Front Page Titles (by Subject) Third Section System of Transcendental Ideas [p. 333] - Critique of Pure Reason
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Third Section System of Transcendental Ideas [p. 333] - Friedrich Max Müller, Critique of Pure Reason 
Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. In Commemoration of the Centenary of its First Publication. Translated into English by F. Max Mueller (2nd revised ed.) (New York: Macmillan, 1922).
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We are not at present concerned with logical Dialectic, which takes no account of the contents of knowledge, and has only to lay bare the illusions in the form of syllogisms, but with transcendental Dialectic, which is supposed to contain entirely a priori the origin of certain kinds of knowledge, arising from pure reason, and of certain deduced concepts, the object of which can never be given empirically, and which therefore lie entirely outside the domain of the pure understanding. We gathered from the natural relation which must exist between the transcendental and the logical use of our knowledge, in syllogisms as well as in judgments, that there must be three kinds of dialectic syllogisms, and no more, corresponding to the three kinds of conclusion by which reason may from principles arrive at knowledge, and that in all of these it is the object of reason to ascend from the conditioned synthesis, to which the understanding is always restricted, to an unconditioned synthesis, which the understanding can never reach.
The relations which all our representations share in common are, 1st, relation to the subject; 2ndly, the relation to objects, either as phenomena, or as objects [p. 334] of thought in general. If we connect this subdivision with the former division, we see that the relation of the representations of which we can form a concept or an idea can only be threefold: 1st, the relation to the subject; 2ndly, the relation to the manifold of the phenomenal object; 3rdly, the relation to all things in general.
All pure concepts in general aim at a synthetical unity of representations, while concepts of pure reason (transcendental ideas) aim at unconditioned synthetical unity of all conditions. All transcendental ideas therefore can be arranged in three classes: the first containing the absolute (unconditioned) unity of the thinking subject; the second the absolute unity of the series of conditions of phenomena; the third the absolute unity of the condition of all objects of thought in general.
The thinking subject is the object-matter of psychology, the system of all phenomena (the world) the object-matter of cosmology, and the being which contains the highest condition of the possibility of all that can be thought (the Being of all beings), the object-matter of theology. Thus it is pure reason which supplies the idea of a transcendental science of the soul (psychologia rationalis), of a transcendental science of the world (cosmologia rationalis), and, lastly, of a transcendental science of God (theologia transcendentalis). Even the mere plan of any [p. 335] one of these three sciences does not come from the understanding, even if connected with the highest logical use of reason, that is, with all possible conclusions, leading from one of its objects (phenomenon) to all others, and on to the most remote parts of any possible empirical synthesis, — but is altogether a pure and genuine product or rather problem of pure reason.
What kinds of pure concepts of reason are comprehended under these three titles of all transcendental ideas will be fully explained in the following chapter. They follow the thread of the categories, for pure reason never refers direct to objects, but to the concepts of objects framed by the understanding. Nor can it be rendered clear, except hereafter in a detailed explanation, how first, reason simply by the synthetical use of the same function which it employs for categorical syllogisms is necessarily led on to the concept of the absolute unity of the thinking subject; secondly, how the logical procedure in hypothetical syllogisms leads to the idea of something absolutely unconditioned, in a series of given conditions, and how, thirdly, the mere form of the disjunctive syllogism produces necessarily the highest concept of reason, that of a Being of all beings; a thought which, at first sight, seems extremely paradoxical. [p. 336]
No objective deduction, like that given of the categories, is possible with regard to these transcendental ideas; they are ideas only, and for that very reason they have no relation to any object corresponding to them in experience. What we could undertake to give was a subjective deduction1 of them from the nature of reason, and this has been given in the present chapter.
