The Critique of Practical Reason
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Reason, morality, freedom—these are the themes of Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason, the second in a series of three treatises that form a major work of philosophy and the eighteenth century Englightenment. In the first critique, Kant rejects the overextension of reasoning to issues such as God and immortality, although he certain believes that humans are rational creatures. In this second critique, Kant turns his attention to morality and ethics. Divided into “Analytic” and “Dialectic” sections, Kant’s argument proceeds logically, almost as if he were demonstrating a mathematical proof. He advances a claim concerning universal law: a moral law must hold universally, otherwise it is no law at all. We must always act as if our maxims could be universally applicable to others. Kant’s term for this famous idea is the “categorical imperative.” Since the categorical imperative and the associated moral law is one that is based internally, the person who follows it will be free, unrestricted by external prohibitions. Moreover, we only become aware of our own freedom by following this moral law. Throughout his treatise, Kant grapples with these enormous issues with skill and subtlety, demonstrating why his Critiques still continue to influence philosophy today.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
This work is called the Critique of Practical Reason, not of the pure practical reason, although its parallelism with the speculative critique would seem to require the latter term. The reason of this appears sufficiently from the treatise itself. Its business is to show that there is pure ...
Reviewed by trit on May 10, 2013
Immanuel Kant is the emperor`s new clothes
Kant writes with a sophistication and complexity that transcends the majority of his contemporaries, and he is widely read in academic circles, perceived to be one of the most influential philosophers of the modern era, and the founder of continental philosophy. However, once you scrape away all of the grandeous language and complexity of explanation, there is actually very little originality. Kant was a master of imitation, hidden in new words and wineskins. In this way, he is much like the emperor`s new clothes. Everyone must pretend to understand and appreciate what he writes, but nobody really gets anything from it.
Reviewed by soccerfn1423 on Dec 14, 2010
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Ratings for 'The Critique of Practical Reason' by Kant, Immanuel