European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):78-102 (2016)

Throughout the critical period Kant enigmatically insists that reason is a ‘unity’, thereby suggesting that both our theoretical and practical endeavors are grounded in one and the same rational capacity. How Kant's unity thesis ought to be interpreted and whether it can be substantiated remain sources of controversy in the literature. According to the strong reading of this claim, reason is a ‘unity’ because all our reasoning, including our theoretical reasoning, functions practically. Although several prominent commentators endorse this view, it is widely thought to lack exegetical support. This paper seeks to strengthen the case for this reading by showing how theoretical reason's positive function, as Kant presents it in the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic, may be construed as fundamentally practical. I argue that reason's supreme regulative principle ought to be understood as a categorical practical imperative. This interpretation, I suggest, resolves the apparent inconsistencies that blight Kant's account of the principle in the Appendix, while bringing greater overall coherence to his account of theoretical reason's regulative function
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1111/ejop.12055
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: 60,992
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Practical Philosophy.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Kant's Transcendental Idealism.Henry E. Allison - 1988 - Yale University Press.
Kant.Paul Guyer - 2006 - Routledge.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Epistemic Normativity in Kant's “Second Analogy”.James Hutton - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):593-609.
Kant on the Ethics of Belief.Alix Cohen - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (3pt3):317-334.
IX—The Transcendental Deduction of Ideas in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason.Lea Ypi - 2017 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (2):163-185.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
55 ( #188,980 of 2,439,396 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #282,750 of 2,439,396 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes