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Subject Philosophy

People Kant, Immanuel

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631175353.1995.x


see also continuity , genus , regulative principle Homogeneity, along with continuity and variety, comprise the three regulative principles of reason which ‘prepare the field for the understanding’ in its systematic elaboration of experience. It is one of the ‘antecedent rule[s] of reason’ without which the understanding could not function, since Kant argues ‘it is only on the assumption of differences in nature, just as it is also only under the condition that its objects exhibit homogeneity, that we can have any faculty of understanding whatsoever’ (A 657/B 685). While the principle of variety states that the manifold is differentiated according to ‘lower species’, the principle of homogeneity claims that the manifold is homogeneous according to ‘higher genera’. The two principles are fused into a third, and apparently more fundamental principle of continuity. The principles also correspond to transcendental laws which are not objects of experience, nor open to deduction, but which nevertheless ‘possess, as synthetic a priori propositions, objective but indeterminate validity, and serve as rules for possible experience’ (A 663/ B 691). The law of homogeneity ‘keeps us from resting satisfied with an excessive number of different original genera, and bids us pay due regard to homogeneity’, while that of variety ‘in turn, imposes a check upon this tendency towards unity, and ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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