Critique of Pure Reason


The Critique of Pure Reason is arranged around several basic distinctions. After the two Prefaces (the A edition Preface of 1781 and the B edition Preface of 1787) and the Introduction, the book is divided into the Doctrine of Elements and the Doctrine of Method:

The Doctrine of Elements sets out the a priori products of the mind, and the correct and incorrect use of these presentations. Kant further divides the Doctrine of Elements into the Transcendental Aesthetic and the Transcendental Logic, reflecting his basic distinction between sensibility and the understanding. In the Transcendental Aesthetic he argues that space and time are pure forms of intuition inherent in our faculty of sense. The Transcendental Logic is separated into the Transcendental Analytic and the Transcendental Dialectic:

  • The Transcendental Analytic sets forth the appropriate uses of a priori concepts, called the categories, and other principles of the understanding, as conditions of the possibility of a science of metaphysics. The section titled the Metaphysical Deduction considers the origin of the categories. In the Transcendental Deduction, Kant then shows the application of the categories to experience. Next, the Analytic of Principles sets out arguments for the relation of the categories to metaphysical principles. This section begins with the Schematism, which describes how the imagination can apply pure concepts to the object given in sense perception. Next are arguments relating the a priori principles with the schematized categories.
  • The Transcendental Dialectic describes the transcendental illusion behind the misuse of these principles in attempts to apply them to realms beyond sense experience. Kant’s most significant arguments are the Paralogisms of Pure Reason, the Antinomy of Pure Reason, and the Ideal of Pure Reason, aimed against, respectively, traditional theories of the soul, the universe as a whole, and the existence of God. In the Appendix to the Critique of Speculative Theology Kant describes the role of the transcendental ideas of reason.

The Doctrine of Method contains four sections. The first section, Discipline of Pure Reason, compares mathematical and logical methods of proof, and the second section, Canon of Pure Reason, distinguishes theoretical from practical reason.

The Divisions of Critique of Pure Reason


1. First and second Prefaces
2. Introduction
3. Transcendental Doctrine of Elements
A. Transcendental Aesthetic
B. Transcendental Logic
(1) Transcendental Analytic
a. Analytic of Concepts
i. Metaphysical Deduction
ii. Transcendental Deduction
b. Analytic of Principles
i. Schematism (bridging chapter)
ii. System of Principles of Pure Understanding
a. Axioms of Intuition
b. Anticipations of Perception
c. Analogies of Experience
d. Postulates of Empirical Thought (Refutation of Idealism)
iii. Ground of Distinction of Objects into Phenomena and Noumena
iv. Appendix on the Amphiboly of the Concepts of Reflection
(2) Transcendental Dialectic: Transcendental Illusion
a. Paralogisms of Pure Reason
b. Antinomy of Pure Reason
c. Ideal of Pure Reason
d. Appendix to Critique of Speculative Theology
4. Transcendental Doctrine of Method
A. Discipline of Pure Reason
B. Canon of Pure Reason
C. Architectonic of Pure Reason
D. History of Pure Reason

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