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Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
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Critique of Pure Reason (1781)

by Immanuel Kant

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,725291,495 (3.84)46
  1. 10
    The Bounds of Sense: An Essay on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason by P. F. Strawson (hbryant2)
    hbryant2: An influential interpretation of Kant's CPR.
  2. 00
    Suma contra los gentiles ; Suma de teología : textos selectos by Santo Tomás de Aquino (caflores)
  3. 010
    Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology: Expanded Second Edition by Ayn Rand (mcaution)
    mcaution: Providing a solution to the problem of universals, this historic work lays the foundation for the proper methods of knowledge.
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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
The Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant is a book that I have heard of for a pretty long time but never got around to reading. As the title states, Kant intends to examine the properties of reason itself. He splits the process of thinking into different spheres and attempts to demonstrate that there is a quality contained within all objects that make them intrinsically themselves. Kant’s line of reasoning is similar to that of Plato with his ideal shapes and ideas beyond physical reality. That table in your kitchen has an inherent “table-ness” to it. A quality that makes it a table without being the perfect table.

The version I have is a translation by J. M. D. Meiklejohn. Now in doing more research into this book, it seems that the translation is from 1855, but this book was printed in 1990. Since the translation is so dated, perhaps that explains why I could not get into this book at all. On the other hand, this book is rated pretty well, so there must be something there that I am missing. Therefore, I went and found a ton of summaries and lecture notes for the book. From these resources, it was easier to glean the meaning of what Kant was attempting to say.

I don’t know if this was a good introduction to Kantian Philosophy or to anything in general, but it was enjoyable to finally get this one under my belt and done with. Maybe if I find a better translation I will revisit this book and read it again. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
Far too complex. Nearly unreadable for the average reader. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Dec 17, 2018 |
Let me be completely straightforward here: this is not a review. Any attempt on my part to produce such a thing on none other than the great Critique would be a mix of hubris and dishonesty. What is this then?

Well, since reviewing this is out of question, this will be a kind of fairy-tale telling of my experience reading this monumental work. For let’s face it: just the prospect of having it all read is such a daunting task that if someone were to ask you if you would rather do this or go slay a dragon, you would probably happily choose the latter.

But jokes aside, truth is that Kant’s writing tends to be as clear as Victorian London’s famous smog. This is so much so that this opaqueness of his is almost a common trope among philosophers. So, for the purpose of my tale, what this means is that tackling it head on, especially on this Critique, looked then more like a challenge to be overcome than an opportunity for a philosophical promenade on Kant’s ideas. So what inspired me to overcome my fears? What was the tale behind this accomplishment?

Well, it all started when I found myself a philosophy student at college, and Kant was always popping up in the course’s syllabuses in the many classes I took on the subject of modern philosophy. However, since the philosophical canon is so vast, and there’s so little time to read all of it, that if it is true that I had until now many opportunities to read Kant, it is also true that almost all of those readings were mainly fragmentary, of selected texts focusing on particular subjects, never the whole of one of the critiques.

That meant that I kind of dodged my way throughout most of college without having neither the inclination nor the obligation to read Kant in depth, least of all this Critique. What I knew about it was mostly encyclopedic common places based on what I had learned in class and the things I read here and there on secondary sources. But this was about to change.

What happened was that I was finally presented with an opportunity to enroll in a class completely dedicated to reading Kant’s first critique. This class was a seminar, so the work was to be divided in parts, and each student would be assigned a bit of the critique to present to the rest of the group. So now I was faced with a choice: I could, if I so wished, to remain a fragmentary reader of Kant, going happily about my college life without ever thinking much of it; or I could make the most of the opportunity and give the whole reading a try. Naively, I chose the latter (I’m not much of a dragon slayer anyway).

And this was how I got into reading this book in the first place. Now that I have finished it, and with that perfect accuracy that only hindsight offers, I’m pretty glad I chose to do so. Imagining philosophy as country, Kant would be one of its most important cities, and this work this city’s most splendid cathedral. And since I was more of a philosophical tourist reading it, I now at least have this selfie to show off my intellectual prowess while I bask on the superficial joy of having accomplished such a colossal task.

Now, if you were to ask me for details about what I have learned and what insights I got from this work, I would definitely start spewing some trivialities that in the end would just amount to an incoherent blabber about Kant’s epistemological ideas. But I’m not worried. Why not? Because perhaps my tourist eye allowed me to fall in love with things I noticed here and there, and since this is such a complicated work, covering a lot of ground and with many layers of interpretation, I’m now more willing to return there and appreciate once again its beauties, but now with a different regard—and, who knows, maybe I can now move there and really get to know in depth this awesome cathedral. Until then I at least have this: been there, done that. For now this will have to do. ( )
1 vote adsicuidade | Sep 8, 2018 |
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 ( )
  gottfried_leibniz | Apr 5, 2018 |
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 ( )
  gottfried_leibniz | Apr 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (61 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kant, ImmanuelAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Banham, GaryBibliographysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guyer, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guyer, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoyer, RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kūlis, RihardsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kehrbach, KarlEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kitcher, PatriciaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meikeljohn, J.M.D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pluhar, Werner S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolavs, AtisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schmidt, RaymundEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Norman KempTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wood, Allen W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In whatever mode, or by whatever means, our knowledge may relate to objects, it is at least quite clear, that the only manner in which it immediately relates to them, is by means of an intuition.
That all our knowledge begins with experience there can be no doubt. [Meiklejohn's translation of the second edition of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason]
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The original German title is “Kritik der reinen Vernunft”.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0521657296, Paperback)

This entirely new translation of Critique of Pure Reason is the most accurate and informative English translation ever produced of this epochal philosophical text. Though its simple, direct style will make it suitable for all new readers of Kant, the translation displays a philosophical and textual sophistication that will enlighten Kant scholars as well. This translation recreates as far as possible a text with the same interpretative nuances and richness as the original.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:38 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

The most accurate and informative English translation of Kant's most important philosophical work in both the 1781 and 1787 editions; faithful rendering of Kant's terminology, syntax, and sentence structure; a simple and direct style suitable for readers at all levels; distinct versions of all those portions of the work substantially revised by Kant for the 1787 edition; all Kant's handwritten emendations and marginal notes from his own personal copy reproduced for the first time in any edition, German or English; a large-scale introduction providing a summary of the structure and arguments of the Critique as well as the most informative account available in English of its long and complex genesis; and an extensive editorial apparatus including informative annotation and glossaries.… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

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