Critique of Pure Reason

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Title page of the first print, 1781

The Critique of Pure Reason ( KrV ; in the original Critik der pure Reason ) is the main epistemological work of the philosopher Immanuel Kant , in which he provides the outline for his transcendental philosophy . The KrV is regarded as one of the most influential works in the history of philosophy and marks a turning point and the beginning of modern philosophy. Kant wrote the KrV as the first of his three “critiques”, followed by the critique of practical reason and the critique of judgment . To the CPR which also include Prolegomena of 1783.

The first edition (A) of the Critique of Pure Reason appeared in German in 1781 by Johann Friedrich Hartknoch . A second edition (B), substantially changed and expanded in sections, was published in 1787. Further versions appeared in the 1790s, but they differed only slightly from the second edition.

The article is mainly based on the second edition.

History of origin

The Critique of Pure Reason is a fundamental turning point in Immanuel Kant's philosophy. In his early years he was shaped by his teachers at the university, in particular by the rationalist Martin Knutzen . During this time he dealt with scientific questions and with the physics and natural philosophy of Isaac Newton . His early major work is General Natural History and Theory of Heaven , in which he developed a theory, also recognized by astronomers, about the origin of the planetary system and the cosmos , which was topical for over a hundred years as the Kant-Laplace theory . The more Kant dealt with metaphysical topics, the more the growing doubts about the position of rationalism become apparent. His interest was less in the development of a system, but above all in the clarification , which is why one has to proceed analytically in metaphysics, because its business is actually to dissolve confused knowledge. "(Immanuel Kant: AA II, 289–) While Until his dissertation for the professorship ( On the Form of the Senses and Minds and Their Reasons , 1770, originally in Latin), Kant had regularly published a large number of writings, he interrupted his writing for a period of ten with a few exceptions Years.

At first Kant only wanted to revise his dissertation for publication. In his letters from this time he expressed the opinion that his work would soon be finished. But the deeper he delved into the epistemological questions, the more he had to revise his previous positions and the more delayed publication. The reason for this was probably Hume's skeptical position , whose reading "... first interrupted my dogmatic slumber and gave my investigations in the field of speculative philosophy a completely different direction." (Immanuel Kant: AA IV, 260)

At the end of this reorientation, Kant was able to write the book "within about 4 to 5 months, as it were on the fly". However, after its publication in 1781, the reaction to the book was initially very subdued. Moses Mendelssohn described it as a “work that consumes nerves”. In general, the font was classified as dark and incomprehensible. Kant, who was very disappointed, then wrote the prolegomena for every future metaphysics that will be able to appear as a science (1783), in which he presented his new philosophical position using an “analytical method” instead of “synthetic teaching”. Gradually the reception increased and with the appearance of the second, heavily revised edition of the Critique of Pure Reason in 1787, Kant became the leading and most discussed philosopher of his time, who soon attracted attention abroad.

At the time when the Critique of Pure Reason was being written down , he became close friends with the highly educated trader Joseph Green , who came from England . Kant is said to have discussed the content of his work with him in detail before publication.

The work was placed on the forbidden books index by the Catholic Church in 1827 .

Business of criticism

Kant gave his lectures on metaphysics based on the textbook by Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten , a representative of the rationalist school of Christian Wolff . Going back to René Descartes , Baruch de Spinoza and, in the German-speaking world, especially Leibniz , rationalism held the view that all knowledge is rational knowledge. Sensual experience, on the other hand, is dark and prone to delusion; only through reason, which recognizes what reality and truth is, is sensual experience ordered and illuminated.

The basic thesis of empiricism , as it was advocated in the tradition of Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes and above all by John Locke , however, says that all knowledge is based on the causally caused experience of the world through the senses and their reflection in the mind. The content of thinking is determined by perception, all ideas and concepts are based on experience. The truth of the links between ideas, however, is in turn decided solely in the observable facts.

Kant sought to resolve this seemingly irreconcilable conflict by subjecting both basic positions to criticism: he countered rationalism by saying that the senses are also a source of knowledge. In everyday knowledge they provide the material for the understanding, without which knowledge would not be possible at all. Against empiricism, he argued that not all ideas can come from experience. He shared David Hume's finding that, above all, necessary and general connections between ideas, as they exist in natural laws, cannot be found in the observations of the senses. He does not, however, accept Hume's skeptical consistency in mistaking the necessity for an illusory exaggeration of mere habit. Rather, it seemed necessary to Kant that knowledge only arises when sensory data are processed in the human mind, which contains a priori ideas . Only the unity of senses and understanding leads to knowledge, the necessity arises from a pure, experience-independent "understanding concept". Kant put this basic insight boldly:

"Thoughts without content are empty, views without concepts are blind."

- Immanuel Kant: AA III, 75

According to Kant, it is first of all the understanding that shapes and constructs the appearances for itself on the basis of the sensations. To do this, he selects the sensory impressions that are suitable or necessary for his action or thought schemes. Without the activity of the mind, all sensual perceptions would be mere unstructured "data". With reference to the mind, Kant formulates: "[...] all his ideas and concepts are just his creatures, man thinks originally with his mind, and he creates his world." (Immanuel Kant: AA VII, 71)

So the organization and the context of how nature appears to man is not given by it, but depends on how it is processed by the cognitive apparatus:

"We bring in the order and regularity of the phenomena that we call nature ourselves, and would not be able to find them in them either, had we not had them, or the nature of our minds originally put them into it."

- Immanuel Kant: AA IV, 92

Kant's KrV not only provides a new epistemology , but also clarifies the relationship between cognitive faculties and logic , mathematics , the natural sciences as well as metaphysics and ontology . As a methodology, it is at the same time the starting point for criticism . It is a " propaedeutic , which examines the faculty of reason a priori with regard to all pure knowledge [...]." (B 869) The results from the KrV became the basis of Kant's ethics, in aesthetics, but also in historical and philosophy of religion .


Meaning of the title Critique of Pure Reason

  • Criticism is not to be understood as a complaint, blame or degradation, but in the original sense of the Greek word κρίνω krino , infinitive krinein “divide, differentiate, judge” as analysis and verification in the broadest sense. The KrV separates the contributions of pure reason to knowledge from speculation, the truth of which cannot be determined.
  • The genitive (der) can be read both as genitivus objectivus and genitivus subjectivus , that is, as a critique of and through reason. As the supreme faculty of knowledge, reason can make itself the object of self-criticism. Kant speaks of the “court of reason” (B 779), before which reason is plaintiff, accused and judge at the same time.
  • According to Kant, pure reason encompasses the ability of human thinking to gain knowledge without recourse to previous sensory experience. The faculty of knowledge is pure if it does not presuppose a specific experience, but only works with ideas that the subject finds or generates in himself. These insights are a priori , since their truth can be ascertained without verification in experience.
  • The cognitive apparatus of the subject in the sense of the critique of pure reason includes
    • the sensuality as the faculty of intuition,
    • the understanding as the ability to bring ideas into (simple) concepts, as well as
    • Reason in general as the ability to order intellectual knowledge; than the ability to think according to principles.

