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The phrases in their context!


The unity of reason is the unity of system; and this systematic unity is not an objective principle, extending its dominion over objects, but a subjective maxim, extending its authority over the empirical cognition of objects.
The systematic connection which reason gives to the empirical employment of the understanding not only advances the extension of that employment, but ensures its correctness, and thus the principle of a systematic unity of this nature is also objective, although only in an indefinite respect (principium vagum).
It is not, however, a constitutive principle, determining an object to which it directly relates; it is merely a regulative principle or maxim, advancing and strengthening the empirical exercise of reason, by the opening up of new paths of which the understanding is ignorant, while it never conflicts with the laws of its exercise in the sphere of experience.
But reason cannot cogitate this systematic unity, without at the same time cogitating an object of the idea--an object that cannot be presented in any experience, which contains no concrete example of a complete systematic unity.
This being (ens rationis ratiocinatae) is therefore a mere idea and is not assumed to be a thing which is real absolutely and in itself.
On the contrary, it forms merely the problematical foundation of the connection which the mind introduces among the phenomena of the sensuous world.
We look upon this connection, in the light of the above-mentioned idea, as if it drew its origin from the supposed being which corresponds to the idea.
And yet all we aim at is the possession of this idea as a secure foundation for the systematic unity of experience--a unity indispensable to reason, advantageous to the understanding, and promotive of the interests of empirical cognition.
We mistake the true meaning of this idea when we regard it as an enouncement, or even as a hypothetical declaration of the existence of a real thing, which we are to regard as the origin or ground of a systematic constitution of the universe.
On the contrary, it is left completely undetermined what the nature or properties of this so-called ground may be.
The idea is merely to be adopted as a point of view, from which this unity, so essential to reason and so beneficial to the understanding, may be regarded as radiating.
In one word, this transcendental thing is merely the schema of a regulative principle, by means of which Reason, so far as in her lies, extends the dominion of systematic unity over the whole sphere of experience.
The first object of an idea of this kind is the ego, considered merely as a thinking nature or soul.
If I wish to investigate the properties of a thinking being, I must interrogate experience.
But I find that I can apply none of the categories to this object, the schema of these categories, which is the condition of their application, being given only in sensuous intuition.
But I cannot thus attain to the cognition of a systematic unity of all the phenomena of the internal sense.
Instead, therefore, of an empirical conception of what the soul really is, reason takes the conception of the empirical unity of all thought, and, by cogitating this unity as unconditioned and primitive, constructs the rational conception or idea of a simple substance which is in itself unchangeable, possessing personal identity, and in connection with other real things external to it; in one word, it constructs the idea of a simple self-subsistent intelligence.
But the real aim of reason in this procedure is the attainment of principles of systematic unity for the explanation of the phenomena of the soul.
That is, reason desires to be able to represent all the determinations of the internal sense as existing in one subject, all powers as deduced from one fundamental power, all changes as mere varieties in the condition of a being which is permanent and always the same, and all phenomena in space as entirely different in their nature from the procedure of thought.
Essential simplicity (with the other attributes predicated of the ego) is regarded as the mere schema of this regulative principle; it is not assumed that it is the actual ground of the properties of the soul.
For these properties may rest upon quite different grounds, of which we are completely ignorant; just as the above predicates could not give us any knowledge of the soul as it is in itself, even if we regarded them as valid in respect of it, inasmuch as they constitute a mere idea, which cannot be represented in concreto.