§ 64.: Of the peculiar character of things as natural purposes - Immanuel Kant, The Critique of Judgement 
Kant’s Critique of Judgement, translated with Introduction and Notes by J.H. Bernard (2nd ed. revised) (London: Macmillan, 1914).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
- Editor’s Introduction
- I.: Of the Division of Philosophy
- II.: Of the Realm of Philosophy In General
- III.: Of the Critique of Judgement As a Means of Combining the Two Parts of Philosophy Into a Whole.
- IV.: Of Judgement As a Faculty Legislating a Priori
- V.: The Principle of the Formal Purposiveness of Nature Is a Transcendental Principle of Judgement.
- VI.: Of the Combination of the Feeling of Pleasure With the Concept of the Purposiveness of Nature.
- VII.: Of the Aesthetical Representation of the Purposiveness of Nature.
- VIII.: Of the Logical Representation of the Purposiveness of Nature
- IX.: Of the Connexion of the Legislation of Understanding With That of Reason By Means of the Judgement
- Part I: Critique of the Aesthetical Judgement
- First Division: Analytic of the Aesthetical Judgement
- First Book: Analytic of the Beautiful
- First Moment: of the Judgement of Taste 1 According to Quality
- § 1.: The Judgement of Taste Is Aesthetical
- § 2.: The Satisfaction Which Determines the Judgement of Taste Is Disinterested
- § 3.: The Satisfaction In the Pleasant Is Bound Up With Interest
- § 4.: The Satisfaction In the Good Is Bound Up With Interest
- § 5.: Comparison of the Three Specifically Different Kinds of Satisfaction
- Explanation of the Beautiful Resulting From the First Moment
- Second Moment: of the Judgement of Taste, Viz. According to Quantity
- § 6.: The Beautiful Is That Which Apart From Concepts Is Represented As the Object of a Universal Satisfaction
- § 7.: Comparison of the Beautiful With the Pleasant and the Good By Means of the Above Characteristic
- § 8.: The Universality of the Satisfaction Is Represented In a Judgement of Taste Only As Subjective
- § 9.: Investigation of the Question Whether In the Judgement of Taste the Feeling of Pleasure Precedes Or Follows the Judging of the Object
- Explanation of the Beautiful Resulting From the Second Moment
- Third Moment: of Judgements of Taste, According to the Relation of the Purposes Which Are Brought Into Consideration Therein.
- § 10.: Of Purposiveness In General
- § 11.: The Judgement of Taste Has Nothing At Its Basis But the Form of the Purposiveness of an Object ( Or of Its Mode of Representation )
- § 12.: The Judgement of Taste Rests On a Priori Grounds
- § 13.: The Pure Judgement of Taste Is Independent of Charm and Emotion
- § 14.: Elucidation By Means of Examples
- § 15.: The Judgement of Taste Is Quite Independent of the Concept of Perfection
- § 16.: The Judgement of Taste, By Which an Object Is Declared to Be Beautiful Under the Condition of a Definite Concept, Is Not Pure
- § 17.: Of the Ideal of Beauty
- Explanation of the Beautiful Derived From This Third Moment
- Fourth Moment: of the Judgement of Taste, According to the Modality of the Satisfaction In the Object
- § 18.: What the Modality In a Judgement of Taste Is
- § 19.: The Subjective Necessity, Which We Ascribe to the Judgement of Taste, Is Conditioned
- § 20.: The Condition of Necessity Which a Judgement of Taste Asserts Is the Idea of a Common Sense
- § 21.: Have We Ground For Presupposing a Common Sense?
- § 22.: The Necessity of the Universal Agreement That Is Thought In a Judgement of Taste Is a Subjective Necessity, Which Is Represented As Objective Under the Presupposition of a Common Sense
- Explanation of the Beautiful Resulting From the Fourth Moment
- General Remark On the First Section of the Analytic
- Second Book: Analytic of the Sublime
- § 23.: Transition From the Faculty Which Judges of the Beautiful to That Which Judges of the Sublime
- § 24.: Of the Divisions of an Investigation Into the Feeling of the Sublime
- A.: — of the Mathematically Sublime
- § 25.: Explanation of the Term “ Sublime ”
- § 26.: Of That Estimation of the Magnitude of Natural Things Which Is Requisite For the Idea of the Sublime
- § 27.: Of the Quality of the Satisfaction In Our Judgements Upon the Sublime
- B.: — of the Dynamically Sublime In Nature
- § 28.: Of Nature Regarded As Might
- § 29.: Of the Modality of the Judgement Upon the Sublime In Nature
- General Remark Upon the Exposition of the Aesthetical Reflective Judgement
- Deduction of [pure 1 ] Aesthetical Judgements
- § 30.: The Deduction of Aesthetical Judgements On the Objects of Nature Must Not Be Directed to What We Call Sublime In Nature, But Only to the Beautiful.
