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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly readable version of Kant
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...
Published on 17 Feb 2011 by M. J. Powell

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Double obscurity.
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...
Published on 28 July 2011 by J. M. Quinn


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly readable version of Kant, 17 Feb 2011
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M. J. Powell "o/i mndspc" (England) - See all my reviews
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars Critique of Pure Reason - A Review by Barry Van-Asten, 19 Aug 2012
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Mr. B. P. Van-asten (London, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Critique of Pure Reason (Penguin Modern Classics) (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)?
This is all very fascinating and Kant's work went on to inspire such thinkers as Johann Fichte (1762-1814), Friedrich Schelling 91775-1854), George Hegel (1770-1831) and David Hume (1711-1776). This interesting book will provide the reader with much food for thought!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the great classics of western philosophy, 9 Aug 2011
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Dr. H. A. Jones "Howard Jones" (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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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. I agree with the reviewer who criticized the use of two different Kant originals (1st edn 1781; 2nd edn 1787) in the translations presented here, even though they are distinguished by being in Roman and italic type, respectively. This does tend to break up the flow of the text and is probably only of interest to philosophy undergraduates. However, the translation reads easily - at least, as easily as a text of this complex nature could read. In this edition there is a useful 76-page Introduction that puts Kant and the work in context, there are 24 pages of Notes at the end and a detailed Index to help readers track down particular subjects.

Howard Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God and The World as Spirit.

The Vision of Kant (Spirit of Philosophy)
Kant: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
The Philosophy of Kant
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Which is the best translation, 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). As I wrote in the previous paragraph, the standard is still Kemp Smith, meaning that reference works will refer to his paragraph numbering. Over time the newer Cambridge translation will become the reference point; in the meantime expect to see Kemp Smith's paragraph numbering as usual reference in commentaries. So, although choosing this edition has many attractions, following the text in some commentaries may be problematic. This Cambridge edition has academic weight - it's part of a whole project covering Kant's work - and is the one I reckon is that reflects most up to date academic thinking. Added to that are the recommendations of Guyer's translation by most academics. All that said, Weigelt has had the benefit of reading the Guyer version and no doubt considering what it makes clearer compared to Kemp Smith. Incidentally, he considers Guyer has made some mistakes in translation, and although he is not an academic of the standing of Guyer, there is no doubting his understanding of his subject as demonstrated by his lengthy and insightful introduction.

Students will probably be advised to buy the version their lecturer is using, but for those with the freedom to choose (see what Kant has to say on this topic) then a more modern translation is probably best, and for that Guyer is the most academically respectable; but if you can afford it buy the Penguin as well; it does seem to me to be more readable. At the same time as buying the book you will need a guide. It is quite impossible to understand the book without one, not least because the arguments Kant puts forward address philosophical debates current when he wrote and which will not be apparent.I consider Sebastian Gardner's book to be quite brilliant. Also read the Prolegomena before reading the Critique.

Andrew Stephenson's diagram is very useful in summarising the overall architecture of Kant's book. http://nebula.wsimg.com/72e5f4d1fd8e675801ad578eba2fe8e4?AccessKeyId=A9004B8B795F6CE7B9FA&disposition=0&alloworigin=1

Finally, and not to miss the opportunity for praising Kant, reading this book will give you an insight into quite a remarkable mind as it works its way through some fundamental questions about our experience of reality, or do I mean the appearance of reality? All that said, I do think Kant would have benefited from an editor who could have helped clarify and standardise some of the terms used and reduce some of the repetition. If you are not confused by Kant you are either a genius or you have not been paying sufficient attention. It's a maddening book that requires effort.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Translation, 27 Aug 2008
By 
Mr. Nadim Bakhshov "Nadim Bakhshov" (Bloomsbury, London) - See all my reviews
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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
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J. M. Quinn - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Critique of Pure Reason (Penguin Modern Classics) (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
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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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pivotal work of philosophy, 12 April 2013
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Kant’s Critique of pure reason is arguably one of the most important works of western philosophy. This Penguin Modern Classic version is an elegant translation and is a pleasure to read. Prepare to be intellectually pushed and stretched, but ultimately rewarded by what is a fantastic book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars God is dead: this is the murder weapon., 9 July 2014
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abasu1979 "abasu1979" (Doha, Qatar) - See all my reviews
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The Critique of Pure Reason is not a book that can be perused at ease: it is either studied or set aside - and the man who cannot spare much time and effort would do well to opt for the latter. Kant's tome - the pre-eminent work of Western philosophy - is an extremely demanding read, whose paragraphs exact a degree of concentration that would suffice to grasp entire chapters of most texts. Therefore, it should be clear from the outset that Kant's masterpiece requires not only a high degree of intelligence, but a tremendous will to persevere: only those who possess both can hope to learn from it.

