Recommendation for some of the best companion books for Kant Philosophy

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Zarathustra
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Recommendation for some of the best companion books for Kant Philosophy

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What are some of the best companion or commentary books for understanding Philosophy of Kant and CPR?
Trying to start reading CPR, but it looks very dry and daunting.
Averroes
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Re: Recommendation for some of the best companion books for Kant Philosophy

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Zarathustra wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 7:30 am What are some of the best companion or commentary books for understanding Philosophy of Kant and CPR?
Trying to start reading CPR, but it looks very dry and daunting.
I read the Paul Guyer and Allen Wood translation a long time ago. Once I counted an average sentence of that translation and it was about 50 to 100 words! And the book is filled with such lengthy sentences. It can take some time to get accustomed to that style. Once such "language barrier" is overcomed, then comes the real work! I do not like second hand opinions when the original is available. Anyway, I wouldn't recommend reading Kant CPR as he overly complicates a simple knowledge known to everyone.
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Re: Recommendation for some of the best companion books for Kant Philosophy

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Averroes wrote: Sun Aug 22, 2021 8:59 am
I read the Paul Guyer and Allen Wood translation a long time ago. Once I counted an average sentence of that translation and it was about 50 to 100 words! And the book is filled with such lengthy sentences. It can take some time to get accustomed to that style. Once such "language barrier" is overcomed, then comes the real work! I do not like second hand opinions when the original is available. Anyway, I wouldn't recommend reading Kant CPR as he overly complicates a simple knowledge known to everyone.
Many says that Kant's CPR has such a huge significance in philosophy, it is a must read for anyone who does philosophy. Not sure in what way that is the case actually.

The CPR itself seems a bit of too convoluted pile of abstract text, and I was under impression that some commentary or guide books would be much help in understanding it.
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Re: Recommendation for some of the best companion books for Kant Philosophy

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Zarathustra wrote: Mon Aug 23, 2021 6:18 pm Many says that Kant's CPR has such a huge significance in philosophy, it is a must read for anyone who does philosophy. Not sure in what way that is the case actually.
Many protestants will say that indeed!! Kant was a Lutheran protestant, and his view of reason is very similar to that of Martin Luther, although couched in a pile of convoluted text as you said! Martin Luther was the founder of Protestantism. And indeed, both Luther and Kant following suit tried to restrict and confine the correct use of reason to the empirical world alone and thus conveniently (or at least they tried to) exclude their theology from rational inquiry! By "theology" they meant Protestant Christian theology. The reason for this as you may have guessed is that their theology does not accord well with reason to say the least. Notably their fundamental doctrine of the trinity is completely unreasonable by their own admission. Add to that the fact that in the Bible there are a lot of contradictions. Under these circumstances it is no surprise that they want to curtail the applicability of reason. While the simple and correct solution would have been to correct their erroneous beliefs.
Zarathustra wrote: Mon Aug 23, 2021 6:18 pm The CPR itself seems a bit of too convoluted pile of abstract text,
That is an understatement! You should know that David Hume greatly messed with Kant's mind as Kant himself admitted in his own words that Hume got him into great cognitive dissonance. The CPR was an attempt by Kant to regain his sanity, but he didn't succeed. Kant died of dementia. He never married and didn't have any children.

Kant also introduced a lot of neologism which was taken up and popularized by those who followed him. You should also be made aware that Kant was thoroughly anti-jew and a racist. This was because he was raised a Lutheran, and as you may already know Martin Luther was profoundly antisemitic and inspired Hitler into the Holocaust. This is well-documented history anyway.
Zarathustra wrote: Mon Aug 23, 2021 6:18 pm and I was under impression that some commentary or guide books would be much help in understanding it.
I will not be able to help you on this. I like to focus on the original text as far as possible. But I will never advise you to do that for Kant if you value your sanity!
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Re: Recommendation for some of the best companion books for Kant Philosophy

