a1 Baruch College, City University of New York
The notion of ‘power of judgement’ in the title of Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgement is commonly taken to refer to a cognitive power inclusive of both determining judgement and reflecting judgement. I argue, first, that this seemingly innocuous view is in conflict both with the textual fact that Kant attempts a Critical justification of the reflecting power of judgement – only – and with the systematic impossibility of a transcendentally grounded determining power of judgement. The conventional response to these difficulties is to point out that, Kant's systematic ambitions in the third Critique notwithstanding, reflection, qua concept-forming synthesis, is too closely tied to determination to be a cognitive power in its own right. I argue, second, that this response is question-begging, since the notion of reflection it employs is not only not one central to the third Critique but one antecedently tied to the understanding. I argue, third, that Kant's discussion, in the pivotal § § 76–7, of our cognitive relation to sensible particularity addresses an epistemic problem present (but not raised) in the Critique of Pure Reason. This is the problem of the synthesizability, qua absolute unity, of unsynthesized intuitions. Solving this problem requires Critical justification of a principle of reflection. It follows that Kant's systematic ambitions in the third Critique are appropriate. Given the problem Kant seeks to address, he must offer what he takes himself to be offering: a Critique of the (Reflecting) Power of Judgement.