Critique of Pure Reason (J. M. Meiklejohn translation) / Edition 1by Immanuel Kant
Pub. Date: 05/28/1990
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Metaphysicians have for centuries attempted to clarify the nature of the world and how rational human beings construct their ideas of it. Materialists believed that the world (including its human component) consisted of objective matter, an irreducible substance to which qualities and characteristics could be attributed. Mindthoughts, ideas, and perceptionswas viewed as a more sophisticated material substance. Idealists, on the other hand, argued that the world acquired its reality from mind, which breathed metaphysical life into substances that had no independent existence of their own.
These two camps seemed deadlocked until Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason endeavored to show that the most accurate theory of reality would be one that combined relevant aspects of each position, yet transcended both to arrive at a more fundamental metaphysical theory. Kant's synthesis sought to disclose how human reason goes about constructing its experience of the world, thus intertwining objective simuli with rational processes that arrive at an orderly view of nature.
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Anyone who is interested in Philosophy needs to read Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Why do I make this demand? Because you will marvel at learning about the ideality of space and time, and how the world conforms to our ways of knowing, and not vice-versa. Sure, you might not believe Kant, or agree with his arguments, but, the intellectual pleasure that you will receive from this work will last your entire life. A pleasure that will resonate within you every moment you look at the stars showing themselves serenely, at a clock that makes you wonder if this hand really moves, or at the sea sad and salty, wondering, if what happened yesterday really happens tomorrow at the same time as today. However, the most important thing about Kant is that it will prepare you for Schopenhauer, and a better understanding of his view that the world (noumena) is will, and how he comes to that conclusion despite Kant's skepticism at ever having knowledge of the thing-in-itself.
For intellectual exercise, you will be hard pressed to find a more challenging read. Kant, a popular German professor and lecturer strives to prove through logic the differences and existence of 2 kinds of knowledge: 1) knowledge gained from experience~a posteriori and 2) knowledge not gained through experience~ a priori and it is on the second kind that he focuses his proofs.