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Kant s Critique of Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of.


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Jonathan Bennett here examines the second half of the Critique of Pure Reason, the Dialectic, where Kant is concerned with problems about substance, the nature of the self, the cosmos, freedom and the existence of God.

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Jonathan Bennett here examines the second half of the Critique of Pure Reason, the Dialectic, where Kant is concerned with problems about substance, the nature of the self, the cosmos, freedom and the existence of God.

I continue to be, in the words of an unhappy reviewer of my earlier work, 'one of those commentators who are more interested in what Kant ought to have thought than in what he actually did think'. Still, I try to describe the Dialectic accurately and in some detail. This part of Kant's work is at once knottier and more interesting than is commonly supposed, but the interest is lost if the knots are left tied, and so my philosophical aims have driven me to endeavours which may count as scholarly.

The Dialectic is full of mistakes and inadequacies, or so I shall contend, and of course this is consistent with its being a valuable contribution to philosophy. Still, there are doubtless fewer mistakes than I allege: my charge-list has gradually shortened as I have gained in understanding of the work, and presumably it could be reduced further. But I have worked for as long as I am prepared to, and I now offer what now seems to me to be true. Anyway, when there is evidence of error the truth is better served by an open accusation than by a respectful averting of one's eyes, even in cases where the charge of error can eventually be refuted.

Throughout, I use existing translations of non-English works, modifying them where accuracy demands it. I follow Kemp Smith's translation of the Critique except for a few changes in the interests of clarity and a larger number of corrections of mistranslations which are philosophically significant. the most serious of the latter are noted as . .

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