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WILLIAM FLEMING - 1890 - Table of contents

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H- I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W  

Diccionario filosófico
Complete edition

Diccionario de Filosofía
Brief definition of the most important concepts of philosophy.


A Dictionary of English Philosophical Terms Francis Garden


Vocabulary of Philosophy, Psychological, Ethical, Metaphysical
William Fleming

Biografías y semblanzas Biographical references and lives of philosophers

Brief introduction to the thought of Ortega y Gasset

History of Philosophy Summaries

Historia de la Filosofía
Explanation of the thought of the great philosophers; summaries, exercises...

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Jaime Balmes

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Zeferino González

Vidas, opiniones y sentencias de los filósofos más ilustres
Complete digital edition of the work of Diogenes Laertius

Compendio de las vidas de los filósofos antiguos

A brief history of Greek Philosophy
B. C. Burt


A Short History of Philosophy





CONSTITUTIVE (German, constitutiv), that which, being an essential condition of knowledge, goes to the structure of the object of knowledge, that is, as opposed to that which is merely regulative of the procedure of our minds. This is Kant's use of the term. While sensory impression does not of itself give "rational cognition," our intelligence provides conditions in accordance with which a rational cognition is constituted. These are the "forms" of the sensory, and the "categories" of the understanding.


Taking the manifold content of sensibility, we attain to rational knowledge by the aid of conceptions which lead to synthetical unity. The conditions of the possibility of experience are thus also the conditions of the possibility of the objects of experience. While the forms of intuition and the categories of understanding are constitutive (i.e., actually constitute the object of knowledge), the ideas of reason are only regulative, ideals towards whose realisation experience is always striving, but which are never realised as objects in experience.

The distinction between "Constitutive" and "Regulative" appears at various points in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Thus, treating of "the analogies of experience," he distinguishes the principles of the understanding into mathematical and dynamical, making the former, as concerned with the possibility of existence, constitutive, while the latter, as concerned with variable relations, are only regulative (Meiklejohn's transl., p. 134; Hutchison Stirling's Text-Book to Kant, p. 285). When we pass to the ideas of the reason, the idea being "a necessary conception of reason, to which no corresponding object can be discovered in the world of sense" (Meiklejohn, p. 228), of which there are three,—the Soul, the Universe, and God,—these transcendental ideas are only regulative (ib., p. 407).



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