Towards a unity of Theoretical and Practical Reason: On the constitutive significance of the Transcendental Dialectic

Link to full article (Journal Open Philosophy, deGruyter, 2022)

Abstract

The article focuses on re-evaluating Kant’s Transcendental Dialectic by initially highlighting its seemingly negative function within the Critique of Pure Reason as a mere regulative form for cognition and experience. The Dialectic, however, does not only have such a negative-regulative function but also its very own positive and founding character for cognition that even is present in the supposedly most immediate forms of intuition. In exploring this positive side of the Transcendental Dialectic it becomes clear that it manifests itself as a bridge between the so-called theoretical and practical reason inasmuch as it fills in their gap within Kant’s philosophy. From the practical side, the Dialectic is manifest as an action full of purposiveness, maxims, and imperatives within cognition, from a theoretical side it assumes the form of syllogistic inference, which is the adequate and acting theoretical form of practical reason. Therefore, the unity of reason is shown in presenting its inner gap as a dialectical misunderstanding that Kant not only highlights in the Transcendental Dialectic but also tends to leave unsolved mostly. Nevertheless, the Dialectic can be shown as the a priori synthetic act of unifying reason, if investigated in the context of Kant’s complete critical endeavour.

Autor: Robert König


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