Talk:Critique of Pure Reason

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I can't believe that nothing has been discussed since Feb 2008. Yet changes have been made, and quite good ones too. From my standpoint as an IT Systems Engineer it is becoming clear that there is a silly dialectical squabble between the Immanuel Kant(ians) of the school which adhere to Meikeljohn translation and the HKBU Kemp Smith (Baptists).. That's all we need now !!; a Mao-Kant translation. Even in death, there is no let up. It is, IMHO time to put an end to the vulgar religious squabble, and agnostise, for Kant's sake. Thus, we have transferred the "mock combat", into the Technology sphere, where we hope to continue the debate, and make the Binary Computer the final arbiter . Then if that is successful, demonstrate Kants worth, by applying it to Informatiom Mining of this pragmatic mess called Wikipedia. Sorry JW, your heart may be in right place, but not your mind. (talk) 22:12, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

That is all the incentive I need to do something about the above ranking. The reason it is poor is simple:
the English Article is heavily biased toward the heterogeneous Culture-Pattern view,
whilst the German Article is heavily biased toward the heterogeneous Structure-Function view,
and Religion is meddling in the middle.
Try Britannica "Social Systems".
It is Dialectical and Fallacious, and not friendly to Kant the Agnostic. I support none of them.
If I am biased, then it is toward Skill(metalworker), and Popular Science/Mechanics.
I get my daily direction from Kant and the epitaph on his grave.
So I begin my study, above all, of Kant The Engineer,
not the philosopher, scholastic or academic.
The Epitaph: "The Starry heavens. etc", the power of the Idea, so abused by the French Idealists, and the National Socialists
What's more I will be collecting the Tables (implied or otherwise) from Practice and Judgment and introduce them as "homogenous" the this first Critique.
Beginning with this, System driving, Table from the end of the Preface to Judgment. It is the key to understanding and employment of Kants Critical Method:

List of Mental Faculties Cognitive Faculties Apriori Principles Application to
Cognitive faculties Understanding Conformity to law Nature
Feeling of pleasure and displeasure Judgment Finality Art
Faculty of desire Reason Final End Freedom

Critique of Pure Reason (CPR) is an attempt to answer three questions:

   * "What can I know?":    Understanding
* "What should I do?": Reason.
* "What may I hope for?" Judgment

Somewhere kant says he would rather have begun with Practice, but it was necessary to deal with the process of thought first, so In the "Fundament Principles Of The Metaphysics Of Morals" he clearly demonstrates the way he will proceed:
The first four paragraphs begins the foundation and the fifth the procedure.
That is, he is describing the modern industrial Requirements Definition, without which no good engineering professional would begin any project. Note that the fifth Paragrahp does not even begin with the Engineer, but with "All trades, arts, and handiworks", and progress to Industrial Process on page 11. For the doubter, look at the painting of Kant addressing Russian officers.
Would he have been talking about philosophy or how to build a fort or ordinance?
In other words warfare. So if any person wants to waffle about my being a mere metalworker, then you can expect to be ignored.
--Justin2007 (talk) 00:54, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

What !!! still no objections, now I am beginning to think this is an abandoned ruin. Maybe they think I'm a barbarian at the door of Rome itself. Anyway this is the table 1 Axioms of intuition. 2 Anticipations of perception. P 196 3 Analogies of experience. 4 Postulates of empirical thought in general. (mhpov)What I can't comprehend is how the author could forget the most important Book in the entire Volume. Unless it is because he just could not see the relevance. Wow, that would be a catastrophe. But I've been wrong before, so please "call home". Justin2007 07:29, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Ok, so I'm in the wrong place, everybody seems to have left this island, returned to civilisation? Kant Island is such a refreshing place. I've decided to bite-the-bullet and make a few changes, but very carefully, because the article is not bad, but it irks me in places: It seems the Author did not want to see Kants Judgments at all; he left one wheel off the cart. And he did not number the segments on the Table of Categories. Now that tells me he has understanding problems like me. Not wishing insult, I numbered the ToC and introduced the ToJ into the text where I thought it best fit. Now I am ready to start loading the Cart with some other Tables. I'm going to try to make the text "live" by direct reference to Kant rather than to revisionist interpretations. This is a crucial point such that Kant makes a big deal out of mediate and immediate Judgements. First the Table of Contents (NKS): Second the "plate", sooh important!: Of course if this doesn't suffer editors knife then I will tackle the Authors Table of Contents. What's wrong with the original ToC: somewhere between the First and Second edition.

Justin2007 22:18, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Sorry guys, I think I'm in the wrong place. Can't go to Technology (they think I'm mad). Can't stay here (I'll drive you mad). Pontificating or splitting hairs over Kant is not my thing. I need to put him to work. I read through the Preface "Fundamental principle..etc" and found where I can meet Kant. "All trades, arts, and handiworks ....." applies to me. Here he describes my mindless industrial character to a tee. He positions me correctly in the First Section: "Transition from the Common Rational Knowledge of Morality to the Philosophical". Somehow I need to position myself critically "outside the body of Wikipedia knowledge" But not end up like Plato's light dove eh. Any advice at this stage is more than welcome. Justin2007 01:03, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

When visiting Highgate cemetery in 67, I read on Marx's grave: "Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it." Thought it cool at the time, but later I read that Kant was a "shame faced materialist". Then I thought it should have read "Hegelian objective idealist philosophers" etc. It may be why I am still suspicious when I read anything about Kant on the Wikipedia. Fortunately, I am becoming less paranoid each time I visit this site. So.. on reading the section -Intuition and concept- my suspicion is again aroused. It seems to me to be saying that Space and Time exist? When I read on this page, in several places, Forms of Space and Time. Justin2007 22:11, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Well the newbie entry is still here so I guess I can continue. Thanks to whoever fixed it. It's my intention to prove Kant right. He created something more than a just a plaything for scholars and philosophers. I'm just a toolmaker with a computer and I visualise a Conceptual Frame for "everything". So I'm going to build that expert system I mentioned earlier. But first I've got to pull Kants three volumes together, in the order he preferred: Practice, Judgement and then Reason. He was raised amongst skills, not academics. His father was a saddler, so was mine. So why not me? Kants thoughts, applied, will revolutionise the way computers work in the future. So to get started, I need to expand the pages CPR NKS P92 to P101 by the table below. If you think I'm mad then meet the guy who inspired me: Picoverse 574 [1] Then I going to tackle the Table of Categories again, then the Table of Judgements This will become the body of my Conceptual Frame. Justin2007 22:11, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Newbie here: If this is in the wrong place I apologise. I'm not a philosopher or academic, but a metalworker cum programmer. I notice the clever use of Kant's original ToC: it sits somewhere between 1st ed., and 2nd ed. I was wondering if anyone has collected the critical Tables from all three volumes. I'm using this one from the CoP as a bookmark in my CoPR. It's a great aid to my understanding his entire system.

List of Mental Faculties Cognitive Faculties Apriori Principles Application to
Cognitive faculties Understanding Conformity to law Nature
Feeling of pleasure and displeasure Judgment Finality Art
Faculty of desire Reason Final End Freedom

I can see all the tables driving computer based Expert Systems or Business CAD software. Proof of concept, logical, and physical, using "The Table of Categories" is already up and running. The best way to increase interest in Kant is to finish what he intend to do: That is "put metaphysics on the sure path to a science".


Shouldn't "Objects are given to use through intuition" read "Objects are given to us through intuition"? --FePe

I will be adding more stuff, piece by piece, as I figure things out and find the time to do this. Any feedback will be appreciated. --Michael V

Michael -- I know I said I would help out over a month ago, but I had my senior thesis to finish. It's done now, and I'd love to help out. What needs doing here? Adam Conover 22:00, May 9, 2004 (UTC)

Edward G. Nilges has changed the editable section on Transcendental Aesthetic. Kant did not believe that the forms of sensation exist "in the mind" and in fact distinguishes mental images from the preconditions of perception.

I have also clarified how and in what way Kant invents, uses and even, to many, misuses terms of art including "transcendental aesthetic".

Anon. comment: The section on Transendental Aesthetic isn't very NPOV. Can some knowledgeable philosopher remedy this? It's beyond me, but would be appreciated.

I moved the material on the Refutation of Idealism. This part of a general effort to try to organize the page more around the structure of the Critique.

