Consequently, this discovery does not in the least help us to extend this knowledge of ours in a speculative point of view, although it does in respect of the practical employment of pure reason. For it is not possible to define duties specially, as human duties, with a view to their classification, until the subject of this definition (viz., man) is known according to his actual nature, at least so far as is necessary with respect to duty; this, however, does not belong to a critical examination of the practical reason, the business of which is only to assign in a complete manner the principles of its possibility, extent, and limits, without special reference to human nature. I have only intended to point out the most general maxims of the methodology of moral cultivation and exercise. It is absolutely impossible, however, to know the existence of this Being from mere concepts, because every existential proposition, that is, every proposition that affirms the existence of a being of which I frame a concept, is a synthetic proposition, that is, one by which I go beyond that conception and affirm of it more than was thought in the conception itself; namely, that this concept in the understanding has an object corresponding to it outside the understanding, and this it is obviously impossible to elicit by any reasoning. For we ultimately take a liking for a thing, the contemplation of which makes us feel that the use of our cognitive faculties is extended; and this extension is especially furthered by that in which we find moral correctness, since it is only in such an order of things that reason, with its faculty of determining a priori on principle what ought to be done, can find satisfaction. However, the Critique of Practical Reason is not a critique of pure practical reason, but rather a defense of it as being capable of grounding behavior superior to that grounded by desire-based practical reasoning. The reason of this appears sufficiently from the treatise itself. This law (as far as rational beings are concerned) gives to the world of sense, which is a sensible system of nature, the form of a world of the understanding, that is, of a supersensible system of nature, without interfering with its mechanism. They showed intelligence and penetration then in this very point, that they did not allow themselves to adopt it, but on the contrary looked about amongst natural causes to see if they could not find in them the qualities and power required for a First Being. Man is a being who, as belonging to the world of sense, has wants, and so far his reason has an office which it cannot refuse, namely, to attend to the interest of his sensible nature, and to form practical maxims, even with a view to the happiness of this life, and if possible even to that of a future. Therefore it does not effect our knowledge of the things in themselves. PREFACE Why this Critique1 is titled a critique not of pure practical reason but sim ply2 of practical reason as such,3 although its parallelism with the critique of speculative reason4 seems to require the former—on this the treatise pro vides sufficient information. For, in the present case, we shall commence with the principles and proceed to the concepts, and only then, if possible, to the senses; whereas in the case of the speculative reason we began with the senses and had to end with the principles. It will, therefore, give this definition here in such a manner as it ought to be given, in order to leave this contested point open at the beginning, as it should be. Now, as the promotion of this summum bonum, the conception of which contains this connection, is a priori a necessary object of our will and inseparably attached to the moral law, the impossibility of the former must prove the falsity of the latter. [Ask him]- if a gallows were erected before the house where he finds this opportunity, in order that he should be hanged thereon immediately after the gratification of his lust, whether he could not then control his passion; we need not be long in doubt what he would reply. The converse also applies: if the will is free, then it must be governed by a rule, but a rule whose content does not restrict the freedom of the will. The practical rule is, therefore, unconditional, and hence it is conceived a priori as a categorically practical proposition by which the will is objectively determined absolutely and immediately (by the practical rule itself, which thus is in this case a law); for pure reason practical of itself is here directly legislative. We have another preliminary remark to make respecting the dialectic of the pure practical reason, on the point of the definition of the summum bonum (a successful solution of which dialectic would lead us to expect, as in case of that of the theoretical reason, the most beneficial effects, inasmuch as the self-contradictions of pure practical reason honestly stated, and not concealed, force us to undertake a complete critique of this faculty). The same typic guards also against the mysticism of practical reason, which turns what served only as a symbol into a schema, that is, proposes to provide for the moral concepts actual intuitions, which, however, are not sensible (intuitions of an invisible Kingdom of God), and thus plunges into the transcendent. They are, then, practical rules under a problematical condition of the will; but here the rule says: We absolutely must proceed in a certain manner. For in these all must be directed to the conception of the law as a determining principle, if the action is to contain morality and not merely legality. Thus I see before me order and design in nature, and need not resort to speculation to assure myself of their reality, but to explain them I have to presuppose a Deity as their cause; and then since the inference from an effect to a definite cause is always uncertain and doubtful, especially to a cause so precise and so perfectly defined as we have to conceive in God, hence the highest degree of certainty to which this pre-supposition can be brought is that it is the most rational opinion for us men. : how we deny objective reality to the supersensible use of the categories in speculation and yet admit this reality with respect to the objects of pure practical reason. We have here only to do with the distinction of imperatives into problematical, assertorial, and apodeictic. These can be applied to the theoretical employment of reason, i.e., to that kind of knowledge, only in case an intuition (which is always sensible) is taken as a basis, and therefore merely in order to conceive by means of- them an object of possible experience. In the history of Grecian philosophy we find no distinct traces of a pure rational theology earlier than Anaxagoras; but this is not because the older philosophers had not intelligence or penetration enough to raise themselves to it by the path of speculation, at least with the aid of a thoroughly reasonable hypothesis. Self-consciousness would indeed make him a thinking automaton; but the consciousness of his own spontaneity would be mere delusion if this were mistaken for freedom, and it would deserve this name only in a comparative sense, since, although the proximate determining causes of its motion and a long series of their determining causes are internal, yet the last and highest is found in a foreign hand. As submission to the law, therefore, that is, as a command (announcing constraint for the sensibly affected subject), it contains in it no pleasure, but on the contrary, so far, pain in the action. This work will proceed at a higher level of abstraction. To that one in the solution of which the latter could do nothing but commit paralogisms (namely, that of immortality), because it could not lay hold of the character of permanence, by which to complete the psychological conception of an ultimate subject necessarily ascribed to the soul in self-consciousness, so as to make it the real conception of a substance, a character which practical reason furnishes by the postulate of a duration required for accordance with the moral law in the summum bonum, which is the whole end of practical reason. It is a clear contradiction to try to extract necessity from a principle of experience (ex pumice aquam), and to try by this to give a judgement true universality (without which there is no rational inference, not even inference from analogy, which is at least a presumed universality and objective necessity). In Critique of the practical reason Kant wrote about the problem of freedom and God. Empiricism, on the contrary, cuts up at the roots the morality of intentions (in which, and not in actions only, consists the high worth that men can and ought to give to themselves), and substitutes for duty something quite different, namely, an empirical interest, with which the inclinations generally are secretly leagued; and empiricism, moreover, being on this account allied with all the inclinations which (no matter what fashion they put on) degrade humanity when they are raised to the dignity of a supreme practical principle; and as these, nevertheless, are so favourable to everyone's feelings, it is for that reason much more dangerous than mysticism, which can never constitute a lasting condition of any great number of persons.
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