Text Course II


Course Objective

The goal of this course is to acquire insight into a classical text of
the history of philosophy: Kant’s “Kritik der reinen Vernunft”. This
text is treated on a textual level but also positioned in the
perspective of a broader framework of the history of philosophy, in
particular that of metaphysics and empiricism.
After this course, students are capable of explaining basic concepts of
Kant’s KrV in their own words; have obtained insight into the basic
question of the KrV as well as in its line of argumentation and
structure; can position Kant’s transcendental philosophy in the history
of philosophy; are capable of reading and analyzing texts of Kant by
themselves; have developed more general academical skill like close
reading of texts, discussing them critically, and writing about them.

Course Content

In his "Kritik der reinen Vernunft" (1781/1787), the first of his three
critical works, Kant developed his famous as well as infamous
philosophical ‘Copernican turn’ with respect to our knowledge claims.
The significance of the KrV for the history of philosophy can hardly be
overestimated. Kant's conception of ‘transcendental philosophy’ aims to
supply philosophy with a completely new foundation, namely a ‘critical’
foundation. According to Kant, both metaphysics and empiricism are
uncritical regarding their own presupposition. Hence, Kant’s KrV not
only establishes a new philosophical paradigm but at the same time
positions this paradigm within the history of philosophy. For many
philosophers, Kant’s transcendental philosophy showed to be a source, a
standard, and of course an instance that is in need of criticism itself.
The history of philosophy cannot be understood properly without
knowledge of Kant’s philosophy. It seems that a philosophy that falls
back behind to Kant’s position does not have a long future.
In the course, we study in great detail the Einleitung of the KrV (= 2e
editie, B 1-30), parts from the Transzendentale Ästhetik and the
Transzendentale Logik (Analytik der Begriffe). We start with the
Einleitung, following the order of the sections, and hence start with
the first section. It is recommended to have read the whole Einleitung
before the first meeting. At least, students are supposed to have
prepared §§ 1-3 (B 1-10) for the first meeting. For the further meetings
too, students have to prepare themselves by studying the relevant text.

Teaching Methods

Seminar, supplemented by lectures as a part of the seminar. Due to the
fact that the goal of this course can only be achieved by means of an
active interaction, attendance is mandatory: who misses more than 1
meeting cannot do an examination.

Method of Assessment

A protocol during the series of meetings (30%) and a final paper (70%)

Entry Requirements



Primary literature:
Kant, Immanuel: Kritik der reinen Vernunft. I advise to use the edition
of J. Timmermann (Meiner Verlag, Hamburg) or the edition of W.
Weischedel (Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin). Of course, any Dutch or English
translation may be used for the purpose of study, yet, during the
meetings we work with the German original.

Secondary literature:
Allison, Henry E. (2004): Kant's transcendental idealism. Rev. and enl.,
New Haven.
Cassirer, Ernst (1922): Das Erkenntnisproblem in der Philosophie und
Wissenschaft der neueren Zeit. Teil 2 (Darmstadt 1994), 8. Buch: Die
kritische Philosophie. Or: Cassirer, Ernst (1921), Kant’s Life and
Thought (1921), New Haven, London 1981), ch. 2-3.
Flach, Werner (2002): Die Idee der Transzendentalphilosophie. Immanuel
Kant, Würzburg.
Höffe, Otfried (2003): Kants Kritik der reinen Vernunft. Die Grundlegung
der modernen Philosophie. München. Or: Höffe, Otfried (2010): Kant's
Critique of pure reason. The foundation of modern philosophy. Dordrecht,
New York.
Guyer, Paul [ed.] (1992): The Cambridge Companion to Kant. Cambridge
University Press.
Eisler, Rudolf (1930): Kant-Lexikon, Hildesheim 1994.

General Information

Course Code W_BA_TXT2
Credits 6 EC
Period P6
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator dr. C.H. Krijnen
Examiner dr. C.H. Krijnen
Teaching Staff dr. C.H. Krijnen

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

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