The structure of the volume is rather lopsided. After the introduction, the Critique has two sections - a very long (over 500 pages) 'Transcendental Doctrine of Elements', and a much shorter, 'Transcendental Doctrine of Method'. The first of these sections is further subdivided between a very short 'Transcendental Aesthetic', and a rather long 'Transcendental Logic'. The 'Transcendental Logic' is further divided (after the introduction) into a 'Transcendental Analytic' and a 'Transcendental Dialectic'. Since the core of the Critique is contained in the Transcendental Aesthetic, Transcendental Analytic and Transcendental Dialectic, it is these that may be said to constitute the main parts of the book.

'Critique' it should be noted, refers not to criticism, but to critical analysis, and this is the main aim of the tome: investigating and establishing the sphere of pure reason - that is to say, of reason devoid of empirical content. In other words, how much can we hope to know beyond what is provided to us by experience?

Kant's answer to this question is essentially, "Beyond mathematics, not much at all". In order to establish the validity of this reply, he begins by destroying conventional notions of space and time in the Transcendental Aesthetic, by demonstrating that these are pure forms of sensible intuition of the subject - and not independent of him. Given that the world exists in space and time, and these two rest in the subject, this proof invariably leads to Arthur Schopenhauer's famous statement 'The World is my Representation.'

In the Transcendental Analytic - which is the most challenging, obscure and mentally taxing part of the book, Kant sets about establishing a system of pure concepts of the understanding ('the categories') which are not only prior to experience, but necessary to make sense of it. Schopenhauer rejects them all with the exception of causality, and the reader may wish to accept this short cut as well and plough on.

The culmination of the Critique is the Transcendental Dialectic - the dismantling of theology by philosophy. Here, armed with the ideas and arguments developed earlier in the book, Kant sets about refuting Biblical dogmas of the soul, the world, and of God. First, the Jewish philosopher Mendelsson's proof of the permanence of the soul is scrutinised and refuted. Then, by formulating and resolving the antinomies of pure reason, the great German genius demonstrates the inherent contradictions in theological notions of the world - and in the process, confirms his earlier analysis in the Transcendental Aesthetic.

Finally, Kant prepares the ultimate sacrifice for the greater glory of human reason: God Almighty. He does not merely argue against this theological dogma: rather, he commences by showing that there can only be three proofs of the existence of this omniscient, omnipotent being (the ontological, cosmological and physico-theological proofs). He refutes the first, and then, by revealing that upon scrutiny the other two shrivel into restatements of the first, refutes them as well. In other words, the existence of this being is not only unproven, it can never be proven - no more than the existence of ghosts, goblins, golems, etc... God is dead - and his slayer is an austere, ascetic Prussian professor of philosophy - perhaps the greatest hero in the history of humanity.

The philosopher does not stop there. Like a Haitian Bokor (voodoo-priest), he then resurrects the deity as a zombie to be used for the purposes of human reason. Whilst the theologians turned man into a slave of God, Kant turns God into a slave of man - by restoring him as a regulative principle of human reason.

Like any sensible criminal, our hero also sets about covering his tracks (and providing an alibi) by attempting to defend the existence of God as necessary for morality. In Schopenhauer's memorable words: 'when Kant demolished old and revered errors, and knew the danger of the business, he had only wanted to substitute here and there through moral theology a few weak props, so that the ruin would not fall on top of him, and he would have time to get away.'

Though undoubtedly one of the greatest books ever written, the Critique is also one of the most difficult to read. To what extent this is due to the complexity of the subject, the translation from German to English, and to Kant himself, is difficult to ascertain - though the combination of his superhuman intellect with his inhuman writing style strikes one as something of a cosmic joke. Furthermore, the book contains numerous Latin terms, such as 'sophisma figurae dictionis' whose translation should be provided in footnotes not endnotes. These obstacles make the highest knowledge as inaccessible as the highest peaks.

For those who attain these heights, there is an experience like none other. Just as Copernicus overthrew the geocentric system with the heliocentric, so likewise, does Kant dethrone the theocentric system with the homocentric. With the Critique, the last clouds of the dark ages are dispelled by the mighty rays of the Enlightenment as the power of the mind triumphs over superstition and sophistry, and in its light, the fear of God perishes to make way for the freedom of man. It took a genius to write this tome, and one feels like a genius after reading it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kant, 21 July 2014
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This book was the bane of my life during University but since leaving I have re-read the book at my own pace and absolutely love it.
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