The Regulative Ideal of Systematicity in Kant's Critical Philosophy

Dissertation, The University of Western Ontario (Canada) (1997)

Abstract
This thesis is concerned with Immanuel Kant's notion of "systematicity" or "systematic unity" as developed in the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic of the Critique of Pure Reason, in both the First and the Published Introductions to the Critique of Judgment, and in the "Critique of Teleological Judgment", the second part of the Critique of Judgment. In his critical period, Kant remained interested in the concept of system and it continued to be one of the main themes of his later thought. Kant maintained that philosophy must be a scientific system, but the model of system underlying his conception of scientific philosophy is little known and certainly infrequently examined. Although thinkers like Buchdahl, Butts, Guyer, McFarland, Neiman, Zammito, etc., have focused in considerable detail on this area of Kant's scholarship, none of them, it appears to me, present a detailed and systematic exposition of Kant's regulative idea of systematicity. In chapters II, III, and IV, I therefore, present a detailed and systematic interpretation of this regulative idea, drawing on work previously done by Allison, Buchdahl, Kitcher, McFarland, and others. ;Chapter II of my thesis is exclusively devoted to analysing the role of theoretical reason in systematizing empirical knowledge. Chapter III deals with the nature and status of the principle of the systematic unity of nature as developed in the two Introductions to the third Critique. Here Kant argued that this principle is an a priori principle of "reflective judgment" . In chapter IV I analyze and examine the nature of organisms or "natural purposes", which are, for Kant, concrete systematic entities. ;In the third Critique Kant introduced reflective judgment to explain the regulative idea of systematicity, though, he had previously assigned the origin as well as the employment of this idea to theoretical reason in the first Critique. But Kant did not explicitly tell us why he transferred the above mentioned operation between the first Critique and the third Critique. Has there been a change in Kant's thinking between the first and the third Critiques in his treatment of this regulative idea? In chapter V, by showing the similarities and differences between the first and the third Critiques' treatment of this idea, I try to establish the thesis that although in the third Critique Kant's treatment of this regulative idea adds some new elements, comparatively detailed and explicit, to his critical philosophy which were either absent or dimly present in the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic of the first Critique's treatment, there is nothing of philosophical significance hidden in the change from theoretical reason to reflective judgment
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