The title of the book means: Review of the possibilities of finding knowledge without using experience and limiting knowledge to what is accessible to it . Or as Kant puts it: "What are the conditions for the possibility of knowledge?"

Building the Critique of Pure Reason

Building the Critique of Pure Reason
Elementary Doctrine
  • discipline
  • canon
  • Architectonics
  • history
Building the Critique of Pure Reason

After a preface, which Kant completely redrafted in the second edition, there is an introduction (B 1–30), in which essential basic concepts are clarified. The main work is divided into two parts, the elementary theory and the much shorter methodology. The transcendental elementary doctrine contains the examination of the conditions of the possibility of knowledge. It is divided into two parts according to the two tribes of human knowledge. The first part, the transcendental aesthetics (B 33ff), is a theory of sensual perception. The second part, the transcendental logic (B 74ff), deals with the intellectual achievements that humans need for knowledge and that they have at their disposal. The transcendental logic, in turn, is divided into two parts. The transcendental analytics (B 89ff) is a theory of thinking in which Kant worked out the categories, schemes and principles that are fundamental to human judgment. At the end of the section he discussed the limits of human reason. The opposite pole is the transcendental dialectic (B 349ff), in which Kant showed how reason striving for an explanation of the unconditional becomes dialectical by reifying assumed principles into epistemically inaccessible objects. Even if reason strives for more and more knowledge, the questions about immortality, about God and about freedom cannot be answered with the means of reason. These concepts are transcendental ideas without any empirical intuition. Every attempt to gain knowledge about them necessarily ends in a transcendental appearance. But since nobody can show that they do not exist, humans are entitled to understand them as regulative ideas and to make them the guiding principle of their practical life. The transcendental methodology (B 733-884) deals with questions of how to deal with the knowledge of elementary theory. How is criticism to be used in philosophy, and what is the significance of regulative ideas for practical life?

Overview of the structure of the Critique of Pure Reason

The references in the overview will take you to more detailed articles for the individual sections.
Outline of the Critique of Pure Reason (B)
Preface to the 2nd edition
I. On the difference between pure and empirical knowledge
II. We are in possession of certain a priori knowledge, and even the common understanding is never without such
III. Philosophy needs a science which determines a priori the possibility, the principles, and the scope of all knowledge
IV. On the difference between analytical and synthetic judgments
V. In all the theoretical sciences of reason synthetic judgments a priori are contained as principles
VI. General task of pure reason
VII. Idea and division of a special science under the name of a Critique of Pure Reason
I. Transcendental Elementary Doctrine
First part. The transcendental aesthetic
Section 1: From Space
Section 2: From Time
General remarks on transcendental aesthetics
Conclusion of the transcendental aesthetic
Second part. The transcendental logic
Introduction. Idea of ​​a transcendental logic
First division. The transcendental analytics
First book. The analysis of concepts
1st main piece. From the guide to the discovery of all pure concepts of the understanding
2nd main piece. On the deduction of the pure concepts of the understanding
Second book. The analytics of the principles
Introduction. Of the transcendental power of judgment in general
1st main piece. From the schematism of the pure concepts of the understanding
2nd main piece. System of all principles of the pure mind
3rd main piece. On the basis of the distinction between all objects in general in phenomena and noumena
Attachment. From the amphibolia of the reflection concepts
Second division. The transcendental dialectic
I. On the transcendental appearance
II. Of pure reason as the seat of the transcendental appearance
First book. From the concepts of pure reason
Second book. From the dialectical conclusions of pure reason
1st main piece. Of the paralogisms of pure reason
General comment on the transition from rational psychology to cosmology
2nd main piece. The antinomy of pure reason
3rd main piece. The ideal of pure reason
Appendix to the transcendental dialectic
On the regulative use of the ideas of pure reason
Of the ultimate purpose of the natural dialectic of human reason
II. Transcendental Methodology
First main piece. The discipline of pure reason
Second main piece. The canon of pure reason
Third main piece. The architecture of pure reason
Fourth main piece. The story of pure reason

Task of the transcendental philosophy

Kant wrote a detailed preface to both editions of the KrV in which he explained the task of his new philosophical concept.

Preface to the 1st edition

In the very first sentence of the preface, Kant described his philosophical problem:

“Human reason has a special fate in one species of its knowledge: that it is troubled by questions that it cannot reject, because they are given to it by the nature of reason itself, which it cannot answer; for they exceed all ability of human reason. "(A VII)

In the natural endeavor to explain his reality better and better, man must also deal with questions that are beyond his knowledge. The task of philosophy is to show where the limit of recognizability lies. This creates a multitude of opinions that conflict with each other and can even obscure the view of reality. "The arena of these endless disputes is now called metaphysics." (A VIII)

For Kant, the battle takes place between dogmatism (rationalism vs. empiricism) and skepticism. While the psychological analysis of the mind of Locke (empiricist) has opened a way, the discussion has passed it. Instead, the aporias in the dispute over metaphysical positions have led to indifference to metaphysics (cf. AX). Kant now referred to the KrV as a court of justice before which reason should be both plaintiff and defendant, but above all a judge. This legal metaphor repeatedly plays an essential role in the development of the arguments in the course of the KrV .

Kant proudly claimed that he had found the key to solving metaphysical questions. However, he was aware that the KrV was a difficult text and already pointed out in the preface that misunderstandings could arise in some places, especially the deduction of the understanding concepts (see transcendental analytics). He emphasized that it was not about aesthetics, but about discursive (conceptual) clarity.

Preface to the 2nd edition

Due to considerable difficulties in the reception of the first edition, Kant went much more broadly into the fundamental idea of ​​the work in the preface to the second. The aim of the Critique of Pure Reason is to pave the way for metaphysics "the safe course of a science" (B VII) by first presenting the general conditions and thus the necessary and pre-existing characteristics of every knowledge. It is only because these conditions are active that it is also possible through reason to arrive at experiments that contradict the accidental and ordinary impression, for which Kant the laws of fall of Galileo Galilei , Evangelista Torricelli's experiments on air pressure and Georg Ernst Stahl's calcination of metals as examples is called.