We can easily perceive that pure reason has no other aim but the absolute totality of synthesis on the side of conditions (whether of inherence, dependence, or concurrence), and that it has nothing to do with the absolute completeness on the part of the conditioned. It is the former only which is required for presupposing the whole series of conditions, and thus presenting it a priori to the understanding. If once we have a given condition, complete and unconditioned itself, no concept of reason is required to continue the series, because the understanding takes by itself every step downward from the condition to the conditioned. The transcendental ideas therefore serve only for ascending in the series of conditions till they reach the unconditioned, that is, the principles. With regard to descending to the conditioned, there is no doubt a widely extended logical use which our reason [p. 337] may make of the rules of the understanding, but no transcendental one; and if we form an idea of the absolute totality of such a synthesis (by progressus), as, for instance, of the whole series of all future changes in the world, this is only a thought (ens rationis) that may be thought if we like, but is not presupposed as necessary by reason. For the possibility of the conditioned, the totality of its conditions only, but not of its consequences, is presupposed. Such a concept therefore is not one of the transcendental ideas, with which alone we have to deal.
Finally, we can perceive, that there is among the transcendental ideas themselves a certain connection and unity by which pure reason brings all its knowledge into one system. There is in the progression from our knowledge of ourselves (the soul) to a knowledge of the world, and through it to a knowledge of the Supreme Being, something so natural that it looks like the logical progression of reason from premisses to a conclusion.1 Whether there exists here a real though hidden relationship, such as we saw before between the logical and transcendental use of reason, is also one of the questions the answer to which can only be given in the progress of these investigations. For the present we have achieved what we wished to achieve, by removing the transcendental [p. 338] concepts of reason, which in the systems of other philosophers are generally mixed up with other concepts, without being distinguished even from the concepts of the understanding, out of so equivocal a position; by being able to determine their origin and thereby at the same time their number, which can never be exceeded, and by thus bringing them into a systematic connection, marking out and enclosing thereby a separate field for pure reason.
OF THE DIALECTICAL CONCLUSIONS OF PURE REASON
One may say that the object of a purely transcendental idea is something of which we have no concept, although the idea is produced with necessity according to the original laws of reason. Nor is it possible indeed to form of an object that should be adequate to the demands of reason, a concept of the understanding, that is, a concept which could be shown in any possible experience, and rendered intuitive. It would be better, however, and less [p. 339] liable to misunderstandings, to say that we can have no knowledge of an object corresponding to an idea, but a problematic concept only.
The transcendental (subjective) reality, at least of pure concepts of reason, depends on our being led to such ideas by a necessary syllogism of reason. There will be syllogisms therefore which have no empirical premisses, and by means of which we conclude from something which we know to something else of which we have no concept, and to which, constrained by an inevitable illusion, we nevertheless attribute objective reality. As regards their result, such syllogisms are rather to be called sophistical than rational, although, as regards their origin, they may claim the latter name, because they are not purely fictitious or accidental, but products of the very nature of reason. They are sophistications, not of men, but of pure reason itself, from which even the wisest of men cannot escape. All he can do is, with great effort, to guard against error, though never able to rid himself completely of an illusion which constantly torments and mocks him.
Of these dialectical syllogisms of reason there are therefore three classes only, that is as many as the ideas to which their conclusions lead. In the syllogism [p. 340] of the first class, I conclude from the transcendental concept of the subject, which contains nothing manifold, the absolute unity of the subject itself, of which however I have no concept in this regard. This dialectical syllogism I shall call the transcendental paralogism.
The second class of the so-called sophistical syllogisms aims at the transcendental concept of an absolute totality in the series of conditions to any given phenomenon; and I conclude from the fact that my concept of the unconditioned synthetical unity of the series is always self-contradictory on one side, the correctness of the opposite unity, of which nevertheless I have no concept either. The state of reason in this class of dialectical syllogisms, I shall call the antinomy of pure reason.
Lastly, according to the third class of sophistical syllogisms, I conclude from the totality of conditions, under which objects in general, so far as they can be given to me, must be thought, the absolute synthetical unity of all conditions of the possibility of things in general; that is to say, I conclude from things which I do not know according to their mere transcendental1 concept, a Being of all beings, which I know still less through a transcendental concept, and of the unconditioned necessity of which I can form no concept whatever. This dialectical syllogism of reason I shall call the ideal of pure reason.
[1 ]Instead of Anleitung read Ableitung.
[1 ]See Supplement XXVI.
[1 ]Transcendent is a misprint.