Make yourself worthy of humanity

In “Critique of Pure Reason,” Kant raised three very famous questions: (1) What can I know? (2) What should I do? (3) What can I hope for? Throughout his life, he devoted himself to answering the above three questions with the “three major criticisms”: “Critique of Pure Reason” (1781/1787) systematically studied metaphysics and epistemology, and “Critique of Practical Reason” (1788) is concerned with ethical issues. Critique of Judgment (1790) focuses on aesthetic issues.

The first question is the metaphysical problem. In the preface to the first edition of Critique of Pure Reason, Kant explained that through “critique of pure reason,” he intended to establish a “competence of general reason, especially for all knowledge independent of all experience.” The critique, the goal is to make a decision about the possibility or impossibility of metaphysics.

The second question is the moral law issue. From Kant’s epistemology, reason is regarded as the highest cognitive ability, and all the ability to have self-recognition can be attributed to reason. Pure rationality is divided into theoretical rationality and practical rationality. The former refers to rational cognitive functions and activities. The main purpose of Kant’s epistemology is to examine how the knowledge of universality and inevitability constitutes and what scope of problems can be achieved. For the latter, Kant introduced the “practical rationality” opposite to theoretical rationality by writing “Critique of Practical Reason” to discuss rational will functions and activities. Its theory of practical rationality is ethics, and the main purpose is to examine the ethics of human beings. may.

The third question is religious, because it is about the happiness of human beings. Kant uses this to talk about where the roots of the moral laws of human beings are tied. For this reason, he wrote “Religion within the limits of pure reason” (1793) Even the title of the book suggests that there is still something outside of reason.

Later, Kant raised the fourth question: What is man? This is Kant’s anthropological problem. In this question, Kant explores the position of man in the universe, the relationship between man and God, the relationship between the finiteness of human body and the transcendentality of human soul (see Kant: Critique of Pure Reason, Li Qiu, Zero Translation, Renmin University of China Press, 2004; Kant: Practical Anthropology, Li Qiu, Chinese People’s University Press, 2004).

Let’s press the fourth question and not list, first to solve a question: Where is the aesthetic problem involved in Critique of Judgment in Kant’s Three Questions? Originally, “Critique of Practical Reason” and “Critique of Pure Reason” constructed a complete system: the world is divided into two parts, namely, the sensory world obeying the laws of nature and the rational world obeying the moral law. The latter is superior. A world of freedom and self-discipline, and a person who is a finite existent is living in two worlds at the same time.

This is Kant’s famous saying in the conclusion of “Critique of Practical Reason”: “There are two kinds of things. The more people think about it for a long time, the more they make their hearts full of new and growing surprises and awe: I am above my head. The starry sky and the moral law in my heart.” (Kant: “Critique of Practical Reason”, translated by Deng Xiaomang, People’s Publishing House, 2004, p. 220) It can be seen that this is a simple and beautiful structure.

However, Kant could not stop his own thinking. He found that there was a serious gap between the two major criticisms, and a connection must be established. First, the first critique digs a deep and unpredictable gap between phenomena and things. Second, the second critique has also created a treacherous abyss between understanding and morality. Originally, the distinction between ontology and phenomenon is an important contribution of Kant in ethics. He believes that the ontological world is a purely rational world, while the phenomenal world is a perceptual world. The root of morality can only exist in the ontological world.

Kant’s idea is that, while he explains the inevitability and universality of scientific knowledge, he finds the form of intellectuality as the innate condition of the law of cognitive phenomena. Therefore, he also wants to find an absolute, pure and universal source in the field of morality. In this way, we determine the moral rules that are universally binding on each rational being. “If we regard perceptual preferences, utilitarianism, etc. as the source of moral values, then because of their perceptual nature, they are individual and changeable. Such moral principles will only be expedient, and they will not be Everyone has universal binding power.” (Zhan Shiyou: “Kant’s Theory of Virtue and Its Inner Difficulties”, Tianjin Social Sciences, No. 2, 2009).

