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Critique of Pure Reason (Dover Philosophical Classics) Paperback – November 17, 2003
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Eric Watkins has done a fine job of abridging the Critique to a manageable size while preserving those sections most often assigned in a survey course, including enough of the Analytic to provide a continuous argument. Students will get a good sense of the whole from the parts he includes. I recommend it enthusiastically. --Kenneth R. Winkler, Wellesley College
Original Language: German --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
Top Customer 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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
A clear, complete (with a German-English Glossary followed by the English-German Index), fluent translation of Kant's major work.
It's the one I feel to be the most enjoyable and closer to the original.
Patricia Kitcher's Introduction is very helpful to any new Kant's reader.
The editing and format of this edition is well designed and inviting to
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a horribly translated book. I ordered it for my History of Modern Philosophy class as a cheaper route and it did not go well. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jessica
Hard, confusing, fantastic, and challenging read. Man, Kant is absolutely brilliant; so much so that I'm afraid I need the dumb-ed down version of this dumb-ed down version. :)Published 20 months ago by tara
This translation is superb. In a pocket sized work like this, easy to carry and study, Kant becomes a companion with which to travel. Excellent!!Published 20 months ago by Rev. John D. White
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was a German philosopher who is perhaps the founder of "modern" philosophy, with his focus on epistemology (theory of knowledge); he wrote many books,... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Steven H Propp
REVIEW OF ` THE CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON`…By Immanuel Kant
Translated by J.M.D. Mieklejohn
(Reviewed by S.K. Read more
Very insightful, good when read at a slower pace and with an understanding of why Kant is trying to create a CritiquePublished on February 11, 2014 by arin oconnor