I really like Kant, but I'm having a hard time understanding his Critique of Metaphysics. Kant takes as illegitimate the transcendental use of the concepts of pure understanding. This seems to be the whole point of the Critique of Pure Reason, though. I have some questions about this.

  1. Isn't the claim that there is something beyond our possible experience a grave and quite uncritical metaphysical claim?
  2. Kant claims a difference of usage of ideas of reason for fruitful endeavours while setting ground to the sciences(KrV, B 676), but how to distinguish constitutive and regulative uses of reason?
  3. How isn't the whole critique directed itself to the Critique of Pure Reason, since it does not yield knowledge? Is the CRP's sole purpose to ground Newtonian physical theories?

I believe Kant to be one of the biggest philosophers in History, and I am in no way claiming I have any valid critiques. I just know he thought about this and there is a reasonable answer, as I should expect from such a great philosopher.


  • Don't apologize for questioning a "big name." Arguing and disagreeing, also known as "critical thinking," has a long and decorated history among philosophers. Modern philosophers would not entirely agree with Kant (or, often, with each other) so why would you? To decide on a philosophical position for yourself, you must evaluate everything according to what makes sense to you alone. There are no arguments from authority in philosophy. However, do not take this necessarily as support of your specific objections here.
    – causative
    Mar 20, 2021 at 2:22
  • 1
    This is probably a translation problem: In German "transzendent" means "beyond all knowledge" and Kant invented "transzendental", which basically is supposed to mean "basis of or behind all knowledge". Both are translated as "transcendental" in English.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Mar 20, 2021 at 6:42
  • Relevant: What is knowledge according to Kant
    – Philip Klöcking
    Mar 20, 2021 at 10:59
  • re ur question1, metaphysical claim is nothing but educated speculation in plain language which seems of value. One can even go far enough to claim most valuable mental activity for human is this educated speculation, other mental exercises such as reasoning and logic can be replaced by machines sooner or later. Re ur question 3, CPR seems to ground Newtonian physics in support of space absolutism, however, it quickly encountered critique from scholars with other views (britannica.com/topic/philosophy-of-physics/What-is-space). Mar 20, 2021 at 23:09
  • In the part of CRP called " tr. methodology" there is a chapter entitled " architectonics of pure reason " where kant explains clearly his project. You will see that Kant is far from being an enemy of metaphysics; rather, his project is to provide metaphysics with a solid foundation. Mar 21, 2021 at 8:25


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