Kant’s phenomenon ontology dualism system is quite similar to Plato’s sensory world and the hierarchical structure of the concept world, except that the moral world replaces the position of the ideal world. This raises a question: half of us human beings are sensuous, half are rational, and both phenomena and objects are self-contained. If we look at it, then we will become two halves. Is there still a unified person?

Human duality
Kant first overcomes this split with the existence of “human duality.” The issue of the relationship between freedom and necessity is the core of Kant’s consideration of all philosophical issues. In order to solve this problem, Kant proposed a unique concept of “transcendental freedom”. The world is not in the chain of causality, but “causality according to the laws of nature is not the only causality that can be derived from the development of the world. To explain these phenomena, it is necessary to assume a kind of Through the free causality, (Kant: “Critique of Pure Reason”, Li Qiuqi translation, Renmin University of China Press, 2004, p. 378) also assumes a priori freedom, “it is an absolute cause of reason The spontaneity, that is, the self-starting of a sequence of images according to the laws of nature.” (ibid., p. 379)

All causality is the “he” cause, and the transcendental freedom absolutely cuts the cause and effect flow, self-opening, unconditional spontaneous, and becomes an absolute “self” cause. The “self-cause” that can be absolutely spontaneous and self-opening can only be the will, the action of free will.

It is for this reason that freedom does not belong to nature, but it is precisely a transcendental field in which the category of causality cannot be applied. Knowing that we are free, we can know that we are both part of nature and part of the transcendental world. Roger Scruton explained in the Oxford General Reader: Kant: “I exist in the natural world, just as there is a ‘image’ in the representations. But I also exist as an object. Practicing the law of reason rather than the bondage of causality. This does not mean that I am two things, but the same thing that is understood from two opposite angles. “Man as a moral subject must always “under this dual understanding and Consider yourself.” (“The Foundation of Moral Metaphysics”)

In Kant’s view, man is the only one with “duality.” On the one hand, human beings are perceptual beings and belong to the phenomenal world; on the other hand, human beings are rational beings and belong to the ontological realm. As a perceptual being, a person is completely governed by natural causal laws and is dominated by natural instincts, which are largely the same as animals. But as a rational being, one can get rid of the bondage of natural desires and be essentially distinguished from animals. “In terms of human value, rationality as purpose is higher than sensibility as a tool, and rationality as human essence is super-sensible and supernatural morality in Kant. That is to say, the value of life is not to know. What (the person who knows) does not lie in what is enjoyed (natural person), but what is done (moral person). (Xu Ruikang, Zhou Lisheng: “Kant’s practical rationality” is prioritized in the theoretical rational thinking and Its significance, “Journal of Wuhan University (Social Science Edition)”, No. 5, 1990) Therefore, the practical rationality of taking human moral ontology as the research object must be “prioritized” in the perceptual phenomenon that can only meet people. Theoretical rationality.

Aesthetic talent is a complete person
Practice rationality or care about goals, or care about means. This is because, if there is a purpose in my mind, I may carefully consider the means to achieve this. The second part of Critique of Judgment is devoted to “skopos theory”, that is, the understanding of the purpose of things.

The purpose can be divided into two types: the natural purpose and the aesthetic purpose. The purpose of nature is easier to understand: first setting nature has a purpose, and any accidental phenomenon of nature can be understood through this purpose through reflection, that is to say, there is an inevitable reason behind the accident phenomenon, which is the natural combination. Purpose.

The aesthetic purpose of the aesthetic is more complicated: the beauty of human beings is an accidental behavior. When people see the beauty of things, they don’t know why they are beautiful. They can’t find specific reasons in reflection, but they will feel beautiful when they reflect. As if it were a final purpose, Kant referred to this as “the purposelessness of purpose”: “Beauty is a purposeful form of an object, if it is perceived on the object without the appearance of a purpose. (Kant: “The Three Critical Critiques”, Yang Zutao, Deng Xiaomang, People’s Publishing House, 2001, p. 455)

This “untargeted purpose” leads to a generally pleasant feeling of commonality (common sense). Therefore, aesthetic judgment seems to be an objective judgment, but it is subjective; but although it is a subjective form, it is innately required to have a universality beyond the individual, that is, every other person can agree. In other words, aesthetic judgment always contains a kind of “should”: others should feel the same as me. Further, the aesthetic judgment judges each “interest” of the observer who abstracts the beauty, and the observer does not regard the object as a tool for achieving the purpose, but the object itself as the purpose. The observer’s desires, goals, and ideals are shelved, and the subject is considered “no interest.”

