THE IDEA OF PURPOSIVENESS IN KANT AND GERMAN IDEALISM
November 28–29, 2014
University of Leuven
- Stefan Bird-Pollan
(University of Kentucky)
- James Kreines (Claremont
- Gertrudis Van de Vijver
(University of Ghent)
- Lea Ypi (London School of
Whereas Descartes, Spinoza and their followers discarded the
Aristotelian idea of purposiveness, Kant realized that a purely mechanistic
account of the world failed to satisfy the demands of pure reason.
Reintroducing the idea of purposiveness in modern philosophy, he again granted
thought the capacity to conceive of a manifold as an organized whole, albeit
not without qualifying the idea of purposiveness as merely subjective. Kant’s
various discussions of purposiveness in the Critique
of Judgment and other texts have been the subject of much debate. However,
much less attention has been paid to the impact of the idea of purposiveness on
the development of German Idealism. In this regard, three elements of Kant’s
thought seem to be particularly relevant. First, the idea of purposiveness
allowed Kant, in the Critique of Judgment,
to conceive of the various parts of his critical philosophy as a unity. Second,
this idea can be said to inform his conception of moral self-determination in
the Critique of Practical Reason.
Third, the idea of purposiveness seems to underlie the account of the human
faculties in the Critique of Pure Reason
as well as Kant’s conception of a system of pure reason in this work. There is
no doubt that Fichte, Schelling and Hegel developed their philosophical systems
by drawing on one or more of these elements. It is less clear, however, how
exactly they appropriated and modified Kant’s views. Addressing Kant’s critical
philosophy as a whole rather than the third Critique alone, the conference aims
to investigate Kant’s multi-faceted conception of purposiveness and, on that
basis, trace its further development and transformation in German Idealism.
The conference aims at stimulating fruitful exchanges between
established scholars, young researchers, and PhD students. Presentation time
will be 30 minutes + 15 minutes for discussion. Abstracts (about 500 words)
should be sent in MSWord as attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstracts should be prepared for double-blind review by removing any
identification details. Name, paper title, institutional position, affiliation
and email address should be included in the body of the email.
Submission deadline: August 28,
Notification of acceptance by September 10, 2014.
Please note that the organizers will not be able to provide funding
for travel or accommodation.
Organizers: Karin de Boer (Leuven), Gesa Wellmann (Leuven), Henning Tegtmeyer
(Leuven), Geert van Eekert (Antwerp), and Gertrudis Van de Vijver (Ghent).