Kant's Critique of Pure Reason


Wayne Waxman
Telephone: 212 998-7884
Office: 269 Mercer St., Room 525
Email: waxmanw@hotmail.com
Office hours: MW 12:30-2:00 or by appointment


I. Texts

  1. Critique of Pure Reason (CPR), by Immanuel Kant; tr. by Norman Kemp Smith, St. Martin's Press
  2. Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics (PFM), by Immanuel Kant; tr. by Paul Carus, rev. by J. Ellington; Hackett Publishing.
  3. Postings on course website:


II. Grading

All enrolled students will be required to write a 20-page paper. The topic must give predominant weight to a question of interpretation in Kant and focus on primary sources.
Attendance and participation will be given equal weight in the final grade.


III. Topics and Readings

Weeks 1 and 2: Kant's philosophical project and his strategy for realizing it: Prefaces to the A and B editions of the CPR (Critique of Pure Reason), and the Preface and Preamble of PFM (Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics).

Weeks 2 and 3: Transcendental Aesthetic – the ideality of space and time and the inscrutability of the thing in itself: CPR A19-49/B33-73, PFM Part I (280-94) and Appendix (371-383). Also: A366-80, A490-7/B518-25, A712-38/B740-66, and PFM §38.

Week 4: Transcendental Analytic through the metaphysical deduction of the categories – the anatomy of human understanding: A50-83/B74-116; PFM §39

Weeks 5 - 6: The 1787 edition Transcendental Deduction of the Categories – understanding understanding. B116-169. Also: Axvi-xvii.

Week 7: The 1781 edition of the transcendental deduction of the categories – understanding as the author of nature: A95-A130; PFM §§14-23

Week 8: The analytic of principles through the transcendental schematism – transcendental truth: A131-147/B169-187; PFM §§ 24-31

Week 9: The Principles through the Axioms of Intuition and Anticipations of Perception – why reality must conform to mathematics: A148-176/B187-218

Weeks 10 - 11: The Analogies of Experience – the subjective foundations of objective reality: A176-218/B218-265; PFM §§ 32-8

Week 12: The Postulates of Empirical Thought through the conclusion of the Analytic of Principles – the bounds of human cognition: A218-292/B266-349

Week 13: The Transcendental Dialectic through the Paralogisms – can our knowledge of reality exceed what experience is capable of teaching us?A293-405/B349-432; PFM §§ 40-49

Week 14: The Antinomies – the possibility of freedom: A405-567/B432-595; PFM §§ 50-54

Week 15: The Ideal of Pure Reason, critique of proofs of the existence of God, and the regulative role of reason – reason's true regulative calling: A567-794/B595-822; PFM §§ 55-60

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