbegriff praktisch enthält, geben, wovon der Begriff, wenn er gleich weder theoretisch noch praktisch zu einem Erkenntnisse desselben gelangt, mithin kein eigentümliches Gebiet hat, dennoch den Übergang von der Denkungsart nach den Prinzipien der einen zu der nach Prinzipien der anderen möglich macht."
The problem raised by the "Critique of Judgment" is, consequently, not new to KANT's system. For it is once again the possibility of subsuming nature under the freedom of reason which is made a problem. But the manner in which this third Critique seeks to arrive at a solution is certainly original. The course of thought here followed constitutes a counterpart to the way that had been taken by LEIBNIZ.
KANT's rationalistic conception of individuality.
The path taken by KANT led him to consider the problem of individuality, or rather that of the "specificity in nature"; for KANT was always concerned with conformity to a law and, as we know, within the cadre of his rationalistic cosmonomic Idea he again and again identified law and subject (2).
(2) In our later treatment of the problem of individuality we shall see, that the species as a type-concept includes only the typical law-conformedness, but does not include subjective individuality. Furthermore, we shall find that in the irreducibleness of subjective individuality to the typical law of individuality, the subject-side of our cosmos discloses very clearly its proper unexchangeable role with respect to the law-side.
Only KANT's aesthetic philosophy, in its doctrine of the creative genius, attributed an independent place to subjective individuality. In the final analysis, it appeared that both the laws of understanding and those of reason can only determine their "object" apriori in an abstract-universal way. There are, however, many forms of nature, "as it were so many modifications of the universal transcendental nature-concept" which are left undetermined by the laws given apriori by the pure logical function of understanding. For these forms of nature there must also be laws, which, to be sure, are empirical and consequently, according to our rational insight, must be called contingent, but which nevertheless, if they actually can be called laws, must be viewed as necessarily originating from a principle of unity in multiplicity. And this is the case even though this latter principle may be unknown to us (3).
(3) Kritik der Urteilskraft, p. 24.
Now in the "class of the higher cognitive faculties" there is a peculiar connective link between understanding and reason, namely, the "power of judgment" ("Urteilskraft"). This faculty subsumes the particular under the universal laws, and as such, i.e. as "determining transcendental faculty of judgment", it is constitutive for experience; while, as the mere "reflecting power of judgment", it judges of the appropriate accommodation of the particularity in the laws of nature to our cognitive faculty (that can only give universal laws apriori). And in this latter function it is not constitutive for experience, but regulative only.
When compared with the determining faculty, the reflecting faculty of judgment, consequently, operates in just the opposite way. The latter judges the particular in its accommodation to the universal laws given to "nature" by the understanding in the apriori synthesis. The determining judicative faculty, on the contrary, proceeds from the very apriori universal laws and subsumes under the latter the particular empirical laws of nature. The "reflecting judgment", in contrast to the determining, does not possess objective principles apriori, but only subjective ones. It judges the particular multiplicity of nature as if a higher understanding than our own had given the empirical laws of nature for the benefit of our cognitive faculty, in order to make possible a system of experience according to particular laws of nature.
KANT related the reflecting power of judgment to his famous schema of the faculties of the soul. According to him, all of the latter can be reduced to three, which do not allow of any further deduction from a common basis. These faculties are the cognitive, the feeling of pleasure and pain, and the desiring power. Insofar as the former, as the faculty for the acquisition of theoretical knowledge, is related to "nature", it receives laws apriori only from the understanding. The desiring power, as a "higher faculty according to the Idea of freedom", receives its laws a priori only from reason. Therefore, in accordance with his schema, it is quite natural for KANT to relate the reflecting power of judgment to the feeling that we have when confronted with the theoretically known nature.
According to KANT's extremely rationalistic conception, every feeling is a "synthetical activity" through which we relate the representation of an object to our subjective intentional activity in which we set ourselves a purpose. In every feeling we order an imagined object under an end.
The Idea of teleology in nature.