Aesthetics is the subjective behavior of human beings, and the subject has three advanced abilities that include self-discipline: cognitive ability (intellectuality), pleasant and unpleasant emotion (judgment), and desire (rationality). Kant said this: “As far as the general mental ability is concerned, as long as they are regarded as high-level abilities, that is, the ability to contain self-discipline, then, for cognitive ability (the ability to understand the theory of nature), intellectuality involves the innate composition. The ability of the principle of sexuality; for pleasant and unpleasant emotions, judgment is the ability that does not depend on concepts and feelings that are likely to be related to the stipulations of desire and thus may be directly practical; for the ability to desire It is rational…” (Kant: Critique of Judgment, translated by Deng Xiaomang, People’s Publishing House, 2004, p. 32)

Although aesthetic judgment is the ability of the subject to congenital, however, in history, whether it is for individuals or ethnic groups, aesthetics always depends on culture to shape and improve. Kant pointed out that man is the carrier of meaning, and the world just makes sense because of talents – this is called “natural generation to human beings.” The so-called “natural generation to human beings” essentially means that people are the “final purpose” of nature. But this purpose will not be the happiness of the individual, but only the culture of mankind. That is to say, as a class, people are disputes due to selfishness, causing huge sacrifices and wastes, but through the labor in society, institutional constraints in social interaction, and the progress of the entire culture including science and art. And let yourself get closer to a high degree of moral awareness.

Culture is to form the moral quality of people with morality. “Only human morality is truly qualified to unify the entire nature (including human society) into a system of purpose.” (Deng Xiaomang: “The Status of Aesthetic Judgment in Kant’s Philosophy”, “Literature Research”, No. 5, 2005) Kant believes that while people are proposing “freedom” for themselves, they always regard “natural” as their realization. The means of purpose, this technique he calls “adaptation”, “the process of producing this adaptation is culture.” (Kant: Critique of Judgment, Translated by Deng Xiaomang, People’s Publishing House, 2002, pp. 287, 289) The ultimate goal of man as nature is to teach the animals that belong to us through culture and civilization. Less and less, “liberate the will from the autocracy of desire” (Kant: “Critical Criticism”, p. 289), and finally reach the real freedom. “Beauty’s art and science, through some kind of universally conveyed pleasure, through social tempering and elegance, even if it is not morally better, it makes people civilized, and thus far better than the autocratic preference of the senses. This prepares people for a rule that only has reason to exercise power… and makes us feel the appropriateness to hide in our hearts for higher purposes.” (Kant: Critique of Judgment, p. 289)

Of course, the art and science of beauty still have to fulfill the role of promoting morality in the eyes of Kant: “The ideal appreciation has a tendency to promote morality from the outside.” (Kant: Practical Anthropology, Renmin University of China Press, 2008 , p. 238) The proper use of aesthetics and art can enhance humanity, just as Schiller said, “The aesthetic talent is a complete person.” In the end, only by virtue of culture, as a person of moral existence, can be the ultimate goal of creation beyond nature. At this point, Kant finally used his judgment as a link to connect the two major criticisms, and his critical philosophy gained three pillars.

Perhaps the following paragraphs best summarize Kant’s understanding of the role of judgment: “People are defined by their own rationality to be in a society with people, and to be exposed to themselves through art and science in society. Educating, civilizing, and moralizing, no matter how much he is negatively indulging in the animalistic tendencies he calls the temptation of a comfortable and comfortable life, he is actively entangled in him with the rudeness of his nature. The struggle for obstacles makes them worthy of humanity.”