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Kant's Empirical Realism$
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Paul Abela

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199242740

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199242740.001.0001

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The Role of the Ideal of Systematicity: A Realist Interpretation

The Role of the Ideal of Systematicity: A Realist Interpretation

(p.250) 5 The Role of the Ideal of Systematicity: A Realist Interpretation
Kant's Empirical Realism

Paul Abela

Oxford University Press

The final step in consolidating the realist reading requires a discussion of the other relevant lesson of the Dialectic: the ontological significance that flows from the transcendental regulative principle of the idea of the systematicity of nature. Principle 4 claims that the intrinsic relations of the phenomenal world can transcend one's experience of them. Clearly, an assessment of the regulative principle of systematicity has a direct bearing on the ontological significance of this principle. In both the Critique of Pure Reason and the Critique of Judgement, Immanuel Kant insists that one's ability to unify diverse phenomena under particular causal laws, and to deploy hierarchical systems of laws, depends on the empirical employment of the transcendental principle. This transcendental principle instructs one to treat nature as a systematically structured whole. The general thrust of the methodological reading poses a serious an obstacle to a unified realist interpretation of empirical realism as did the assertion-condition approach to truth.

Keywords:   Dialectic, systematicity, nature, Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Judgement, Immanuel Kant, transcendental principle, truth, empirical realism, experience

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