Restless and Impelling Reason and the Impossibility of Philosophical Satisfaction

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In the end of the First Critique, Kant predicted that near the end of the eighteenth century the metaphysical desire to construct a final philosophical system (following the examples of other a priori science of reason—logic, pure mathematics, and pure physics) will be fully satisfied. Such was not happened to be the case in the intellectual history. Kant’s philosophy is restless as long as it supports or endorses major ideas that in the end are incompatible. The illusion of completely satisfied reason or philosophical system is incompatible with quite a different Kantian idea (or even an ideal) of restless reason as an enemy to the smug reason, completely satisfied with its achievements and enjoying an eternal rest. According to the idea of restless reason, reason, as opposing to given data, is an endless effort to overcome the data by spontaneously creating principles, categories of necessary connections, and orders. From the middle of the nineteenth century on, humanity has realized that there is no final logic, pure mathematics, and pure physics and what Kant called sciences of reason (or of the a priori) are never completed and they require endless revisions. I show that in the heart of Kant critical philosophy the idea of restless and impelling reason has had the upper hand. The idea of a completely satisfied and final reason is simply a dogmatic one.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophical Studies Series
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages32
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePhilosophical Studies Series
ISSN (Print)0921-8599
ISSN (Electronic)2542-8349

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Dogmatism
  • Empirical data vs. reason’s principles
  • Endless revisions
  • Final philosophical system
  • Philosophical satisfaction
  • Restless reason
  • Smug reason

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Language and Linguistics


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