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On the Ruins of BabelArchitectural Metaphor in German Thought$
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Daniel Purdy

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801476761

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801476761.001.0001

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How Much Architecture Is in Kant’s Architectonic of Pure Reason?

How Much Architecture Is in Kant’s Architectonic of Pure Reason?

(p.107) 4 How Much Architecture Is in Kant’s Architectonic of Pure Reason?
On the Ruins of Babel

Daniel L. Purdy

Cornell University Press

This chapter shows how classical architectural theory has provided Kant with a precise terminology to depict that thought that organizes experience—the architectonic. Kant defines the architectonic as the art of philosophical systems, emphasizing that the architectonic is associated with the highest level of reflection about experience. The architectonic entails the arrangement of sensory data according to a method. The “architectural” quality of system building consists in shaping and designing knowledge according to an idea that was not generated by any individual science but instead is derived from an examination of human existence in its entirety. Architecture thus provides a technology and a metaphor for the always expanding problem of how to process the vast information generated by the sciences.

Keywords:   architectonic, classical architectural theory, philosophical systems, sensory data, scientific knowledge

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