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Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason Paperback – 1965

ISBN-13: 978-0312450106 ISBN-10: 0312450109 Edition: Unabridged

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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The text rendered by Pluhar is the work of an expert translator. . . the virtues of his text are manifold; his translation exhibits an incontrovertible mastery of both English and German. Equally important is the fact that Pluhar has given the original a very close read during the act of translating. . . . Pluhar consistently resists the tendency to translate woodenly word-for-word. . . . In point of fact, accuracy of translation stands in no direct relation to literalness; it is much more a product of meticulous textual reading and skilful writing, and in this respect Pluhar has no modern equals in English Kant translation.

--James Jakob Fehr, Kant-Studien

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 681 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Unabridged edition (1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312450109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312450106
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,511,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was one of the most influential philosophers of all time. His comprehensive and profound thinking on aesthetics, ethics, and knowledge has had an immense impact on all subsequent philosophy.

Customer Reviews

A much easier read than the Cambridge Edition.
David B. Bennett
This is part of what makes Kant difficult reading for even the most dedicated of philosophy students and readers.
FrKurt Messick
This is because, well, its ideas are radical and difficult, and because Kant is a careful philosopher.
Philip Sandifer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

197 of 213 people found the following review helpful By Philip Sandifer on March 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Let me start by addressing some misconceptions you'll see as you roam around these reviews.
First of all, there are a couple of low reviews that refer to Kant as being "anti-reason," "anti-truth," a socialist, a collectivist, etc. These are written by Objectivists - followers of Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand has about the same relationship to serious philosophy as McDonalds does to good cooking. She hated Kant, but never quite seemed to understand him. No surprise - he's hard.
Which is the second point. This is not an easy book at all. That's why it's most often assigned to graduate students. Even undergrads can easily get a philosophy degree without ever touching this book. It's bloody hard. This is because, well, its ideas are radical and difficult, and because Kant is a careful philosopher.
It is not, and this is my third point, because Kant is a bad writer. Quite the opposite. He's a great writer. The fact of the matter is, though, that his subject matter is not exactly a page-turner. But, I mean, what do you expect. You're reading academic philosophy. There's a handful of academic books that are both worthwhile and fun to read, and that's just a fact of life. Kant, however, is quite clear - indeed, he does the service of going over his points more than once - a luxury you won't get when you advance to Hegel. Furthermore, believe it or not, there are jokes in Kant. The best of them is a footnote, in which he notes that "Deficiancy in judgment is that which is ordinarily referred to as stupidity, and for such a failing their is no remedy."
Unfortunately, it's all too common on Amazon to bash academic books because they're hard, obscure, or poorly written. The fact of the matter is that these books are not for everyone.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By R. Carroll on March 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Pluhar's translation is wonderful. The extensive annotation makes the whole work perfectly clear, offering alternative translations and pointing out the technical German vocabulary (so essential to understanding Kant). The work flows beautifully, and though the material was dense, I could hardly put it down at times. If you're just starting Kant, do not start here. I'd suggest the excellent series by W.T. Jones called A History of Western Philosophy (specifically volume four). Read and reread it. Understand the basics about Kant, then, when you have the proper grounding, go on to the Critique. It will reward careful study.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Penn Jacobs on March 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
Note: this is the edition I'm familiar with, but it's out of print. There are new editions (both with this translation and newer ones) that would be worth checking out. This one has no real guide or preface, but I kind of like that.

Norman Kemp Smith's translation seems to be one of the standard English translations of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Is it the best? I don't speak German, but it's certainly serviceable.

This is a daunting work. It's also a necessary work, inasmuch as any understand of contemporary thought and intellectual history must encounter it. Kant has influenced nearly every major school of thought and cultural trend for the last 200 years. Below, I'll try to sketch his thought in this Critique.

This is the story of Immanuel Kant, who found philosophy a mess and sought to fix it. Specifically, he was a former Rationalist who was disconcerted by the critique of British Empiricism (specifically the skeptical philosophy of David Hume). He sought to provide a grounding for the truths of empirical science and mathematics, establish the possibility of religious faith and practice, while at the same time avoid dogmatism in metaphysical reasoning.

How did he seek to do this? By establishing a critique of reason whereby he understands the validity of all mental constructs. Kant distinguish between judgments which are a priori (prior to experience) and a posteriori (arising out of experience), and judgments which are "analytic" (trivial, tautological) and "synthetic" (where the predicate adds something that is not contained within the subject). Are synthetic a priori judgments possible? Kant answers yes, and much of this book deals with what follows from that.

First Kant deals with how we have sense experience.
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is considered one of the giants of philosophy, of his age or any other. It is largely this book that provides the foundation of this assessment. Whether one loves Kant or hates him (philosophically, that is), one cannot really ignore him; even when one isn't directly dealing with Kantian ideas, chances are great that Kant is made an impact.

Kant was a professor of philosophy in the German city of Konigsberg, where he spent his entire life and career. Kant had a very organised and clockwork life - his habits were so regular that it was considered that the people of Konigsberg could set their clocks by his walks. The same regularity was part of his publication history, until 1770, when Kant had a ten-year hiatus in publishing. This was largely because he was working on this book, the 'Critique of Pure Reason'.

Kant as a professor of philosophy was familiar with the Rationalists, such as Descartes, who founded the Enlightenment and in many ways started the phenomenon of modern philosophy. He was also familiar with the Empiricist school (John Locke and David Hume are perhaps the best known names in this), which challenged the rationalist framework. Between Leibniz' monads and Hume's development of Empiricism to its logical (and self-destructive) conclusion, coupled with the Romantic ideals typified by Rousseau, the philosophical edifice of the Enlightenment seemed about to topple.

Kant rode to the rescue, so to speak. He developed an idea that was a synthesis of Empirical and Rationalist ideas. He developed the idea of a priori knowledge (that coming from pure reasoning) and a posterior knowledge (that coming from experience) and put them together into synthetic a priori statements as being possible.
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