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8th Edition of the Multilateral Kant Colloquium - Natalia Lerussi

Abstract: Kant on the Question of the Reference of Teleology to Organisms In the paper I discuss Kant´s justification for judging organized beings (or organisms) in teleological terms, through the concept of the “end” or “natural end”. Nowadays there are different answers to this question. For instance, from the perspective of what I call the “objective point of view”, organized beings have some objective characteristics that justify us having to comprehend them teleologically, while from that of what I call the “ordinary subjective viewpoint”, we must do so only on account of the discursive character of our understanding. I argue that both positions are, for different reasons that I outline, misleading, and I offer my own answer, a refined subjective position. By means of the distinction between the “essential character” of our understanding, on the one hand, and its “limits”, on the other, I hope to give a consistent and well-supported in the sources answer to the question why organized beings must be judged teleologically: that is, to the question of the reference of teleology to organisms.