Immanuel Kant.

Immanuel Kant's Critique of pure reason (Volume 1) online

. (page 1 of 40)
Online LibraryImmanuel KantImmanuel Kant's Critique of pure reason (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 40)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook



-^'''^I B R.ARY "-



v.l .



^n ommtmoxni\on oi H^t mtmnx^ oi its
Jfirst llMMtfatbn







\^AU rights reserved ]




Jfirsl IP art






- '' \ >



\^ All rights reserved ]











Traxslatok's Preface


L. Noibe's HisiOEicAL Introduction


Introduction .......


Ancient Philosophy . . . . . .


Mediaeval PhUosojyhy . . . . . .


Modern Philosophy ...




The Materialistic Tendency . .

. 1.58

Gassendi. Hobbes .....

. 158

The Idealistic Tendency


Geulinx. Malebranche. Berkeley


The Monistic Tendency . . .

. 187

Spinoza .......

. 187

The Empirical Tendency

. 229


. 229

The Individualistic Tendency ....


Leibniz .......

. 265

I. The theory of intellectual perception

. 283

II. Physics ......

. 299

III. Metaphysics


The Skepsis


Hume .........


VOL. I. a 3


Pkincipal Additions made by Kant in the Second Edition



Supplement I .

Supplement II. Preface to Second Edition .

Supplement III. Table of Contents of Second Edition

Supplement IV. .......

Introduction I. Of the difference between pure and em
pirical knowledge

II. We are in possession of certain cognitions a priori,
and even the ordinary understanding is never
without them .....

Supplement V. ...... .

Supplement VI. . . . . .

V. In all theoretical sciences of reason synthetical

ments a priori are contained as principles

VI. The general problem of pure reason .
Supplement VII. ......

Supplement VIII. ......

Transcendental exposition of the concept of space

Supplement IX

Supplement X

Transcendental exposition of the concept of time
Supplement XI.

Supplement XII.

Supplement Xm

Supplement XIV. . . .

Deduction of the pure concepts of the understanding

Of the possibility of connecting in general .

Of the original synthetical unity of apperception

The principle of the synthetical unity of apperception is
the highest principle of all employment of the under-
standing ......... 437













What is the objective unity of self-consciousness ? . . 440

The logical form of all judgments consists in the objective
unity of apperception of the concepts contained therein . 441

All sensuous intuitions are subject to the categories as
conditions under which alone their manifold contents
can come together in one consciousness . . , .442

The category admits of no other employment for the
cognition of things but its application to objects of
experience ......... 445

Of the application of the categories to objects of the senses ^
in general .......... 448

Transcendental deduction of the universally possible em-
ployment of the pure concepts of the understanding in
experience ......... 455

Results of this deduction of the concepts of the under-
standing ......... 460

Comprehensive view of this deduction . . . .462

Supplement XV. . . . . . . . -463

Supplement XVI a. ....... . 464

I. Axioms of Intuition ....... 464

Supplement XVI b. . . . . . . . . 465 .

II. Anticipations of Perception . . . . . 465

Supplement XVII 467

III. Analogies of Experience ...... 467

Supplement XVIII . . . 469

A. First Analogy. Principle of the permanence of sub-

stance 469

Supplement XIX . . . .471

B. Second Analogy. Principle of the succession of time,

according to the law of causality . . . -471
Supplement XX, . . . . . . . -473

C. Third Analogy. Principle of co-existence according to

the law of reciprocity or community . . -473



Supplement XXI. . 475

Refutation of Idealism 475

Theorem. The simple but empirically determined con-
sciousness of my own existence proves the existence of
objects in space outside myself . . . . -476

Supplement XXII. 480

General note on the system of the principles . . . 480

Supplement XXIII. . . . . . . . .486

Supplement XXIV. . , . . . . . -487

Supplement XXV. . . . . . . . .490

Supplement XX VI. . . . . . . . -491

Supplement XXVII. ........ 492

Refutation of Mendelsohn's proof of the permanence of
the soul ......... 497

Conclusion of the solution of the psychological paralogism . 506

General note on the transition from rational psychology to
cosmology . . . . . .... . 507

Supplement XXVIII 511


Why I thought I might translate Kant's Critique.