The scientists “understood that reason only sees what it itself produces according to its design, that it must proceed with principles of its judgments according to constant laws and compel nature to answer its questions, but not itself, as it were, on its own Leaders have to let go; because otherwise accidental observations, made according to no previously drafted plan, are not connected at all in a necessary law which reason seeks and needs. ”(B XIII) The turnaround consists in assuming as the basis of epistemology that the objects of judge sensual perception according to the a priori conditions of knowledge and not the other way around: “This is just as much as dealing with the first thoughts of Copernicus who, after he did not want to go on with the explanation of the celestial movements, when he assumed the whole Army of stars revolve around the viewer, trying to see if it would not work better if he turned the viewer and, on the other hand, left the stars alone. In metaphysics one can now try a similar way of looking at objects. "

The basic work of transcendental philosophy is therefore not a metaphysical treatise, but an explanation of the possibilities, a “propaedeutic” and a “forecourt of the sciences” on which the “change of mindset” (B XXII, note) is to take place. The criticism is therefore “a treatise on the method, not a system of science itself.” As a result, a restriction of the possible knowledge is inevitable, because just as the conceptions of phenomena are conditioned a priori by intellectual concepts, so experience is also “the only experiment a cross-check of the truth ”(B XXI). Reason, however, strives for insights that go beyond mere sensual evidence, and so Kant announces the two parts (later called "departments") of the Transcendental Logic: the analytics and the dialectics.

By means of dialectics, the conclusions of reason, which do not depend on phenomena, are proven to be the “presumption of exuberant insights” of “speculative reason” (B XXX), which essentially aims at the Leibniz-Wolffische school. But in addition to the laws of nature, "freedom (in the strictest sense) as a property of our will" (B XXIX) can be thought of without contradiction (like the free will to drop an object or not, itself is not subject to the laws of nature), and however, a cause is possible that is not so conditioned, which is why Kant uses “freedom” and the “unconditional” synonymously here. In view of the reasoning and the possibility of freedom as a contradiction of the laws of nature, it is first necessary to present an extensive and methodical explanation of what is "objective reality" and thus provable and what, on the other hand, belongs to speculation, which, if there are good reasons for it, is justified can, as with the metaphysical questions about “God, freedom and immortality” (ibid.). This gives the possibility of metaphysics as a science, in the “Socratic way” (B XXXI) of knowing the limits of possible knowledge.


Pure and empirical knowledge

“But if all of our knowledge increases with experience, it does not all arise from experience.” (B 1) With this sentence, Kant distinguishes himself from rationalism and empiricism alike, and yet gives them a certain justification. Although there is no knowledge outside of experience, there is still the possibility for Kant of a “pure” knowledge that is not dependent on chance. In order to meet his readers, Kant explains the basic concepts of the Critique of Pure Reason in the introduction to the second edition . Pure knowledge is therefore not a rationalistic knowledge of non-empirical concepts or objects, but just one in which the content of every experience is disregarded. These are, on the one hand, purely conceptual (eg: "[Geometric] bodies are extended") and, on the other hand, those a priori knowledge whose regularity lies in the mind, but which relate to experience, "z. B. the sentence: every change has its cause ”(B 3). The characteristic of pure knowledge is their strict generality and necessity: they apply without exception and it is not conceivable without contradiction that they do not apply. A distinction must be made between this and empirical knowledge, which is only acquired a posteriori, i.e. after experience. This includes, for example, “All bodies are heavy” because, according to Kant, this sentence does not follow from the concept of the geometric body and is not a condition of experience. Even if it should be general, i.e. there are no massless bodies, it lacks the necessity as long as a massless body can be imagined without contradictions.

Science a priori

"The inevitable tasks of pure reason itself are God, freedom and immortality." (B 7). These issues are beyond experience. Metaphysics as a science is therefore only possible and meaningful if one can make synthetic statements a priori at all. According to Kant, this is the case in mathematics. This insight leads to the hope that synthetic knowledge can also be found a priori for metaphysics.

Analytical and synthetic judgments

Analytical judgments are statements in which the predicate of a sentence is implicitly contained in the subject (B 10). The sentence “An unlearned person is not learned” (cf. B 192) is analytical. No new knowledge arises, but the predicate is already contained in the concept of the subject. Kant also called such judgments explanatory judgments. In synthetic judgments, a predicate is added to a term that was not yet included in it. "All bodies are expanded" is an analytical statement, because the term "body" determines that of extensive size. If a cube can be imagined - in terms of geometry - without it being necessary or even possible to determine a weight for it, then the weight cannot a priori belong to this term - “term” here means: construction of the figure of a cube in the pure intuition , not to be confused with “terminus” / “description”. For the statement “the cube weighs something”, on the other hand, a perceptible cube and its intensity are required. In this judgment a predicate is added to the concept constructed in pure intuition, which is only possible through experience. The purely conceived concept is accordingly expanded by an attribute of feeling with which it is synthesized in a judgment. Since all judgments are synthetic a posteriori, this is also the case (B 11).

Types of judgment
a priori a posteriori
analytically tautological
(logically not possible)
synthetic general & necessary
(e.g. mathematics and
pure physics)
Synthetic judgments a priori

According to Kant, whether synthetic a priori judgments are also possible is initially identical to the question of whether mathematics is possible. However, the math is a fact. So if synthetic judgments have been shown a priori in mathematics, their significance for the conditions of knowledge must generally be clarified.

Kant was of the opinion that in addition to logic (e.g. the principle of contradiction), pure intuition is necessary in order to make geometry and arithmetic possible. He illustrated this with the simple equation 7 + 5 = 12 (B 14). The term 12 is not directly included in the term 7, nor in the term 5, nor in the term of the sum. You also need the succession of time to confirm the statement, since the counting is based on it. The number twelve is only obtained through a conceptual construction based on the inner view of the coherent sequence. This view was questioned by mathematicians when Peano was able to show that any number can be derived from a general definition of natural numbers, although this also requires subsequent mental acts. In the early twentieth century, however, the opposite position came to be known as logicism . This means that mathematics can be built up analytically a priori. Kant's view finds a certain support in mathematical intuitionism .

Kant's example of a synthetic geometry was illustrated a priori using a straight line as the shortest connection between two points (B 16). This principle of pure geometry can only be found by looking at what is self-evident as an axiom. The concept of the shortest comes only through perception and cannot be obtained from the dissection of the concept of points or connections. The validity of geometry as an example of synthetic a priori judgments has been judged skeptically since the development of analytical geometry by mathematicians and representatives of neo-Kantianism, although it was pointed out here, for example by Ernst Cassirer (Zur Einstein's theory of relativity; passim) that pure space with Kant the only possibility is to think side by side. For synthetic statements a priori in physics, Kant named as examples the conservation of the quantity of matter and the equality of effect and counteraction (B 17-18), Newton's third axiom .

Task of pure reason

Regardless of how one judges Kant's examples in view of the further development of the sciences, the general question of how synthetic judgments are possible a priori result in the three concrete questions of Kant

  • How is pure mathematics possible?
  • How is pure science possible?
  • How is metaphysics possible as a science?

The entire KrV is devoted to these three questions - they are dealt with in particular in the three large sections of the first part (the transcendental elementary doctrine) of the KrV , namely in the Transcendental Aesthetics a theory of mathematics, in the Transcendental Analytics a foundation of natural science and in the Transcendental Dialectic the way in which metaphysics as a science is possible.

