Kant's Critique of Practical Reason and Other Works on the Theory of Ethics

By Thomas Kingsmill Abbott; Immanuel Kant | Go to book overview
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(241) BOOK II.
DIALECTIC OF PURE PRACTICAL REASON.

CHAPTER I.
OF A DIALECTIC OF PURE PRACTICAL REASON GENERALLY.

PURE reason always has its dialectic, whether it is considered in its speculative or its practical employment; for it requires the absolute totality of the conditions of what is given conditioned, and this can only be found in things in themselves. But as all conceptions of things in themselves must be referred to intuitions, and with us men these can never be other than sensible, and hence can never enable us to know objects as things in themselves but only as appearances, and since the unconditioned can never be found in this chain of appearances which consists only of conditioned and conditions; thus from applying this rational idea of the totality of the conditions (in other words of the unconditioned) to appearances there arises an inevitable illusion, as if these latter were things in themselves (242) (for in the absence of a warning critique they are always regarded as such). This illusion would never be noticed as delusive if it did not betray itself by a conflict of reason with itself, when it applies to appearances its fundamental principle of presupposing the unconditioned to everything conditioned. By this, however, reason is compelled to trace this illusion to its source, and search how it can be removed, and this can only be done by a complete critical examination of the whole pure faculty of reason; so that the

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