' But how can you waste your time on a translation
of Kant's Critik der reinen VernunftV This question,
which has been addressed to me by several friends, I
think I shall best be able to answer in a preface to
that translation itself. And I shall try to answer it
point by point.

First, then, with regard to myself. Why should I
waste my time on a translation of Kant's Critik der
reinen Vernunft ? that is, Were there not other per-
sons more fitted for that task, or more specially
called upon to undertake it?

It would be the height of presumption on my part
to imagine that there were not many scholars who
could have performed such a task as well as myself,
or far better. All I can say is, that for nearly thirty
years I have been waiting for some one really quali-
fied, who would be willing to execute such a task,
and have waited in vain. What I feel convinced of
is that an adequate translation of Kant must be the
work of a German scholar. That conviction was
deeply impressed on my mind when reading, now
many years ago, Kant's great work with a small class
of young students at Oxford among whom I may
mention the names of Appleton, Caird, Nettleship,
and Wallace. Kant's style is careless and involved.


and no wonder that it should be so, if we consider
that he wrote down the whole of the Critique in not
quite five months. Now, beside the thread of the
argument itself, the safest thread through the mazes
of his sentences must be looked for in his adverbs and
particles. They, and they only, indicate clearly the
true articulation of his thoughts, and they alone im-
part to his phrases that pecuhar intonation which tells
those who are accustomed to that bye-play of language,
what the author has really in his mind, and what he
wants to express, if only he could find the right way
to do it.

When reading and critically interpreting Kant's text,
I sometimes compared other translations, particularly
the EngHsh translations by Haywood and Meiklejohn \
and excellent as I found their renderings, particularly
the latter, in many places, I generally observed that,
when the thread was lost, it was owing to a neglect
of particles and adverbs, though sometimes also to a
want of appreciation of the real, and not simply the
dictionary meaning, of German words. It is not my
intention to write here a criticism of previous trans-
lations ; on the contrary, I should prefer to express
my obligation to them for several useful suggestions
which I have received from them in the course of
what I know to be a most arduous task. But in
order to give an idea of what I mean by the danger
arising from a neglect of adverbs and particles in

^ I discovered too late that Professor Mahaffy, in his translation
of Kuno Fischer's work on Kant (Longmans, 1866), has given some
excellent specimens of what a translation of Kant ought to be. Had
I known of them in time, I should have asked to be allowed to in-
corporate them in my own translation.


German, I shall mention at least a few of the pas-
sages of which I am thinking.

On p. 42 1 (484), Kant says : Da also selbst die
Aujlosung dieser Aufgahen niemals in der Erfahrung
vorhommen Tcann. This means, 'As therefore even the
solution of these problems can never occur in expe-
rience/ i. e. as, taking experience as it is, we have no
right even to start such a problem, much less to ask
for its solution. Here the particle also implies that
the writer, after what he has said before, feels justified
in taking the thing for granted. But if we translate,
'Although, therefore, the solution of these problems
is unattainable through experience,' we completely
change the drift of Kant's reasoning. He wants to
take away that very excuse that there exists only
some uncertainty in the solution of these problems,
by showing that the problems themselves can really
never arise, and therefore do not require a solution
at aU. Kant repeats the same statement in the same
page with still greater emphasis, when he says :
Die dogmatische Aujlosung ist also nicTit etwa un-
gewiss, sondern unmoglich, i. e. ' Hence the dog-
matical solution is not, as you imagine, uncertain,
but it is impossible.'

On p. 421 (485), the syntactical structure of the sen-
tence, as well as the intention of the writer, does not al-
low of our changing the words so ist es Muglich gehan-
delt, into a question. It is the particle so which requires
the transposition of the pronoun {ist es instead of es ist),
not the interrogative character of the whole sentence.

On p. 42 7 (492), wenn cannot be rendered by although,
which is wenn auch in German. Wenn heide nach


empirischen Gesetzen in einer Erfahrung richtig und
durchgdngig zusammenhdngen, means, ' If both have
a proper and thorough coherence in an experience,
according to empirical laws;' and not, 'Although
both have,' etc.

