Week 16 - The Unity of Reason

The week we’ll finish our discussion of Groundwork III and Kant’s two ’standpoints’. We then close out the semester by looking at one “big picture” issue in Kant’s critical philosophy—namely, how theoretical and practical reason are related. To what extent can we see theoretical inference and practical willing as exercises of a single faculty of reason? We’ll discuss this issue as it plays out in one of his most famous popular essays – “What is Enlightenment.” We’ll also discuss what it means to say that practical reason has “primacy” over theoretical reason.



  • In what ways might we think of practical and theoretical reason as stemming from a “common principle”?
  • What does Kant argue it means to have “enlightenment”?
  • What is it to think for oneself?