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The Critique of Pure Reason

The Critique of Pure Reason

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The Critique of Pure Reason

ratings:
3/5 (435 ratings)
Length:
754 pages
23 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 8, 2015
ISBN:
9786155564871
Format:
Book

Description

Human reason, in one sphere of its cognition, is called upon to consider questions, which it cannot decline, as they are presented by its own nature, but which it cannot answer, as they transcend every faculty of the mind.
It falls into this difficulty without any fault of its own. It begins with principles, which cannot be dispensed with in the field of experience, and the truth and sufficiency of which are, at the same time, insured by experience. With these principles it rises, in obedience to the laws of its own nature, to ever higher and more remote conditions. But it quickly discovers that, in this way, its labours must remain ever incomplete, because new questions never cease to present themselves; and thus it finds itself compelled to have recourse to principles which transcend the region of experience, while they are regarded by common sense without distrust. It thus falls into confusion and contradictions, from which it conjectures the presence of latent errors, which, however, it is unable to discover, because the principles it employs, transcending the limits of experience, cannot be tested by that criterion. The arena of these endless contests is called Metaphysic.Time was, when she was the queen of all the sciences; and, if we take the will for the deed, she certainly deserves, so far as regards the high importance of her object-matter, this title of honour. Now, it is the fashion of the time to heap contempt and scorn upon her; and the matron mourns, forlorn and forsaken, like Hecuba: At first, her gover Modo maxima rerum, Tot generis, natisque potens...
Nunc trahor exul, inops. —Ovid, Metamorphoses. xiii
under the administration of the dogmatists, was an absolute despotism. But, as the legislative continued to show traces of the ancient barbaric rule, her empire gradually broke up, and intestine wars introduced the reign of anarchy; while the sceptics, like nomadic tribes, who hate a permanent habitation and settled mode of living, attacked from time to time those who had organized themselves into civil communities.
But their number was, very happily, small; and thus they could not entirely put a stop to the exertions of those who persisted in raising new edifices, although on no settled or uniform plan. In recent times the hope dawned upon us of seeing those disputes settled, and the legitimacy of her claims established by a kind of physiology of the human understanding—that of the celebrated Locke. But it was found that—although it was affirmed that this so-called queen could not refer her descent to any higher source than that of common experience, a circumstance which necessarily brought suspicion on her claims—as this genealogy was incorrect, she persisted in the advancement of her claims to sovereignty. Thus metaphysics necessarily fell back into the antiquated and rotten constitution of dogmatism, and again became obnoxious to the contempt from which efforts had been made to save it. At present, as all methods, according to the general persuasion, have been tried in vain, there reigns nought but weariness and complete indifferentism—the mother of chaos and night in the scientific world, but at the same time the source of, or at least the prelude to, the re-creation and reinstallation of a science, when it has fallen into confusion, obscurity, and disuse from ill directed effort.
I do not mean by this a criticism of books and systems, but a critical inquiry into the faculty of reason, with reference to the cognitions to which it strives to attain without the aid of experience; in other words, the solution of the question regarding the possibility or impossibility of metaphysics, and the determination of the origin, as well as of the extent and limits of this science. All this must be done on the basis of principles.

ABOUT AUTHOR:
That all our knowledge begins with experience there can be no doubt. For how is it possible that the faculty of cognition should be awakened into exercise otherwise than by mean
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 8, 2015
ISBN:
9786155564871
Format:
Book

About the author

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) was a German Enlightenment philosopher widely considered to be one of the founders of modern philosophy. His contributions to the fields of ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology remain cornerstones of contemporary thought. Kant’s best-known work is The Critique of Pure Reason, which explores the relationship between human existence and reason. 


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3.0
435 ratings / 10 Reviews
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  • (5/5)
    Kant is systematic, thorough. I like his way of writing. He is intense, And dense, part of the reasons is because of concepts, definitions. However, I do not think he is the most difficult writer. The brilliant, deepest thinker so far I know is Jonathan Edwards. Kant is crucial to modern Philosophy, definitely worth reading his piece if you enjoy Philosophy.

    The important things I learnt from this book was that, Knowledge we gain is systematized through our senses. Yes, our knowledge starts from experience but Kant does not claim that every knowledge must be from experience alone or through reason alone. He calls his system transcendental knowledge, which does not mean beyond our experience but it means knowledge which both synthetical and a priori.

    Imagine you are wearing a blue glasses, And looking at the world. The world will be blue through your eyes, which you will never get to find out. Therefore, we are unable to completely understand the world. He classifies these as Noumena and Phenomena. Noumena is the reality, the thing itself and Phenomena is the appearance. Space and time constitute as a foundation for everything. His writings on cosmological, ontological arguments were impressive and makes me think more.


    "Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind" - Kant
  • (5/5)
    A rigorous translation of the original 2nd edition. Kant's German is "difficult reading" even for accomplished German scholars.
  • (2/5)
    Far too complex. Nearly unreadable for the average reader.
  • (4/5)
    To call Kant "dense" is an understatement on par with saying the same about the core of a neutron star. Kant's critiques are not easy going, but the bright side is that his description of the human condition, an attempt to restore science and knowledge in a world transformed by Newton and Hume, is worth the effort.