In its empirical form the reflecting faculty of judgment, according to KANT, coincides completely with the "inner life of feeling" It is this power that permits us to recognize the higher unity between understanding and reason, because it orders a Gegenstand" of knowledge under a goal. But these empirical reflections of the power of judgment being entirely arbitrary and subjective, are never able to possess a universally valid and necessary character. The reflecting judgment possesses, however, a universally valid principle apriori, a transcendental principle joined with a feeling which is likewise necessary and universal. This principle is that of the "formal teleology of nature."
For the concept of the objects so far as they are judged according to this principle, is only "the pure concept of objects of possible empirical knowledge in general" and includes no single empirical content (4).
(4) Kritik der Urteilskraft, t.a.p., pp. 26/7.
According to this transcendental principle, the reflective power of judgment must consider nature as if it were generated after a teleological plan. As KANT himself says, "as if that which, for our human insight, is contingent in the empirical specificity of the laws of nature, is, nevertheless, generated by a higher intellect after a law-conformed unity, which unity, although not knowable to us, is, however, conceivable."
The law of specification as the regulative principle of the transcendental faculty of judgment for the contemplation of nature.
This transcendental concept of a teleology in nature is neither a concept of nature, nor a concept of freedom. For the power of judgment, through its transcendental principle, does not dictate a law to nature, but rather to itself in order to judge nature (5).
(5) KANT here speaks of the "heautonomy" of the reflecting judgment. [Heautonomy is a principle of reflective judgement according to which the subject gives itself a law ‘not to nature (as autonomy), but to itself (as heautonomy), to guide its reflection upon nature’ (CJ Introduction §V). It may be described as ‘the law of the specification of nature’ and is not ‘cognised a priori’ and thus applied to nature in the way of a scientific law. Rather it is a rule used by the judgement in order to facilitate its investigations of nature – ‘finding the universal for the particular presented to it by perception’ – and to relate the universal laws of the understanding with the specific empirical laws of nature. - Blackwell Reference Online]
This law can be called the "law of specification", and it is a mere regulative principle for our view of nature. "For it is not a principle of the determining, but only of the reflecting power of judgment; one wants only that the empirical laws of nature — as to its universal laws the latter may be ordered as it pleases — must absolutely be investigated according to this principle and the maxims founded therein; because only in this case can we proceed with the use of our understanding in experience and can acquire knowledge" (6).
(6) Kritik der Urteilskraft, p. 32: "Denn es ist nicht ein Prinzip der bestimmenden, sondern blosz der reflektierenden Urteilskraft; man will nur, dasz man, die Natur mag ihren allgemeinen Gesetzen nach eingerichtet sein, wie sie wolle, durchaus nach jenem Prinzip und den sich darauf gründenden Maximen ihren empirischen Gesetzen nachspüren müsse, weil wir, nur so weit als jenes statt findet, mit dem Gebrauche unseres Verstandes in der Erfahrung fortkommen und Erkenntnis erwerben können."
If we momentarily overlook the task which KANT here ascribes in a general sense to the reflecting power of judgment, it is easily ascertained, that the basic problem submitted for solution to the "Critique of Judgment" has its root in the question which the other two Critiques had failed to solve; namely, the problem concerning the relation between the ideal of science and that of personality. The Critique of Pure Reason did not ascribe to the understanding the possibility of possessing knowledge of the "totality of determinations", which knowledge was supposed to have included that of the theoretical necessity of empirical laws. If such a possibility were open to the understanding, then, once again, the ideal of science would have dominated the realm of the "absolute", which KANT had once and for all intended to set apart in the supra-sensory teleological kingdom of personality as "Selbst-zweck" (end in itself).
The logical and psychical functions of consciousness may consequently, only be brought to a unity in a formal synthesis, and the sensory material must continue to be a limit for logical thought.
The teleological mode of contemplation of practical reason, on the other hand, may not penetrate into the domain of the ideal of science, since KANT will not abandon the sovereignty of mathematical and natural scientific thought over nature. This prevented him from following the course taken by FICHTE who at the expense of the ideal of science accepted the domination of the ideal of personality over nature!
The reason why the "Critique of Judgment" cannot resolve the basic discord in KANT's Archimedean point.
