Kant (The Routledge Philosophers)

Kant (The Routledge Philosophers)

Paul Guyer

Language: English

Pages: 538

ISBN: 0415843456

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In this updated edition of his outstanding introduction to Kant, Paul Guyer uses Kant’s central conception of autonomy as the key to his thought.

Beginning with a helpful overview of Kant’s life and times, Guyer introduces Kant’s metaphysics and epistemology, carefully explaining his arguments about the nature of space, time and experience in his most influential but difficult work, The Critique of Pure Reason. He offers an explanation and critique of Kant’s famous theory of transcendental idealism and shows how much of Kant’s philosophy is independent of this controversial doctrine.

He then examines Kant’s moral philosophy, his celebrated ‘categorical imperative’ and his theories of duty, freedom of will and political rights. This section of the work has been substantially revised to clarify the relation between Kant’s conceptions of "internal" and "external" freedom. In his treatments of Kant’s aesthetics and teleology, Guyer focuses on their relation to human freedom and happiness. Finally, he considers Kant’s view that the development of human autonomy is the only goal that we can conceive for both natural and human history.

Including a chronology, glossary, chapter summaries and up-to-date further reading, Kant, second edition is an ideal introduction to this demanding yet pivotal figure in the history of philosophy, and essential reading for all students of philosophy.

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of Europe. And though it was not a publishing center like Leipzig, Frankfurt, or Stuttgart, through its booksellers and its local as well as imported literary journals it was firmly plugged into the intellectual life of the rest of Europe. Kant’s father, Johann Georg Kant (1683–1746) was a harness maker, and his mother, Anna Regina née Reuter (1697–1737), herself the daughter of a harness maker from Nürnburg, was an educated and pious Christian. The Kants were adherents of Pietism, a reform

transcendental deduction is completely redundant, therefore, it must prove something more than this. But what more could Kant want to prove at this point? He gives us a clue about what more might be at stake a few pages further on when he says that what must be proven in the transcendental deduction is that “all experience contains in addition to the intuition of the senses, through which something is given, a concept of an object that is given in intuition, or appears; hence concepts of objects

cause and resemble them,73 as arising from the assumption that we must infer the existence of external objects from our own representations but cannot conclusively do so because we can never exclude alternative explanations of our representations – for example, Descartes’ famous “evil demon” (A 368, B 274–5). In the first edition, Kant thought he could get around this problem of inconclusive inference by arguing that in claiming to know that there are outer objects, we are merely claiming to know

of nature, or that I may transform the natural world into a “moral world,” “the world as it would be if it were in conformity with all moral laws (as it can be in accordance with the freedom of rational beings and should be in accordance with the necessary laws of 8 Kant morality)” (CPuR, A 808 / B 836). From the start of his mature thought, in other words, Kant insisted that the free choice to do what morality requires of us is not unrelated to the natural world, but imposes objectives on us

in further inferences: for example the premise of our syllogism, “All As are B,” might itself be the conclusion of some logically prior syllogism, e.g., “All As are Z, All Zs are B, therefore all As are B,” and the conclusion of our syllogism, “All As are C,” may in turn be the premise of some further syllogism, e.g., “All As are C, all Cs are D, therefore all As are D,” and so on. Now, we might think that this “and so on” is just that – that is, that it is an open matter whether any given

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