Front Page Titles (by Subject) Section I: Of the Ideal in General - Critique of Pure Reason
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Section I: Of the Ideal in General - 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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Of the Ideal in General
We have seen that without the conditions of sensibility, it is impossible to represent objects by means of the pure concepts of the understanding, because the conditions of their objective reality are absent, and they contain the mere form of thought only. If, however, we apply these concepts to phenomena, they can be represented in concreto, because in the phenomena they have the material for forming concepts of experience, which are nothing but concepts of the understanding in concreto. Ideas, however, are still further removed from objective reality than the categories, because they can meet with no phenomenon in which they could be represented in concreto. They contain a certain completeness unattainable by any [p. 568] possible empirical knowledge, and reason aims in them at a systematical unity only, to which the empirically possible unity is to approximate, without ever fully reaching it.
Still further removed from objective reality than the Idea, would seem to be what I call the Ideal, by which I mean the idea, not only in concreto, but in individuo, that is, an individual thing determinable or even determined by the idea alone.
Humanity (as an idea), in its complete perfection, implies not only all essential qualities belonging to human nature, which constitute our concept of it, enlarged to a degree of complete agreement with the highest aims that would represent our idea of perfect humanity, but everything also which, beside this concept, is required for the complete determination of the idea. For of all contradictory predicates one only can agree with the idea of the most perfect man. What to us is an ideal, was in Plato’s language an Idea of a divine mind, an individual object present to its pure intuition, the most perfect of every kind of possible beings, and the archetype of all phenomenal copies.
Without soaring so high, we have to admit [p. 569] that human reason contains not only ideas, but ideals also, which though they have not, like those of Plato, creative, yet have certainly practical power (as regulative principles), and form the basis of the possible perfection of certain acts. Moral concepts are not entirely pure concepts of reason, because they rest on something empirical, pleasure or pain. Nevertheless, with regard to the principle by which reason imposes limits on freedom, which in itself is without laws, these moral concepts (with regard to their form at least) may well serve as examples of pure concepts of reason. Virtue and human wisdom in its perfect purity are ideas, while the wise man (of the Stoics) is an ideal, that is, a man existing in thought only, but in complete agreement with the idea of wisdom. While the idea gives rules, the ideal serves as the archetype for the permanent determination of the copy; and we have no other rule of our actions but the conduct of that divine man within us, with which we compare ourselves, and by which we judge and better ourselves, though we can never reach it. These ideals, though they cannot claim objective reality (existence), are not therefore to be considered as mere chimeras, but supply reason with an indispensable standard, because it requires the concept of that which is perfect of its kind, in order to estimate and [p. 570] measure by it the degree and the number of the defects in the imperfect. To attempt to realise the ideal in an example, that is, as a real phenomenon, as we might represent a perfectly wise man in a novel, is impossible, nay, absurd, and but little encouraging, because the natural limits, which are constantly interfering with the perfection in the idea, make all illusion in such an experiment impossible, and thus render the good itself in the idea suspicious and unreal.
This is the case with the ideal of reason, which must always rest on definite concepts, and serve as rule and model, whether for imitation or for criticism. The case is totally different with those creations of our imagination of which it is impossible to give an intelligible concept, or say anything, — which are in fact a kind of monogram, consisting of single lines without any apparent rule, a vague outline rather of different experiences than a definite image, such as painters and physiognomists pretend to carry in their heads, and of which they speak as a kind of vague shadow only of their creations and criticisms that can never be communicated to others. They may be termed, though improperly, ideals of sensibility, because they are meant to be the never-attainable model of possible empirical intuitions, and yet furnish no rule capable of being explained or examined. [p. 571]
In its ideal, on the contrary, reason aims at a perfect determination, according to rules a priori, and it conceives an object throughout determinable according to principles, though without the sufficient conditions of experience, so that the concept itself is transcendent.