Kant maintains that his Critique of PureReason follows a “synthetic method” which he distinguishes from the analytic method of the Prolegomena by saying that the Critique “rests on no other science” and “takes nothing as given except reason itself”. The paper presents an account of the synthetic method of the Critique, showing how it is related to Kant’s conception of the Critique as the “science of an a priori judging (...)reason”. Moreover, the author suggests, understanding its synthetic method sheds light on the structure of the Transcendental Deduction, and its function in the work as a whole. (shrink)
The paper argues that existing interpretations of Kant's Critique of PureReason as an "analysis of experience" (e.g., those of Kitcher and Strawson) fail because they do not properly appreciate the method of the work. The author argues that the Critique provides an analysis of the faculty of reason, and counts as an analysis of experience only in a derivative sense.
This article addresses Kant's distinction between a synthetic and an analytic method in philosophy. I will first consider how some commentators have accounted for Kant's distinction and analyze some passages in which Kant defined the analytic and the synthetic method. I will suggest that confusion about Kant's distinction arises because he uses it in at least two different senses. I will then identify a specific way in which Kant accounts for this distinction when he is differentiating between mathematical (...) and philosophical syntheses. I will examine Kant's arguments in the Critique of PureReason with the latter sense of the distinction in mind. I will evaluate if he uses the analytic or the synthetic method and if the synthetic method is able to identify, without a previous consideration of some sort of given knowledge, sufficient conditions for deriving some aspects of our knowledge. (shrink)
Kant's The Critique of PureReason is arguably the single most important philosophical work in Western philosophy. It is also one of the most difficult philosophical texts to study. This clear, straightforward guide to the Critique recasts Kant's thought in more familiar language, avoiding the technicalities that plague other secondary sources on Kant. Sebastian Gardner examines Kant's thought by contrasting two interpretive traditions--those of Strawson and Allison--while setting the Critique in the context of both pre-Kantian (...) and post-Kantian philosophy. Ideal for anyone coming to Kant's thought for the first time, this accessible guide will be vital reading for all students of Kant in philosophy. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant’s Critique of PureReason (1781) remains a landmark work of philosophy and one that most students will encounter at some point in their studies. At nearly seven hundred pages of detailed and complex argument it is a demanding and intimidating read. James O’Shea’s introduction to the Critique seeks to make it less so. Aimed primarily at students coming to the book for the first time, it provides step-by-step analysis in clear, unambiguous prose. The conceptual (...) problems Kant sought to resolve are outlined and his conclusions concerning the nature of human knowledge and the possibility of metaphysics, and the arguments for those conclusions, are explored. Key concepts are explained throughout and the reader is provided with an unrivalled route map through the many and varied parts of the text. In addition, O’Shea’s careful and insightful analysis offers much for more seasoned readers of Kant and his interpretation provides a significant contribution to recent work. -/- “Exhibiting both care and liveliness, the text provides what it set out to offer, namely] a readable and philosophically stimulating discussion of a difficult but seminal work. The discussion is genuinely approachable and clear without diminishing the difficulty of the problems it addresses. It provides students with a very helpful basis for understanding Kant’s book.” Graham Bird, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Manchester . (shrink)
This paper critically examines three key works of analytic Kantianism: C. I. Lewis, Mind and the World Order (1929), P. F. Strawson, The Bounds of Sense (1966) and Wilfrid Sellars, Science and Metaphysics (1968), focusing on their very different approaches to Kant’s Transcendental Deduction.
