The Unity of Reason is the first major study of Kant's account of reason. It argues that Kant's wide-ranging interests and goals can only be understood by redirecting attention from epistemological questions of his work to those concerning the nature of reason. Rather than accepting a notion of reason given by his predecessors, a fundamental aim of Kant's philosophy is to reconceive the nature of reason. This enables us to understand Kant's insistence on the unity of theoretical and practical reason as well as his claim that his metaphysics was driven by practical and political ends. Neiman begins by discussing the historical roots of Kant's conception of reason, and by showing Kant's solution to problems which earlier conceptions left unresolved. Kant's notion of reason itself is examined through a discussion of all the activities Kant attributes to reason. In separate chapters discussing the role of reason in science, morality, religion, and philosophy, Neiman explores Kant's distinctions between reason and knowledge, and his difficult account of the regulative principles of reason. Through examination of these principles in Kant's major and minor writings, The Unity of Reason provides a fundamentally new perspective on Kant's entire work.
"This book constitutes a masterful rereading of Kant....Neiman not only covers ground rarely covered by commentators but also shows how this neglect leads them to misinterpretation....Neiman's study...is by far the most careful analysis of this difficult area of Kant's work. The clarity of her thinking and the lucidity of her writing make this book a major achievement."--Ethics
"Approaching Kant's critical philosophy from the point of view of his novel, and indeed revolutionary conception of reason sheds striking new light on this philosophy--and, in particular, on Kant's overriding emphasis on the unity of theoretical and practical reason. The Unity of Reason is the best extended treatment of Kant's conception of reason yet to appear."--Michael Friedman, University of Illinois at Chicago
"In the case it makes for the necessity of Ideas in science, The Unity of Reason is an important contribution both to Kant scholarship and to contemporary philosophic concerns."--Mary Gregor, San Diego State University
"This book offers a unified interpretation of reason in Kant's critical philosophy--one which places at center stage Kant's political commitment to human rights. I found the book at once deep, clear, and thrilling."--Jonathan Lear, author of Love and Its Place in Nature
"This essay proposes a very important general account of Kant's critical philosophy....Neiman goes further than previous writers in elaborating the critical definition of "reason."....With its powerful challenge--both the philosophical and exegetical--to the epistemologically-focused mainstream of Kant-scholarship, this book will deservedly be central to future discussion of the meaning and intent of the critical enterprise."--Review of Metaphysics
"This book constitutes a masterful rereading of Kant....Neiman not only covers ground rarely covered by commentators but also shows how this neglect leads them to misinterpretation....Neiman's study...is by far the most careful analysis of this difficult area of Kant's work. The clarity of her thinking and the lucidity of her writing make this book a major achieve ment."--Ethics