- § 31.: Of the Method of Deduction of Judgements of Taste
- § 32.: First Peculiarity of the Judgement of Taste
- § 33.: Second Peculiarity of the Judgement of Taste
- § 34.: There Is No Objective Principle of Taste Possible
- § 35.: The Principle of Taste Is the Subjective Principle of Judgement In General
- § 36.: Of the Problem of a Deduction of Judgements of Taste
- § 37.: What Is Properly Asserted a Priori of an Object In a Judgement of Taste
- § 38.: Deduction of Judgements of Taste
- § 39.: Of the Communicability of a Sensation
- § 40.: Of Taste As a Kind of Sensus Communis
- § 41.: Of the Empirical Interest In the Beautiful
- § 42.: Of the Intellectual Interest In the Beautiful
- § 43.: Of Art In General
- § 44.: Of Beautiful Art
- § 45.: Beautiful Art Is an Art, In So Far As It Seems Like Nature
- § 46.: Beautiful Art Is the Art of Genius
- § 47.: Elucidation and Confirmation of the Above Explanation of Genius
- § 48.: Of the Relation of Genius to Taste
- § 49.: Of the Faculties of the Mind That Constitute Genius
- § 50.: Of the Combination of Taste With Genius In the Products of Beautiful Art
- § 51.: Of the Division of the Beautiful Arts
- § 52.: Of the Combination of Beautiful Arts In One and the Same Product
- § 53.: Comparison of the Respective Aesthetical Worth of the Beautiful Arts
- § 54.: Remark
- Second Division: Dialectic of the Aesthetical Judgement
- § 55: § 56.
- § 57.: Solution of the Antinomy of Taste
- § 58.: Of the Idealism of the Purposiveness of Both Nature and Art As the Unique Principle of the Aesthetical Judgement.
- § 59.: Of Beauty As the Symbol of Morality
- § 60.: Of the Method of Taste
- Part II: Critique of the Teleological Judgement
- § 61.: Of the Objective Purposiveness of Nature
- First Division: Analytic of the Teleological Judgement
- § 62.: Of the Objective Purposiveness Which Is Merely Formal As Distinguished From That Which Is Material
- § 63.: Of the Relative, As Distinguished From the Inner, Purposiveness of Nature
- § 64.: Of the Peculiar Character of Things As Natural Purposes
- § 65.: Things Regarded As Natural Purposes Are Organised Beings
- § 66.: Of the Principle of Judging of Internal Purposiveness In Organised Beings
- § 67.: Of the Principle of the Teleological Judging of Nature In General As a System of Purposes
- § 68.: Of the Principle of Teleology As Internal Principle of Natural Science
- Second Division
- Dialectic of the Teleological Judgement
- § 69.: What Is an Antinomy of the Judgement?
- § 70.: Representation of This Antinomy
- § 71.: Preliminary to the Solution of the Above Antinomy
- § 72.: Of the Different Systems Which Deal With the Purposiveness of Nature
- § 73.: None of the Above Systems Give What They Pretend
- § 74.: The Reason That We Cannot Treat the Concept of a Technic of Nature Dogmatically Is the Fact That a Natural Purpose Is Inexplicable
- § 75.: The Concept of an Objective Purposiveness of Nature Is a Critical Principle of Reason For the Reflective Judgement
- § 76.: Remark
- § 77.: Of the Peculiarity of the Human Understanding, By Means of Which the Concept of a Natural Purpose Is Possible
- § 78.: Of the Union of the Principle of the Universal Mechanism of Matter With the Teleological Principle In the Technic of Nature.
- § 79.: Whether Teleology Must Be Treated As If It Belonged to the Doctrine of Nature
- § 80.: Of the Necessary Subordination of the Mechanical to the Teleological Principle In the Explanation of a Thing As a Natural Purpose.
- § 81.: Of the Association of Mechanism With the Teleological Principle In the Explanation of a Natural Purpose As a Natural Product.
