Kant's Critique of Pure Reason – Book Report/Review Example

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The paper "Kant's Critique of Pure Reason" is an inspiring example of a book review on philosophy. Kant’ s criticism of pure reason seeks to establish situations where pure reasoning is applicable or its applicability limited. Kant’ s challenges the concept that there exists “ an inference which appears to with-stand even the keenest scrutiny and the most scrupulously exact investigation” (A352). Kant seeks to challenge the concept of metaphysics that reality can be explained through pure reason alone. Kant sets out to show that pure reason is not necessarily analytical and independent of experience.

Before Hume’ s work, it was previously that knowledge was intrinsically analytical as in what is stated in the predicate must be part of the subject. Formerly, the contradiction of a priori in attempting to deny a priori judgement was enough to establish a priori knowledge. On the other hand, Kant’ differs from earlier criticism of Metaphysics by Hume which asserts it not possible to establish the truth from experiences. Kant work was prompted by what he called Hume’ s scepticism about how human understand the world. Kant distinguishes a priori and a posteriori knowledge and between synthetic and analytical judgement.

According to Kant, posterior is the knowledge that is rooted in experiences, while prior knowledge is universal and necessary, giving an example of knowledge of mathematics. Kant further draws a distinction between analytical and synthetic judgement, synthetic judgement is where an analysis of the subject cannot produce the predicate. Kant argues that 7+5=12 is a synthetic judgement as you cannot find 12 in any analysis of 5 and 7. On the other hand, analytical judgement the subject is found in the predicate for example “ all men are mortal.

According to Kant, all knowledge is rooted in experience for example the judgment “ all rabbits have tails” is synthetic but its truth can only be found out through experience. In the views of Kant science and mathematics consists of synthetic a priori knowledge. He goes back to the example of 7+5 =15 to show this necessary and universal truth is synthetic. Kant further argues that the concept of cause and effect in science is based on synthetic a priori knowledge. For instance, it is universally agreed that ‘ every action leads to an equal opposite reaction’ making this another case of synthetic a priori knowledge. According to Kant if humans can accept and grasp synthetic a priori knowledge then it is possible for the pure reason to establish certain truths.

In contrast to the earlier rationalist, Kant does not use rational reasoning to show that pure reasons are applicable to some of the problems of the universe. According to Kant knowledge is shaped by the human mind; objects must conform to our knowledge. In the views of Kant, the mind shapes and makes sense of information instead and thus cannot be perceived as a passive recipient of information.

According to Kant, events precede each other on a historical timeline because our mind arranges these events in a temporal progression.


Kant, Immanuel. "Critique of Pure Reason, 1781." Translated by Norman Kemp Smith,. 9291nallimcaM: nodnoL (1908)
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