Sollen is often used in German to express what,
according to the opinion of certain people, is meant to
be. Thus Kant, on p. 492 (570), speaks of the ideals
which painters have in their minds, and die ein nicht
mitzutheilendes Schattenhild ihrer Producte oder auch
Beurtheilungen sein sollen, that is, ' which, according
to the artists' professions, are a kind of vague shadows
only of their creations and criticisms, which cannot
be communicated,' All this is lost, if we trans-
late, 'which can serve neither as a model for pro-
duction, nor as a standard for appreciation.' It may
come to that in the end, but it is certainly not the
way in which Kant arrives at that conclusion.

On p. 536 (625), den einzigmoglichen Beweisgrund
{wofern uherall nur ein sjpeculativer Beweis statt findet)
is not incorrectly rendered by 'the only possible
ground of proof (possessed by speculative reason) ;'
yet we lose the thought implied by Kant's way of ex-
pression, viz. that the possibility of such a speculative
proof is very doubtful.

The same applies to an expression which occurs on
p. 586 (684), ein solches Schema, als oh es ein wirJcliches
Wesen ware. Kant speaks of a schema which is con-
ceived to be real, but is not so, and this implied meaning
is blurred, if we translate ' a schema, which requires
us to regard this ideal thing as an actual existence.'

In German, if we speak of two things mentioned


together, we do not use letzter in opposition to jener.
On p. 256 (295), Kant speaks of the place which is to
be assigned, by means of transcendental reflection, to
every presentation (Vorstellung), as belonging either
to sensibility or to the understanding, and of the in-
fluence which that assignation exercises on the proper
representation of a given object. He ends by saying:
Wodurch jeder Vorstellung ihre Stelle in der ihr ange-
messenen Erhenntnisskraft angewiesen, mithin auch der
Einfluss der letzter en aufjene unterschieden wird, that
is, 'Whereby the right place is assigned to each repre-
sentation in the faculty of knowledge corresponding
to it, and the influence of the latter, i. e. of either
faculty of knowledge, upon such representation is
determined ; ' not, ' and consequently the influence of
the one faculty upon the other is made apparent.'

On p. 608 (712), Kant writes: Methoden, die zwar
sonst der Vernunft, aber nur nicht hier wol anpassen.

This has been translated : ' The methods which are
originated by reason, but which are out of place in
this sphere.'

This, again, is not entirely wrong, but it spoils the
exact features of the sentence. What is really meant
is : ' Methods which are suitable to reason in other
spheres, only, I beUeve, not here.' It is curious
to observe that Kant, careless as he was in the
revision of his text, struck out wol in the Second
Edition, because he may have wished to remove even
that slight shade of hesitation which is conveyed by
that particle. Possibly, however, wol may refer to
anpassen, i. e. ^ulchre convenire, the limitation remain-
ing much the same in either case.


Dock is a particle that may be translated in many
different ways, but it can never be translated by
therefore. Thus when Kant writes (Suppl. xiv. J 1 7,
note, vol. i. p. 438), folglich die Einheit des Bewusst-
seyns, als synthetisch, aber dock ursjprilnglich ange-
troffen wird, he means to convey an opposition be-
tween synthetical and primitive, i. e. synthetical, and
yet primitive. To say 'nevertheless synthetical, and
therefore primitive ' conveys the very opposite.

It may be a mere accident, yet in a metaphysical
argument it must sometimes cause serious incon-
venience, if the particle not is either omitted where
Kant has it, or added where Kant has it not. It is
of small consequence, if not is omitted in such a pas-
sage as, for instance, where Kant says in the preface
to the Second Edition (vol, i. p. 385), that the obscu-
rities of the first have given rise to misconceptions
* without his fault,' instead of ' not without his fault.'
But the matter becomes more serious in other places.

Thus (Supplement xiv. 2 6, vol. i. p. 455) Kant says,
ohne diese Tauglichheit, which means, 'unless the cate-
gories were adequate for that purpose,' but not, * if the
categories were adequate.' Again (Supplement xvi^.
vol. i. p. 466), Kant agrees that space and time cannot
be perceived by themselves, but not, that they can be
thus perceived. And it must disturb even an atten-
tive reader when, on p. 216 (248), he reads that 'the
categories must be employed empirically, and cannot
be employed transcendental ly,' while Kant writes : Da
sie nicht von em^irischem Gehrauch sein sollen, und
von transcendentalem nicht sein Jconnen.