Consequently, there remained for KANT no other way than to seek a connecting link between understanding and reason. However, this connecting link, in its subjective functional character, is actually not the absolute "supra-sensory subject beyond theoretical and practical reason", but only a third immanent function of consciousness next to and between the latter. For that very reason, it cannot effect a veritable unity between the two antagonistic factors of the Humanist transcendental ground-Idea.
According to both "sources of knowledge" which the faculty of judgment compares with one another reflecting on their mutual appropriate accord, i.e. sensory intuition and logical understanding, this faculty can display an alternative function: it can either judge a given sensory representation — before we have acquired any logical concept of it — and establish, that in its immediate visibleness it has an appropriate accommodation to our understanding; or it can, inversely, judge that the concept of an object is the ground of being of the latter and, consequently, establish that the concept has an appropriate accomodation to the visible reality of the object.
In the first case, the object is only called appropriate upon a subjective ground, since its representation is directly joined with a subjective feeling of pleasure (complacence) that never can become an objective "piece of knowledge", and this representation is itself a teleological representation of an aesthetic character. In the second case the teleological judgment is related to a specific objective knowledge of the object under a given concept; it has nothing to do with a subjective feeling of pleasure concerning things, but with the understanding in the judgment of things only. In this case we judge that the teleology is laid objectively (actually) in the thing of nature as an organism.
In the first case, the original point lies in the emotional effect of (natural) things upon us, and we become explicitly conscious of the teleological relations only by analytical investigation. In the second case, the centre of gravity of our attitude toward the things lies in the rational conception of the relations in the "object", which we judge to be appropriate. Moreover, in this case the feeling of pleasure is only secondarily united with this judgment.
It is upon these alternative functions that KANT based the division of the "Critique of Judgment" into the critique of the aesthetic and that of the teleological judgment: "By the former we understand the faculty to judge the formal appropriateness (ordinarily also called the subjective) through the feeling of pleasure or pain: by the latter the faculty to judge the real (objective) appropriateness of nature through the understanding and the reason" (7).
(7) Kr. der Uri, kr., p. 41.
The former has to demonstrate how the universal validity of a cognitive judgment can rightly be attributed to the aesthetic judgment, even though such a judgment lacks a concept. The critique of the teleological judgment has to show, that all teleological contemplation of nature only possesses a regulative value for biological investigation and it must reject its possible claims to constitutive value for knowledge.
In the final paragraph of the "Introduction", KANT treated "the uniting of the laws given by the understanding and by reason through the faculty of judgment." Here, once again, the dualism between the ideal of science and that of personality is formulated with great acumen: "The realm of the nature-concept subjected to the laws of the one legislator, and that of the freedom-Idea subjected to those of the other, are completely isolated from each other, precluding all reciprocal influence which they (each according to their basic laws) might have on one another; this separation is guaranteed by the great cleft which severs the super-sensory from the phenomena. The freedom-Idea does not determine anything with respect to the theoretical knowledge of nature; just as the nature-concept does not determine anything with respect to the practical laws of freedom; and insofar it is impossible to bridge over the gulf between the two different realms" (8).
(8) Kr. der Urt. kr., p. 43: "Das Gebiet des Naturbegriffs unter der einen und das des Freiheitsbegriffs unter der anderen Gesetzgebung sind gegen allen wechselseitigen Einflusz, den sie für sich (ein jedes nach seinen Grundgesetzen) auf einander haben könnten, durch die grosze Kluft, welche das Übersinnliche van den Erscheinungen trennt, gänzlich abgesondert. Der Freiheitsbegriff bestimmt nichts in Ansehung der theoretischen Erkenntnis der Natur; der Naturbegriff eben sowohl nichts in Ansehung der praktischen Gesetze der Freiheit; und es ist in sofern nicht möglich, eine Brücke von einem Gebiete zu dem andern hinüberzuschlagen."
Be that as it may, the "Critique of Practical Reason" furnished the Idea of a causality through freedom. This causality through free will is the final goal, which itself (or the appearance of which in the sensory world) ought to exist, to which end the condition in nature was pre-supposed which would permit the possibility of such an effect. Now, according to KANT, the faculty of judgment is supposed to furnish us with the mediating concept between the concept of nature and that of freedom, and this in the concept of a teleology in nature: "because through the latter is understood the possibility of the final end which can only be realized in nature and in accord with its laws" (9).
