Theory as Praxis in Kant
This title is meant to indicate the doctrine which Kant’s “Copernican turn” in epistemology actually amounts to: knowledge cannot simply consist in the objectification of something that is always already actual, as presumed by pre-Kantian epistemology, which was a theory of natural consciousness. Rather, our knowing must consist precisely in the attempt to actualize for the first time something that is always already objective, and ultimately, to do this in action. For in fact when we have a concept of something in action, this something is, as such, always already an object, though not one which is thereby already actual, but that which we are trying to actualize for the first time through our action. In principle, only that which is not yet actual can meaningfully become an object for action, because were it already actual, action would be meaningless, that is, superfluous.
KeywordsExternal World Pure Reason Critical Conception Transcendental Idealism Empirical Object
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- 1.See also: “practical reason is concerned not with knowing objects but with its own faculty to make them actual (in accord with knowledge of them), i.e., it is concerned with the will” (KpV 5:89).Google Scholar
- 2.Cf. Prol. 4: 284, 303; R LX, 23:27; “Preisschrift,” 20: 266.Google Scholar
- 3.Cf. B xii and B xvi; also Prol. 4: 318f; KpV 5: 68f.Google Scholar
- 4.See here, as throughout, my Kant über Freiheit als Autonomie ( Frankfurt: Klostermann, 1983 ).Google Scholar