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Averroes wrote: Mon Aug 23, 2021 10:41 pm
Many protestants will say that indeed!! Kant was a Lutheran protestant, and his view of reason is very similar to that of Martin Luther, although couched in a pile of convoluted text as you said! Martin Luther was the founder of Protestantism. And indeed, both Luther and Kant following suit tried to restrict and confine the correct use of reason to the empirical world alone and thus conveniently (or at least they tried to) exclude their theology from rational inquiry! By "theology" they meant Protestant Christian theology. The reason for this as you may have guessed is that their theology does not accord well with reason to say the least. Notably their fundamental doctrine of the trinity is completely unreasonable by their own admission. Add to that the fact that in the Bible there are a lot of contradictions. Under these circumstances it is no surprise that they want to curtail the applicability of reason. While the simple and correct solution would have been to correct their erroneous beliefs.
Isn't Kant really significant in his Epistemology only / mainly? I can't recall Kant being cited for his philosophy of religion. Well occasionally very occasionally. His moral and religious philosophy are too out of date for today's social settings and minds, I would have thought.
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Re: Recommendation for some of the best companion books for Kant Philosophy

Post by Averroes »

Zarathustra wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 12:57 am Isn't Kant really significant in his Epistemology only / mainly?
In general, in the history of philosophy Kant is indeed an important philosopher. His epistemology was an effort from him given the intellectual context in which he wrote it (the late 18th century), but ultimately it could no longer be upheld unmodified and in extenso with the discovery of Einstein Relativity Theories (Special and General) in the early 20th century. Notably, Kant's conception of space and time was clearly dealt a decisive blow with the repeated confirmation of the relativity theories by experimentation. However, you still find a minority so besotted with Kant (neo-Kantians) that they go to such extremism that they sound as if Einstein just plagiarized Kant in his formulation of his successful theories of relativity!!

But Kant didn't make only incorrect statements. And there are things in his epistemology that I agree with but differently than him. For example, I agree with Kant's main and central position that the mind is not a blank slate upon which experience writes. There are indeed cognitions in the mind that are not derived or induced from experience. For example, we all have the knowledge of God, the Almighty in us since we were in the womb of our mothers. This knowledge includes all that we are required to know about God so that we can fulfill our duty towards Him. Thus we already know that God is the Creator and the Provider of everything in the heavens and the earth and it is only Him that we should worship. This can be verified by the effect of the Holy Quran on babies, new borns and fetuses which is indeed an astonishing experience. The Quran is a revelation from God the Almighty to His blessed prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) through His angel Gabriel (peace be upon him).

Here are some samples of babies and a fetus reacting to the recitation of the Holy Quran if you would like to see for yourself:
1. Reaction of babies (3 min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4slRE3V2y9s

2. A fetus prostrating in his mother's womb upon hearing the Holy Quran (5 min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gUxJKARWUs

3. Reaction of a little girl (3min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYGKR7fk_vk

4. Reaction of a BBC reporter (2min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wbh-S5uq8SY


There are many other videos on YouTube if you would like to further this experience. You can even be the subject of such an experiment. Below, I have selected some short Quranic recitation for you to listen and observe its effect on you.

1. Al-Fatiha (chapter 1): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6r47L-8uf8

2. At-Teen(chapter 95): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK88FsJ3xQM

3. Al-'Asr (chapter 103): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5iElBopeyA

4. Al-Feel(chapter 105): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfBECWykm2o

5. Al-Baqara (chapter 2 verse 255) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaNdjbGN-Fg

There is a recitation by a construction worker that I am greatly appreciative but it's only on Facebook now:
https://www.facebook.com/khalifa.fauzan ... 061192590/

Zarathustra wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 12:57 am I can't recall Kant being cited for his philosophy of religion. Well occasionally very occasionally.
I find religion to be the most important thing in the life of a human being. For if someone is to be grateful to the One Who created him then he should know his Creator and know how to earn His pleasure and avoid His wrath. So let's talk a bit about one aspect of Kant's view on Christianity.
Even though I do not share the epistemology of Kant and his philosophy in general, I have to acknowledge that there are few statements he made that I find to be correct. I have on about a couple of occasions on this site itself quoted some of his statements that I found to be correct. Another statement he made that I find correct was his statement about the Trinity. Many Trinitarian Christians even though they believe in the Trinity do nevertheless admit that it is completely nonsensical. But Kant not only admitted that but he went further and said that the Trinity was completely useless. Below I quoted it in extenso because it is again from a book which is available for free on scribd but only for those who would sign up for free.