(9) Ibid., p. 44.
KANT thought that in his system the concept of an absolute causality through freedom could be conceived of without an intrinsic contradiction. It has, however, become apparent to us, that the concept of an unconditional "causa noumenon" is encumbered with all the antinomies of the Humanistic concept of substance.
The "homo noumenon" is supposed to be a "Ding an sich" in an absolute sense, and its moral freedom was to have an unconditional validity. This hypostatization is, nevertheless, actually determined by analytical thought in its cosmic relativity (10).
(10) In the famous para. 76 of the "Critique of Judgment", KANT writes: "Die Vernunft ist ein Vermögen der Prinzipien und geht in ihrer äuszersten Forderung auf das Unbedingte; da hingegen der Verstand ihn imer nur unter einer gewissen Bedingung die gegeben werden musz zu Diensten steht. Ohne Begriffe des Verstandes aber, welchen objective Realität gegeben werden muss, kann die Vernunft gar nichts objectiv (synthetisch) urteilen und enthält als theoretische Vernunft für sich schlechterdings keine konstitutive, sondern blosz regulative Prinzipien." ["Reason is a faculty of principles, and in its extreme demands it points to the unconditional; the understanding, on the contrary, is always only at the service of the former on a specific condition which must be previously fulfilled. Reason, however, is not able to judge anything objectively (synthetically) without concepts of the understanding to which objective reality must be given, and as theoretical reason it does not contain in itself any constitutive principles, but merely regulative ones."]
But KANT has not seen that the Idea of the "homo noumenon" as the hypostasis of the moral function of personality is itself the product of a religiously founded analytical mental activity which ignores the cosmic coherence and is thus false! For the transcendental "Idea" points toward the totality of meaning and not towards an analytical abstraction, which in its hypostatization destroys the meaning-coherence.
It is nothing but an absolutizing of the moral aspect of human existence, which is lifted out of the cosmic temporal coherence of the modal law-spheres by means of a false analysis, and is thus logically formalized. And in this logical formalization it destroys itself. Even the Humanistic freedom-motive is in this way almost completely reduced to the logical principle of contradiction. It is only the Idea of human personality as "Selbst-zweck" in which the religious meaning of this motive could withdraw in order to escape its complete dissolution into a formal tautology. But we have seen, that this Idea itself, because of its absolutization, dissolves itself in nothingness.
The same antinomy which intrinsically destroys the Idea of the "homo noumenon" recurs in the principle of teleological judgment.
The same antinomy reappears in the principle of teleological judgment. The point here in question is the possibility to conceive of the stringent mechanical causality of the classical Humanistic science-ideal together with a teleology in nature, a teleology which can only find termination in a moral "Selbst-zweck".
The critique of teleological judgment derived the justification of a teleological view of nature from the fact that in nature itself phenomena are given, namely, the living organisms, which set a limit to causal explanation and present themselves to our contemplation, as if they were constructed after a teleological plan.
A thing, which as a product of nature can nevertheless be conceived only as a natural organism, must be related to itself as cause and effect. It is a product of nature itself, and not like the beautiful, only the representation of a thing which is produced by nature or by art. For it gives "objective reality" to the concept of a goal. Since this is the case, the question must necessarily be raised: How is this possible according to the "transcendental conditions of objective reality" in conformity with the category of causality? Now the connection of cause and effect, so far as it is only thought by means of the understanding, is a synthetical determination of phenomena that forms a series of causes and effects and in which the effect is always subsequent to the cause. Therefore, the causal coherence, in a natural organism, can never be a nexus effectivus, a coherence of mechanical, efficient causes.
The organism cannot result from an external cause, but must be thought of as its own cause and at the same time as the effect of this cause; therefore, this relation of causality can be considered by the reflecting judgment in such a manner only, that it is viewed as a nexus finalis, in which the effect is at the same time thought of as a causa finalis (11).
(11) Kr. der Urt. kr., pp. 261/2.
This includes a twofold condition:
1 - the parts of the organism can only exist through their relation to the whole, and
2 - the parts are only connected to the unity of the whole through the fact that they are the mutual cause and effect of each other's form.
