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Accessing Kant: A Relaxed Introduction to the Critique of Pure Reason Hardcover – November 24, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0199275816 ISBN-10: 0199275815

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (November 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199275815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199275816
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.1 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,109,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"It would be hard to imagine a more elegant point of entry into the rich interpretative tradition Accessing Kant so ably advocates."--Eric Entrican Wilson, Journal of the History of Philosophy

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jay F. Rosenberg is at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Maldoror on February 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
A philosophy-major friend told me he knew of no guides to Kant's _Critique of Pure Reason_. Luckily, I found this, and it's been a godsend. Kant's First Critique is profound and revolutionary, and essential to any history of philosophy. But he's difficult in many ways: he defines existing words in new ways, deals with abstract concepts that are difficult to understand, and his prose is often impenetrably thick.

_Accessing Kant_ is very helpful to someone making his or her way through the Critique. It opens with two chapters placing Kant in the philosophical context of his times. Then it proceeds through the Critique section by section, highlighting key passages, and explaining aspects of Kant's writing that are difficult to comprehend on first encountering them. Without dumbing down Kant's thinking at all, Rosenberg presents Kant's arguments in more understandable language, and often provides thought-experiments or examples to guide your way.

One minor complaint I have is that some key terms that might be familiar to those with a philosophy background --- e.g., esse, concipi, percipi, just in case x --- are not defined. (They mean, respectively, mode of being, to be conceived, to be perceived, and if-and-only-if x.) And don't expect this to be a Cliffs' Notes. Even when explained in clearer language, Kant is still difficult, and I found myself reading some of Rosenberg's chapters more than once before I really understood the idea that what Kant was trying to express.

But this book is excellent. It's useful to read a chapter first, then read the chapter of Kant to which it refers. There've been many times when I've turned to it after reading a passage of Kant that seemed impenetrable, and suddenly the meaning became clear.
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