This accessible and practical edition of Kant's best introduction to his own work is designed especially for students. Assuming no prior knowledge of the Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, esteemed scholar Gunter Zoller provides an extensive introduction that covers Kant's life, the origin and reception of the Prolegomena, the organization of the work, its principal arguments, and its philosophical significance. Detailed notes, a chronology, a glossary, an annotated bibliography, and two reviews of the Critique of PureReason--which (...) establishes the specific intellectual background of the Prolegomena--are also included. (shrink)
Jay Rosenberg introduces Immanuel Kant's masterwork, the Critique of PureReason, from a "relaxed" problem-oriented perspective which treats Kant as an especially insightful practicing philosopher, from whom we still have much to learn, intelligently and creatively responding to significant questions that transcend his work's historical setting. Rosenberg's main project is to command a clear view of how Kant understands various perennial problems, how he attempts to resolve them, and to what extent he succeeds. At the same time (...) the book is an introduction to the challenges of reading the text of Kant's work and, to that end, selectively adopts a more rigorous historical and exegetical stance. Accessing Kant will be an invaluable resource for advanced students and for any scholar seeking Rosenberg's own distinctive insights into Kant's work. (shrink)
This new, revised edition of Kant's Prolegomena, the best introduction to the theoretical side of his philosophy, presents his thought clearly through careful attention to his original language. Also included are selections from the Critique of PureReason, which fill out and explicate some of Kant's central arguments (including famous sections of the Schematism and Analogies), and in which Kant himself explains his special terminology. The first reviews of the Critique, to which Kant responded in the (...) Prolegomena, are included in this revised edition. First Edition Hb (1997): 0-521-57345-9 First Edition Pb (1997): 0-521-57542-7. (shrink)
Abstract: Philosophers interested in Kant's relevance to contemporary debates over the nature of mental content—notably Robert Hanna and Lucy Allais—have argued that Kant ought to be credited with being the original proponent of the existence of ‘nonconceptual content’. However, I think the ‘nonconceptualist’ interpretations that Hanna and Allais give do not show that Kant allowed for nonconceptual content as they construe it. I argue, on the basis of an analysis of certain sections of the A and B editions of the (...) Transcendental Deduction, for a ‘conceptualist’ reading of Kant's Critique of PureReason. My contention is that since Kant's notion of empirical intuition makes essential reference to the categories, it must be true for him that no empirical intuition can be given in sensibility independently of the understanding and its categories. (shrink)
Kant uses incongruent counterparts in his work before and after 1781, but not in the first Critique. Given the relevance that incongruent counterparts had for his thought on space, and their persistence in his work during the 1780s, it is plausible to think that he had a reason for leaving them out of both editions of the Critique. Two implausible conjectures for their absence are here considered and rejected. A more plausible alternative is put forth, which explains (...) that textual absence as a result of the synthetic method of presentation intended for the Critique. (shrink)
Just prior to The Critique of PureReason's examination of the various arguments for God's existence, Kant discusses the conceptual relationship between the idea of an ens realissimum and that of a necessary being. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the extent to which this discussion informs his claim that the cosmological argument depends upon the ontological argument.
Se problematiza la conexión entre la libertad práctica y trascendental en la Crítica de la razón pura. La intención es explicitar las dificultades que enfrenta Kant al relacionar estos sentidos de libertad dentro del marco de la filosofía crítica. Por lo general, los intérpretes entienden la relación entre estos dos sentidos de libertad como ontológica o como conceptual. Se quiere mostrar que ninguna de estas interpretaciones alcanza a superar los presuntos dogmatismos racionalista y empirista que, en conformidad con Kant, sustentan (...) las posturas del proponente de la Tesis y de la Antítesis, respectivamente. The article discusses the connection between practical and transcendental freedom in the Critique of PureReason, in order to reveal the difficulties faced by Kant when he relates these two meanings of freedom in the context of critical philosophy. Interpreters have generally understood the relation between these two meanings of freedom as ontological or conceptual. The objective of this article, however, is to show that neither of those interpretations manages to overcome the rationalist and empiricist dogmatism that, according to Kant, support the positions of the proponents of the Thesis and the Antithesis, respectively. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant's Critique of PureReason, first published in 1781, is one of the landmarks of Western philosophy, a radical departure from everything that went before and an inescapable influence on all philosophy since its publication. This Companion is the first collective commentary on this work in English. The seventeen chapters have been written by an international team of scholars, including some of the best-known figures in the field as well as emerging younger talents. The first two (...) chapters situate Kant's project against the background of continental rationalism and British empiricism, the dominant schools of early modern philosophy. Eleven chapters then expound and assess all the main arguments of the Critique. Finally, four chapters recount the enormous influence of the Critique on subsequent philosophical movements, including German Idealism and Neo-Kantianism, twentieth-century continental philosophy, and twentieth-century Anglo-American analytic philosophy. The book concludes with an extensive bibliography. (shrink)