The fictitious character of the teleological view of nature follows directly from KANT's transcendental ground-Idea.
Since such a teleological union of cause and effect is known to us only from our own human action, we can, to be sure, lay this teleological principle at the foundation of our judgment concerning the natural organisms, but we must always bear in mind, that by so doing we do not categorically determine the "objective reality" of the organic, but only reflect on it, in order to acquire a regulative principle for the mechanical determination of nature. We may judge the living organism, only as if a teleological activity lay at its foundation. KANT's dualistic transcendental ground-Idea does not permit any other view.
The principle of the inner teleology in nature leads the reflecting judgment necessarily beyond the living organism to the "Idee der gesamten Natur als eines Systems nach der Regel der Zwecke", in other words, to the Idea of nature as a "universal organism" (an expression first employed by SCHELLING) to which Idea all mechanism of nature must be subordinated according to principles of reason: "The principle of reason has for it (viz. the teleological judgment) only subjective competency, that is to say as maxim. Everything in the world is good for something whatsoever; nothing in it is aimless; and by the example which nature gives in its organical products, one is entitled, nay called upon, to expect from it and its laws nothing but what is appropriate in its totality" (12).
(12) Kr. der Urt. kr., p. 268/9: "Das Prinzip der Vernunft ist ihr als nur subjectiv, d.i. als Maxime zuständig. Alles in der Welt ist irgend wozu gut; nichts ist in ihr umsonst; und man ist durch das Beispiel, das die Natur an ihren organischen Produkten gibt, berechtigt, ja berufen, von ihr und ihren Gesetzen nichts, als was im Ganzen zweckmäszig ist, zu erwarten."
The teleological view may never again be introduced as an immanent principle of the causal explanation of nature. It remains a transcendental Idea, a limiting concept for the latter and has as such the heuristic value that it constantly raises the question as to which mechanism is responsible for effectuating the particular end of nature.
On the other hand, insofar as it can discover no single "Selbst-zweck", no single final goal in nature, the teleological view of nature automatically results in the supra-sensory Idea of the "homo noumenon" and with that in an ethical teleology. Thus it appears, that in the "reflecting faculty of judgment" a reconciliation is to be really found between the ideal of science and that of personality. This reconciliation, however, is not a real one. In the "Dialectic of teleological judgment" KANT himself begins with the formulation of the antinomy between the mechanical view of nature of the ideal of science and the teleological view of nature which is essentially derived from the ideal of personality. The thesis in this antinomy is: "All production of material things is possible according to merely mechanical laws."
The antithesis: "Some production of the same is not possible according to merely mechanical laws" (13).
(13) Ib., p. 278.
It is clear that the antinomy here formulated fits entirely in the cadre of the Humanist cosmonomic Idea, in which the antagonistic postulates of continuity of the ideal of science and of personality are involved in an irreconcilable conflict with each other.
The origin of the antinomy of the faculty of teleological judgment in the light of KANT's cosmonomic Idea.
We are not concerned here with the maintenance of the modal boundaries of meaning among the law-spheres which are anchored in the cosmic order of time, but only with the maintenance of the ideal of personality against the ideal of science that desires to erase all the boundaries of meaning through creative sovereign thought. For this very reason, the solution given by KANT to the antinomy which he formulated, rests entirely upon an analytical hypostatic division of the functions of consciousness of reflective and determinative judgment: "All appearance of an antinomy between the maxims of the properly physical (mechanical) and the teleological (technical) mode of explanation consequently rests upon this: that a principle of the reflecting faculty of judgment is taken for that of the determinative faculty and the autonomy of the former (which only subjectively holds good for the use of our reason in respect to the particular laws of experience) for the heteronomy of the latter which must conform itself to the (universal and particular) laws given by the understanding" (14).
(14) Kr. der Urt. kr., p. 281: "Aller Anschein einer Antinomie zwischen den Maximen der eigentlich physischen (mechanischen) und der teleologischen (technischen) Erklärungsart, beruht also darauf: dasz man einen Grundsatz der reflectierenden Urteilskraft mit dem der bestimmenden und die Autonomie der ersteren (die blosz subjectiv für unsern Vernunftgebrauch in Ansehung der besonderen Erfahrungsgesetze gilt) mit der Heteronomie der anderen, welche sich nach den von dem Verstande gegebenen (allgemeinen und besonderen) Gesetze richten musz, verwechselt."
