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Angury

Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant

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I am very interested in self-studying Philosophy, and have read a number of general overviews about the subject including Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy.

 

I recently undertook an online course on Modernism and Post-Modernism on the website Coursera, and have since become rather interested by Kant's work. I have since watched several videos on Youtube regarding his work, Critique of Pure Reason, and am just about to finish a course on iTunes U which summarises the work.

 

My plan is to read his initial work, Prolegomena before delving head first into Critique of Pure Reason.

 

Anyhow, my question is - as a beginner, would Critique of Pure Reason go completely over my head? I have made a list of vocabulary that Kant uses and have made some notes based on the summaries I have read of the work so far. I plan to read through the work very slowly, making copious amounts of notes on the way. However, I have heard several people say that Kant's work, particularly Critique of Pure Reason, is a very difficult undertaking, and would be beyond the level of a beginner.

 

Has anyone read Critique of Pure Reason? What were your thoughts on it? Do you think I would need to have a bit more of a background before delving into this work? From the summaries I have read so far, I find the ideas within this work to be incredibly thought-provoking, which is why I want to give it a try. However, I am worried that the work might go way above my head.

 

If I do need more of a background first, what philosophers and their works would you recommend I try first?

 

Thanks for the help. :)

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I struggled with the book in my third year of Philosophy with a lecturer guiding me through it, though we all agreed it was his way of expressing his ideas rather than the ideas themselves, that were difficult. It's been years, though, I don't even remember what those ideas were for the most part.

 

However, I did read a book recently called The Thing Itself by Adam Roberts, which is a sort of thriller based on some of Kant's ideas, such as his categories of experience/understanding and the fact that due to the nature of human perception, we can never truly view or know the world 'as is', unperceived, including what else might be out there. The 'what else is out there' is the thrilling part of the book. Slight sidebar, but you may find it interesting. It does explain a few of his ideas in layman's terms, though it's primarily a thriller, not sci-fi.

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I struggled with the book in my third year of Philosophy with a lecturer guiding me through it, though we all agreed it was his way of expressing his ideas rather than the ideas themselves, that were difficult. It's been years, though, I don't even remember what those ideas were for the most part.

 

However, I did read a book recently called The Thing Itself by Adam Roberts, which is a sort of thriller based on some of Kant's ideas, such as his categories of experience/understanding and the fact that due to the nature of human perception, we can never truly view or know the world 'as is', unperceived, including what else might be out there. The 'what else is out there' is the thrilling part of the book. Slight sidebar, but you may find it interesting. It does explain a few of his ideas in layman's terms, though it's primarily a thriller, not sci-fi.

Thanks for the recommendation - I'll check it out.

 

Regarding Critique of Pure Reason, are the sentences themselves difficult to read (a bit like Foucault)? Or is it more just trying to get your head around his ideas? ..Or, would you say you need a good knowledge of philosophy prior to reading Kant?

 

Also, if I were interested in the sort of ideas Kant expresses in this work, are there any other philosophers you would recommend, who are perhaps a bit more easy going?

Edited by Angury

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Thanks for the recommendation - I'll check it out.

 

Regarding Critique of Pure Reason, are the sentences themselves difficult to read (a bit like Foucault)? Or is it more just trying to get your head around his ideas? ..Or, would you say you need a good knowledge of philosophy prior to reading Kant?

 

Also, if I were interested in the sort of ideas Kant expresses in this work, are there any other philosophers you would recommend, who are perhaps a bit more easy going?

 

I found the sentences difficult, I believe. I usually ended up googling 'Kant for dummies' and seeing if anyone other than Kant could tell me what he was trying to say. I'm not sure you need a good knowledge of other philosophy, but I really don't remember much about it. It was one of my least favourite parts of what I studied and I'm pretty sure I did the bare minimum to scrape through that module, so I really can't tell you much. We didn't study any other philosophers in relation to him, so I don't know what other ones are out there.

 

I'm virtually no help, I know, sorry!

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I found the sentences difficult, I believe. I usually ended up googling 'Kant for dummies' and seeing if anyone other than Kant could tell me what he was trying to say. I'm not sure you need a good knowledge of other philosophy, but I really don't remember much about it. It was one of my least favourite parts of what I studied and I'm pretty sure I did the bare minimum to scrape through that module, so I really can't tell you much. We didn't study any other philosophers in relation to him, so I don't know what other ones are out there.

 

I'm virtually no help, I know, sorry!

Don't be sorry - you've been very helpful. I've had a look at some beginner books into Metaphysics which I have found very easy to read, so I am hoping to work my way up towards Kant. It may take me a long time, but I am determined to give him a go. :P

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On 11/13/2019 at 9:24 AM, person123 said:

so how the book was for you? did you manage to read it since 2016?

 

Yes I did and it was worth it. It took me a while because I read it alongside some online lectures & had to do some wider reading to understand some of the concepts but I really enjoyed it. It stimulated my interest in Metaphysics and has encouraged me to think of things in a different way. 

 

Are you thinking of giving it a go?

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