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Critique of Practical Reason

ISBN-10: 0486434451
ISBN-13: 9780486434452
Edition: 2004
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Description: The second of Kant’s three critiques, Critique of Practical Reason forms the center of Kantian philosophy. Kant establishes his role as a vindicator of the truth of Christianity in this work, published in 1788, and he approaches his proof by  More...

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Book details

List price: $8.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Dover Publications, Incorporated
Publication date: 2/2/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 176
Size: 5.20" wide x 8.27" long x 0.43" tall
Weight: 0.352
Language: English

The second of Kant’s three critiques, Critique of Practical Reason forms the center of Kantian philosophy. Kant establishes his role as a vindicator of the truth of Christianity in this work, published in 1788, and he approaches his proof by presenting positive affirmations of the immortality of the soul and the existence of God. The philosopher offers an argument concerning the summum bonum of life: people should not simply search after happiness, but follow the moral law and seek to become worthy of the happiness that God can bestow. This seminal text in the history of moral philosophy offers the most complete statement of Kant’s theory of free will and a full development of his practical metaphysics.

The greatest of all modern philosophers was born in the Baltic seaport of Konigsberg, East Prussia, the son of a saddler and never left the vicinity of his remote birthplace. Through his family pastor, Immanuel Kant received the opportunity to study at the newly founded Collegium Fredericianum, proceeding to the University of Konigsberg, where he was introduced to Wolffian philosophy and modern natural science by the philosopher Martin Knutzen. From 1746 to 1755, he served as tutor in various households near Konigsberg. Between 1755 and 1770, Kant published treatises on a number of scientific and philosophical subjects, including one in which he originated the nebular hypothesis of the origin of the solar system. Some of Kant's writings in the early 1760s attracted the favorable notice of respected philosophers such as J. H. Lambert and Moses Mendelssohn, but a professorship eluded Kant until he was over 45. In 1781 Kant finally published his great work, the Critique of Pure Reason. The early reviews were hostile and uncomprehending, and Kant's attempt to make his theories more accessible in his Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (1783) was largely unsuccessful. Then, partly through the influence of former student J. G. Herder, whose writings on anthropology and history challenged his Enlightenment convictions, Kant turned his attention to issues in the philosophy of morality and history, writing several short essays on the philosophy of history and sketching his ethical theory in the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785). Kant's new philosophical approach began to receive attention in 1786 through a series of articles in a widely circulated Gottingen journal by the Jena philosopher K. L. Reinhold. The following year Kant published a new, extensively revised edition of the Critique, following it up with the Critique of Practical Reason (1788), treating the foundations of moral philosophy, and the Critique of Judgment (1790), an examination of aesthetics rounding out his system through a strikingly original treatment of two topics that were widely perceived as high on the philosophical agenda at the time - the philosophical meaning of the taste for beauty and the use of teleology in natural science. From the early 1790s onward, Kant was regarded by the coming generation of philosophers as having overthrown all previous systems and as having opened up a whole new philosophical vista. During the last decade of his philosophical activity, Kant devoted most of his attention to applications of moral philosophy. His two chief works in the 1790s were Religion Within the Bounds of Plain Reason (1793--94) and Metaphysics of Morals (1798), the first part of which contained Kant's theory of right, law, and the political state. At the age of 74, most philosophers who are still active are engaged in consolidating and defending views they have already worked out. Kant, however, had perceived an important gap in his system and had begun rethinking its foundations. These attempts went on for four more years until the ravages of old age finally destroyed Kant's capacity for further intellectual work. The result was a lengthy but disorganized manuscript that was first published in 1920 under the title Opus Postumum. It displays the impact of some of the more radical young thinkers Kant's philosophy itself had inspired. Kant's philosophy focuses attention on the active role of human reason in the process of knowing the world and on its autonomy in giving moral law. Kant saw the development of reason as a collective possession of the human species, a product of nature working through human history. For him the process of free communication between independent minds is the very life of reason, the vocation of which is to remake politics, religion, science, art, and morality as the completion of a destiny whose shape it is our collective task to frame for ourselves.

Preface
Introduction
On the Idea of a Critique of Practical Reason
Doctrine of the Elements of Pure Practical Reason
Analytic of Pure Practical Reason
On the Principles of Pure Practical Reason
Explication
Comment
Theorem I
Theorem II
Corollary
Comment I
Comment II
Theorem III
Comment
Problem I
Problem II
Comment
Basic Law of Pure Practical Reason
Comment
Corollary
Comment
Theorem IV
Comment I
Comment II
Practical Material Determining Bases
On the Deduction of the Principles of Pure Practical Reason
On the Authority of Pure Reason in Its Practical Use to an Expansion That Is Not Possible for It in Its Speculative Use
On the Concept of an Object of Pure Practical Reason
Table of the Categories of Freedom in Regard to the Concepts of Good and Evil
On the Typic of the Pure Practical Power of Judgment
On the Incentives of Pure Practical Reason
Critical Examination of the Analytic of Pure Practical Reason
Dialectic of Pure Practical Reason
On a Dialectic of Pure Practical Reason as Such
On a Dialectic of Pure Reason in Determining the Concept of the Highest Good
The Antinomy of Practical Reason
Critical Annulment of the Antinomy of Practical Reason
On the Primacy of Pure Practical Reason in Its Linkage with Speculative Reason
The Immortality of the Soul, as a Postulate of Pure Practical Reason
The Existence of God, as a Postulate of Pure Practical Reason
On the Postulates of Pure Practical Reason as Such
How It Is Possible to Think an Expansion of Pure Reason for a Practical Aim without Thereby Also Expanding Its Cognition as Speculative
On Assent from a Need of Pure Reason
On the Wisely Commensurate Proportion of the Human Being's Cognitive Powers to His Practical Vocation
Doctrine of the Method of Pure Practical Reason
Conclusion
Selected Bibliography
Glossary
Index

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