Symposium on Judgment

Oct 4-5th, 2013               Co-Conveners: Thomas Pfau
Duke University                                        Vivasvan Soni

Kant’s landmark Critique of Judgment, often credited with establishing modern aesthetics as an autonomous discipline, is perhaps the only philosophical text to be devoted entirely to the problem of judgment. But long before Kant, judgment played an indispensable role in rhetoric, moral cognition, political thought, tragedy and even epistemology. Today, questions about the legitimacy of judgment continue to shape the contest between scientific and humanistic modes of inquiry. This symposium invites participants to reflect on the problem of judgment as it manifests itself in particular texts and discourses of the tradition, while attending to the larger historical narrative in which the problem of judgment manifests itself. How has the faculty of judgment been defined at various historical moments? What particular socio‐historical, political, ethical, epistemological or formal problems is the capacity for judgment supposed to solve? Is the heightened attention to judgment in the eighteenth century a sign of the rediscovery of autonomy, or is it rather the symptom of a pervasive crisis of judgment in the period? Does judgment function in fundamentally different ways in modernity than it did in earlier periods? We expect these to be just some of the questions taken up by papers at the symposium and welcome a variety of approaches and perspectives on the conceptual history and continued relevance of judgment.

This symposium is the first of a series of symposia organized by Duke & Northwestern University