A Commentary to Kant’s ‘Critique of Pure Reason’ by Norman Kemp Smith

By Norman Kemp Smith

Of all of the significant philosophical works, Kant's Critique of natural cause is without doubt one of the such a lot profitable, but probably the most tough. Norman Kemp Smith's statement elucidates not just textural questions and minor concerns, but additionally the vital difficulties which come up, he contends, from the conflicting trends of Kant's personal considering. Kemp Smith's remark remains to be admired with Kant students, and it really is being reissued the following with a brand new advent by means of Sebastian Gardner to set it in its modern context.

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In pure ph ilosoph y that is not feasible. Indeed the understanding has in itself a na tural ob jection to any such procedure. "! That t hese are no m ere p iOUS exp re ss ion s o f good intention, bu t represent Kant 's ac t ual m etho d of wor king, is am p ly p roved b y th e con ten ts o f the Critique. We fin d Kant const a n tly alternati ng betwee n opposed standpoints , to n o one o f w hich h e q uite d ef initel y com mits himself, a n d consta n tly restating h is p rin cip les in t he effo rt to remove the ob jec tions to w h ich , as h e reco gnises, the y continu e to lie o pen .

Many p resent-day thinkers, co n ti n u in g the tradition of the English associationists, hold to th is pre-Kantian view. , are, it is implied , pieces of consciousness, for ms of awareness: th rough their varyi ng co mbinations th ey co ns titute th e co m plex experiences of the animal and human mind . Kant 's teach ing is developed in direct o pposition to all such views. If we d iscard h is a nti q uated term inology, and state hi s posit ion in current terms, we fin d that it amounts to th e assert ion that consciousness is ill all cases awareness ot meaning.

But des pite all inconsi ste ncies, an d n otwit hs tand ing hi s perverse preference for outla ndis h mo des of expression , h e succeeds in en forcing with su fficien t clearn ess th e really fu ndam en tal ten ets of th e Cohe rence view. 3 . THE NATURE. OF CONSC IOUSNESS I sha ll now approach Kant's central pos ition from anothe r direction, n amely, as an answer to th e problem of the nature of consciousne ss. We are justified, I thin k, in saying that Kant was the first in modern times to raise the proble m o f the nat ure of awa ren ess, and o f the conditions of its possibilit y.

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