There are two prevailing interpretations of the status which Kant accorded his claims in the Critique of PureReason: 1) he is analyzing our concepts of cognition and experience; 2) he is making empirical claims about our cognitive faculties. I argue for a third alternative: on Kant's account, all cognition consists in a reflective consciousness of our cognitive faculties, and in critique we analyze the content of this consciousness. Since Strawson raises a famous charge of incoherence (...) against such a position, I begin by showing that this charge is misplaced. (shrink)
What is the relation between philosophical analysis and sociological method? Sociology has traditionally looked to Philosophy to provide either an indubitable epistemic foundation for its practices or alternatively to legislate invariant criteria of scientificity which might guide the social sciences in questions of methodology. But has Philosophy itself such an autonomy from the developing knowledge domains of the different sciences,natural and social? A structural analysis of philosophic discourse in the twentieth century reveals as a key element of recent philosophic'al (...) thought a central anthropologism. This study traces the rupture in philosophic thought which has occurred with the dissolution and collapse of classical epistemology and the emergence in turn of a radically new mode of philosophizing based on a recognition of the centrality of social reality to ontological judgement and epistemological critique. Just as the analytic epistemOlogy of the seventeenth century can be seen as an accommodation by Philosophy to the emergence and development of the empirical natural sc~ences, so the appearance of 'conversational' epistemology can be viewed as Philosophy's attempt to think'the implications for the nature of knowledge-in-general of the emergence and subsequent development of the social sciences at the end of the nineteenth century. The key theoretical instance which demarcates classical epistemology fram the anthropologistic philosophy since the 1920's is its inability to accommodate the category of intersubjectiv:itJY successfully within its egological structure. Contemporary philosophy, phenomenological, analytical, pragmatist and marxist, is forced to grapple with the new awareness of man's essential sociality. This has profound implications for epistemology. The question of the relationship of philosophical analysis to sociological method must be re-addressed in the light of the revealed epistemic proximity of the two disciplines. What sort of philosophical critique, we ask, is possible and appropriate in an age of sociological reason and historical method? (shrink)
Kant’s notion of “discipline” has received considerable attention from scholars of his philosophy of education, but its role in his theoretical philosophy has been largely ignored. This omission is surprising since his discussion of discipline in the first Critique is not only more extensive and expansive in scope than his other discussions but also predates these discussions, in many cases by more than fifteen years. This discussion comprises the first chapter of the Doctrine of Method in the first (...)Critique, the “Discipline of PureReason”. The goal of this essay is to provide a comprehensive reading of the Discipline that emphasizes its systematic importance in the first Critique. I argue that the goal of the Discipline is to establish a set of rules for the use of purereason that, if followed, will mitigate and perhaps even eliminate our tendency to make judgments about supersensible objects. Further, since Kant’s justification for these rules relies crucially on claims he has defended in the Doctrine of Elements, I argue that, far from being a dispensable part of the Critique as commentators from Kemp-Smith onwards have tended to claim, the Discipline is the culmination of Kant’s critique of metaphysics. (shrink)
This book is a foray into the thorny interpretive issue of what to make of Kant's so-called "Metaphysical Deduction" of the categories. As with many of the arguments in the first Critique, the claim of the Metaphysical Deduction is easier to make out than its argument. The claim is that by some or other reference to "general logic," one may obtain a "transcendental logic," i.e., a justification (or "deduction") of the categories (of the understanding) necessary to the (very) possibility (...) of experience. But how? By, Kant says, discerning, in general logic, a "clue" to transcendental logic. But what sort of clue? And then what clue exactly? We need a meta-clue to get a clue.Herein lies the very mixed reception the .. (shrink)
The article approaches Salomon Maimon’s reinterpretation of the notions of the thing in itself and the given within the framework of criticism. For Maimon they do not refer to a transcendence that is directly unattainable by knowledge. In this attempt, he tries to explain the given on the basis of the action of constitutive understanding. With this, he triggers the passage from transcendental Kantian philosophy to the idealism of Fichte. Nonetheless, his position faces the subsequent problem of explaining how the (...) constitution of the given from understanding (infinite) can become compatible with the criticism it takes on. On affirming that an uncognoscible item is the basis of knowledge, namely, infinite understanding, he set aside the explanation of knowledge in terms of what is revealed in it and in doing so would be resorting to external uncognoscible conditions. (shrink)
In this new introductory textbook to Kant's Critique of PureReason, Jill Vance Buroker explains the role of this first Critique in Kant's Critical project and offers a line-by-line reading of the major arguments in the text. She situates Kant's views in relation both to his predecessors and to contemporary debates, explaining his Critical philosophy as a response to the failure of rationalism and the challenge of skepticism. Paying special attention to Kant's notoriously difficult vocabulary, she (...) explains the strengths and weaknesses of his arguments, while leaving the final assessment up to the reader. Intended to be read alongside the Critique (also published by Cambridge University Press as part of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant in Translation), this guide is accessible to readers with little background in the history of philosophy, but should also be a valuable resource for more advanced students. (shrink)