From where, however, does the antinomy of teleological judgment arise? It arises from thinking together two principles which, according to KANT, really have their origin in two entirely different and separated functions of reason. This antinomy cannot be solved by referring either of these functions to its own apriori principles. We are here concerned with the very basic question which every transcendental ground-idea must answer in principle: Where is to be found the deeper unity and the mutual coherence of meaning of the different functions of our consciousness and of temporal reality?
This problem is not taken up again by KANT before the famous Par. 78 of his "Critique of Judgment" where he treats, "Von der Vereinigung des Prinzips des allgemeinen Mechanismus der Materie mit dem teleologischen in der Technik der Natur."
After having first established that the mechanical and teleological ways of explaining nature mutually exclude each other, KANT observes: "The principle which is to make possible the compatibility of the two in judging nature according to them, must be placed in that which lies outside both (consequently also outside the possible empirical representation of nature) but which nevertheless contains the ground of them. This is the super-sensory and each of the two modes of explanation is to be related to it" (15).
(15) Kr. der Urt. kr., p. 309: "Das Princip, welches die Vereinbarkeit beider in Beurteilung der Natur nach denselben möglich machen soll, musz in dem, was auszerhalb beiden (mithin auch auszer der möglichen empirischen Naturvorstellung) liegt, von dieser aber doch den Grund enthält, d.i. im Übersinnlichen gesetzt und eine jede beider Erklärungsarten darauf bezogen werden."
The reason why the causal and teleological views of nature are capable of coexisting harmoniously in thought is consequently sought by KANT in the supra-sensory substratum of nature, of which, however, we cannot acquire any theoretical knowledge (16).
(16) Ibid. , p. 312, KANT wrote as proof for the necessity of thinking together natural mechanism and natural teleology: "Denn wo Zwecke als Grunde der Möglichkeit gewisser Dinge gedacht werden, da musz man auch Mittel annehmen, deren Wirkungsgesetz für sich nichts einen Zweck Voraussetzendes bedarf, mithin mechanisch und doch eine untergeordnete Ursache absichtlicher Wirkungen sein kann." ["Where ends are thought of as grounds of the possibility of certain things, there must also be assumed means, whose law of operation in itself does not need anything which pre-supposes a goal, and consequently can be mechanical and nevertheless a subordinate cause of teleological effects."] If consistently applied, this Idea leads to the dissolution of the hypostatization of the moral function in the "homo noumenon".
The influence of NEWTON'S view of the compatibility of mechanism and divine teleology in nature is here very evident (17).
(17) The rather primitive conception of divine Providence in nature after the pattern of human technics (compare the machine!) was accepted by the whole of enlightened deism.
Once again we are confronted with the concept of the "Naturding an sich" which is so extremely problematical in the system of KANT. Moreover, in this connection it is doubly problematical, since KANT himself began to explain, that the apriori teleological principle of the reflecting judgment may itself never be related to the objective reality of things in nature, but is only a subjective principle for judging nature, which we essentially derive from the teleology in our own human actions!
How then can the basis for the compatibility in thought of the mechanical and teleological explanation of nature suddenly be sought in a supra-sensory substratum of nature, while a little earlier, KANT himself wrote: "in conformity with the particular constitution of our understanding we are obliged to consider some products of nature with respect to their possibility as being produced after a plan and as goals; we may not pretend, however, that there actually exists a particular cause which has its determinative ground in the idea of a goal; consequently it is not permitted to deny, that another (higher) understanding than the human one can find the ground of possibility of such products also in the mechanism of nature, i.e. of a causal connection for which not exclusively an understanding as cause is assumed" (18).
