A defining commitment of that group of philosophers labelled the German Idealists is
that experience is not explicable as natural stimulus and response. Rather, experience is
infused with rules which are to be understood as determinations of reason. What this
means, essentially, is that our experience of the world bears the characteristics of
determinations that, precisely as the products of reason, are attributable to human beings.
These determinations of reason act as constraints on behaviour and on knowledge, yet
these are, in effect, constraints that we give to ourselves. It is this idea to which the
famous thesis of the autonomy of reason refers: reason is not grounded in nature and nor
is it part of the chain of material causality.