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p. 966. Beauty and designlocked

  • Roger Scruton

Abstract

Kant's writings on religion show an attempt at the systematic demystification of theology. ‘Beauty and design’ analyses Kant's writings on religion and touches upon Kant's aesthetics. An attempt to make the idea of God intelligible through images, and so to place God in the categories of an empirical world, is self-contradictory, Kant believed. If God is a transcendental being, then there is nothing to be said of him from our point of view except that he transcends it. The worship due to God becomes reverence and devotion for the moral law. The faith that transcends belief becomes the certainty of practical reason that surpasses understanding. Aesthetic judgement contains a conflict: it cannot be aesthetic (an expression of subjective experience) and also a judgement (claiming universal assent).

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