A Commentary to Kant’s ‘Critique of Pure Reason’ by Norman Kemp Smith

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By Norman Kemp Smith

Of the entire significant philosophical works, Kant's Critique of natural cause is without doubt one of the such a lot profitable, but probably the most tough. Norman Kemp Smith's observation elucidates not just textural questions and minor concerns, but additionally the vital difficulties which come up, he contends, from the conflicting trends of Kant's personal considering. Kemp Smith's statement remains to be admired with Kant students, and it truly is being reissued the following with a brand new creation via Sebastian Gardner to set it in its modern context.

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Example text

The evidence in suppor t of thi s conten tion is en tirely circumstanti al. e. in th e year in which Kant, in the process of h is own inde pen dent developmen t, came, as is shown by his famous lett er to u erz.! to realise the m ysteri ou s, problematic character of a priori kn owledge of the indet endenuv real. He was th en, how ever, still en tirely unconscious of the deeper problem wh ich at once emerges upon recogn ition that a priori prin cip les, q uite apart from all question of their obj ective validity, are syn thetic in form .

Or to interpr et this o ppositio n in logical terms: (a) The fundamental prin ciples of experien ce are synthet ic judgme nts in wh ich no relati on is d iscoverable bet ween sub ject and predicate, a nd whic h fo r th at reason can be justified neither a priori no r by expe rience; (b) all principl es are analytic, and can th erefo re be justified by pu re th ou ght. Th e probl em of Kant's Critique, broadly stated, co n sists in the examination an d critica l estima te of these two o pposed views.

583 ff. THE NATURE OF THE A PRiORI xli The general th esis, that th e universal and n ecessary ele me nts in experience constitu te its form, Kant specifies in the follo wing determinate manner. The form is fixed for all expe rience, that is to say, it is one and the sam e in each and every experie nce, however simple o r h owever co mplex. It is to be detected in consciousness of duratio n no less than in conscio usness of object s or in conscio usne ss of self. For, as Kant argues, consciousness of dura tion involves the capaci ty to di stinguish be tween subjective and ob jective su ccession, and likewise in volves recog- ni tion!

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