Do principles of reason have objective but indeterminate validity?

Kant-Studien 95 (4):405-425 (2004)
Abstract
Reason is precariously positioned in the Critique of Pure Reason. The Transcendental Analytic leaves no entry for reason in the cognitive process, and the Transcendental Dialectic restricts reason to noncognitive roles. Yet, in the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic, Kant contends that the ideas of reason can be used in empirical investigation and eventually knowledge acquisition. Given what Kant has said, how is this possible? Kant attempts to answer this in A663–A666/B691–B694 in the Appendix, where he argues that principles of reason “have objective but indeterminate validity.” In Part I of this paper, I explain the full motivation behind this section. In Part II, I provide an exegesis of it. In particular, to reach his conclusion that principles of reason have objective but indeterminate validity, I interpret Kant as making three arguments from analogy. Finally, in Part III, I show that the first and third arguments fail—and what this means for Kant’s project.
Keywords Kant, Immanuel  Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic  principles of reason  regulative use of reason
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DOI 10.1515/kant.2004.025
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