Quote from Kant, Immanuel - Conflict of the Faculties (Abaris, 1979):

"Philosophical Principles of Scriptural Exegesis for Settling the Conflict
I. If a scriptural text contains certain theoretical teachings which are proclaimed sacred but which transcend all rational
concepts (even moral ones), it may be interpreted in the interests of practical reason; but if it contains statements that contradict practical reason, it must be interpreted in the interests of practical reason. Here are some pertinent examples.

a) The doctrine of the Trinity, taken literally, has no practical relevance at all, even if we think we understand it; and it is even more clearly irrelevant if we realize that it transcends all our concepts. Whether we are to worship three or ten persons in the Divinity makes no difference: the pupil will implicitly accept one as readily as the other because he has no concept at all of a number of persons in one God (hypostases), and still more so because this distinction can make no difference in his rules of conduct. On the other hand, if we read a moral meaning into this article of faith (as I have tried to do in Religion within the Limits etc.), it would no longer contain an inconsequential belief but an intelligible one that refers to our moral vocation. The same holds true of the doctrine that one person of the Godhead became man. For if we think of this God-man, not as the Idea of humanity in its full moral perfection, present in God from eternity and beloved by Him* (cf. Religion, p. 73 ft), but as the Divinity "dwelling incarnate" in a real man and working as a second nature in him, then we can draw nothing practical from this mystery: since we cannot require ourselves to rival a God, we cannot take him as an example. And I shall not insist on the further difficulty-why, if such a union is possible in one case, God has not let all men participate in it, so that everyone would necessarily be pleasing to Him. Similar considerations can be raised about the stories of the Resurrection and Ascension of this God-man. " [Conflict of the Faculties]

And God, the All-Knower says in the Holy Quran, interpretation of meaning:
  • O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, "Three"; desist - it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.[Quran 4:171]
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Re: Recommendation for some of the best companion books for Kant Philosophy

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Averroes wrote: Mon Aug 30, 2021 11:30 am
Zarathustra wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 12:57 am Isn't Kant really significant in his Epistemology only / mainly?
In general, in the history of philosophy Kant is indeed an important philosopher. His epistemology was an effort from him given the intellectual context in which he wrote it (the late 18th century), but ultimately it could no longer be upheld unmodified and in extenso with the discovery of Einstein Relativity Theories (Special and General) in the early 20th century. Notably, Kant's conception of space and time was clearly dealt a decisive blow with the repeated confirmation of the relativity theories by experimentation. However, you still find a minority so besotted with Kant (neo-Kantians) that they go to such extremism that they sound as if Einstein just plagiarized Kant in his formulation of his successful theories of relativity!!

But Kant didn't make only incorrect statements. And there are things in his epistemology that I agree with but differently than him. For example, I agree with Kant's main and central position that the mind is not a blank slate upon which experience writes. There are indeed cognitions in the mind that are not derived or induced from experience. For example, we all have the knowledge of God, the Almighty in us since we were in the womb of our mothers. This knowledge includes all that we are required to know about God so that we can fulfill our duty towards Him. Thus we already know that God is the Creator and the Provider of everything in the heavens and the earth and it is only Him that we should worship. This can be verified by the effect of the Holy Quran on babies, new borns and fetuses which is indeed an astonishing experience. The Quran is a revelation from God the Almighty to His blessed prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) through His angel Gabriel (peace be upon him).

