What are the best commentaries on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason?
August 7, 2012 2:29 PM   Subscribe

What are the best commentaries on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason?
posted by shivohum to Religion & Philosophy (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
This is my favorite. Highly recommended.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:19 PM on August 7, 2012

Well, the best one for one purpose and for another will surely be different. But I quite like Adorno's lectures.
posted by RogerB at 4:14 PM on August 7, 2012

Sebastian Gardner's is a good full-service choice. He's a very respectable philosopher (don't let the 'Routledge Guide' fool you, this gets assigned in graduate courses in very Kantian departments). He straddles the continental/analytic divide, which is probably the kind of perspective you want if you're just going to read commentary.

If you want to zero in on the Dialectic, Michelle Grier's treatment is an absolutely fantastic book.
posted by Beardman at 5:04 PM on August 7, 2012

What's your background and what are you looking for?

As far as introductory commentaries go, Gardner's work that Beardman mentioned is the often given answer, but Georges Dicker's is perhaps the technically better introduction, though perhaps expects more general background by the reader of philosophy.

As far as interpretive commentaries go, the large three ones are: Henry Allison, Jonathan Bennett, and P.F. Strawson.

Whichever route you go, it's always best to read the commentary alongside with the original text. I originally bought Pluhar's translation, but I eventually got a hold of Guyer and Wood's when I started doing some digging, and is the translation I'd recommend you getting a hold of as well.
posted by SollosQ at 5:36 PM on August 7, 2012

Thanks for the answers so far!

What's your background and what are you looking for?

I have a moderate informal background in philosophy. I'm looking for really up-close engagement with the text, along with an unflagging eye to the bigger picture: someone who is constantly asking, in the presence of the reader: why does Kant put it this way rather than that way, and why does it matter? In other words, a commentary that accurately explains Kant's strategy by being just a little skeptical of it.

Or: stellar scholarship paired with a spellbinding writing voice.
posted by shivohum at 6:23 PM on August 7, 2012

Seconding Sebastian Gardner here, he does a great job at making the material more accessible and explaining the nuances. Very readable.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 7:53 PM on August 7, 2012

Jay Rosenberg's Accessing Kant is a good introduction to the First Critique by a well-respected philosopher (though it's not very well-known). It proposes a somewhat unusual approach or interpretation inspired by American philosopher Wilfrid Sellars (Rosenberg: a "Dionysian" rather than Appollonian attempt at understanding Kant). It's also written in an accessible style, at least judged by the standards of Kant scholarship.
posted by faustdick at 1:10 AM on August 8, 2012

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