File(s) under embargo
Reason: The full text of the thesis is under a moratorium.
"The world we've expounded": Kant, beauty, and the 'as if' unity of nature and freedom
This thesis will examine the problem of modern philosophical disenchantment and the possibility of meaning in Kant’s Critical project. The problem of disenchantment, I argue, refers to the division and disembodiment of human experience in the first two Critiques. The possibility of meaning can be illustrated through Kant’s attempt to unify the experience of the subject through their corporeal embodiment in the third Critique. While this attempt is not theoretically successful as Kant fails to constitutively unify the worlds of nature and freedom, I contend that the ‘as if’ unity of the two realms through judgements of taste and beauty provides a model for potentially restoring human meaning in the disenchanted condition of modernity. Moreover, I suggest in the conclusion that the ‘as if’ unity of nature and freedom through the experience of beauty provides a practical ethico-aesthetic model through which we might reorient our relationship with the natural world towards greater ecological conservation and protection of our shared environment.