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Kant: The Three Critiques

Kant: The Three Critiques

Andrew Ward

ISBN: 978-0-745-62620-8 August 2006 Polity 264 Pages


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Immanuel Kants three critiques the Critique of Pure Reason, the Critique of Practical Reason and the Critique of Judgment are among the pinnacles of Western Philosophy. This accessible study grounds Kants philosophical position in the context of his intellectual influences, most notably against the background of the scepticism and empiricism of David Hume. It is an ideal critical introduction to Kants views in the key areas of knowledge and metaphysics; morality and freedom; and beauty and design.

By examining the Kantian system in the light of contemporary arguments, Ward brings the structure and force of Kants Copernican Revolution in Philosophy into sharp focus. Kant is often misrepresented as a somewhat dry thinker, yet the clarity of Wards exposition of his main themes, science, morality and aesthetics, through the three critiques brings his writings and theories to life. Lucidly and persuasively written, this book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars seeking to understand Kants immense influence.


Abbreviations and Conventions


Part I: Critique of Pure Reason

Section I: A general introduction to Kant’s Copernican revolution in Philosophy, and its relation to scientific knowledge and transcendent metaphysics

Section II: The division of judgments, and the status of mathematics and natural science

Section III: The Transcendental Aesthetic: the nature of space and time

Section IV: The Transcendental Analytic: how our experience – our knowledge of objects in space and time – is made possible

Section V: The Transcendental Dialectic: why no theoretical knowledge in transcendent metaphysics is possible

Part II: Critique of Practical Reason

Section I: The Analytic of Pure Practical Reason: reason not sentiment as the foundation of morality, and how freedom of the will is proved Section II: The Dialectic of Pure Practical Reason: how morality establishes the existence of God and the immortality of the soul

Section III: The importance of Kant’s Copernican revolution to his moral philosophy

Part III: Critique of Judgment

Section I: The Analytic of Aesthetic Judgment: defending a third way between an empiricist and a traditional rationalist theory of taste

Section II: The Dialectic of Aesthetic Judgment: why the judgment of taste and our attitude to natural beauty require a Copernican revolution in aesthetics

Section III: A Kantian or Human theory of taste?

Section IV: Teleology and the Principle of the Finality of Nature



"In this excellent introduction to all three of Kant's Critques', Andrew Ward's aim is to put idealism back in its rightful place in our understanding of Kant. His writing is forceful, engaging and admirably clear, and his exegesis is, in my view, fundamentally correct."

-- Professor Adrian Moore, St Hugh's College, Oxford