    The Critique of Pure Reason is a (perhaps the) watershed in Western philosophy, rightly likened to Kant's own description of a "Copernican revolution" in thought. The book is Kant's groundwork for knowledge itself: the nature of space and time and logic as preconditions for knowledge, shared among all humans, at the cost of sacrificing metaphysics to the transcendental realm of the "unconditioned". In exchange, we restore free will, morality, and (for those so inclined) God to the world of human existence.

    Kant is very much the "lawyer" and the detail-man, and his almost obsessive need to sort human nature into a concrete taxonomy is perhaps the weakest part of the work. Still, Kant's division into the phenomenal and the noumenal, the human and the unconditioned, remains foundational, and to understand Kant's argument here is to understand everything that comes after in the Continental tradition. Even if you disagree with Kant's conclusions, there is a wealth of thought to draw upon, from Kant's conception of human existence to his ideas on "things in themselves", morality, and freedom.

    The Critiques are a chore, but the kind of chore that pays off dividends.
  • (1/5)
    The Critique of Pure Reason is listed among Good Reading’s 100 Significant Books. I found reading through that list was a great education--as valuable as college, and I’ve learned enormously from reading it--much more aware of the underpinnings of Western culture. That’s why I stuck though this, even though I’d have ordinarily turned away from this book from the very first paragraph:Our reason has this peculiar fate that, with reference to one class of its knowledge, it is always troubled with questions which cannot be ignored, because they spring from the very nature of reason, and which cannot be answered, because they transcend the powers of human reason.OK, right there I thought this is not a guy really worthy of spending my time with, because if something transcends the powers of human reason, you can’t argue for it, so what’s the point of philosophy? The rest of the preface explains he’s going to resort to “pure reason”--by which he means reason without resort to experience. And without experience, how can we check out premises? I guess that makes me an empiricist, but that just there made me skeptical of learning much from Kant before I’d ever gotten beyond the Preface. Kant’s tone also grated on me more than any philosopher I’d ever read--much, much more than Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Locke... Take this from the Preface: But I beg to remind him that, if my subjective deduction does not produce in his mind the conviction of its certitude at which I aimed, the objective deduction, with which alone the present work is properly concerned, is in every respect satisfactory.And that’s just the impression from the first dozens of pages of a book over 400 pages long. Once I dove into Kant’s main argument, it was easy to get lost. I don’t think he’s quite as difficult as Spinoza, but then I was far more sympathetic to Spinoza’s arguments and tone, which helped me see his Ethics through. I probably have just about as much philosophical disagreement with Plato, but Plato is a very engaging writer--truly--I found The Republic, The Symposium, The Apology and the other dialogues very engaging reads. But Kant combines the thorny prose of Spinoza with a philosophy even more inimical to me than Plato. Yet I did find pushing through much of this valuable--for the same reason as the other works on the list. My rating reflects that I hated the style and substance of Kant--but that doesn't mean I don't think the ideas aren't important to grasp. Because I can see Kant’s lines of argument descending from Plato’s Allegory of the Cave in The Republic and threaded through so many other thinkers after him:The light dove, in free flight cutting through the air the resistance of which it feels, could get the idea that it could do even better in airless space. Likewise, Plato abandoned the world of the senses because it posed so many hindrances for the understanding, and dared to go beyond it on the wings of the ideas, in the empty space of pure understanding.
  • (3/5)
    This is it. This is where Kant sets his philosophy of epistemology based on the differentiation between that which can be known a priori and that which can be known only be experience. It is lame because it allows for no extension of principles to logical conclusions. Kant ignores the truly practical but does note the "unavoidable problems" in relation to "god, freedom, and immortality." He does divide the resulting thought process into the synthetic and analytic. This may have been a step forward. He also introduces the implications of a transcendental philosophy, which is necessary groundwork toward bridging the real and the spiritual.
  • (4/5)
    Fantastic translation, contains A and B editions of the work. The abstract image on the front cover may or may not relate to the contents of the book-- but are the noumena the center or the outer layer?
  • (5/5)
    For most of the 20th Century this (the Kemp Smith translation) was the standard English translation of the 1st Critique. It still holds up well, although it's been superseded by two recent translations, one by Pluhar and the other by Guyer & Wood.
  • (3/5)
    This is my first attempt to read Kant, as none of the various philosophy courses i took ever directly referenced his material, so i can't say with certainty whether the flaw i'm about to cite is the fault of Kant, the translator, or perhaps both. Regardless, here is my one-sentence review of this book:A typical sentence in this book may contain 32 words, adorned with no fewer than 7 commas (for reference, my rather long and comma-ridden sentence above has 45 words and only 4 commas).
  • (4/5)
    Reads better with no distractions. I sometimes have to re-read Kant numerous times before I understand what he's trying to promulgate.