XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

The Objectivity of Regulative Principles in Kant’s Appendix to the Dialectic

Terry Godlove

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: sala Vico
Data: 23 maggio 2010 - 14:30
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010


In the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant puts forward “regulative” principles of homogeneity, specification, and continuity of forms. In brief, the claim is that we must find enough material resemblance among objects to, a) license a hierarchical grouping into genus and species, and thus, b) make possible the application of empirical concepts. In several places Kant claims “objective validity” (e.g., A 651/B 679) for his regulative principles; how to understand this claim continues to be controversial. I propose a reconstruction of Kant’s argument for the regulative principles on which they are synthetic propositions a priori, serve as rules for possible experience, and seem—but only seem—to qualify as transcendental knowledge. The regulative principles emerge as no less than the completion of the Analytic, as an indispensable, Ptolemaic capstone to the Copernican revolution in the theory of knowledge.