One of the cornerstone books of Western philosophy, Critique of PureReason is Kant's seminal treatise, where he seeks to define the nature of reason itself and builds his own unique system of philosophical thought with an approach known as transcendental idealism. He argues that human knowledge is limited by the capacity for perception and attempts a logical designation of two varieties of knowledge: a posteriori, the knowledge acquired through experience; and a priori, knowledge not derived (...) through experience. This accurate translation by J. M. D. Meiklejohn offers a simple and direct rendering of Kant's work that is suitable for readers at all levels. (shrink)
Two hundred years after his death, Kant remains one of the most important modern philosophers. The Prolegomena is the ideal introduction to Kant's unique account of the nature human knowledge, according to which we actively shape the world as we know it. -/- This new edition of Kant's own summary of his philosophy is designed specially for students. Guenter Zoeller assumes no prior knowledge of the Prolegomena and provides an extensive and comprehensive introduction which explores Kant's life, the origin and (...) reception of the Prolegomena, the organization of the work, its principal arguments, and its philosophical significance. This edition also includes detailed notes to aid student understanding, as well as a chronology, a glossary and an annotated bibliography. (shrink)
In 1792 and 1798 Kant noticed two basic problems with hisMetaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (MAdN) which opened a crucial gap in the Critical system as a whole. Why is theMAdN so important? I show that the Analogies of Experience form an integrated proof of transeunt causality. This is central to Kant's answer to Hume. This proof requires explicating the empirical concept of matter as the moveable in space, it requires the specifically metaphysical principle that every physical event has an (...) external cause, and it requires a metaphysical principle regarding the individuation of spatio-temporal things. These three doctrines are not defended in the firstCritique, but only in theMAdN. Kant's transcendental analysis of the conditions of experience thus requires the special metaphysics of theMAdN. This marks an important shift in Kant's view of the metaphysical basis of the transcendental philosophy. (shrink)
This seminal contribution to Kant studies, originally published in 1982, was the first to present a thorough survey and evaluation of Kant's theory of mind. Ameriks focuses on Kant's discussion of the Paralogisms in the Critique of PureReason, and examines how the themes raised there are treated in the rest of Kant's writings. Ameriks demonstrates that Kant developed a theory of mind that is much more rationalistic and defensible than most interpreters have allowed.
In this paper, I provide an account of what Kant means by “intuition” [Anschauung] in the Critique of PureReason. The issue is whether “intuition” should be understood in terms of (1) singularity (e.g., singular concepts, singular representation, etc.), or (2) immediacy in knowledge. By considering issues intemal to the Critique, such as the nature of transcendental logic, the type of intuition God exhibits, and Kant’s use of the term “Anschauung,” I argue that the most fundamental (...) way to view intuition is in terms of immediacy. More specifically, “immediacy” means that intuition is that through which the existence of an object, or the matter that goes into making an object, is given to the mind. (shrink)
From the earliest days of philosophy, polemic has functioned as a common means of philosophical argumentation. Kant spends some time in the Critique of PureReason analyzing the place of polemic in rational argumentation. Even though it does not provide a legitimate approach to philosophical argument as employed by the dogmatists, Kant’s concern for the teaching of the young allows him to raise some issues concerning the ethics of philosophical argumentation also.
Of all the major philosophical works, Kant's Critique of PureReason is one of the most rewarding, yet one of the most difficult. Norman Kemp Smith's Commentary elucidates not only textural questions and minor issues, but also the central problems which arise, he contends, from the conflicting tendencies of Kant's own thinking. Kemp Smith's Commentary continues to be in demand with Kant scholars, and it is being reissued here with a new introduction by Sebastian Gardner to set (...) it in its contemporary context. (shrink)
In developing an "internal" sociology of science, the sociology of scientific knowledge drew on Wittgensteins later philosophy to reinterpret traditional epistemological topics in sociological terms. By construing scientific reasoning as rule following within a collective, sociologists David Bloor and Harry Collins effectively blocked outside criticism of a scientific field, whether scientific, philosophical, or political. Ethnomethodologist Michael Lynch developed an alternative, Wittgensteinian reading that similarly blocked philosophical or political critique, while also disallowing analytical appeals to historical or institutional contexts. I (...) criticize these Wittgensteinian sociologies and argue for the historical and contemporary significance of methodological criticisms of scientific practice that conjoin epistemological and political categories. I consider two such cases briefly: the Baconian criticism of Scholastic science in the early Royal Society and the criticism of AIDS drug testing protocols by activists. Key Words: Wittgenstein sociology of scientific knowledge ethnomethodology scientific method interpretive sociology. (shrink)
I argue that Kant's Critique of PureReason offers a positive metaphysical account of the thinking self. Previous interpreters have overlooked this account, I believe, because they have held that any metaphysical view of the self would be incompatible with both Kant's insistence on the limitations of cognition and with his project in the Paralogisms. Closer examination, however, shows that neither of those aspects of the Critique precludes a metaphysical account of the self, and that other (...) aspects (namely, the structure of Kant's overall project and the commitments of his claims in the Transcendental Deduction) require such an account. Drawing on a principle of 'effect-relative composition,' I argue that Kant's self is neither an activity, a form, nor a representation, but instead an individual constituted by the thing or things that bring about the unity of a course of experience. (shrink)