The transcendental elementary teaching

In the transcendental elementary doctrine , Kant shows, according to the above structure, how objective reality, i.e. experience, arises through sensuality and understanding, the two tribes of knowledge, which these can only produce together:

  • “Thoughts without content are empty”: Transcendental Aesthetics deals with the problem of how, due to the affective sensuality of humans, empirical objects become possible in perception and can appear as real in space and time.
  • “Views without concepts are blind”: Transcendental Logic discusses the concepts of understanding (categories) and, through schematism and the principles of understanding, their relationship to pure and empirical intuition .

The transcendental aesthetic, overview

Main article: Transcendental Aesthetics

With the version of 1787, Kant also reacts in the first part of the elementary doctrine, the Transcendental Aesthetics , to the difficulties of the reception of the first version by explicitly submitting the chapter to the question of school philosophy, which was often debated and thus popular at the time, whether and how synthetic Judgments a priori are possible, which is followed by the clearly affirmative and explanatory answer.

In Transcendental Aesthetics , the form of sensuality and thus the ability of pure intuition (intuitione pura) is discussed, that of sensation (sensatio) , which takes place via the five senses, and perception (perceptio) as the product of intuition and the Sensation to be distinguished. The Transcendental Aesthetics is therefore not a theory of sensation and perception, but one of the forms of the inner and outer sense, which is characteristic of the "freedom of the imagination", through which, for example, mathematical thinking is possible without the five senses and can take place of one's own free will, which is why it is active, not reactive.

For if the understanding merely imagines a body, then this has characteristics which cannot come from experience, “namely, extension and shape. These belong to pure intuition, which takes place a priori, even without a real object of the senses or sensation, as a mere form of sensuality in the mind. ”(B 35) Thus the idea of ​​space is the form of the external sense, and every possibility the spatial perception is a priori restricted to a maximum of three dimensions, like the temporal, the "inner sense", to one dimension. Kant points out that neither space itself nor time can be viewed (B 37) - which is why they are the mere and sensual conditions of perceptual thinking - and sets out in the sections “From space” and “From time “Presents five characteristics each (one of them as a summary for both in the section on time), in which it is also explained why both differ from the concepts of understanding (categories).

  1. Space and time are not empirical concepts, but a priori ideas
  2. Space and time are necessary ideas
  3. Only times one after the other and rooms next to one another are conceivable
  4. Since space and time are not discursive terms, there is only one space and one time from which the respective parts are separated only through the mind.
  5. Since space and time are not discursive concepts, but the forms of sensuality a priori, they and only they contain the principle of infinity

(B 38-40 / B 46-48)

"It is clear from this that transcendental aesthetics cannot contain more than these two elements, namely space and time, because all other concepts belonging to sensuality, even that of movement, which unites both pieces, presuppose something empirical."

- Immanuel Kant : Critique of Pure Reason: Transcendental Aesthetics

In addition to mathematical examples of lines and triangles, the evidence of the five sentences takes place primarily through the means of self-evidence, which has often been criticized, but has actually produced statements that cannot be refuted and in this sense valid statements, for example the impossibility of descriptive negation of the inner and external sense: one cannot imagine that there is no space or no time (B 38f./B 46), while all empirical objects are easy to imagine without. Likewise, the considerations on the relationship between the meaning of time and change: “because time itself does not change, but something that is in time. So for this the perception of any existence and the succession of its determinations, thus experience, is required. "

With the epistemological presupposition of one limitless space and one limitless time as the two forms of sensuality a priori, Kant breaks not only with the Leibniz-Wolffian school, as he himself later makes clear, but also with Isaac Newton's physical conviction for that space and time were an existing reality, independent of any subjective consideration. The Transcendental Aesthetics , on the other hand, also provides an explanation for one of its proofs, namely that mathematics is possible without any sensation (a posteriori) and its conclusions are general and necessary (in which only a circle lies when it comes to the proof of their possibility) .

In the second edition, Kant then adds Chapters II-IV and a “Resolution” to these “General Notes” on the Transcendental Aesthetics and explains once again that through such a determining view, “as an idea, before all action, to think something ”, The spatial and temporal relationships as“ formal conditions ”are“ set in mind ”in advance, whereby“ a thing in itself is not recognized ”,“ the inner part, which belongs to the object in itself ”(B 67) therefore not in it can be included and calls this the “ideality of the external as well as the internal sense” (B 66). Finally, in the “decision” the answer to the question of synthetic judgments is given a priori, in that the pure intuition can go beyond a concept (B 73), such as B. circle and square can be compared purely mentally, with the synthetic judgment a priori as a consequence that the squaring of the circle is impossible.

Transcendental Logic, Overview

Main article: Transcendental Logic

Transcendental Analytics

Main article: Transcendental Analytics

The transcendental aesthetic showed that concepts without intuition are empty. The transcendental analytics, as the first section of transcendental logic, proves that views without concepts are blind. This logic deals with the laws of formal thought, insofar as they can be related a priori to objects of perception. In contrast to general logic, which, as mere consistency, determines “the form of thinking in general”, transcendental logic is the a priori set of rules of the conditions on which every experience is based and which is divided into the forms of judgment, the categories, the schematism and the synthetic principles which must first be known in order to designate this kind of logic, i.e. the necessary laws according to which the understanding knows, as such.

Analysis of terms
Chalkboard of the categories .
1. The quantity :
Allness .
2. The quality:
Limitation .
3. The relation :
of inherence and subsistence ( substantia et accidens )
of causality and dependency (cause and effect)
the community (interaction between the doer and the sufferer).
4. The modality :
Possibility - impossibility
Existence - non-existence
Necessity - randomness .
Immanuel Kant: AA III, 93– KrV B 106

Kant therefore sets out these conditions in the Transcendental Analytic . They consist first of all of two mutually congruent actions: judging and understanding as the fundamental a priori prerequisites for generating knowledge. The terms - that is, the active ("spontaneous") forms with which the understanding comprehends (" categories ", "understanding concepts") - represent the appearances according to quantity , quality , relation and modality , and become in the judgments the concepts are combined according to the same four titles: “Concepts are therefore based on the spontaneity of thought, like sensory perceptions on the receptivity of impressions. Now the understanding cannot make use of these concepts other than to judge by them. "

In these general provisions there is therefore both the possibility and the pre-existing restriction of every experience. Kant brings them into a systematic order, the table of judgment and the table of categories, which are derived from those of Aristotle but reduced to basic concepts which, through their necessity, enable the system to be complete.

How the categories of understanding relate a priori to objects of intuition is examined in the chapter on transcendental deduction . The basic idea is as follows: the conditions under which a person can become conscious of himself as a subject identical in time and the conditions under which he can have experience of objects refer to one another. Without continuous self-confidence, there is no experience and vice versa. The “I think”, the transcendental apperception , must be able to accompany all ideas. The necessarily subjective "I think" is the objective condition for recognizing objects. In a second step, Kant showed that the categories also determine the regularity of the objects. Laws do not exist in the appearances, but only in their relation to the subject . The categories are therefore general and necessary. Objective knowledge is always relative to the subject's capacity for knowledge.


