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Critique of Pure Reason (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 29 Nov 2007

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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: 13.6 x 3.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,153 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.

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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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Powell on 17 Feb 2011
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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 By Mr. B. P. Van-asten on 19 Aug 2012
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Aug 2011
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Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant, 1781, 1787; translated by Max Muller, revised by Marcus Weigelt, Penguin, 2007, 784 ff.

To try to encapsulate even the essence of this great work in a review of a few hundred words is an almost impossible task (the book is over 700 pages long). For a man who rarely if ever journeyed beyond the confines of his city of birth, Konigsberg, this is a remarkable work and the first of three Critiques that he wrote (the others on Practical Reason and on Judgement).

Kant presents us at the outset with the human dilemma: that we are burdened with questions we cannot ignore but which, transcending all our powers, we are also not able to answer. He points out that, in an earlier age, metaphysics was regarded as the `queen of the sciences' amongst philosophers but that now, with the advance of scientific rationalism, discussion of metaphysics encourages only scorn. It was Kant's purpose in this treatise to explore the limits of metaphysics. It is in this work that Kant fused the ideas of the British empiricists (all knowledge is derived from the senses) and the Continental rationalists (mind is the only safe source of knowledge). Kant argued that we need both empiricism and rationalism to make sense of the world.

Although this is an excellent translation (I have never read the original works), because of the size of the work and the complexity of the subject matter, this is really a book for undergraduate philosophy students or, at least, readers familiar with philosophical argument and the necessary staying power to get through the material.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. D. Vanderweele on 1 Nov 2014
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The importance of the Critique of Pure Reason is well-established and requires no reviews. It is not a book one is likely to stumble across and think, "this looks interesting", if for no other reason (pure or otherwise) than that a quick dip into the book shows it to be dense and difficult. The key question is: which translation makes this dense and difficult book most clear now I have decided to tackle the most important philosophical thinker since Aristotle? The Cambridge edition (1998) is one of the most up to date and is, perhaps, set to become the standard. But Norman Kemp Smith's translation (1929) is still the standard used for reference, even though this Cambridge version is probably better. There is also the free version of Meiklejohn; venerable and old fashioned and not recommended. Pluhar is widely used in the USA and has its fans. And finally there is the Penguin 2007 translation, by Weigelt based on the Max Muller version, which has an attractive layout and style; to me this seems a more naturally flowing style. Compared to Kemp Smith the Penguin is clearer as the active voice is used more than the passive and key terms are set in bold.

The difference between translations in their use of words is not the only difference. The Critique was published in two editions and it is usual to combine the two and here's the difficulty: each translation orders the paragraphs from the two editions (A and B) in a slightly ways, as it seems to me. So to compare Guyer and Smith Kemp's translations is not so easy as they each choose the sequence of combining the two editions that seems to them most comprehensible. Weigelt uses italics to differentiate the first editions (A) from the second (B).
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