Religious Studies


Regulative principles and ‘the Wise Author of Nature’


a1 Department of Philosophy, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078


There is much more said in the Critique of Pure Reason about the relationship between God and purposiveness than what is found in Kant's analysis of the physico-theological (design) argument. The ‘Wise Author of Nature’ is central to his analysis of regulative principles in the ‘Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic’ and also appears in the ‘Canon’, first with regards to the Highest Good and then again in relation to our theoretical use of purposiveness. This paper will begin with a brief discussion of the physico-theological argument before moving on to the Appendix and the Canon. Finally, it will consider some changes to the role of the Wise Author in the Critique of Judgement.


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