Between the intuition and the understanding there must be a level that puts both in a relationship, and after about a decade of thinking about which it is, Kant explains in the chapter On the Schematism of Understanding Concepts , that it is an act of judging, where time is the law.

By definition, every determining judgment presupposes a rule under which the concept is subsumed, and this is given in the schematism by the succession of time. Accordingly, schematism is a determining act of judgment with which the concepts of understanding (categories) are related to the inner perception of time. The product of this judgment is the respective scheme of the category, which is therefore always a time-dependent one.

"Therefore the schema is actually only (...) the sensual concept of an object in accordance with the category".

Schematism is thus the fundamental act of judgment of intuitive knowledge in general and a necessary condition for pure and empirical intuition. Their product, the respective scheme of the category, is the connecting third between the inner sense and the a priori understanding concepts. Thus the judgment of the concept of greatness (quantity) and its categories - the individual, the multiplicity and the entirety - generates the scheme of the number under the rule of the succession of time. Consequently, Kant lists the individual judgments of the schematism according to the time series, the time content, the time order and the time concept.

  1. Scheme of quantity (time series): number
  2. Scheme of quality (time content): continuous generation of an intense degree
  3. Schemes of the relation (time order):
    1. Substance: persistence
    2. Causality: succession of the manifold
    3. Interaction: Simultaneous existence of the determinations of substances and accidents
  4. Modality schemes (including time):
    1. Possibility: Matching parts of an object with the whole at any time
    2. Reality: existence of an object in a certain time
    3. Necessity: the existence of an object at all times

With the number, the constantly intense degree, the persistence and the simultaneity of the determinations, the imagination is given the fundamental rules to enable pure ideas such as the triangle or empirical, Kant calls the dog as an example, in the abstraction of the general. The scheme is therefore “a monogram of the pure imagination a priori, through which and after which the images become possible”.

The schematism of the concepts of the understanding is accordingly a sequence of determining judgments which the schemata produce as rules of the intuitive (pure and empirical) knowledge. The short chapter on schematism is the subject of countless debate and undoubted misunderstanding, even in academic disputes. The fragmented presentation and the sometimes counterproductive attempts at didactic examples may have contributed to this.

Right from the start, Kant uses a comparison (rule: circle; term: plate), which is slightly irritating for this very special topic, but which is only intended to explain the principle of determining judgments and otherwise has nothing to do with the schematic. In addition, the meanings of the term “schema” that are common today are too far removed from the ancient Greek word for “I design” (σχημαινω), and thus the “schematism” derived from it, in the sense of a first binding act of judgment as a condition of the design, is not happy chosen (but think, for example, of water and colors as the conditions to be set in relation to the possibility of "creating a concept for its image", whereby neither one nor the other is the ability or the act of design, so little such as the process of connecting them, which is necessary for this - the schematism goes beyond that, but only creates a necessary abstraction of the images).

The methodical use of the term “image”, which is untypical for the “Critique of Pure Reason” - as such defined by the introductory sentence that space is the “pure image” of all sizes - in the context of the other, “schema”, is a Reason for irritation: “The idea of ​​a general process of the imagination to create a picture for a concept is what I call the scheme for this concept”.

But the following explanation, that every only imagined triangle is general in that it does not have any specific angle and therefore fits every triangle, but the drawn one can never achieve this generality, is a clear didactic reference by the philosophy professor Kant. Because the philosophical meditation on it what the imaginary triangle is compared to the drawn one can facilitate the way to an understanding of the schematism.

In contradiction to Berkeley and Hume, Kant therefore does not regard the creation of the geometric figures as the result of an abstraction, but rather the abstract representation (repraesentatio in abstracto) through the action of schematism is the first visual product and can be described as a conceptual image. Schematism as a whole is a level of the abstract but vivid formation of a concept through the sense of time.

The unifying judgment of category and time, which is so original for cognition, then leads to the methodological question of the possibility of a concept that is not determined by time, i.e. to the problem of temporality and freedom that Kant in the critique of the practical Describes reason as "hardly receptive to a bright representation".

Analysis of the principles

How categories are applied to the objects of experience, Kant discussed in the Analytic of Principles, which he also called the Transcendental Doctrine of Judgment. From the table of categories he developed the system of principles. These are synthetic a priori judgments that function as conditions for knowledge of nature and thus as fundamental laws of nature. A distinction is made between (1.) axioms of perception, (2.) anticipations of perception, (3.) analogies of experience and (4.) postulates of empirical thinking. The first two principles, the mathematical ones, let us see things as extensive and intensive quantities. The last two, the dynamic principles, determine the existence of things: the analogies determine it according to the relationship between objects, the postulates according to the relationship which the phenomena have with regard to the faculty of knowledge. All principles are precise and only a priori principles of the possibility of experience. They underlie every single science.

In analytics, Kant showed how pure natural science is possible. We call the regular order of phenomena nature, their laws natural laws. Their origin is in the mind. And so Kant could say that the conditions of the knowledge of objects are at the same time the conditions of the objects of knowledge. A revolution in the way of thinking commonly seen as the Copernican turn. However, this is only a metaphor for the change of perspective that Kant introduced into epistemology.

Phenomena and Noumena

After Kant had deduced that knowledge results from the interplay of receptive sensuality and spontaneous intellectual activity through synthesizing processes according to schemes and principles, he concluded the transcendental analytics with a delimiting consideration. The objective world presents itself to man as an appearance, as a phenomenon. In order to orientate itself in the world, reason strives for ever greater knowledge. Kant now asked the question whether, beyond the sensible world, one can also recognize an independent world of the pure understanding with pure thought things, noumena. He refused. Man cannot gain any additional intuition purely from the mind. The concept of noumenon is empty. Talking about things of thought has only the purpose of talking about the limits of the knowable. Thoughts like this do not allow access to a transcendent world.

Transcendental Dialectic

Main article: Transcendental Dialectic

The object of the transcendental dialectic is reason in the narrower sense. Just as the understanding subsumes the multiplicity of sensory perceptions under concepts, so the reason structures the ideas gained in the understanding. Reason is the ability to bring the concepts of understanding under principles. It never deals directly with sensual perceptions, but always only deals with the concepts and judgments of the mind.

Because of its peculiarity, reason strives for ever more knowledge. Every recognized phenomenon is a conditioned one. Reason seeks the underlying condition. In a continuing process, it inevitably has to arrive at a first conditional, which is itself an unconditional. This unconditional is conceivable in three ways. In the realm of the internal sense, it is the subject that thinks itself. Its absoluteness is the immortal soul . This is the subject of rational psychology . Rational means that the investigation is carried out independently of empirical content. In the outer sphere, the “totality” is the unity of all objects, that is, the infinite universe. This is dealt with in rational cosmology . Ultimately, the soul and the world need a unified, eternal primordial ground, a being of being, that is, of God . This is the subject of rational theology .

