Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Thursday, September 1, 2016

WHY READ BOTH THE FIRST AND SECOND EDITIONS OF THE CRITIQUE?

Wallyverr raises the question why editors of editions and translations of the Critique routinely include the first and second edition texts when that is hardly the standard practice in Literature and other disciplines, and is not even the universal practice in Philosophy.  Let me give my answer, and not presume to speak for Norman Kemp Smith or Paul Guyer, et al.  My reason is simple.  In my effort more than half a century ago to reconstruct the core argument of the Critique in a form that I considered to be coherent, powerful, and philosophically important, I found that the key to that reconstruction lay in passages that Kant included in the First Edition and removed from the Second Edition.  Indeed, the passage I consider the most important in the entire work [the so-called Subjective Deduction of the First Edition] is explicitly disavowed by Kant in the First Edition Preface [although in a curiously hedged and self-contradictory fashion] and omitted from the Second Edition.

All this will become clear as the lectures progress, but there are many complex and puzzling matters to be dealt with before we get to that point.  


3 comments:

s. wallerstein said...

If Kant omitted from the second edition the most important passage in the work and you, unlike Kant, realize that it is the most important passage in the work, then you understand the message of the Critique better than Kant did (which is possible) and what we are listening to in the lectures is not what Kant believed the Critique is about, but what you, Robert Paul Wolff, believe (perhaps rightly) the Critique is about.

Thus, the lectures are not really about Kant, but about the message of the Critique, a message which any attentive and intelligent reader has as much access to as Kant did. Maybe more access since we (students of philosophy) have had over 200 years to think about the subject.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

That is exactly correct. As my psychoanalyst pointed out to me roughly half a century ago, I took toward Kant in my book the same attitude that I had toward my father. Why was I not surprised?

s. wallerstein said...

That's very insightful what your psychoanalyst said.

I'll have to think about whether my interpretation of texts is similar to my attitude towards my parents.