Research Article

Kant on the Concept of Witz



The central aim of this essay is to portray Kant’s notion of Witz as it unfolds from his Lectures on Anthropology, in a decisive stage of his intellectual evolution (1772–96). This aim is sub-divided into two parallel objectives: first, to sketch a brief history of the concept of Witz, thus showing how Witz came to evolve from having a rational connotation to having an imaginative connotation, and how it came to be a pregnant philosophical issue, as well as an aesthetic principle. Secondly, to show how Kant read that singular course in the evolution of Witz; how, in his view, Witz and the power of judgement, imagination, and intellect are indeed opposed, but also how there is a necessity to unite both opposing parts; a convergence which is not only advantageous for both parts, but serves a greater purpose: to create an unsuspected link between imagination and understanding, as well as between philosophy and poetry.


KantWitzpower of judgementpoetry
  • Year: 2020
  • Volume: 57 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: 163–182
  • DOI: 10.33134/eeja.221
  • Submitted on 23 Apr 2019
  • Accepted on 15 Jul 2020
  • Published on 15 Sep 2020
  • Peer Reviewed