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Critique of Pure Reason

Ranking among the most difficult books ever written, the Critique of Pure Reason can be daunting to read, but reading it with a group can make it far less intimidating.

Nearly two years ago, the Wednesday reading group formed around the reading of the Critique of Pure Reason, and this will be our third time through the book (and depending on interest, the other two Critiques as well).

As a change from our previous readings, we will be alternating between the Critique and other works week to week, so that those who have difficulty with the reading pace have more opportunity to be prepared.


Week 1:
Prefaces/Introduction/Transcendental Aesthetic - Avii to B73

Week 2:
Transcendental Logic/Analytic of Concepts (Clue, Deduction) - A50/B74 to B169

Week 3:
Analytic of Principles (Schematism, System of Pure Principles, Phenomena and Noumena, Amphiboly) - A130/B169-A292/B349

Week 4:
Transcendental Illusion/Concepts of Pure Reason/Paralogisms of Pure Reason - A293/B349 to B432

Week 5:
Antinomies of Pure Reason - A405/B433 to A567/B595

Week 6:
Ideal of Pure Reason - A567/B595 to A704/B732

Week 7:
Transcendental Doctrine of Method (Discipline, Canon, Architechtonic, History) - A707/B735 to A856/B884


Regarding the Book:

If you don't have the book already, this is my favorite English translation:


There is also a newer translation available that is also very excellent and contains a lot of additional scholarly notes and marginalia (I do worry that some of these can be distracting for someone new to Kant, but if you have read the Critique before, I recommend this translation):

If you are interested in all three of Kant's Critiques, there is a set of them all translated by the same person here:


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  • Peter R.

    Section A297, in my admittedly parochial point of view, may be the most important passage in philosophical literature. Especially when he says," We therefore take the subjective necessity of a connection of our concepts, which is to the advantage of the understanding, for an objective necessity in the determination of things in themselves. This is an illusion..."

    1 · August 13, 2013

    • Thrashionalist

      Peter - why do you think that this claim is so important in the scheme of things?

      August 13, 2013

    • Peter R.

      Because I seem to see this mistake being made all over the place (not a technical term) by philosophers.

      August 13, 2013

  • Colin H.

    I believe this was the only book of philosophy to bring me to tears ... and they weren't of joy.

    August 12, 2013

    • Erik C.

      We should compile a list of most difficult sentences from the Critique

      1 · August 12, 2013

    • Rick O.

      ... can we also say that poetry is difficult? - in that the meaning of poetry is somehow something beyond the mere putting-together of the words? Then one could say (at least I would) that the most difficult sentences of Kant are the most poetic. - I think there is much poetry in Kant (this comment is my warming up to the upcoming meetup with Heidegger)

      August 12, 2013

  • Rick O.

    My other Wed commitment will be over, so in the Spirit of Plato I look forward to joining the group in the middle of the dialogue

    2 · June 30, 2013

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