- § 82.: Of the Teleological System In the External Relations of Organised Beings
- § 83.: Of the Ultimate Purpose of Nature As a Teleological System
- § 84.: Of the Final Purpose of the Existence of a World, I.E. Of Creation Itself
- § 85.: Of Physico-theology
- § 86.: Of Ethico-theology
- § 87.: Of the Moral Proof of the Being of God
- § 88.: Limitation of the Validity of the Moral Proof
- § 89.: Of the Use of the Moral Argument
- § 90.: Of the Kind of Belief In a Teleological Proof of the Being of God
- § 91.: Of the Kind of Belief Produced By a Practical Faith
Of the peculiar character of things as natural purposes
In order to see that a thing is only possible as a purpose, that is, to be forced to seek the causality of its origin not in the mechanism of nature but in a cause whose faculty of action is determined through concepts, it is requisite that its form be not possible according to mere natural laws, i.e. laws which can be cognised by us through the Understanding alone when applied to objects of Sense; but that even the empirical knowledge of it as regards its cause and effect presupposes concepts of Reason. This contingency of its form in all empirical natural laws in reference to Reason affords a ground for regarding its causality as possible only through Reason. For Reason, which must cognise the necessity of every form of a natural product in order to comprehend even the conditions of its genesis, cannot assume such [natural] necessity in that particular given form. The causality of its origin is then referred to the faculty of acting in accordance with purposes (a will); and the Object which can only thus be represented as possible is represented as a purpose.
If in a seemingly uninhabited country a man perceived a geometrical figure, say a regular hexagon, inscribed on the sand, his reflection busied with such a concept would attribute, although obscurely, the unity in the principle of its genesis to Reason, and consequently would not regard as a ground of the possibility of such a shape the sand, or the neighbouring sea, or the winds, or beasts with familiar footprints, or any other irrational cause. For the chance against meeting with such a concept, which is only possible through Reason, would seem so infinitely great, that it would be just as if there were no natural law, no cause in the mere mechanical working of nature capable of producing it; but as if only the concept of such an Object, as a concept which Reason alone can supply and with which it can compare the thing, could contain the causality for such an effect. This then would be regarded as a purpose, but as a product of art, not as a natural purpose (vestigium hominis video).
But in order to regard a thing cognised as a natural product as a purpose also—consequently as a natural purpose, if this is not a contradiction—something more is required. I would say provisionally: a thing exists as a natural purpose, if it is [although in a double sense] both cause and effect of itself. For herein lies a causality the like of which cannot be combined with the mere concept of a nature without attributing to it a purpose; it can certainly be thought without contradiction, but cannot be comprehended. We shall elucidate the determination of this Idea of a natural purpose by an example, before we analyse it completely.
In the first place, a tree generates another tree according to a known natural law. But the tree produced is of the same genus; and so it produces itself generically. On the one hand, as effect it is continually self-produced; on the other hand, as cause it continually produces itself, and so perpetuates itself generically.
Secondly, a tree produces itself as an individual. This kind of effect no doubt we call growth; but it is quite different from any increase according to mechanical laws, and is to be reckoned as generation, though under another name. The matter that the tree incorporates it previously works up into a specifically peculiar quality, which natural mechanism external to it cannot supply; and thus it develops itself by aid of a material which, as compounded, is its own product. No doubt, as regards the constituents got from nature without, it must only be regarded as an educt; but yet in the separation and recombination of this raw material we see such an originality in the separating and formative faculty of this kind of natural being, as is infinitely beyond the reach of art, if the attempt is made to reconstruct such vegetable products out of elements obtained by their dissection or material supplied by nature for their sustenance.
Thirdly, each part of a tree generates itself in such a way that the maintenance of any one part depends reciprocally on the maintenance of the rest. A bud of one tree engrafted on the twig of another produces in the alien stock a plant of its own kind, and so also a scion engrafted on a foreign stem. Hence we may regard each twig or leaf of the same tree as merely engrafted or inoculated into it, and so as an independent tree attached to another and parasitically nourished by it. At the same time, while the leaves are products of the tree they also in turn give support to it; for the repeated defoliation of a tree kills it, and its growth thus depends on the action of the leaves upon the stem. The self-help of nature in case of injury in the vegetable creation, when the want of a part that is necessary for the maintenance of its neighbours is supplied by the remaining parts; and the abortions or malformations in growth, in which certain parts, on account of casual defects or hindrances, form themselves in a new way to maintain what exists, and so produce an anomalous creature, I shall only mention in passing, though they are among the most wonderful properties of organised creatures.