Could people, or person, please sign their posts? It's impossible to see who has said what, and when. You can do it by adding four tildes after your posts, like this ~~~~, and this will add your name and the time/date, or your IP address if you have no user name. See Wikipedia:Sign your posts on talk pages. Cheers, SlimVirgin (talk) 20:09, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

"This is the thrust of Kant's doctrine that space and time are transcendentally ideal." (Transcendental Aesthetic) Is it "transcendentally ideal" or "transcendental ideas"? Do they mean the same thing here? Or is the latter clearer? Does clearer = more encyclopedic, or more academic = more encyclopedic... Alveolate 18:13, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Heisenberg and Kant[edit]

If I could, I would remove the claim that Kant prefigured the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. While Heisenberg probably read Kant in school (and was probably bored out of his skull), Heisenberg wasn't thinking about Kant when he invented the Principle.

The fact that there is no sensible perceptions without preconditions has nothing whatsoever to do with physics and a strict reading of the Kritik der Reinen etcetera gives us NO license for saying that the position and momentum of things "in themselves" is changed by observation. Whereas Heisenberg meant his UP to be a claim about things in themselves. (Talk | contribs), Jan. 14, 2004

I would say you've misunderstood Kant and Heisenberg, and the concept of the thing-in-itself. SlimVirgin 06:37, Jan 14, 2005 (UTC)

Kant, of course, can coexist, uneasily in an armed truce, with modern physics, perhaps by considering that Kant's ontology is logically prior, in the sense that it is meant to survive fundamental changes, either in the physical world or our knowledge of same. But one clause of such a truce should be an agreement not to cross the DMZ, and I'm afraid the author violated this by saying that Kant invented the UP.

The clause about the UP seems to me like a HUGE stretch and I think it's got to go. I'll remove it unless anyone objects.Wjwma 02:42, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Wittgenstein and Kant[edit]

As to Wittgenstein, he had a tendency to try to shock sensitive Cantabrigian playing-field beauties by reinventing Continental philosophy in the UK. As such, Wittgenstein was, in the Philosophical Investigations, trying to make his way back to a pre-existing and largely Kantian tradition after imprisoning himself in the Tractatus, which stunt he performed in an Italian prison-camp, which just goes to show you. For this reason, I find the reference to Wittgenstein TOTALLY gratuitous nonsense which slyly implies that the only use for Continental philosophy is as a minor "swot" for Anglo American philosophers, and to build better, if Uncertain, bombs.

I would have rather seen an account of a tradition, that of both Continental and, in America, feminist, philosophy, which is outlasting "analytic" and "ordinary language" philosophy taken together. But I see no Edit button. Therefore, the article is safe from me, for now. (Talk | contribs), Jan. 14, 2004

Just because two philosophers say that the self is unknowable does not mean that one anticipated the other or that there is even very much in common between them. I plan to remove the reference to Wittgenstein unless there are objections.Wjwma 02:44, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

- Wittgenstein learned Kant by reading Schopenhauer's Criticism of the Kantian Philosophy. Schopenhauer was a very clear writer and presented Kant's philosophy in a way that could be understood. Also, he corrected Kant's mistakes and even gave an explanation why Kant's "Transcendental Logic" section is so complicated and confusing. 22:35, 9 September 2005 (UTC)Bruce Partington

Most German philosophers since Kant thought that they were correcting Kant's mistakes. So did Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Husserl. Jeremy J. Shapiro 22:51, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
I doubt that those other writers were able to clearly describe (1)how Kant confused an object-in-itself with a thing-in-itself, (2) exactly how Kant derived his several redundant and unnecessary categories, and (3) how Kant's theory of perception incorrectly claims that complete objects are given in raw sensation. Schopenhauer accomplished these and more. It is ignorant to dismiss his valuable criticism and also to include him in a group of writers who could not reach his level.

Lestrade 16:33, 1 October 2005 (UTC)Lestrade

If by any chance you're referring to me, a) I wasn't at all dismissing Schopenhauer (I happen to love certain aspects of his thought -- he's still my favorite philosopher of music), and b) I think it's silly and unproductive to get into a "my philosopher is better than your philosopher" argument. All of the philosophers mentioned made important attempts to critique Kant and to incorporate some of his ideas and go beyond him. AND all of their philosophical theories have serious inadequacies and limitations. None of them has a philosophical position that can be defended today in the form in which they were put forward in the 19th century. As Habermas has pointed out, all of these philosophers of consciousness -- Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Husserl -- have been rendered obsolete in major ways by the philosophy of communication and language of the 20th century. In any case, none of this has much to do with the Critique of Pure Reason article, which is still highly deficient and does not yet have a minimally decent exposition of the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories, which is the core of the argument of the Critique. Our task here, obviously, is to produce a NPOV exposition of Kant, not one primarily from the perspective of Hegel, Schopenhauer, etc., although clearly their critiques help illuminate the core of his doctrines. Jeremy J. Shapiro 16:50, 1 October 2005 (UTC)


The section on terms seems pretty bad, especially the entries on "conception" and "contingency". "Conception" at least as it is defined in this section is not a key term in the Critique. I'm not sure if the entry means to refer to cognition or to the role of concepts and the understanding. At any rate it is rather unclear. The entry on contingency is also rather messy and has nothing to do with the Critique. Unless there are some objections I'd like to remove those two sections.Wjwma 05:10, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

I just updated the "terms" entry on "intuition." The old entry had some quotations, but did not go into much depth. I replaced it with what I hope is a clearer exposition, and gave some references. Though I don't have my Lectures on Metaphysics handy, so I couldn't give the specific reference for that.

overemphasis of aesthetic, space, and time[edit]

I value what's here, AND the article still needs a lot of work. I hope to contribute when I have time. Right now, the whole emphasis of the "Kant's approach" section is on space and time as representing the subjective, or subject-based structuring of experience. For Kant this is really secondary -- the primary organizing force of experience is synthesis through the categories, in other words the transcendental unity of apperception, in which space and time really have a subordinate role. In the article, the transcendental analytic section, and the deductions, currently still have a minor role compared to the aesthetic, whereas these roles need to be reversed. The core of Kant's epistemology would still be what it is even without the transcendental aesthetic. That is, even if space and time weren't forms of intuition, the way that we create a unified world of experience and a unified self-consciousness could still be valid because of the transcendental deduction of the categories. Jeremy J. Shapiro 04:06, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

It may amuse you to know that Schopenhauer's opinion was directly opposite to yours. He claimed that the Transcendental Aesthetic was beautifully written because Kant knew his subject. However, the Transcendental Logic was obscure and confused because Kant didn't know whether an object is known and perceived from mere sensations or from the categories of the Understanding.

Lestrade 00:20, 15 October 2005 (UTC)Lestrade

I think we have a misunderstanding. I don't have an opinion about the transcendental aesthetic. I was only pointing out that it is the just about unanimous view of all modern Kant scholarship that the Transcendental Deduction -- and the notions of the unity of apperception and of synthesis that are central to it -- is the core of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and of Kant's epistemology and of his impact on philosophy and that it is independent of whether the transcendental aesthetic is valid. I was not criticizing or passing judgment on Kant's ideas in the transcendental aesthetic. In my limited understanding of the philosophy of mathematics, there are several different recent schools of thought on the validity of the notion that space is an a priori form of intuition or perception, and the modern philosophy of time is a very complex and multilayered subject. My limited understanding of Heidegger is that he argued that Kant's notion of the foundational and a priori role of temporality was in some ways as central to Kant as the doctrines of the transcendental deduction and is in a way part of it as opposed to only a form of perception. I personally think that most of the Critique of Pure Reason is beautifully written and argued. Jeremy J. Shapiro 05:04, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

In the same vein, and contrary to the unanimous view of modern Kant scholarship, Schopenhauer had an entertaining theory about the origin of the Transcendental Logic. It goes as follows:

  • Kant's only true discovery was that time and space are known to us a priori, as presented in the Transcendental Aesthetic.
  • Excessive fondness for symmetry led Kant from:
    • the pure intuitions (time, space) which are the basis of empirical intuitions or perceptions; to the assertion of
    • the pure concepts which are the basis of empirical concepts.
  • With regard to mathematics and logic:
    • the Transcendental Aesthetic is the a priori basis of mathematics (arithmetic, geometry); so, for symmetry,
    • the Transcendental Logic is the a priori basis of logic.

Lestrade 01:23, 16 October 2005 (UTC)Lestrade

This may well be. But it is my understanding that in general any encyclopedia, including Wikipedia, should reflect and represent the current state of knowledge, scholarship, and research about every topic, and the amount of scholarship and research about Kant since Schopenhauer and Hegel is very large, and has been highly shaped, as have all philosophical topics, by the evolution of philosophy itself since that time (e.g. positivism, linguistic philosophy, hermenutics, existentialism, Marxism) as well as the evolution of science, mathematics, and the social sciences. So we as encyclopedia editors need to take a perspective on philosphical topics that incorporates the development of philosophy since any philosopher about whom we have an article or any philosopher whom we like. For example, I love Heraclitus and resonate with his views, but I can't simply write an encyclopedia article about some topic from the perspective of Heraclitus. I have to incorporate, as a responsible encyclopedia editor, the evolution of philosophy since Heraclitus. I think it's great that you like Schopenhauer and resonate with his views (as I myself do with his ideas about music), but you can't take his perspective on Kant as the defining perspective or as the perspective from which this or any other article as written. I really respect your Wikipedia work, and I was surprised in something you wrote recently when you said that Schopenhauer corrected Kant's "mistakes". I think that this idea of major philosophers having "mistakes" is deeply unphilosophical. From some point of view, just about every philosopher who ever lived has some views that seem impossible, difficult, or contradictory. And every important philosopher has been criticized for weaknesses or deficiencies by dozens of other philosphers. Yet at least the major philosophers brought to light important issues and questions about the nature of knowledge, thought, truth, and the world, and put forward interesting theses and theories in response to these issues and questions, that are still being debated and discussed and analyzed and reinterpreted, even though it is possible to point to difficulties or tensions or inconsistencies in their thought. This type of discussion and reflection is largely what philosophy consists of. The idea of "mistakes" implies that there's one true view or theory from which others deviate, and I see that as a pretty unphilosophical perspective. Since you didn't really lay out what you meant by mistakes, I may be completely misinterpreting you. But when you seem to adopt Schopenhauer's views on Kant as definitive, it reminded me of this "mistakes" idea. And what about Schopenhauer's "mistakes"? And what about Nietzsche's and Wittgenstein's and Husserl's and Heidegger's views on Kant? And what about the detailed analysis and scholarship about Kant using sources and manuscripts and new understandings of the history of science that were not available to Schopenhauer? I have nothing against Schopenhauer, I just don't think an encyclopedia editor of philosophy articles can pick some philosopher and say, "the truth stops with this philosopher" and subsequent philosophy and scholarship is irrelevant. And, in a certain way, all of philosophy consists of mistakes, i.e. of ideas that, when examined, either fall apart or are dependent on no-longer tenable assumptions from the philosophical and historical context in which they were put forward. That does not make philosophy a worthless enterprise.

By the way, my own (limited) knowledge of Kant scholarship is that it agrees with Kant's own statement of the principal motivation behind the Critique of Pure Reason: that it was Kant's reading of Hume's critique of the notion of causality that led to the attempt to ground synthetic a priori knowledge in the knowing subject, not his commitment to ideas about space and time. If you look at Manfred Kuehn's authoritative biography of Kant, published in 2001, you will see that Kant already put forward the ideas of the Transcendental Aesthetic in his Inaugural Dissertation of 1770, and that what is new in the Critique of Pure Reason (1781), compared with the Inaugural Dissertation, is the ideas in the Transcendental Logic about the role of the categories, i.e. the role of a priori concepts in making a priori knowledge, i.e. synthetic a priori judgments possible. Jeremy J. Shapiro 05:09, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

There are many Kantian mistakes listed in Schopenhauer's constructive Criticism of the Kantian Philosophy. The main one is, to him, the source of the obscurity that envelops the whole of the Transcendental Logic. Therefore, it is the most important mistake. I would think that readers of an encyclopedia who are trying to grasp Kant's thought would want to be aware of such constructive criticism.
The following quotation of Schopenhauer must be considered by any thinking person to be a description of a mistake on Kant's part. In other words, a rational human should be able to read Schopenhauer's clear description of Kant's arguments and conclude that Kant made a mistake.
"...he gives no theory of the origin of empirical perception, but, without further ado, treats it as given, identifying it with the mere sensation to which he adds only the forms of intuition or perception, namely space and time, comprehending both under the name of sensibility." Also, "He allows perception, taken by itself, to be without understanding, purely sensuous, and thus entirely passive, and only through thinking (category of the understanding) does he allow an object to be apprehended .... but then again, the object of thinking is an individual real object; in this way, thinking loses its essential characteristic of universality and abstraction, and, instead of universal concepts, receives as its object individual things .... the utter confusion of the representation of perception with the abstract representation tends to a cross between the two, which he describes as the object of knowledge through the understanding and its categories, and this knowledge he calls experience."

Lestrade 17:35, 17 October 2005 (UTC)Lestrade

This is not necessarily a mistake. Kant treats empirical perception as a given because it is given. Anyone reading his book would have to acknowledge that. Kant proceeds from there, through examination of experience, to deduce the necessary faculties of the mind such that this given is possible: that is the CPR. We need to refrain from making categorical statements of the kind you are making (i.e. "any rational being would agree" Obviously Kant would not, and frankly neither would I).

Schopenhauer read Kant's book and did not acknowledge that objects are simply given to the mind. According to Schopenhauer, empirical perception is not given. Only raw sense impressions, such as touch, sound, etc., are given. They are given to the mind by the sense organs. The perception of an experienced object is the result of the mind using those given sensations in order to attribute causality, through space and time, to an object. The object is thus the product of a mental operation, and is not merely given to the mind.Lestrade 14:49, 4 June 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

True Proposition Diagram[edit]

On the pictorial representation of the different types of true propositions, why is "dependent" misspelled? Lestrade 18:31, 30 September 2005 (UTC)Lestrade

Latest Not Necessarily the Greatest[edit]

J. Shapiro wrote:"Any encyclopedia ... should reflect and represent the current state of knowledge, scholarship, and research...." This is true of subjects such as mathematics, chemical engineering, and physical science that build upon past work and therefore continually develop toward perfection. However, subjects that have artistic qualities consist of viewpoints that are not necessarily superseded by subsequent work. Philosophy is an artistic, as well as a scientific, endeavor. The latest philosophies are not always superior to the earlier. Heidegger, for example, did not superannuate David Hume.

I would amend Jeremy Shapiro's statement to be, "Any encyclopedia article relating to scientific matters should reflect and represent the current state of knowledge, scholarship, and research. Articles relating to matters that are in any way artistic should present a history of the subject in that earlier efforts may possibly be vastly superior to later." Lestrade 19:06, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Lestrade

Just wanted to make clear that I wasn't meaning to imply that things that come later in history are always better than things that come earlier. But an encyclopedia article should reflect the current state of knowledge and discourse ABOUT those things, whether earlier or later. In other words, Hume might be "superior" in some ways to Heidegger, just as Bach is to Shostakovich (let's say). But an encyclopedia article should reflect recent research, scholarship, and discussion ABOUT Hume and Heidegger, Bach and Shostakovich, so that it is a responsible reflection of the evolution of knowledge about whatever the topic. I think that Leonardo da Vinci is a greater painter than Renoir. But if I read an encyclopedia article about Leonardo, I expect it to reflect recent research about Leonardo, not research that stopped a generation ago. That's why encyclopedias keep on having new editions: because scholarship and research about every topic keeps evolving. So I believe that I understand what Lestrade is saying in general, and agree that there is a certain kind of qualitative difference, which has been discussed especially in the history and philosophy of art, about the difference between "progress" in the arts and "progress" in the sciences. But I don't think that the issue of superiority is relevant here. To take the present article as an example: I personally think that the Critique of Pure Reason is "superior" to Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. But I expect an article in Wikipedia to reflect the history of, and recent scholarship about the Critique (including scholarship influenced by Wittgenstein), for it has a whole history extending from its first publication until now, (although it has to be represented only in a way that bears on the interest of a general reader, rather than someone initiated into philosophy). And because the whole way that questions are posed and conceived of in philosophy now is very different from the way they were posed e.g. in the 19th century, it would be inappropriate to frame an article on Kant or the Critique in the framework of 19th-century philosophy, although I think a really great article could talk at least briefly about those changes to show how the understanding and interpretation of Kant have changed. I would say, for example, that since both Husserl and Heidegger on the one hand and linguistic and analytic philosophy on the other, it is impossible to understand Kant the way anyone understood him in the 19th century, before those developments. Jeremy J. Shapiro 06:31, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
What belongs in an encyclopedia article? If the article is about philosophy, then it must give a history of current and also previous subjective points of view relating to the topic. If the article is about science, then a history is not necessary. The article should describe the latest objective information.
Philosophy consists of subjective viewpoints. Some of them are true in that they correctly explain issues that persist throughout time, such as those related to human knowledge or morality. Philosophers from the far distant past can be as correct on these issues as philosophers from the current year.
Science consists of objective laws. These have been agreed upon by general convention. Thus, they are not individually subjective. History is not needed. Only the latest research and conclusions should be included in the article.Lestrade 19:24, 16 December 2005 (UTC)Lestrade
This is a highly particular, and fundamentally positivistic, view of both philosophy and science with which many philosophers and scientists would disagree. You can't use it as a consensus view from which to write encyclopedia articles. Most philosophers for most of the history of philosophers have tried to arrive at theories that are objective and would have considered it a waste of their time to put out views that are "merely" "subjective" (and this is certainly true of Kant, whose primary concern was accounting for the objectivity of our knowledge!). Whether and to what extent they succeeded or not is a separate matter. Furthermore, regardless of that, there is scholarship ABOUT philosophy, which is what professional philosophers publish about, which tries to be objective even when discussing "subjective" views, and which has a history. On the other hand, much modern philosophy, history, and sociology of science rejects the view that science just "consists of objective laws" so that "history is not needed", and if you read almost any current book about this subject, you will discover that. And one consequence of that is that the history of science has a bigger role in straight science than was conceived of in the era of logical positivism. In any case, you can't just put out your view as a fact about philosophy and the sciences. It's one point of view among a number, and it needs to be supported, especially in relation to current discussion of these topics. Furthermore, this view of yours seems scarcely compatible with your other view that Kant made "mistakes" that were corrected by Schopenhauer. If there's nothing objective about philosophy, if it's just subjective views, how can it contain mistakes? And, if one philosopher can correct another philosopher's mistakes, shouldn't it be, from your point of view, like science, that it needs no history, since the later philosopher's views would replace the earlier one's? Jeremy J. Shapiro 21:12, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Kemp Smith's Accuracy[edit]

I removed the POV words "and most accurate" in the "See Also" section. Smith's translation may not be more accurate than Max Müller's.Lestrade 02:29, 15 December 2005 (UTC)Lestrade

Incomplete article[edit]

I have added an "incomplete" template at the top of the article, since that's what is (there isn't even a section for the "transcendental dialetic", which means that about "half" of the Critique is covered in the article, at most.

If anyone here has the expertise to write the missing sections, that would be great. -- Kripkenstein τ κ

Note: We can borrow some parts of the French article. -- Kripkenstein τ κ
Added some stubbed headings to at least give a better idea of what's missing. Lucidish 02:41, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

my shabby attempts to translate from french[edit]

From the Transcendental Aesthetic:

Metaphysical exposition on space and time

The metaphysical expositions on space and time are concerned with locating the pure forms of sensation. This is in contrast to the transcendental exposition, which will show how the pure forms can enrich our understanding. The first exposition unfolds by describing what both space and time really are. The argument proceeds according to the following five main points (the first three non-empirically, the last two unintentionally (?) ):

  1. Space and time are not concepts; because I can imagine things, like things outside or beside me as if they were right next to each other, it follows that representation of space is already fundamentally known. Therefore the imagination (representation?) of space can't be drawn from experience by acquaintance with external objects, but rather that experiences with the external are impossible unless imagined (represented?) in this way.
  2. Space is a necessary, a priori representation that is the foundation of all external experiences. We can never imagine anything without space. Same thing holds with time.
  3. For space, this a priori necessity is the foundation of philosophical certainty of all geometrical principles and the possibility of their a priori construction. As far as time is concerned, by this a priori necessity also found the possibility of philosophical principles concerning time and its axioms.
  4. Space is not a discursive (?) concept; in effect, we can't initially imagine (?) anything but a unique space, and, when we talk about many spaces, we don't mean by that that the parties (?) occupy the same, unique space. Same for time.
  5. Finally, space and time are infinitely large.
Note: A discursive concept, signified by words, is to be contrasted with an intuitive perception, which appears as a phenomenal image.Lestrade 13:16, 15 March 2006 (UTC)Lestrade
I know that's how it's usually used, but I'm not confident that's what Kant meant. I'll check in a bit. Lucidish 01:35, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Transcendental expositions on space and time

Kant returns here to what he demonstrated in his writing on metaphysics in order to show that the sciences would be impossible if space and time were not kinds of pure a priori knowledge. Take, for instance, this proposition: two straight lines can neither contain any space nor, consequently, form a figure; and now try to derive this proposition from the concept of a straight line and the number two. It's simply impossible. We can't obtain this information from analytic reasoning; so it must be by way of synthetic reasoning. But in this case, it wasn't experience that furnished the third term; otherwise, we would lose the necessary and universal character of geometry. Since only space, which is a pure a priori form of sensation, makes this synthetic judgment, it must then be an a priori. If geometry doesn't serve this pure a priori intuition, it is empirical, and an experimental science. But geometry doesn't proceed by measurements -- it proceeds by demonstrations. Kant rests his demonstration of the apriority of space on the example of geometry. He reasons that therefore that if something exists, it needs to be intelligible. If we attacked this argument, we would doubt the universality of geometry (which no honest person would do, in Kant's estimation). The other part, that time is a pure a priori intuition which renders mathematics possible. Likewise with space, time is not a concept, since otherwise it would obey formal logical analysis (and therefore, of the principle of non-contradiction). However, time makes it possible to deviate from the principle of non-contradiction: indeed, it is possible to say that A and non-A are in the same place if one considers them in different times. Time and space cannot thus be regarded as existing beings in themselves. They are a priori forms of sensory intuition. Nothing can ever be found in an experiment which cannot be attributed to a time and a place.

The current idea is that the subject makes the experience of space and time. The Kantian thesis was to say that in order for the subject to have any experience at all, they have an experience of these forms. But this thesis necessarily implies that we cannot know the things in themselves (or noumena). We can know only phenomena, or appearances. So this is where the paradox of Kantian philosophy resides: even the a priori forms that can let us can know anything in accordance with reason, prohibit us from absolutely knowing things in themselves.

At the end of the first divison, one finds a section from Kant which frees his doctrine from any vestiges of subjective idealism. Kant does nothing except distinguish the phenomenon from the object. This does not declare that nothing exists apart from itself or of its own consciousness. He in addition makes an explicit refutation of idealism in the fourth paralogism, titled "Of ideality (in regard to outer relations)". To be distinguished from this subjective idealism, denying the existence of the external world, it defines its position as a transcendantal idealism in accord with an empirical realism.

in french[edit]

L’exposition métaphysique consiste à repérer les formes pures de la sensibilité, tandis que l’exposition transcendantale montrera comment ces formes pures pourront enrichir notre connaissance.Cette première exposition se déroule, pour l’espace comme pour le temps, en cinq points démontrés (les trois premiers montrant qu’ils ne sont pas dérivés empiriquement, les deux derniers qu’ils ne sont pas des concepts forgés par l’entendement) : 1. Le temps et l’espace ne sont pas des concepts. « Pour que je puisse me représenter les choses comme en dehors et à côté les unes des autres, il faut que la représentation de l’espace soit posée déjà comme fondement. Par suite la représentation de l’espace ne peut être tirée par l’expérience des rapports des phénomènes extérieurs, mais l’expérience extérieure n’est elle-même possible qu’ au moyen de cette représentation. » 2. « L’espace est une représentation nécessaire a priori qui sert de fondement à toutes les intuitions extérieures. On ne peut jamais se représenter qu’il n’y ait pas d’espace. » Il en va de même pour le temps. 3. Pour l’espace, « sur cette nécessité a priori se fondent la certitude apodictique de tous les principes géométriques et la possibilité de leur construction a priori ».En ce qui concerne le temps, « sur cette nécessité a priori se fonde aussi la possibilité de principes apodictiques concernant les rapports du temps ou d’axiomes du temps en général ». 4. « L’espace n’est pas un concept discursif […] en effet, on ne peut d’abord se représenter qu’un espace unique, et, quand on parle de plusieurs espaces, on n’entend par-là que les parties d’un seul et même espace ». Idem pour le temps. 5. Enfin, l’espace et le temps sont des grandeurs infinies.


Kant reprend ici ce qu’a démontré l’exposition métaphysique pour montrer que les sciences seraient impossibles si l’espace et le temps ne sont pas des formes pures a priori.« Prenez, par exemple, cette proposition : Deux lignes droites ne peuvent renfermer aucun espace ni, par conséquent, former de figure ; et cherchez à dériver cette proposition du concept de ligne droite et de celui du nombre deux ». C’est tout simplement impossible ! On ne peut obtenir cela d’un raisonnement analytique ; il s’agit donc d’un raisonnement synthétique. Mais dans ce cas, ce ne peut être l’expérience qui nous fournit le troisième terme, sinon on en perdrait le caractère nécessaire et universel propre à la géométrie. Ainsi seul l’espace, en tant que forme pure a priori de la sensibilité, rend possible un tel jugement synthétique, qui sera par conséquent a priori. Si la géométrie ne se servait pas de cette intuition pure a priori, elle serait empirique, ce serait une science expérimentale. La géométrie ne procède pas par mesures mais par démonstrations. Kant fait reposer sa démonstration de l’apriorité de l’espace sur la réussite exemplaire de la géométrie. Il raisonne pour ainsi dire ‘‘ab actu ad posse’’ : si cela existe, cela doit être intelligible. Si on attaque son argument, on remettrait alors en cause l’universalité de la géométrie (ce que tout honnête personne ne saurait faire, estime Kant). D’autre part, le temps sera l’intuition pure a priori qui rendra possible les mathématiques . Le temps n’est pas non plus un concept, sinon il obéirait aux exigences de la logique formelle (donc au principe de non-contradiction). Or, le temps permet de déroger au principe de non-contradiction : en effet, il est possible de dire que A et non-A se trouvent en un même lieu si on les considère en des temps différents.Le temps et l’espace ne peuvent donc être considéré comme des êtres existants en soi. Ce sont les formes a priori de l’intuition sensible. Rien ne se rencontre jamais en une expérience qui ne soit inscriptible dans un temps et dans un lieu.

L’idée courante, c’est que le sujet fait l’expérience de l’espace et du temps. La thèse kantienne c’est de dire : loin que le sujet reçoive de l’expérience ces formes, c’est lui qui les lui donne en sorte qu’elle soit une expérience possible. Mais cette thèse, comme nous le verrons plus loin (chapitre 5.2.4), implique nécessairement que nous ne pouvons connaître les choses en soi. Nous n’en connaissons que les phénomènes*, c’est-à-dire ce qui apparaît à notre esprit par l’intermédiaire des formes pures a priori. Ici réside le paradoxe de la philosophie kantienne : cela même (les formes a priori) pour quoi nous pouvons connaître conformément à la demande de la raison [c’est-à-dire une connaissance synthétique et a priori, nécessaire, universel et en progrès] nous interdit de connaître absolument !

En fin de ce chapitre on trouve un avertissement de Kant le dégageant de tout idéalisme subjectif  : « Quand je dis que, dans l’espace et le temps, aussi bien l’intuition des objets extérieurs que l’intuition de l’esprit par lui-même représentent chacune leur objet comme il affect nos sens, c’est-à-dire comme il nous apparaît, je ne veux pas dire que ces objets soient une simple apparence ». Kant ne fait que distinguer le phénomène de l’objet. Il ne déclare pas que rien n’existe en dehors de lui-même ou de sa propre conscience, loin de là. Il en fait par ailleurs une réfutation explicite dans la section : paralogisme de l’idéalité du rapport extérieur. Pour se distinguer de cet idéalisme subjectif, niant l’existence du monde extérieur, il définit sa position comme un idéalisme transcendantal* accordé avec un réalisme empirique : « Nos explications nous apprennent donc la réalité (c’est-à-dire la valeur objective) de l’espace [et du temps] […] et en même temps l’idéalité de l’espace [et du temps] par rapport aux choses, quand elles sont considérées en elles-mêmes […] Nous affirmons donc la réalité empirique de l’espace, quoique nous en affirmions en même temps l’idéalité transcendantale ».

Lucidish 03:15, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Hello. I'm currently working on the french article. You guys should have check the historic of the french discussion page, for the author of the part of the article you're trying to translate (namely "l'esthétique transcendantale") did write about it: "Etant donné qu'il s'agit là d'une des oeuvres les plus influentes de la philosophie moderne, et que ne figurait ici qu'un plan et un résumé très succint, je me permets de recopier ici, en partie, l'étude que j'en ai faite à l'usage d'un ami physicien. Le texte est donc personnel (je le précise au cas où on m'en demanderait les origines) et la version intégrale est téléchargeable sur mon propre site : Philo-Analysis)" Translation: "considering this is one of the major works of modern philosophy, and that there was only a summary and a plan, i'm hereby copying a study i did for a physicist friend of mine. This text is personal and can be downloaded on my own website..."

I don't think this is a really encyclopedic way of writing an article. Either way I gave on the french discussion page the reasons why i thought this part of the article wasn't pedagogic enough and even wrong sometimes. That's why i think you should reconsider putting a translation this text in the english article. Wikipé, as any other references, even academic, must be criticized before being translated.

With my best regards. 09:06, 23 June 2006 (UTC) (Werker in french) P-S: i do apology about my english

Much of the content has been reviewed since then and reworded, but if you (or anyone) sees anything objectionable then they're more than welcome to point it out. Lucidish 16:49, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, i didn't check the real article when i wrote this. Even though, i think some of my objections are still relevant:

The distinction between transcendantal and metaphysical exposition, even though it is quite economic (shorter/ergonomic?), does not allow a novice Kant reader to seize the fundamuntal differences between space and time to Kant; and it is formally wrong considering time is the possibility of all intuitions to Kant(whereas space conditions only the external ones); i don't know if you did correct that particular point (edit: sorry, actually you did:)); actually, that's not the major point: the thing is that this kind of separation, if relevant to a well-informed Kant reader, might be confusing to a novice. edit: i've been more careful reading your article this time; actually you seem to have correct all the mistakes there was in the french article; this is more something like a pedagogical problem i'm discussing now Still sorry about my english,

Werker 18:23, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm pleased to hear that I caught the mistakes. If you see any others, of course, give a shout on this page and they'll get corrected. As for pedagogy... Kant is always going to be troublesome in that regard, since he presented so many neologisms for the reader to sort through. I genuinely do want to present this stuff in an intelligible way, but am not sure how to make the point clear without de-emphasizing the other points which Kant makes in that section. In other words, it is hard to make a judgment call about what to include and what to leave out, such that a reader understands the most unique and important parts of Kantian philosophy, because I just don't know which parts are most important. Lucidish 20:56, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
To me, the problem lies in the conception that one have of an encyclopedy. Are we, as writers of, say the article "critique of pure reason", really supposed to "leave out" stuff? Does one will have someday the ability to make a choice between what's important and what's not in Kant's philosophy? I first answered no, and thought the only way to make a good article about the CPR was to proceed in a linear way, blindly following the structure of the text itself, so that, if not synthetic, the article would not forget anything, and that the reader would eventually be able to go back to kant's text itself. I'm no more sure of this position, but i think here still lies this really big probleme: how to explain such a complex philosophy in a synthetic way when synthesis might go against complexity? How to write only twenty lines for, say, the transcendantal dialectic and still allowing a potential reader, not to understand it, which would be quite utopic, but at least to be able to face it on his own. I personnaly do know i don't understand most parts of Kant's philosophy, but i know that, if i were to study Kant on my own, it wouldn't be futile, thanks to the bases some of my teachers gave to me. 10:17, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

How is the synthetic apriori possible?[edit]

From the article:

But this posed a new problem—how can one have synthetic knowledge that is not based on empirical observation—that is, how can we have synthetic a priori truths?

photo here

Kant concluded that there are synthetic a priori truths.

Yes, exactly. Or, as Nietzche maliciously put it, "Kant asked how were synthetic apriori truths possible? By virtue of a faculty. That is, by virtue of a virtue--namely, the virtus dormitiva" And I will say goodnight on that note.--Lacatosias 16:59, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

I would ask of Kant two things:
  1. A full but terse definition of pure reason.
  2. A list of at least ten non-mathematical synthetic a priori judgments.
In his book of so many pages, these would not take up more than half of a page. Even now, over two hundred years later, some Kantian should be able to render this service to the readership.Lestrade 18:53, 1 April 2006 (UTC)Lestrade
Kant describes the the critique of pure reason as the critique of "the faculty of reason in general, in respect of all knowledge after which it may strive independently of all experience"; essentially I think that just means the a priori. What he calls the "general problem of pure reason" is just what Lac quoted above, namely, how the synthetic a priori is possible.
At least one non-mathematical synthetic apriori judgment would be Newton's first law of motion. Lucidish 20:16, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Here are a few types of propositions Kant thought were synthetic a priori:
1. Geometry
  • e.g. "Two lines cannot enclose a figure."
2. Structure of Space
  • e.g. "Space has three dimensions." (B41)
3. Structure of Time
  • e.g. "Two times are successive, not simultaneous." (A32/B47)
  • e.g. "Time has only one dimension."
4. Theory of Motion
  • e.g. "Regarding motion, every action has an equal and opposite reaction." (B17)
5. Physics
  • e.g. "The total quantity of matter always remains unchanged." (B17, A182/B225)
  • e.g. "All substances in space are in interaction with one another." (A211/B256)
6. Metaphysics
  • e.g. "Every alteration has a cause." (A189/B232)
7. Perception
  • e.g. "All intuitions are extensive magnitudes." (A161/B202)
  • e.g. "All sensations have an intensive magnitude." (A165/B207)
Not to mention causality, the single most important synthetic a priori. Seriously Lestrade, if you read the book, both of your questions are thoroughly answered. - 21:16, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Causality is the single most important synthetic a priori? The word "causality" designates a category or pure concept of the understanding. The assertion or statement "everything is the effect of something else, which is its cause" is a synthetic a priori judgment. I have read the book. In so doing, I find it surprising that Kant talks so much about pure reason without giving a clear definition of reason and about synthetic a priori judgments without giving non-mathematical, non-quantitative, metaphysical examples.Lestrade 18:58, 20 August 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

Kant's whole philosophy, as well almost all subsequent philosophies, are based on a correct understanding of "pure reason" and "synthetic a priori judgments." Kant never presented clear examples of these in one place. Is reason merely arriving at a conclusion from premisses? Is it a mystical gift that allows a person to immediately see a conclusion without inference from premisses? Are synthetic a priori judgments capable of being superseded by subsequent scientific theories?Lestrade 01:14, 22 April 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

I can't say much in defence of the quote, since I'm very sketched out by most claims of near-universal opinion in philosophy. I can say something about the other questions though.
First, by "reason" he appears to mean "stemming from principles" at the very least, and more specifically, "the faculty which supplies the principles of a priori knowledge". By "pure reason", he means "that which contains the principles whereby we know anything absolutely a priori".
Second, synthetic a priori judgments are those which are founded on representations which have a character of absolute necessity, which in part indicates that they have absolute universality. So no a priori judgment, can ever fail to be discovered to be false due to scientific discovery and still be a priori. Lucidish 01:59, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
It is almost amusing to see Kant declare, in his Prolegomena, §15, "We nevertheless actually possess a pure science of nature in which are propounded a priori and with all the necessity requisite to apodictical propositions, laws to which nature is subject." After whetting our appetite to know what those laws are, since metaphysics as a science depends on them, Kant throws a bone to us. "But among the principles of this universal physics there are a few which actually have the required universality; for instance, the propositions that 'substance is permanent,' that 'every event is determined by a cause according to constant laws,' etc." Instead of his "etc.", I wish that Kant had prolonged his book by one more page by listing the other propositions.Lestrade 17:14, 26 August 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

Is this worth anything?[edit]

I was working on cleaning up dead-end pages and came across "Categories kant." It seems to be somewhat related to this article, so I'm wondering if there's anything that's worth keeping there, or if it should just be redirected here flat-out. What do you think? Thanks, RayaruB 05:11, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Not really too much need for that page to exist, but the content should probably be somehow included on this page — after all, the table of categories was quite important to Kant. Ig0774 05:41, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Kant & Euclid[edit]

Kant was not wrong when he assumed that space is necessarily experienced in accordance with plane geometry. He visualized lines, surfaces, and solids as they are drawn on a flat surface. But he didn't consider lines, surfaces, and solids as they are depicted on a concave surface (hyperbolic geometry) or on a convex surface (elliptical or Riemannian geometry). Euclid's plane geometry, however, has not lost its universality or certainty. It has merely been made to share its quarters with geometries that describe loci that are presented on surfaces that are not flat.Lestrade 15:06, 25 May 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

Kant & Einstein[edit]

As long as we are tracking Kant's immediate influence on other thinkers, is anyone else aware that Einstein credited Kant as the greatest influence on his theory of relativity? Someone should google this to find a proper citation, but I am currently on a connection that makes even this edit tenuous. - 21:12, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

I can understand this, because Kant showed how the observing subject's organization determines the way in which an object is perceived.Lestrade 14:41, 4 June 2006 (UTC)Lestrade
I did some brief Googlediving and came up with a variety of references to Kant and Einstein to the effect that a) Kant influenced Einstein when he was a teenager to abandon religion, and b) Einstein disagreed with Kant's philosophy of science (c. 1927) and wanted to create a revitalized empiricism. Neither are much help on the present question, sadly.Lucidish 21:15, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
There isn't near enough attention paid to the connection between Kant and Einstein in my opinion. I see the connection between the two mainly with a pair of quotes, but also their similar philosophies of time. See Talk:Albert_Einstein/Archive_4#Einstein_and_Immanuel_Kant

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

— Albert Einstein, Religion and Science (article in Ideas and Opinions)

Intuitions without ideas are blind, and ideas without intuitions are empty.

— Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason)
FranksValli 21:25, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
The quotations are only alike because of style. Anyway, comparisons make for good material for the Kant page, not good material for a page on the Critique. Lucidish 03:21, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
True, it's probably coincidental that the quotes are alike. Also I want to correct my comment above - to say they had similar philosophies of time is somewhat misleading.. I mean to say that Kant's thing-in-itself seems perfectly applicable in relativistic physics. Relativity at some times gives conflicting measurements of the same object, but this is perfectly acceptable since we don't hae access to the thing-in-itself, but only the impressions (what Kant calls intuitions) of the thing in itself. Anyhow, this is probably original research anyhow, but you're right, I'll leave future discussion to Kant's main page. FranksValli 07:29, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

U.S.A. / Britain Spelling[edit]

In the U.S., it's "judgment." In Britain, it's "judgement." Does Wikipedia follow U.S.A. English language and punctuation or British English language and punctuation? Suddenly, it's 1776.Lestrade 14:12, 7 October 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

Depends in which form the article was started - with GB, US or any other form of English. Check the history. Malick78 12:44, 28 August 2007 (UTC)


I'm an idiot I know, but it took me a while to figure out what CPR was an abreviation for. I'm sure I'm not the only one that stupid, so maybe it would be worth clarifying that CPR = Critique of Pure Reason?

Fantastic article though

hey, you're not alone! i did this little edit at Kan't Approach, hope it helps other "idiots" like us. =) Alveolate 18:06, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Kant and Hume[edit]

Shouldn't it be mentioned that Hume woke Kant from his "dogmatical slumber" (or however you say translate what he said to English). Hume wasn't only subject to critique, but also a source of inspiration to Kant. Hume's scepticism is what led Kant to his "copernican revolution". This connection is quite important, I believe, in understanding Kant in the context of western philosophical tradition. I'd suggest that this should at least be mentioned in passing in the Hume section. Nejtan 10:58, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

OR tag[edit]

Somebody tagged the article for OR, but there is no indication of which specific claims are at fault.1Z (talk) 13:48, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, that's probably because very few of the specific claims in the essay are actually cited...nothing much to clarify which source each idea came from...which implies original research. For example, the "Transcendental Doctrine of Method" section doesn't have a single number link to any of the sources listed. Also, I think that reading the Critique of Pure Reason and then writing down stuff based on personal perceptions counts as case this has been done. I can't really be sure, but it kind of SEEMS like this whole article is sort of a mix of research and personal interpretation. (talk) 22:24, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Two footnotes in an article of this size screams OR. So to answer your implied question of "which specific claims are at fault" ... basically all of them. --Chris (talk) 03:24, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Can those who are raising the objection suggest improvements? That's not mean to be rhetorical or snarky, but I honestly don't see how this article could be informative without appealing to some kind of original synthesis. Philosophy doesn't lend itself well to rigid interpretations of the original research policy, which IIRC were originally intended to deal with problems in concrete sciences like mathematics and physics. --causa sui talk 03:54, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Please help us on Critique[edit]

Thanks. --Ludvikus (talk) 21:57, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

In ten words:[edit]
Briefly, what does the Critique of Pure Reason claim? We can't know anything by merely reasoning without sense experience.Lestrade (talk) 09:27, 27 June 2008 (UTC)Lestrade

We can only know reality as it appears to us. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:15, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Proved invalid?[edit]

The articles on Wikipedia are meant to summarize the topic and give information. This whole article involves what appears to be a bad philosophy student's attempt to discredit Kant. I don't care about philosophy to much extent, nor do I care if the reasonings in here are valid, however, going out to say "Kant's X argument has been proved to be invalid" on his arguments for the idea of God, with no source, for example, are just unflattering to the article as a whole. Wouldn't it be better to provide "John doe, philosopher at X college, believes that Kant's X argument is invalid because..." instead of "If we look at X, it is invalid." It's much more scholarly, doesn't insult the reader, and allows for the article to not look like a really bad essay. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

"Table of Content" section's tables - odd formatting[edit]

Is there some reason that there are unneeded columns in those tables? Using "colspan" in the markup would allow the first row to span with a single cell the second row's cells. Also the header cells (using the ! symbol) seem like they should be ordinary cells - as they currently stand, they'll only annoy somebody using a voice screen reader. There are other ways to get the light-gray background etc.

For example, instead of this—

CPR Content
Transcendental Doctrine of Elements Transcendental Doctrine of Method

—it seems better to do it like this—

Critique of Pure Reason Content
Transcendental Doctrine of Elements Transcendental Doctrine of Method

—or like this—

Critique of Pure Reason Content
Transcendental Doctrine of Elements   Transcendental Doctrine of Method

If there's no comment within a week or so, I'll go ahead and reformat those tables. The Tetrast (talk) 19:29, 24 October 2010 (UTC).

I finally did it, but combined some of the tables together. The tables didn't seem quite consistent with the book's TOC as given in the section before the tables, especially with regard to "Transcendental illusion". I'm not sure what's going on with that, I merely used the info that was in the tables before I edited them. If you know that the tables need corrections but don't want to deal with the wiki table markup, let me know. I'm not even sure why the tables section is needed, what with the TOC above it, but I know little of Kant and have not previously been involved with this article. The Tetrast (talk) 21:07, 17 November 2010 (UTC).

space and time; the concept space-time was introduced by Minkowski and not by Einstein[edit]

"Albert Einstein would introduce a new concept of space and time with the Theory of Relativity. Space and time are no longer space and time but space-time." This is at the very least misleading information. See also wiki article on Minkowski spacetime. Sarahhofland (talk) 07:37, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Some suggestions[edit]

I think parts of this article need to be rewritten. Take a sentence like this, for example: "1) They are in need of a representation of processuality [selecting a term that is deliberately odd with the hope that it does not invoke temporal connotations]." That's not how an encyclopedia article should be written; an encyclopedia article doesn't comment on its own style of writing, and it's presumptuous to tell readers what they will or will not find odd. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 01:25, 14 December 2011 (UTC)


The French book Anti-Oedipus was added to the "See also" section. This book seems to have an extremely tenuous connection to Kant's main critique. The relationship is so slight that it might not be worthy of mention, except to a person who has the intention of promoting the French book.Lestrade (talk) 00:22, 7 March 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

Anti-Oedipus is relevant here. Read the article on it. That was why I added the link, not because I have any intention of "promoting" the book (and what difference does it make that it is French?). I don't believe that the link (nor the one to Difference and Repetition, which for some reason you don't mention) does the slightest harm, so why remove it? Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 00:33, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
There seems to be little, very little connection between Kant's main critique and either of the two French books. Some academics have a way of riding on Kant's coattails.Lestrade (talk) 20:18, 7 March 2012 (UTC)Lestrade
I think there is a connection, and I don't see a problem with the inclusion of these links. Can you cite a relevant policy or guideline? Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 20:20, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

In a matter such as this, it seems to be now a mere difference of personal opinion between us. I've noticed the way some writers try to use Kant's authority in order to give their own speculations more weight. I can truly say that I am not convinced by the article that the two French books have any important relation to Kant's ideas.Lestrade (talk) 20:26, 7 March 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

If it's simply a difference of personal opinion, that's not a particularly good reason for removing the links. Please leave them in. Kant's Critique is related to more recent philosophical work, and it helps readers to give some examples. I am not interested in any way in "promoting" either of Deleuze's two books, and added the links only because I thought they were relevant and useful. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 20:29, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
I realize that I'm dropping in on a discussion that's more than a year old, but I found my way here because I was taken aback by the tenuous relationship between the Critique and Deleuze's philosophical projects, especially Anti-Oedipus, which, having read it, seems to have a cursory relationship to Kant at best. The above comment about academics "riding on Kant's coattails" certainly represents some of my concerns with citing Deleuze, although I don't want to conflate such bandwagoning with analyses of Kant that happen to adopt an atypical (or, more pertinently, non-professionally-recognized) mode of philosophical discourse. I'm inclined to remove the reference to "Anti-Oedipus", as I'd argue that its relationship to Kantian philosophy is ultimately one of convenience. This doesn't mean Deleuze's project should be discarded, but I think there's a line to be drawn, too--and a stronger argument to be made for its exclusion than its inclusion. It may not do "harm" in the proper sense to include the links, but for the purposes of brevity and clarity, it might be best to refer only to those sources that engage with the "Critique" itself to some reasonably extensive and substantial degree. Generation zee (talk) 03:13, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

From Rationalism to Existentialism: The Existentialists and Their Nineteenth-century Backgrounds[edit]

Has anyone checked out the Kant sections from the Solomon text: From Rationalism to Existentialism: The Existentialists and Their Nineteenth-century Backgrounds? From what I recall, the Critique sections were informative, direct, & somewhat concise. Anyone have any other suggestions on texts that could be beneficial here? This article is starting to sound over-edited; User talk:ThomasC.Wolfe. ThomasC.Wolfe (talk) 01:00, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Yes, the article definitely is "over-edited", as you put it. I have cut it back extensively, removing material that read like an essay, but I suspect it probably needs cutting back much more. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 02:38, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Misleading statement at the end of the section on Refutation of Idealism[edit]

The characterisation in this section on Kant's basic argument, (that the existence of something real and external to the self is a necessary pre-condition for the existence of consciousness-in-time as we know it) is well written. The last sentence is rather misleading though:

"Kant holds that external objects may be directly perceived and that such experience is a necessary presupposition of self-consciousness"

This makes it sound like Kant is arguing for Naive Realism and intellectual intuition of external objects (i.e. direct perception as opposed to perception *mediated* through empirical intuition), and even could be read as saying that Kant holds that we have access to the objects-in-themselves.

I doubt this is what the author of the section was trying to get accross. I'll wait a few days, and if noone objects here I'll reword it so as to be less ambiguous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:44, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Regarding "access to the objects-in-themselves," the difference between a thing-in-itself and an object-in-itself is extremely crucial. Schopenhauer claimed that Kant's concept of an object-in-itself was a major error. According to Schopenhauer, an object is merely a mental representation [Vorstellung] of a thing-in-itself. This topic almost deserves a section of its own in the article. Kantian categories [pure concepts of the understanding] concern objects [representations or appearances]. Categories do not concern things-in-themselves.Lestrade (talk) 18:48, 25 October 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

Yes, I agree it's an interesting distinction, there are many compelling constructive criticisms in Schopenhauer's reading of Kant, especially with regard to the section on pure concepts of the understanding, where Kant's arguments come over as somewhat forced. In fact I think there's a separate Wikipedia entry specifically about Schopenhauer's critique-of-the-critique that is rather thin on the ground and would do well to receive some attention and then be linked to from the main article. I certainly think it merits existing as a separate topic of its own, as this article is long enough already!

Anyway my intention here is less bold. I consider the phrase "Kant holds that external objects may be directly perceived" to be unintentionally ambiguous on the part of whoever wrote the original text for the article. It could be misread as a statement of Naive Realism because it doesn't make it clear that "external objects" in this context refers to objects-of-the-senses as representations (phenomena), and makes it sound as though we're talking about "objects-in-themselves", (... or "thing-in-itself" if you prefer).

As it stands it's not even clear what the sentence in question has to do with Kant's refutation of Idealism in the first place, so I may just strike it out, and I don't think this would harm the sense or coherency of the section in any way. I'm tempted to reword it along the following lines: "Kant holds that our perception of objects-of-the-senses as representations, presupposes the existence of a ground to such representations that is external to the self as a necessary condition for the possibility of experience", as I think that that was what the original author of the section was probably getting at, and is what forms the kernel of Kant's argument. I'd most certainly want to cross-check that against what Kant *actually* *says* in the second edition before making such a change however! It's been a while since I read the refutation of Idealism, and I would want to guard against my own thoughts and interpretation creeping in there.

As you say, "Kant holds that external objects may be directly perceived" sounds like Naïve Realism. According to Naïve Realism, knowledge of objects migrates directly into our brains, without regard to the way that the human or animal nervous system is constituted with its sense organs, nerves, and brain. Realism teaches that external objects are “directly perceived” in the way and manner that they exist in themselves (apart from a knowing subject). Kant could never have taught such Naïve Realism.Lestrade (talk) 01:19, 28 October 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

Hume as a rationalist?[edit]

In the first section under list (Kant's rejection) Hume's belief in analyticity was mentioned as accepting the general view of rationalism about a priori knowledge! and it's wrong certainly. Every empiricist - unless radicals - accepts a priori knowledge as analytic sentence but it does not put them under rationalism that believes in rational insights.--Bruno-en (talk) 13:34, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Missing sections[edit]

The article focuses almost exclusively on summarizing the content of the book. There is very little on the publication history of both original editions, particularly differences between the A & B versions or major scholarly editions such as Erdmann. Likewise there is nothing on the reception or revision process of the book, and nothing on its reception or philosophical legacy. Some of this information is in the Immanuel Kant article, but not all, and should probably be summarized or presented again here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:54, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

First paragraphs of article[edit]

I find the introduction to be too brief, and that it should be expanded with more historical detail, so that the book is set in its historical context. This, I imagine, is what most readers want to know when they approach the topic.

