Kant, in his studies of transcendental idealism, made the "illogical gap" between theoretical philosophy and practical philosophy, at the end of theoretical study, by requiring the contemplation of intelligence in order complete the consciousness study. German idealists tried for over a century to solve this illogical gap, and I haven't seen one truly convincing philosophy that solved it. Now, I'm asking, was that gap ever been solved, or was it left as Kant put it, effectively causing a dualistic approach throughout all of German idealism?

Edit (clarification):

What I mean with closing the illogical gap is closing it while staying in the theoretical philosophy, and not attempting to merge it with the practical, or judgmental/intuitive philosophies.

Edit 2 (replying to the comments, as I can't seem to be able to comment):

My thought is, most philosophies tries to be comprehensive in their method - they try to explain most if not all of the nature in one complete methodological system. I'm not talking about morality, politics, and such, but at least the philosophy of nature (including epistemology). Kant made an ultimately revolutionary move by seperating the fields into theoretical, practical, and judgemental (causing most thinkers past his time to think around these same structures). What I'm asking is, if anyone ever tried (and hopefully succeeded, as I know Fichte tried but in the end dismissed his earlier thoughts) to once again combine those fields under one systemic methodology?

Edit 3: @Philip Klöcking, thanks, I will look into him. And about the interpretation of Kant, I thought that was the well known interpretation of his philosophy, and it was quite intuitive for me - in his quest to eliminate dogmatism, Kant understood that theoretical and practical philosophies must be separated. And sure, the judgmental philosophy synthesize them both (anachronism, I know), but it's still two pieces stitched together and not one whole piece (which was something I liked about the dogmatic, earlier philosophy). By the way, I know the term "illogical gap" from reading Hugo Bergmann's interpretation of Kant, so I may be hugely influenced by a wrong interpretation, but as I've said before, I do think it's the intuitive interpretation.

  • The "illogical gap" between theoretical and practical philosophy was partly closed by Kant himself in the Critique of the Power of Judgement. As a matter of clarification: Do you understand "dualistic" in terms of practical vs. theoretical or rather in classical terms as ontological divide? You may find some works on his Opus Posthumum by Eckart Förster interesting, as it was one of Kant's main concerns in his late days to mend the seemingly unbridgeable divide between theoretical and practical reason.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Jan 1, 2018 at 20:25
  • First, it may be helpful if you'd register with the site. It enables you to edit your posts whenever you want and make comments below them for clarification. Second, I am quite puzzled how what you ask should be possible. To frame it like Kant did in his famous letter to Herz (1772): In practical matters, the world is caused to be in correspondence with our ideas. In theoretical matters, our intuitions are produced by the world, but it is harder to justify that our concepts are in correspondence with it. The whole situation is entirely different, how should it be possible to overcome that?!
    – Philip Klöcking
    Jan 2, 2018 at 10:27
  • 1
    I find the question rather muddled, too much so to give an answer.
    – user20253
    Jan 2, 2018 at 13:46
  • I guess Hermeneutics (e.g. Gadamer, Riceur) was one of these tries. Apart from that, I strongly disagree with the understanding of Kant himself "separating" these fields. In his thought, the third critique about judgements brings together the other two, which are more specific in their undertaking. There are many authors interpreting the whole of Kantian philosophy as being a philosophy of judgements and, therefore, one of the first systematic approaches to philosophy of language as the fundamental way of analysing (self-)understanding.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Jan 2, 2018 at 14:23
  • Bergmann isn't exactly authoritative on Kant, see books.google.de/…
    – Philip Klöcking
    Jan 8, 2018 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


As Philip Klöcking said, Kant was very aware of the dualism that is present in his system and was attempting to resolve it in his third Critique (he announces it as the purpose of the work in the Introduction). Here he discovers many crucial notions which affected all subsequent philosophy, especially Fichte, Schelling and Hegel:

  1. Internal Teleology which bridges the gap between spontaneity (whereby the unity of a process, ex. judgement, rational agency, is due to representation of that very unity and thus is self-determined and not determined externally via causal laws) and physical causality (whereby a phenomenon is determined externally according to a given rule, cf. Second Analogy of Experience)
  2. Culture as the space between Realm of Freedom and Realm of Nature
  3. Reflective Power of Judgement - which is Pure Reason as such, neither practical (Critique of Practical Reason) or theoretical (Critique of Pure [Speculative] Reason) - this is Hegel's "Absolute Idea"
  4. Symbolic Intuition which allows one to find phenomenal correlates of the Ideas of Reason, albeit symbolic, and not schematic, ones in direct contrast to the pure concepts of the Understanding

Contrary to popular belief, according to which Fichte was a radical dualist like Kant of the second Critique, he also was very interested in exploring these ideas, especially the notions of culture and reflective power of judgement. Schelling borrowed from Kant especially his ideas regarding teleology, symbolic intuition and philosophy of art. (cf. his System of Transcendental Idealism)

In the so-called opus postumum (I don't capitalize, because it's not the actual name of the work) he (reportedly - the work is unfinished and commentators disagree to some extent about its goal) advances some ideas relating to the necessity of embodiment for both rational agency and thought. He also explores the transition from theoretical to practical reason.

An interesting book that explores these connections is Walter Kaufmann's Goethe, Kant, and Hegel: Discovering the Mind. Regarding the opus postumum there is Eckart Förster's Kant's Final Sythesis.

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