The Critique of Judgment, Kant’s third critique, takes up the subject of aesthetics. Kant divided the book into two parts: critique of aesthetic judgment and critique of teleological judgment. In the first part, Kant examines four “reflective judgments” about aesthetics: the agreeable, the beautiful, the sublime, and the good. The second part discusses the method of judging things according to their purpose or telos.
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Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) was born in Königsberg, Prussia, in a Pietist Lutheran family. He attended the University of Königsberg, becoming a lecturer there after graduation. In 1770, he accepted the chair of logic and metaphysics at Königsberg. He published and taught a variety of subjects, but focused on metaphysics and its relationship to physics and mathematics. He was heavily influenced by the writings of Leibniz, Newton, Hume, and Rousseau, drawing on both the empiricist and the rationalist schools. He wrote works of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and teleology. His revolutionary contribution to philosophy is his argument that human knowledge of the world comes from sense experience but is shaped by innate structures inherent in human reason.