than hunting and gathering. For as we saw in the previous section, Kant holds that every human action has an end and that the sum of all moral duties is to promote the highest good. Lauded as visionaries at first, at least by some, they became mocked as throwbacks by those who remembered them. What happens next is what interests me, and worries me too. The role of things in themselves, on the two-object interpretation, is to affect our senses and thereby to provide the sensory data from which our cognitive faculties construct appearances within the framework of our a priori intuitions of space and time and a priori concepts.
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Those benefits are what keep us largely quiet and uncomplaining as the mechanical engineering thesis reports machine rolls on, in the words of the poet. But Kant claims that it is only a regulative principle of reflecting judgment to regard organisms in this way, and that we are not justified in attributing objective purposiveness to organisms themselves, since it is only because of the peculiar constitution of my cognitive faculties. But we all have a conscience, and an unshakeable belief that morality applies. Finally, Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and the Sublime (1764) deals mainly with alleged differences in the tastes of men and women and of people from different cultures. On Kants view, that is why his actions would not be in his control in the present if they are determined by events in the past. On this view, to act morally is to exercise freedom, and the only way to fully exercise freedom is to act morally.
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