As regards single words, there are many in German


which, taken in their dictionary meaning, seem to
yield a tolerable sense, but which throw a much
brighter light on a whole sentence, if they are under-
stood in their more special idiomatic application.

Thus vorrucJcen, no doubt, may mean 'to place
before,' but Jemandem etwas vorrilcJcen, means 'to
reproach somebody with something.' Hence (vol. i.
p. 386) die der rationalen Psychologie vorgeruchten
Paralogismen does not mean ' the paralogisms which
immediately precede the Kational Psychology,' but
'the paralogisms with which Rational Psychology
has been reproached.'

On p. 41 1 (472), nachhdngen cannot be rendered by
* to append.' Er erlauht der Vernunft idealischen Er-
hldrungen der Natur nachzuhdngen means * he allows
reason to indulge in ideal explanations of nature,'
but not ' to append idealistic explanations of natural

On p. 669 (781), als oh er die hejahende Parthei er-
griffen hdtte, does not mean 'to attack the position,*
but ' to adoj)t the position of the assenting party.'

On p. 727 (847), Wie Jcann ich erwarten does not
mean, ' How can I desire T but, ' How can I expect T
which may seem to be not very different, but neverthe-
less gives a very different turn to the whole argument.

I have quoted these few passages, chiefly in order
to show what I mean by the advantages which a
German has in translating Kant, as compared with
any other translator who has derived his knowledge
of the language from grammars and dictionaries
only. An accurate and scholarlike knowledge of
German would, no doubt, suffice for a translation of


historical or scientific works. But in order to find
our way through the intricate mazes of metaphysical
arguments, a quick perception of what is meant by
the sign-posts, I mean the adverbs and particles, and
a natural feeling for idiomatic ways of speech, seem
to me almost indispensable.

On the other hand, I am fuUy conscious of the
advantages which English translators possess by
their more perfect command of the language into
which foreign thought has to be converted. Here
I at once declare my own inferiority ; nay, I confess
that in rendering Kant's arguments in English I
have thought far less of elegance, smoothness or
rhythm, than of accuracy and clearness. What I
have attempted to do is to give an honest, and, as
far as possible, a literal translation, and, before all,
a translation that will construe; and I venture to
say that even to a German student of Kant this
English translation will prove in many places more
intelligible than the German original. It is difficult
to translate the hymns of the Veda and the strains
of the Upanishads, the odes of Pindar and the verses
of Lucretius ; but I doubt whether the difficulty of
turning Kant's metaphysical German into intelligible
and construable English is less. Nor do I wish my
readers to believe that I have never failed in making
Kant's sentences intelligible. There are a few sen-
tences in Kant's Critique which I have not been
able to construe to my own satisfaction, and where
none of the friends whom I consulted could help me.
Here all I could do was to give a literal rendering,
hoping that future editors may succeed in amending


the text, and extracting from it a more intelligible

Why I thought I ought to translate Kant's Critique.

But my friends in blaming me for wasting my
time on a translation of Kant's Critique of Pure
Beason gave me to understand that, though I might
not be quite imfit, I was certainly not specially
called upon to undertake such a work. It is true,
no doubt, that no one could have blamed me for not
translating Kant, but I should have blamed myself ;
in fact, I have blamed myself for many years for not
doing a work which I felt must be done sooner or
later. Year after year I hoped I should find leisure
to carry out the long cherished plan, and when at
last the Centenary of the publication of Kant's
Critik der reinen Vernunft drew near, I thought
I was in honour bound not to delay any longer this
tribute to the memory of the greatest philosopher of
modern times. Kant's Critique has been my con-
stant companion through life. It drove me to de-
spair when I first attempted to read it, a mere school-
boy. At the University I worked hard at it under
Weisse, Lotze, and Drobisch at Leipzig, and my
first literary attempts in philosophy, now just forty
years old, were essays on Kant's Critique. Having
once learnt from Kant what man can and what he
cannot know, my plan of hfe was very simple,
namely, to learn, so far as literature, tradition, and
language allow us to do so, how man came to
believe that he could know so much more than he


ever can know in religion, in mythology, and in phi-
losophy. This required special studies in the field
of the most ancient languages and literatures. But
though these more special studies drew me away
for many years towards distant times and distant
countries, whatever purpose or method there may
have been in the work of my life, was due to my
beginning life with Kant.

