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Critique of Pure Reason (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant) Paperback – 28 Feb 1999
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"Paul Guyer's and Allen Wood's new translation of Kant's Critique is a superb volume that forms the heart of Cambridge's excellent series of translations of Kant's works. Because of the quality of the translation, but also because of the various supplementary materials which it provides...it will very likely replace Norman Kemp Smith's translation as the standard edition for scholars. It is difficult to imagine that anyone would be able to improve on this volume in the foreseeable future." Eric Watkins, International Philosophical Quarterly
This entirely new translation of Critique of Pure Reason is the most accurate and informative English translation ever produced of this epochal philosophical text. Its simple, direct style will make it suitable for all new readers of Kant, however the translation displays a sophistication that will enlighten Kant scholars as well.
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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.
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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