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A Commentary to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason by Sebastian Gardner

By Sebastian Gardner

Of the entire significant philosophical works, Kant's Critique of natural cause is likely one of the such a lot profitable, but the most tricky. Norman Kemp Smith's remark elucidates not just textural questions and minor concerns, but additionally the vital difficulties.

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Sample text

Many present-day thinkers, continuing the tradition of the English associationists, hold to this pre-Kantian view. , are, it is implied, pieces of consciousness, forms of awareness; through their varying combinations they constitute the complex experiences of the animal and human mind. Kant's teaching is developed in direct opposition to all such views. If we discard his antiquated terminology, and state his position in current terms, we find that it amounts to the assertion that consciousness is in all cases awareness of meaning.

I do not, of course, wish to imply that this view of relational knowledge is in all cases and in all respects illegitimate. Kant, as we shall find, has carried the opposite view to an impossible extreme, assuming without further argument that what has been shown to be true of certain types of relation (for instance, of the causal and substance-attribute relations) must be true of all relations, even of those that constitute space and time. It cannot be denied that, as William James and others have very rightly insisted, such relations as the space-relations are in some degree or manner presentational.

But we have still to consider the chief reason for the contradictory character of the contents of the Critique. It is inseparably bound up with what may perhaps be regarded as Kant's supreme merit as a philosophical thinker, especially as shown in the first Critique,—namely, his open-minded recognition of the complexity of his problems, and of the many difficulties which lie in the way of any solution which he is 1 Embodied in his edition of the Kritik (1889). TEXTUAL xxxi himself able to propound.

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