Even at Oxford, whether I had to lecture on
German literature or on the Science of Language,
I have often, in season and out of season, been
preaching Kant ; and nothing I have missed so
much, when wishing to come to an understanding
on the great problems of life with some of my
philosophical friends in England, than the common
ground which is supplied by Kant for the dis-
cussion of every one of them. We need not be
blind worshippers of Kant, but if for the solution
of philosophical problems we are to take any well
defined stand, we must, in this century of ours, take
our stand on Kant. Kant's language, and by lan-
guage I mean more than mere words, has become
the Lingua franca of modern philosophy, and not
to be able to speak it, is like studying ancient phi-
losophy, without being able to speak Aristotle, or
modem philosophy, without being able to speak
Descartes. What Rosenkranz, the greatest among
Hegel's disciples, said in 1838, is almost as true
to-day as it was then : Engldnder, Franzosen und
Italiener milssen, wenn sie vorwdrts wollen, denselhen
Schritt ihun, den Kant schon 1781 machte. Nur so
honnen sie sick von ihrer dermaligen schlechfen Meta-

translator's preface. XV

jhysik und den aus einer solchen sich ergehenden
. chlechten Consequenzen hefreien.

It is hardly necessary at the present day to produce
my arguments in support of such a view. The num-
ber of books on Kant's philosophy, published during
3he last century in almost every language of the world S
jpeaks for itself. There is no single philosopher of any
aote, even among those who are decidedly opposed to
Kant, who has not acknowledged his pre-eminence
imong modern philosophers. The great systems of
Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Herbart, and Schopenhauer
branched off from Kant, and now, after a century has
passed away, people begin to see that those systems
were indeed mighty branches, but that the leading
shoot of philosophy was and is still Kant. No truer
word has lately been spoken than what, I believe, was
first said by Professor Weisse^ in the Philosophical
Society at Leipzig, of which I was then a member, and
was again more strongly enforced by my friend and
former colleague. Professor Liebmann of Strassburg,
that, if philosophy wishes to go forward, it must go
back to Kant. B faut reculer, pour mieux sauter.
Lange, in his History of MateriaUsm, calls Kant the
Copernicus of modem philosophy ; aye, Kant himself
was so fully conscious of the decentraUsing character
of his system that he did not hesitate to compare his
work with that of Copernicus 3. But if Kant was right
in his estimate of his own philosophy, it cannot be

1 During the first ten years after the appearance of the Critique,
three hundred publications have been counted for and against
Kant's philosophy. See Vaihinger, Kommentar, i. p. 9.

2 See Julius Walter, Zum Gedachtniss Kant's, p. 28.
' See Supplement II, vol. i. p. 370.


denied that, with but few, though memorable excep-
tions, philosophy in England is still Ante-Copernican.
How little Kant is read by those who ought to read
him, or how little he is understood by those who
venture to criticise him, I never felt so keenly as
when, in a controversy which I had some time ago with
one of the most illustrious of English philosophers, I
was told that space could not be an a priori intuition,
because we may hear church-bells, without knowing
where the belfry stands. Two philosophers, who
both have read Kant's Critique, may differ from each
other diametrically, but they will at least understand
each other. They will not fire at each other like
some of the German students who, for fear of killing
their adversary, fire their pistols at right angles, thus
endangering the life of their seconds rather than that
of their adversaries.

This will explain why, for a long time, I have felt
personally called upon to place the classical work of
Kant within the reach of all philosophical readers
in England, and in such a form that no one could
say any longer that he could not construe it. I
thought for a time that Professor Caird's excellent
work ' On the Philosophy of Kant,' had reheved me
of this duty. And, no doubt, that work has told,
and has opened the eyes of many people in England
and in America to the fact that, whatever we may
think of all the outworks of Kant's philosophy, there
is in it a central thought which forms a real rest
and an entrenched ground on the onward march of

Online LibraryImmanuel KantImmanuel Kant's Critique of pure reason (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 40)