The area of ​​the transcendental dialectic is thus the area of ​​classical special metaphysics. Kant called this part of the KrV dialectic because, from his point of view, the attempt to gain knowledge about the unconditional must necessarily become entangled in contradictions. Soul, world and God are pure thought things which have no basis in a sensual perception. If these thought things, which Kant called ideas of reason, are understood as real objects, only a transcendental appearance arises. To show this is the main task of the transcendental dialectic. To that extent it is a detailed critique of classical metaphysics. This criticism is carried out in the three main pieces above

Pure reason is not a constitutive source of knowledge. The speculative use of its principles is useless. Only a critical and regulative use can meaningfully be made of the ideas of reason.

Transcendental Methodology (Overview)

Main article: Transcendental Methodology

According to Kant, methodology contains the “determinations of the formal conditions of a complete system of pure reason” (B. 735 f.). While the transcendental elementary theory provides the foundations of knowledge, the methodology contains the sketch for a system of philosophy.

Discipline of Pure Reason

Discipline is designed to help avoid errors that arise from inadequate methods. Kant considers the classic, dogmatic method of philosophy to be inadequate. It is copied from mathematics, which - as Kant shows - constructs concepts and relationships in a pure, experience-independent view, only to then gain knowledge. Mathematics bases its knowledge on axioms , definitions and demonstrations. According to Kant, philosophy is denied this. It has to gain its knowledge from concepts. Kant also rejects the polemical method, because philosophy itself knows no polemics . Kant sees David Hume's skeptical method only as a stage in philosophical reasoning. According to Kant, the only appropriate method to be considered is the critical path, which is characterized by concentration on and connection to the forms of perception space and time, the categories and the regulative ideas of reason.

Canon of Pure Reason

While the discipline is a negative doctrine, the canon now shows what is allowed. However, it only concerns the practical use of pure reason. This section deals with the question of whether man can hope for happiness when he follows the moral law. Kant's answer was: We can hope for bliss when God exists and when our life does not end with physical death. The investigation of the transcendental appearance in dialectics has shown that it is possible for man to accept freedom, God and an immortal soul not as things, but as regulative ideas.

Architecture of Pure Reason

In this section Kant outlined the structure of what he believed to be a complete system of philosophy. Metaphysics completes the culture of human reason. It is a theory of the conditions of the possibility of all other sciences. Above all, however, it determines the practical maxims of morality and politics.

History of Pure Reason

Kant only briefly dealt with this final point of the KrV . Its history of philosophy is itself philosophy. For it takes up the idea of ​​purposefulness and purposefulness again, which he considers to be an essential element of theoretical reason and to which the conclusion in the composition of the work now belongs.


Large parts of German philosophy after 1800 are inconceivable without the KrV . Some historians of philosophy even differentiate between a time “before Kant” (or Critique ) and “after Kant”. In the 18th century, critical philosophy became a worldview .

The KrV is the founding publication for the German idealism of Fichte , Hegel and Schelling as well as a point of reference for Neo-Kantianism , a movement that tried to return to Kant's philosophy in the middle of the 19th century.

The KrV has worked far beyond philosophy. It proves central tenets of traditional theology to be untenable, in particular it shows traditional attempts to prove the existence of God as dogmatic pseudo-knowledge and as a worldview. Moses Mendelssohn called Kant's philosophy "crushing everything". But the KrV doesn't just destroy. It defends human freedom and autonomy .

In particular, the first two main parts of the criticism that " transcendental aesthetic " and the " transcendental logic " are still the starting point of epistemological and epistemological considerations. But if one includes Kant's question about the validity of traditional metaphysical statements, then one must consider the entire KrV as well as all three critical works as a unit.

First reactions

After some silence - with which the audience "honored my criticism for a long time" (Kant, Proleg. , A 216) - the new epistemology of the KrV, formulated with the claim to general validity, demanded well-known philosophers of the Leibniz-Wolffische Schule or des Empiricism to the contradiction out, including Ernst Platner , Dietrich Tiedemann , Christoph Meiners , Christian Gottlieb Selle , Johann Georg Heinrich Feder and Johann August Eberhard .

Two exemplary reactions can be picked out, which also had an impact on the second edition of the KrV or influenced Kant's comments on it: a. the dispute over the Göttingen review, b. the interpretation in JA Eberhard's magazine. Added to this is c. the foundation of the Kantian canon by Reinhold and Gottlob Ernst Schulze's reply in Aenesidemus .

Dispute about the Göttingen review

The history of reception of the Critique of Pure Reason began on January 19, 1782, when an anonymous review appeared in the Göttingische Gelehrten Advertisements in which Kant was accused of having basically only presented a variant of the English "transcendent idealism" by Berkeley and Hume.

The dispute that developed from this was momentous for the Prolegomena - the explanation of the Critique of Pure Reason - as for its revised edition of 1787 and sheds light on Kant's handling of criticism of his work. In the entire preparatory work and then in the appendix to the Prolegomena he reacted promptly and certified "the reviewer" to fight "with his own shadow" (ibid., A210), since the critical idealism "the opposite of that actual idealism" ( ibid., A 206). After a series of refutations, Kant called the anonymous reviewer a “presumptuous judge” who “did not understand the least of this and above himself” (ibid., A, 209) and asked him “to step out of incognito “(Ibid., A 215).

The philosopher Christian Garve , who was well respected by Kant, responded to the call in a letter on July 13, 1783, declaring that although he had actually written a review for the newspaper, he hardly recognized it in the printed version because the content had been changed and greatly shortened although Garve did not want to name the colleague who was responsible for it.

Kant accepted the “proofs” of “punctual and conscientious honesty” and Garve's declaration, but now turned his attention to his “Götting friend”: “I can tell this man very well from his manner, especially when he lets his own thoughts be heard Probably guessed. ”Apparently Kant was correct in his assumption, because he suddenly broke off the lectures on the Philosophical Encyclopedia , which he had been giving since 1769 and which were based on a plan by the Göttingen professor Feder, in the winter semester of 1782/83, and even dropped them announced by a colleague, Wlochatius, to keep what was contrary to his custom. On July 10, 1784, G. Schütz confirmed in a letter to Kant that Feder was the actual author of the review.

As a result of the Kantian reply in the Prolegomena , Feder found himself forced to give up his professorship in 1797, when his authorship was known and his strict empiricism increasingly appeared out of date and problematic.

In the Prolegomena , before the polemic against the initially unknown reviewer, Kant also reacted in terms of content by speaking of the concept thing in itself, which is purely problematic in the Critique of Pure Reason , for the first time as a "real object" ( Proleg. A 63), to differentiate yourself from Berkeley's and Descartes' idealism. Finally, in the second edition of the KrV, he added the refutation of idealism (B 274-279) to the fourth postulate .

