Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is arguably the most influential of the Enlightenment Philosophers. In this outstanding introduction, Paul Guyer introduces and assesses all the major aspects of Kant's thought.
Beginning with a helpful overview of Kant's life and times, Guyer introduces the "Copernican revolution" Kant brought about in metaphysics and epistemology, carefully introducing his arguments about the nature of experience, space and time in his most influential but difficult work, The Critique of Pure Reason. He gives a much-needed explanation of Kant's famous theory of transcendental idealism, a cornerstone of his philosophy as a whole.
He then examines Kant's moral philosophy, clearly explaining Kant's celebrated "categorical imperative" and his theories of duty, freedom of the will, and rights. Finally, he covers Kant's aesthetics, in particular his arguments about the nature of beauty and the sublime and their relation to human freedom and happiness.
A concluding chapter considers Kant's legacy and his influence on the shape of contemporary philosophy.
Kant is an ideal starting point for anyone coming to the philosopher for the first time, as well as those studying Kant in related disciplines.
At the cusp of the 19th century, German philosopher Immanuel Kant created a sensation in the arena of Western thought by expounding a moral philosophy that treated a priori principles and sense experiences as dual sides of the coin of reality. His personal life was far more prosaic, impressive for its sheer smallness: he never traveled far beyond his birthplace, was a man of legendarily regular habits, and created no scandals. Guyer (philosophy, Univ. of Pennsylvania), who has treated Kantian ideas in a host of texts (e.g., The Cambridge Companion to Kant), here addresses his subject's intellectual development, having worked through the bare facts of his daily life in the first chapter. Each chapter ends with well-considered recommended reading for further understanding. Scholarly in tone but straightforward in narrative construct, this is an excellent overview for readers in need of a refresher on Kantian philosophy or wanting the big picture into which to insert the details. Essential for scholars and accessible to motivated undergraduates.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley P.L., CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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Taylor & Francis
August 16, 2006
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