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Critique of Pure Reason (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Immanuel Kant
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

29 Nov 2007 Penguin Modern Classics

In the Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant laid out a framework upon which the whole of modern philosophy is based. This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the German and edited with an introduction by Marcus Weigelt, based on the translation by Max Muller.

Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. It presents a profound and challenging investigation into the nature of human reason, its knowledge and illusions. Reason, Kant argues, is the seat of certain concepts that precede experience and make it possible, but we are not therefore entitled to draw conclusions about the natural world from these concepts. The Critique brings together the two opposing schools of philosophy: rationalism, which grounds all our knowledge in reason, and empiricism, which traces all our knowledge to experience. Kant's transcendental idealism indicates a third way that goes far beyond these alternatives.

Marcus Weigelt's lucid re-working of Max Muller's classic translation makes the Critique accessible to a new generation of readers. His informative introduction places the work in context and elucidates Kant's main arguments. This edition also contains a bibliography and explanatory notes.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), born in Königsberg, East Prussia, was the most prominent thinker of the German Enlightenment, and 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.

If you enjoyed the Critique of Pure Reason, you might enjoy Benedict Spinoza's Ethics, also available in Penguin Classics.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Rev Ed edition (29 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140447474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140447477
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 14.5 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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.

Marcus Weigelt's lucid reworking of Max Müller's classic translation makes the critique accessible to a new generation of readers, while his informative introduction places the work in context and elucidates Kant's main arguments.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
There can be no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly readable version of Kant 17 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The translation seems to have brought out something which I had forgotten about, which is Kant's great charm as a thinker; there is something fundamentally innocent about him. As a constructor of hard argument, and of arguments that involve often subtle complexities, you keep rooting for him to bring things to their logical conclusion, which he does with impressive consistency. This new Penguin edition is also a relatively compact but still scholarly version of Kant, which can't be a bad thing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
First published in 1781 by the German philosopher, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), the `Critique of Pure Reason' explains Kant's philosophical belief that knowledge is acquired through two varying factors: `a posteriori' - in which something is known to be logically true only by the evidence of the `sense' experience, and `a priori' - in which something is logically true through the understanding, independent of experience (pure reason). These conditions of knowledge must also take into account the concept of Space (outer intuition) and Time (inner intuition), which governs our perception and understanding. Kant analyses these unions of synthesis into twelve categories or conscious laws which include: Quantity (Unity/Plurality), Quality (Reality/Negation/Limitation), Relation (Cause and Effect) and Modality (Possibility and Responsibility; Existence and Non-Existence). By this Kant shows that the world around us is experienced by a priori (Rationalism and Reason) and a posteriori (Empiricism and Experience) subjective to consciousness (a unity of intuitions), linked by thought under certain laws.
This `consciousness' assents to specific modes of conduct, as in the `moral' law of behaviour (good, honest and positive actions), `amoral' and `immoral' (bad and negative actions). These moral laws are also driven by religious aspirations in some who assume the existence of a `Superior Being' or God, and are subjective to God's will. In metaphysics, morality and religion are not within the boundary of knowledge and lie in the region of faith, and so Kant brings into question the theory that there may not be a God, after all, and ultimately the concept that the soul cannot exist for how can a substance that is `not matter' (the soul) be contained `in matter' (the body)?
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Translation 27 Aug 2008
By Mr. Nadim Bakhshov VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't want to comment on Kant's Critique in general but this translation and the way it has opened up a richer image of the great philosopher.

I've never noticed before how rich Kant is. He is not a dry academic and, although he lived a very dull exterior life, his inward world was rich and full of wonder and depth. Yes, he seemed to have misread Swedenborg - but the very fact he engaged Swedenborg might historically be more important that what he said.

This penguin edition has a twofold pleasure: you can take it to the beach, on the train and it looks like a penguin classic. Only you know you hold one of the masterpieces of western philosophy in your hands.

If you can gain just a few hours of pure intellectual joy in reading this edition then you have shared my experience. It is time we took philosophy back from the sterile halls of professionalism and gave it back to the well educated working person.

A marvel and pleasure to read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Double obscurity. 28 July 2011
Format:Paperback
This edition of The Critique of Pure Reason is made un-necessarily difficult to read by including the text of both editions simultaneously. It is hard to enjoy any sense of continuity while reading because of the distracting numerals and competing texts. Such a profound argument as this book contains - experience is not a direct picking up of how things are but also involves distortions added by the very facility for experience - is psychologically difficult to maintain and requires intense concentration in order be properly lifted from the page. This edition, despite the large print, is not easy to settle down with and the translation often feels like an amalgamation of several translations (plus the bracketed German terms are not helpful). Perhaps this is the sort of edition that would suit philsophy students who wanted to refer to texts without going to the trouble of reading, let alone understanding, such texts. All I can say in this book's favour is that I found the introductory biography of Kant to be as comical as it was, presumably, intended to be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging 24 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is well worth the read but I would strongly recommend that you give it the respect it deserves and not allow yourself to be distracted from it. The subject matter is very hard going and will require a great deal of concentration from the reader. Additionally you will find that there are few convenient stopping points in the text save for the chapters themselves so a great deal of time must be invested in each session. There is a lot of reading before the main text starts, but I would recommend that you read it anyway as it is very useful to prepare you for the main text. In summary, and excellent book well worth reading if a little hard going and time consuming.
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