The interpretation in JA Eberhards magazine

The criticism by Johann August Eberhard, published in the Philosophisches Magazin in 1789 , was also answered extensively by Kant and not without sarcasm. The magazine, founded only the year before, was a gathering place for critics of the new philosophy, and when the attacks against Kant increased there, he decided to strike back, with the result that it had to be discontinued in 1792.

The preparatory work for Kant's replica began in December 1789, in the spring of 1790 the polemic with the programmatic title About a Discovery appeared, according to which all new criticisms of pure reason should be dispensed with by an older one , because, in contrast to Feder, Eberhard believed that Kant's new philosophy was not to be found in Berkeley and Hume, but in Leibniz.

In addition to the vicious reply, Kant provided the second commentary on the Critique of Pure Reason with the work after the Prolegomena - which even increased Fichte's understanding of it - and dealt with the following topics relating to "objective reality": the difference between the formal and the transcendental Logic using the example of the principle of contradiction and the principle of sufficient reason (first section, A); the impossibility of recognizing the simple (not compound) in a sensually perceptible object (ibid., B); the impossibility of recognizing a thing in itself , whereby he addressed the category of causality, which is limited to sensual things. Finally, in the “Second Section”, Kant once again explained the possibility of synthetic judgments a priori.

Reinhold laid the foundations for the Kantian canon

Outside of the philosophical circles, the KrV, which is difficult to access, remained largely unnoticed and unknown until Carl Leonhard Reinhold published the letters on Kantian philosophy in the journal Der Teutsche Merkur in 1786 , with which he began to present the KrV in the sense of popular philosophy. In a letter to Reinhold, Kant responded very pleased: "I have read the lovely, gracious man, the beautiful letters with which you honored my philosophy and which cannot surpass the thoroughness associated with grace which has not failed to do all the desired effect in our region. "

But it was only Reinhold's attempt at a new theory of imagination with a 60-page preface “About the previous fates of Kantian philosophy” and an extensive discussion of the questions “About the basis of knowledge of religion” and “whether there is a god” (ibid. P. 76) presented the KrV in the sense of a philosophical school opinion, in that the "transcendental logic" rather in its objective - the dialectic of transcendental ideas and the limited possibility of dealing with the metaphysical questions about God, freedom and immortality that flow from it - became the focus of the presentation and the complex foundations for it, the Transcendental Analytics, faded into the background.

If Reinhold conveyed the KrV (also the ethical work) in Kant's sense to a larger audience, his "Elementary Philosophy" now became the object of contradiction against him and Kant, with details of the Critique of Pure Reason - such as the question discussed here The category of causality in the context of the thing-in-itself was not mentioned. An author of the Göttingen group, the professor and son-in-law of Feder, Gottlob Schulze, also initially answered anonymously as Aenesidemus in the text of the same name and referred to Reinhold, partly refuting what Kant had not claimed. The group from Göttingen University was by no means impartial, as LH Iacob reported in a letter to Kant in 1796: “So much is certain that Mr. Spring Easter leaves Göttingen. But many of the older professors are bitter enemies of the critical philosophers (...) So the cabal rules no less in our days than it did at Duns et al. Langen's times. "

But Kant did not need to react to the skeptic Schulze, nor did he, since the early Kantian community had now formed, which Aenesidemus took under fire: Johann Heinrich Abicht with Hermias or the dissolution of the Aenesidemic doubts concerning the valid elementary philosophy , (1794), Kant's correspondent and former student Jakob Sigismund Beck with the attempt to refute the Aenesidemus against the Reinholdische elementary philosophy (1795) and Johann Carl Christian Visbeck, The main moments of the Reinholdische elementary philosophy examined in relation to the objection of the Aenesidemus (1794). Finally, the work also reviewed the Fichte, personally promoted by Kant, and called Schulze's skepticism a "presumptuous dogmatism".


After the positive reception during Kant's lifetime, the Catholic teaching system led to a phase of rejection and hostility, which led to an entry in the Index librorum prohibitorum with a decree of June 11, 1827. The higher Catholic educational institutions largely followed Christian Wolff's system until Neuthomism with its two-truth teaching was implemented.

Selected quotes on the Critique of Pure Reason

  • [It is] "the dispute about what the meaning of the main doctrines of this criticism actually is, even though it has been conducted with the greatest vivacity for almost twenty years," - Gottlob Ernst Schulze, criticism of the theoretical philosophy
  • “Kant (...) presupposes with all others: what pure reason asserts, it must first have submitted to a proof. This presupposition lies in his idea of ​​the deduction of the categories; it leads him to the contradiction that in the Critique of Pure Reason he sets up a system of principles of pure understanding, where for everyone, although it is supposed to be a principle, he still has another so-called transcendental proof leads from its supposedly supreme principle of all synthetic a priori judgments, the principle of the possibility of experience. ”- JF Fries, New or Anthropological Critique of Reason
  • “My nervous weakness forbids me to make any effort, and in the meantime I am amusing myself with less aggressive work, of which I shall soon have the pleasure of sending some samples. Your criticism of pure reason is also a health criterion for me. As often as I flatter myself that I have gained strength, I dare to do this nerve-consuming work, and I am not entirely without hope of being able to think it through completely in this life. ”- Moses Mendelssohn, letter to Kant of April 10th 178
  • “For it is precisely the a priori of these forms of knowledge, since they can only be based on their subjective origin, that cuts us off forever from the knowledge of the essence of things and limits us to a world of mere appearances, so that we do not even once a posteriori to know, let alone a priori, things as they may be in themselves. Accordingly, metaphysics is impossible, and in its place comes Critique of Pure Reason. Against the old dogmatism, Kant is here completely victorious; Therefore, all dogmatic attempts that have arisen since then have had to take completely different paths than the earlier ones: I will now lead to the justification of mine, in accordance with the expressed intention of contemporary criticism. ”- Arthur Schopenhauer , Die Welt als Wille undführung
  • As for the philosophy of Kant, I think that every philosopher has his own Kant, and I cannot answer what you have said because the pointers you have given are insufficient for me to know how you interpret Kant . ”-“ For my part, I do not believe that my theory can be brought into agreement on all points with Kant's thinking as the latter presents itself to me. ”Albert Einstein
  • “Kant's text became a refuge in looking for an advocate in Kant for the question of being that I posed. The refuge determined in this way led to the criticism of pure reason being interpreted in the perspective of the question of being and time , but in truth a question alien to Kant, albeit a conditional one. ”Martin Heidegger, Kant and the problem of metaphysics
  • “The difficulty of his style sealed his fate.” - Karl Popper, Kant and his cosmology


