How ideals are made: maximum, perfection, completeness

Angelica Nuzzo


In this essay, I place Kant’s conception of the “ideal” as a special determination of the idea – i.e., as the individualized idea or the idea not only in concreto but in individuo – within the terminological and conceptual constellation in which Kant’s critical and transcendental concerns intersect with the reference to Plato and scholastic metaphysics. In particular, I concentrate on the process whereby ideals are “made”, i.e., on the logical process that constitutes ideals for different mental faculties (and not for reason alone). At the center is the issue of the “complete determination” of concepts.


Ideal; maximum; perfection

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