A Commentary to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason by Sebastian Gardner

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By Sebastian Gardner

Of all of the significant philosophical works, Kant's Critique of natural cause is among the so much lucrative, but probably the most tough. Norman Kemp Smith's remark elucidates not just textural questions and minor concerns, but additionally the vital difficulties.

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2. There is also in Descartes a second, very different, view of consciousness, namely, as a diaphanous medium analogous to light. Just as light is popularly conceived as revealing the objects upon which it falls, so consciousness is regarded as revealing to us our inner states. This view of consciousness, for reasons which I shall indicate shortly, is entirely inadequate to the facts for which we have to account. It is no more tenable than the corresponding view of light. 3. In Hume we find this latter theory propounded in what may at first sight seem a more satisfactory form, but is even less satisfactory.

Of our description of a given appearance, is its conformity to the principles that make insight possible. Though the method employed in the Critique is entitled by Kant the "transcendental method," it is really identical in general character with the hypothetical method of the natural sciences. 2 Starting from the given, it also submits its conclusions to confirmation by the given. Considered as a method, there is nothing metaphysical or high-flying about it save the name. None the less, Kant is in some degree justified in adopting the special title.

3 Sulzer's translation of Hume's Essays (including the Enquiries) appeared in 1754-56. xxxvi INTRODUCTION suggested to Kant the central problem of his Critical philosophy. The probability, however, is rather that this awakening took place only indirectly through his becoming acquainted with the wider argument of the Treatise as revealed in James Beattie's extremely crude and unsympathetic criticism of Hume's philosophy. 2 Beattie had great natural ability, and considerable literary power. His prose writings have a lucidity, a crispness, and a felicity of illustration which go far to explain their widespread popularity in the latter half of the eighteenth century.

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