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The Architectonic and the Cosmic Concept of Philosophy

The Architectonic and the Cosmic Concept of Philosophy

(p.25) Chapter One The Architectonic and the Cosmic Concept of Philosophy
The Powers of Pure Reason
Alfredo Ferrarin
University of Chicago Press

Chapter 1 is about ideas: it shows their importance, neglected by the literature as well as by Kant himself at various stages of his thought, and their difference from concepts. This chapter focuses on the relation between ideas and limits and shows the importance of the latter, which is often misunderstood as simply negative. It shows a tension between two images of reason to be found in the Architectonic: reason as a seed from which an organism grows internally as a systematically articulated unity, and reason as an architect who plans the edifice of reason’s laws. This tension reflects the two mirror sides of ideas. They are both a totalizing drive based on reason’s need to project a whole as a unitary scope for its objects and a necessary guide for reason’s activities. Chapter 1 shows the necessity of a comprehensive gaze that only the philosopher can aspire to. Failing this we are (in an image used by Kant) like Cyclopes.

Keywords:   reason as organism and architect, system and method, regulative ideas, cosmic philosophy, Cyclops, reason’s history, reason’s ends and wisdom

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