Kant Studien 95 (4):405-425 (2004)

Nathaniel Goldberg
Washington and Lee University
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
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1515/kant.2004.025
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,307
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Reason Unbound: Kant's Theory of Regulative Principles.Kenneth Walden - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):575-592.
Historicism, Entrenchment, and Conventionalism.Nathaniel Jason Goldberg - 2009 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (2):259-276.
Response‐Dependence, Noumenalism, and Ontological Mystery.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (4):469-488.
Interpreting Thomas Kuhn as a Response-Dependence Theorist.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2011 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (5):729 - 752.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
96 ( #121,946 of 2,507,862 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,715 of 2,507,862 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes