Anyone read the critique of pure reason? I know it's supposed to be difficult, but I definitely want to tackle this soon. What should I read beforehand? And Which translation should I get? I've read elsewhere that the Guyer and Wood translation is the best, but that one is $50 on amazon.
>Procrastinating from picking up my Kritik Der Reinen Bernunft by coming on lit.
>You made this thread.
I'm launching straight into it anon, fuck these other pussies with their prerequisites and context. We'll just dive in and have a great time, aight?
You can read it without any context on its own terms. Hume and Leibniz (Descartes is overkill) are recommended by NOT at all required, since Kant mentions, summarizes, addresses and critiques both, sometimes explicitly.
I recommend the Hackett translation by Pluhar over Guyer & Wood, to be honest. The Cambridge almost slavishly follows the syntax and word order of the German which is great if you're following along in the original, but is tortuous otherwise for a native English speaker. English simply isn't as much of a synthetic language as German and there's not much to be gained by reading this translation unless you're DYING to follow his argument on a train of thought closer to the German.
Pluhar is an excellent scholarly translation with great notes, no need to shun it for any misguided sense of "faithfulness."
Hell, tradition has it German students themselves would learn English just so they could read Kemp-Smith's translation rather than struggle through the original in their own native tongue. Speaking of which, Kemp-Smith is another good choice (most of the English secondary scholarship refers to it), though it's fallen a little out of favor compared to the newer, "more literal" translations. Personally, I think you're losing nothing using even Kemp-Smith and it's my study copy because it's so light and small compared to other editions.
Enjoy. In his time he was the greatest philosopher since Plato, imhotbqh.
Not really. It's a great summary, but written between A and B edition, he changes his mind on a few things, switches emphasis in a few places and incorporated some of his revised arguments into the B edition. Best to go straight for the CPR.
It's very difficult, but that's part of what makes it so rewarding.
I'd say the anons recommending Descartes and Hume are right; you'll want to be familiar with the kind of rationalistic assumptions that Descartes uses, especially about the mind's ability for self-knowledge - and you'll want to be very comfortable with Hume's position about what is and isn't contained in the impressions of perception, and his related separation of matters of fact from relations of ideas. I'd recommend reading Descartes' Meditations and Hume's Enquiry, but reliable summaries and commentaries would suffice. Kant does describe these thinkers, and their arguments he's responding to, but he tends to do so in his very dense and long-winded style, and you should assume that his descriptions tell you more about his interpretations than about the thinkers he's summarizing.
Leibniz is another good - and often overlooked - recommendation, especially when it comes to the thesis that space and time are ideal and thus only attach to how our minds know things, rather than attaching to things-in-themselves. Leibniz' division of truths of fact and truths of reason - like Hume's division mentioned above - is a crucial precursor to Kant's distinctions of a priori/a posteriori and analytic/synthetic. That being said, Leibniz might be less important as a pre-study than Descartes, and especially Hume.
I haven't read Wolff, but since he was a Leibnizian, I wouldn't be surprised if reading Leibniz is sufficient.
The basics of Plato's Ideas are helpful for understanding the Transcendental Dialectic, and Aristotle's categories are very helpful for understanding the Transcendental Analytic. But most of all, have a solid grasp of the ancient distinction between form and matter, since Kant adapts it to s entire philosophical system.
I also found the following article to be really illuminating in explaining the difference between intuitive representations and discursive (conceptual) representations: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-spacetime/
I also used Howard Caygill's Kant Dictionary alongside my readings, and it clarified a lot of Kant's very technical terminology, while providing many terms with a lot of good historical context.
The Guyer-Wood translation is the one I was assigned in college, and it seems to be pretty precise, which I like - but I haven't extensivelt compared it with other editions.
Finally, I think the Prolegomena might make a better post-reading summary of the first critique's core arguments, rather than preparation for a first-time reader. Kant wrote it for the latter purpose, though, so take that for what it's worth.
Anon first ask yourself do you really want to do this. It's the equivalent of eating a saltine cracker sandwich stuffed with saltine crackers. You can be philosophically literate and even get to know Kant well without trying to slog through that tome.
It's probably the most challenging piece of literature I've ever read. when I first bought it, I couldn't even get through the first 100 pages. Picked it up again after 2 years, during which I spent a great deal of time reading related philosophy.