(18) Kr. der Urt. kr., p. 301: "gewisse Naturprodukte müssen nach der besondern Beschaffenheit unseres Verstandes von uns ihrer Möglichkeit nach als absichtlich und als Zwecke erzeugt betrachtet werden, ohne doch darum zu verlangen, dasz es wirklich eine besondere Ursache, welche die Vorstellung eines Zwecks zu ihrem Bestimmungsgrunde hat, gebe, mithin ohne in Abrede zu ziehen, dasz nicht ein anderer (höherer) Verstand, als der menschliche auch im Mechanism der Natur, d.i. ether Kausalverbindung, zu der nicht ausschlieszungsweise ein Verstand als Ursache angenommen wird den Grund der Möglichkeit solcher Produkte der Natur antreffen könne."
In this connection KANT himself expressly speaks of a "gewisse Zufälligkeit der Beschaffenheit unseres Verstandes" (a certain causality in the constitution of our understanding), which would necessitate a teleological judgment of nature.
Furthermore, in the preceding § 76 and § 77 he had worked out this Idea more precisely in the famous contrast between the intuitive divine understanding which is creative in a material sense and the human understanding which is only creative in a formal sense.
Our understanding has this peculiarity, that it must be given sensory material which does not lie in the understanding itself, and so is not created by the latter. This material is the ground of all contingency of the particular in nature, in contradistinction to the formal and universal laws given by the understanding. For the same reasons our understanding must distinguish the possibility and reality of things. If our cognitive faculty were not assigned to the cooperation of two distinct functions, i.e. logical understanding and sensory intuition, then the distinction between possibility and reality would disappear (19).
(19) Op. cit., p. 300.
An absolutely intuitive understanding could only know reality. "For an understanding in which this difference should not present itself, it would hold good: all objects which I know, are (exist)" (20) and the distinction between contingency and necessity would also disappear for such a mind (compare LEIBNIZ).
(20) "Für einen Verstand bei dem dieser Unterschied nicht einträte, würde es heiszen: alle Objekte, die ich erkenne, sind (existieren)".
Now although human reason can ascend to the transcendental Idea of the absolute necessity (in which possibility and reality are inseparably united), yet this Idea itself is only something possible; as an Idea, it is distinct from reality.
The situation which holds good for our human understanding in respect to the relation between possibility and reality, has also validity with respect to its conception of the relation between mechanism and teleology in nature. The contingency in the particular in nature is the remainder which for our understanding is not definable by the universal laws which it imposes apriori upon the phenomena. In order to subject this remainder to the understanding, we must ascend above mere possibility, above the mere universal, above the mere concept, to the transcendental Idea of reason, which requires an absolute necessity. It is true, that by so doing we subject the particular itself, by means of teleological judgment, to a law, namely a teleological principle, but this is only a subjective principle of reason valid for our judgment, "which as regulative (not constitutive) holds good for our human faculty of judgment with the same necessity as if it were an objective principle" (21).
(21) Kr. der Urt. kr., p. 300: "welches als regulativ (nicht konstitutiv) für unsere menschliche Urteilskraft eben so notwendig gilt, als ob es ein objectives Prinzip wäre."
In other words, the antinomy which in KANT's functionalistic mode of thought necessarily emerges between natural causality and natural teleology, remains in fact unsolved. For the principle of teleology in nature remains in the last analysis a fictitious one, belonging to the "as if"- consideration of our human reason. Consequently, we may conclude, that also his third Critique could give no real solution to the basic antinomy between the ideal of science and that of personality.
This basic antinomy is irreconcilable, since the absolutizing of reason must necessarily proceed from a rejection of the cosmic order of time, which alone can determine the mutual relation between the modal law-spheres, and which alone can maintain the cosmic coherence of meaning in the sovereignty of each sphere.
Even the appeal to an absolute intuitive mind is of no avail, because this "absolute mind" is itself the final hypostatization of the Humanistic ideal of science, and as such is not identical with the final hypostatization of the ideal of personality in the moral God of reason.
The basic antinomy between the ideals of science and of personality in KANT is everywhere crystallized in the form-matter schema. A synopsis of the development of this antinomy in the three Critiques.
If we survey KANT's three Critiques, it appears, that the basic antinomy between the ideal of science and that of personality has everywhere crystallized in the dialectical form-matter scheme. Thereby we have proved the thesis, developed in our Prolegomena, that this scheme, formally derived from the religious ground-motive of Greek thought, in KANT's philosophy has assumed an intrinsically Humanistic sense.