Secondly, the second paragraph is slightly misleading, in that it implies that the term "analytic" was in currency before Kant. Also, the example given is a modern, twentieth century example, which does not do justice to the question Kant was trying to analyse. The argument as it stands makes it look as though "analytic" refers only to propositions which are "trivially true" (a 20th century interpretation), whereas Kant's example of "All bodies are extended" shows that by "analytic judgments" he meant something more than this.

I do feel that the word "a priori" should be explained more thoroughly - and to do this we must introduce the notion of "necessary truth", and explain how it relates to that of "a priori". Lastly, the source referred to is Russell's "The Problems of Philosophy", which is not a reliable source when referring to the philosophy of Kant's in its historical context - as this paragraph attempts to do. If we are to mention Russell's interpretatiom, it should come later, when we are explaining how Kant has been received and interpreted by later generations of philosophers.

As a whole, I find the treatment too brief and feel that the premíses of the CPR should be explained in greater detail. I made an attempt at this, but found that it was all erased promptly. Any response to this would be warmly welcomed. (Froggie213 (talk) 17:45, 8 December 2014 (UTC))

I do not agree. I think the introduction is about the right length. You have to keep in mind that the introduction of an article is meant to be fairly short, per WP:LEAD. Maybe it could be lengthened a little, but I do not think that major expansion is called for. The "historical detail" you added might possibly have been helpful, but it was not properly cited. See WP:VERIFY. You may be quite right that Russell is not the best source to use; feel free to remove it, especially if you can find a better secondary source (not the Critique itself). ImprovingWiki (talk) 05:16, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Having looked at WP:LEAD, I find that the criteria laid down there are not reflected in the Critique article - there is no introduction of the major topics, and only a brief mention made of "analytic" arguments - no mention is made of the synthetic a priori, the central theme of the book; little explanation of the meaning of "a priori"; and none of "necessity". Therefore I think the introduction is lacking. We are allowed four paragraphs, at the moment we have only two. I also do not find at WP:VERIFY that we are not allowed to cite the original text, and find it odd that this would not be allowed. I will try find a better source than Russell, but it might take some time! PS What did you think of my introduction attempt?? (Froggie213 (talk) 07:46, 10 December 2014 (UTC))

There would be nothing wrong with making the lead somewhat longer, but you have to be careful how you go about doing that. Your first efforts made it much too long, long enough to discourage people from reading it. I did not say that the Critique itself should never be used as a source, but it does make much better sense to use secondary sources instead of primary sources such as the Critique, which may be open to different interpretations. See WP:NOR. ImprovingWiki (talk) 07:51, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

IP edits[edit]

The article has recently seen edit warring from an IP address, The IP's changes are for the most part unconstructive and need to be reverted. The IP changed part of the lead so that it states that the Critique of Pure Reason, "is one of the most influential and seminal works in the history of philosophy and epistemology". It is pointless to add the words "and seminal"; "seminal" does not mean anything significantly different from "influential"; adding "and epistemology" is positively misleading, since it implies that "epistemology" is something separate from philosophy, rather than a branch of philosophy. Someone please revert the IP. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 01:23, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Agree with your assessment and have reverted. Dwpaul Talk 01:26, 10 March 2015 (UTC)


Wisapi, please stop removing the second paragraph of the lead. It doesn't matter that it duplicates other material in the article. Per WP:LEAD, the lead is meant to be a summary of the article, so some duplication is fine. You commented that, "Only the first paragraph is a summary", but that's simply wrong as far as I'm aware. Nor is the material you removed an "arbitrary choice of topic" - it's important, basic material that needs to be in the lead if it is to serve its function as a basic introduction to the Critique. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 01:36, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

The problem is not that it "duplicates other material", as if it pulled in a little from here and a little from there throughout the text it supposedly summarizes. The problem is that the second and third paragraphs are essentially word-for-word identical, which is ridiculous. Practically no readers want to waste their time in this manner. Either the ideas in the paragraphs beyond the third paragraph need no place in the summary because they're not important and can thus be excised from the article or the second paragraph isn't an adequate summary. — Olathe (talk) 06:53, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
Olathe, regardless of your complaint about the paragraph being repeated, the solution is clearly not to remove the paragraph from the lead. The paragraph is an essential part of the lead, and conveys information readers need to know. Find a different solution, if you perceive a problem. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 07:02, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
This paragraph has variously been removed by different editors but FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk · contribs) keeps putting it back. I doesn't appear to me that either he or anyone else has given a justification for this curious duplication. We seem to agree that it doesn't summarise the article, but then why is it there? If it just gives background information necessary for reading the rest then its place is in the lead and not in the first section. That kind of brings the question of the woeful inadequacy of the lead as it stands now. The first paragraph (three sentences long!) is a fair summary but then a reader would expect something more about the points made in the Critique, as well as its overall significance in philosophy. Uanfala (talk) 23:47, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
If you want to make a serious effort to improve the lead then go ahead. I agree that ideally a whole paragraph in the lead should not be duplicated in the rest of the article. Unfortunately, none of the many editors who have removed that paragraph have done anything except remove the paragraph from the lead - they have added nothing to take its place, and no other material to convey similar information, which does not seem like constructive editing to me. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 23:54, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
So you seem to agree that this duplication isn't a good thing. Shall we then keep this paragraph in the lead but remove it from the first section? I'm not in any position to contribute content to this article but another editor had previously expanded the lead, a version of which can be seen in this revision. Of course it's a bit too long (as was discussed in a previous thread here), but it seems to me like a good place to start and then trim the excess rather than expand from the current lead. Any thoughts? Uanfala (talk) 00:23, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
The version you link to above is grotesquely over-long, in my view, but maybe some material could be restored. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 01:53, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
I've trimmed it down to about two thirds of its former size here. Do you think this could do? Is it accurate enough? Uanfala (talk) 12:37, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you...thanks for suggesting a new version of the lead. I think the material would need to be cut back further, however. The examples of analytic and synthetic statements are perhaps not necessary. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:42, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Sorry for taking so long too, but hey, wikipedia isn't in a hurry. I've trimmed it down a little bit more but I was weary of removing the analytic-synthetic examples. I feel the examples make the concepts easier to grasp but I wouldn't mind it if we just kept a brief definition (with a link to Analytic–synthetic distinction). What do you reckon? Also, do you think this variant is generally OK content-wise? Uanfala (talk) 15:25, 2 March 2016 (UTC)
OK. Comments. I'm not sure it is necessary to include the words "and comes at the end of the period known as the Enlightenment"; it makes the opening sentence include too many different ideas. For "It deals with questions concerning the foundations and extent of human knowledge and builds on the work of empiricist philosophers such as John Locke and David Hume, as well as taking into account the theories of rationalist philosophers such as Leibniz and Wolff", I would prefer a slightly different wording: "In it, Kant deals with questions concerning..." etc. Also, I would include Leibniz's and Wolff's full names rather than the abbreviated versions. For the sentence, "Sometimes referred to as Kant's First Critique, it was followed in 1788 by the Critique of Practical Reason and in 1790 by the Critique of Judgment", I would prefer "also" (as in the current lead) rather than "sometimes". I think the sentence, "Kant also wrote a more popular version of the First Critique entitled, Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics that Will Be Able to Come Forward as Science (1783), in which he strove to make his ideas more accessible to the general reader" is either unnecessary or misplaced. Maybe that should be in the lead, but not in that precise location. For "The book contains radically new ideas on the nature of space and time, and also claims to solve the problem which Hume posed regarding our knowledge of the relation of cause and effect. These are central themes of the book, and Kant also claims to have assessed the ability of the human mind to engage in metaphysics", again I would prefer a slightly different wording; perhaps "Kant expounds" or something similar, rather than "The book contains". "These are the central themes of the book" is unnecessary. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 03:59, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
In the sentence, "The hallmark of "a priori" knowledge is, according to Kant", I would put "according to Kant" before "the hallmark". For "Statements which are necessarily true are such as cannot be negated without becoming false - they are universally true and do not allow of any exceptions", I would replace "do not allow of any exceptions" with "allow of no exceptions". For "This sentence is, according to Kant" I would again put "according to Kant" at the start. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 04:03, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for bringing this text into the lead! I was planning to incorporate the changes you suggested but couldn't get round on time. Uanfala (talk) 16:15, 19 March 2016 (UTC)


The quote at the start of this article regarding Kant's purpose in writhing this work is pretty different from the translation I have. I can't seem to find out where this quote came from. Does anyone know? p.s. my translation is by J. M. D. Meiklejohn. TimoleonWash (talk) 18:41, 11 January 2016 (UTC)