  • Immanuel Kant: Criticism of Pure Reason. Riga, 1781. Digitized and full text in the German text archive .
  • Immanuel Kant: Critique of Pure Reason. After the first and second original editions, ed. by Raymund Schmidt. Hamburg 1956 (= Philosophical Library. Volume 37a).
  • Immanuel Kant: Critique of Pure Reason. Meiner Verlag, Hamburg 1998, ISBN 3-7873-1319-2 . With a detailed bibliography by Heiner Klemme
  • Wilhelm Weischedel (ed.), Immanuel Kant: Critique of pure reason. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1974, ISBN 3-518-27655-7 .
  • Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy. Text output and comment. Edited and commented new edition by Georg Mohr for the Kant anniversary. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt 2004, ISBN 3-518-29118-1 .
    • Volume 1: Critique of Pure Reason.
    • Volume 2: Prolegomena to every future metaphysics that will be able to appear as science; What are the real advances that metaphysics has made in Germany since Leibniz's and Wolff's times?
    • Volume 3: Commentary on work and passage on the Critique of Pure Reason, the Prolegomena and the advances in metaphysics.
  • Immanuel Kant: works. Gruyter publishing house. Akademie Textausgabe (Reprint 1968, 9 volumes. Photomechanical reprint of the text of the edition of Kant's collected writings begun by the Prussian Academy of Sciences in 1902.)
  • Immanuel Kant: The three reviews in their connection with the complete work . With connecting text summarized by Raymund Schmidt. Kröner, Stuttgart 1975, ISBN 3-520-10411-3 . (= Kröner's pocket edition, 104th) (commented text selection)


  • Henry E. Allison : Kant's Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense. revised and expanded edition, Yale Univ. Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-300-10266-6 .
  • Hans Michael Baumgartner : Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason". Instructions for reading. 6th edition Alber, Freiburg / Munich 2006, ISBN 3-495-47638-5 .
  • Rudolf Eisler : Kant Lexicon. Reference work on all of Kant's writings, letters and handwritten legacy. Olms, 1989, ISBN 3-487-00744-4 . (5th reprint of the Berlin 1930 edition)
  • Walter Gölz: Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" in plain language. Text-related presentation of the train of thought with explanation and discussion. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2006, ISBN 3-8252-2759-6 . (UTB)
  • Felix Grayeff : Interpretation and presentation of the theoretical philosophy of Kant. A commentary on the basic parts of the Critique of Pure Reason. With an index by Eberhard Heller. 2nd edition, Meiner, Hamburg 1977, ISBN 3-7873-0180-1 (orig. 1951).
  • Otfried Höffe : Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. The foundation of modern philosophy. 2nd edition Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-50919-3 .
  • Ralf Ludwig: Kant for beginners. The Critique of Pure Reason. An introduction to reading. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-423-30135-X .
  • Georg Mohr, Markus Willaschek (ed.): Critique of pure reason. Classic laying out. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-05-003277-4 .
  • Paul Natterer: Systematic Commentary on the Critique of Pure Reason. Interdisciplinary balance of Kant research since 1945 . de Gruyter, Berlin / New York, 2003, ISBN 3-11-017570-3 . (= Kant studies, supplementary books; 141.)
  • Heinrich Ratke: Systematic hand dictionary to Kant's critique of pure reason. Meiner, Hamburg 1991, ISBN 3-7873-1048-7 .
  • Peter F. Strawson : The Bounds of Sense. An Essay on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. (The Limits of Sense. A Commentary on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.) London 1966. (Athenaeum, Frankfurt 1992, ISBN 3-445-07018-0 )
  • Holm Tetens : Kant's “Critique of Pure Reason”: a systematic commentary. Reclam, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-15-018434-7 .
  • Raymund Schmidt (Ed.), Hans Vaihinger : Commentary on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. 2 volumes. Reprint of the 2nd edition 1922, Scientia, Ahlen 1970, ISBN 3-511-03971-1 (vol. 1) and ISBN 3-511-03972-X (vol. 2)
  • Wolfgang Class: Kant's Critic of Pure Reason , Philological Commentary on the First Edition 1781, Verlag Senging, Saldenburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-9810161-4-7 .
  • Gregor Bernhart-Königstein: Kant's hike across the sea of ​​fog, The true history of the origins of the Critique of Reason in the mirror of the world of images Caspar D. Friedrichs, Vienna 2017, ISBN 978-3950398199

Web links

Commons : Critique of Pure Reason  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Text output

Documents of the reception history

Secondary literature

Other materials


  1. Following the usual procedure in the literature, the KrV is quoted in this article after the original page count. If preceded by an A, the quotation refers to the first edition, if it is preceded by a B, it refers to the second edition.
  2. See the following section, the various biographies on Kant, which are given in the bibliography of the main article .
  3. Inquiry into the clarity of the principles of natural theology and morality; Quotations from the rest of Kant's work are based on the Academy edition (AA), with the Roman numerals designating the volume and the following Arabic numerals the page number.
  4. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA II, 289– [3]  / (Academy edition Volume 2, page 289).
  5. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA IV, 260 .
  6. See Otfried Höffe: Immanuel Kant . 6th edition Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-45977-3 , 35
  7. Manfred Kuehn: Kant. A Biograph. Cambridge University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-521-52406-7 , pp. 154 f. ( PDF; 9 MB ( Memento of the original from March 24, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this note. ) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Rudolf Malter (Ed.): Immanuel Kant. In speech and conversation. Felix Meiner Verlag, Hamburg 1990, ISBN 978-3-7873-0919-1 , S. X ( PDF; 800 kB )
  9. Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten: Metaphysica , Halle 1739
  10. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA III, 75  / KrV B 75 .
  11. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA VII, 71 .
  12. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA IV, 92 , [ Krv A 125 facsimile].
  13. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA III, 10
  14. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA III, 12
  15. Quine in his essay “ Two Dogmas of Empiricism ” even rejected the distinction between analytical and synthetic in general.
  16. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA IV, 48
  17. ibid.
  18. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA IV, 42
  19. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA IV, 50
  20. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA III, 93– KrV B 106 .
  21. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, aa IV, 58
  22. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA IV, 104
  23. cf. on this Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA IV, 102-103
  24. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA IV, 101
  25. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA IV, 99
  26. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA IV, 100
  27. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA V, 103
  28. Göttingen review of January 19, 1782
  29. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff AA XXII, 51
  30. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA X, 328 letter 201
  31. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA X, 338
  32. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA X, 392
  33. Hartmut Boockmann; Hermann Wellenreuther, History in Göttingen: a series of lectures Göttingen, 1987, A., p. 37
  34. cf. Karl Vorländer, Immanuel Kant. The man and the work , The polemic against Eberhard
  35. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA X, letter 313
  36. ^ Karl Leonhard Reinhold's attempt at a new theory of imagination , pdf
  37. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA XII, 134f., Letter 727
  38. JG Fichte, “Rezension Aenesidemus”, GA I / 2, p. 49. The review was written in 1793 and appeared anonymously in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, No. 47–49, 1794.
  39. From the poison cabinet - About the changeful relationship of Catholicism to Immanuel Kant , Ursula Homann, Lehranstalten , (Review of Norbert Fischer (Ed.): Kant and the Catholicism. Stations of a checkered history . Herder Verlag, Freiburg 2005, ISBN 3-451 -28507-X ), accessed January 12, 2019