In the "Critique of Pure Reason" it violated the sovereignty of the Humanistic science-ideal and, where it appealed to a natural substance, it simultaneously evoked an antinomy with the ideal of personality, that can only find its "substance" in moral law.
In the "Critique of Practical Reason", it dissolved the hypostasis of the ideal of personality, the Idea of the "homo noumenon" as a "Ding an sich", by again relating this Idea to the sensory.
Finally, in the "Critique of Judgment", it produced the antinomy which necessarily arises by subjecting the same sensory aspect of reality to two principles which by definition mutually exclude each other, namely, that of mechanical causality and that of teleology in nature (22).
(22) In the second discourse of a later edition (1804) of his "Wissenschaftslehre" FICHTE observed these antinomies very clearly, where he wrote concerning KANT's three Critiques with their three absoluta: "Überdies, was noch mehr bedeutete, war über der zuletzt aufgestellten moralischen Welt, als der einen Welt an sich, die empirische verloren gegangen, zur Vergeltung, dasz sie zu erst die moralische vernichtet hatte..." ["Besides, which signified still more, with the finally projected moral world as the one world in itself, the empirical had been lost, in return for the fact that it first had destroyed the moral one..."].
In KANT's system a teleology can never be a teleology of nature, if, as he supposes, it must be thought of as supra-sensory (23).
(23) In his "Critique of Judgment" KANT thought he could continue to speak of nature-teleology by simultaneously conceiving the organized product of nature under the law of mechanical causality: "da ferner ohne allen zu der teleologisch gedachten Erzeugungsart hinzukommenden Begriff von einem dabei zugleich anzutreffenden Mechanism der Natur dergleichen Erzeugung gar nicht als Naturprodukt beurteilt werden köntte." ["because furthermore without combining the teleological conception of the mode of production with a concept of a simultaneous mechanism of nature, such a production could not at all be judged as a nature-product."] Thereby, however, only the mechanism of nature, and not the teleology of nature is saved!
For how can the principle of teleology be related to sensory experience while the sensory and the supra-sensory are divided by an unbridgeable cleft?
Moreover, as soon as KANT again relates this principle of teleology to the sensory material of experience, even though only as a subjective principle for the use of the understanding, this material is subjected to two principles which mutually exclude one another. In this way the conflict between the ideal of science and that of personality is unchained in the original domain of the Humanistic science-ideal, namely, the experience of nature. Just as, on the other hand, the ideal of personality is dissolved by joining the principle of teleology (and with that in the last analysis the "homo noumenon" as the final goal) with the substratum of a mechanism of nature.
KANT's dualistic transcendental ground-Idea lacks an unequivocal Archimedean point and an unequivocal Idea of the totality of meaning.
As we observed in an earlier context, KANT's transcendental ground-Idea lacks unity in its Archimedean point and, consequently, an unequivocal Idea of totality. It is true that in its transcendental usage the Idea points very clearly towards the moral aspect of human existence and seems to absolutize it as a totality of meaning. The dualism between the ideal of science and that of personality, however, which characterizes KANT's transcendental ground-Idea, prevented him from reducing all of the functions of human existence to the moral, as the supposed root of personality. The "Ding an sich" of nature, which KANT did not definitely eliminate, continued to be a counter instance against his moralistic Idea of totality.
This is the source of all of the contradictions in his philosophy.
It must be granted that it was a really transcendental critical motive which prevented him from constructing a unity which, indeed, was excluded by his dualistic religious ground-motive (24).
(24) In this respect I must correct the opinion defended in the first (Dutch) edition of this work, that the maintaining of this dualism was due to a lack of critical consistency in KANT's thought.
Nevertheless, the very fact that, in the cadre of his transcendental idealism, he emphatically proclaimed the primacy of the ideal of personality must result with an inner necessity in the development of the post-Kantian freedom-idealism which tried to overcome the critical dualism by means of a theoretical dialectic.
KANT's transcendental Idea of freedom became the starting-point of this dialectical evolution in Humanistic thought.
(Herman Dooyeweerd, New Critique of Theoretical Thought, Vol I/ Part 2/ Chapt 4/§6 pp 385-402)