Here are some samples of babies and a fetus reacting to the recitation of the Holy Quran if you would like to see for yourself:
1. Reaction of babies (3 min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4slRE3V2y9s

2. A fetus prostrating in his mother's womb upon hearing the Holy Quran (5 min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gUxJKARWUs

3. Reaction of a little girl (3min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYGKR7fk_vk

4. Reaction of a BBC reporter (2min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wbh-S5uq8SY


There are many other videos on YouTube if you would like to further this experience. You can even be the subject of such an experiment. Below, I have selected some short Quranic recitation for you to listen and observe its effect on you.

1. Al-Fatiha (chapter 1): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6r47L-8uf8

2. At-Teen(chapter 95): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK88FsJ3xQM

3. Al-'Asr (chapter 103): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5iElBopeyA

4. Al-Feel(chapter 105): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfBECWykm2o

5. Al-Baqara (chapter 2 verse 255) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaNdjbGN-Fg

There is a recitation by a construction worker that I am greatly appreciative but it's only on Facebook now:
https://www.facebook.com/khalifa.fauzan ... 061192590/

Zarathustra wrote: Thu Aug 26, 2021 12:57 am I can't recall Kant being cited for his philosophy of religion. Well occasionally very occasionally.
I find religion to be the most important thing in the life of a human being. For if someone is to be grateful to the One Who created him then he should know his Creator and know how to earn His pleasure and avoid His wrath. So let's talk a bit about one aspect of Kant's view on Christianity.
Even though I do not share the epistemology of Kant and his philosophy in general, I have to acknowledge that there are few statements he made that I find to be correct. I have on about a couple of occasions on this site itself quoted some of his statements that I found to be correct. Another statement he made that I find correct was his statement about the Trinity. Many Trinitarian Christians even though they believe in the Trinity do nevertheless admit that it is completely nonsensical. But Kant not only admitted that but he went further and said that the Trinity was completely useless. Below I quoted it in extenso because it is again from a book which is available for free on scribd but only for those who would sign up for free.

Quote from Kant, Immanuel - Conflict of the Faculties (Abaris, 1979):

"Philosophical Principles of Scriptural Exegesis for Settling the Conflict
I. If a scriptural text contains certain theoretical teachings which are proclaimed sacred but which transcend all rational
concepts (even moral ones), it may be interpreted in the interests of practical reason; but if it contains statements that contradict practical reason, it must be interpreted in the interests of practical reason. Here are some pertinent examples.

a) The doctrine of the Trinity, taken literally, has no practical relevance at all, even if we think we understand it; and it is even more clearly irrelevant if we realize that it transcends all our concepts. Whether we are to worship three or ten persons in the Divinity makes no difference: the pupil will implicitly accept one as readily as the other because he has no concept at all of a number of persons in one God (hypostases), and still more so because this distinction can make no difference in his rules of conduct. On the other hand, if we read a moral meaning into this article of faith (as I have tried to do in Religion within the Limits etc.), it would no longer contain an inconsequential belief but an intelligible one that refers to our moral vocation. The same holds true of the doctrine that one person of the Godhead became man. For if we think of this God-man, not as the Idea of humanity in its full moral perfection, present in God from eternity and beloved by Him* (cf. Religion, p. 73 ft), but as the Divinity "dwelling incarnate" in a real man and working as a second nature in him, then we can draw nothing practical from this mystery: since we cannot require ourselves to rival a God, we cannot take him as an example. And I shall not insist on the further difficulty-why, if such a union is possible in one case, God has not let all men participate in it, so that everyone would necessarily be pleasing to Him. Similar considerations can be raised about the stories of the Resurrection and Ascension of this God-man. " [Conflict of the Faculties]

And God, the All-Knower says in the Holy Quran, interpretation of meaning:
  • O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, "Three"; desist - it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.[Quran 4:171]
Great post !! Thanks.
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Re: Recommendation for some of the best companion books for Kant Philosophy

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Zarathustra wrote: Mon Aug 30, 2021 5:11 pm Great post !! Thanks.
You are most welcomed. Now you know where knowledge comes from. My philosophy is that knowledge is from God, the Almighty. Just like the food that we eat is from God, the Almighty. Whether one believes in God or not, God feeds us. The very first verses of the Holy Quran that God, the Almighty revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) through Angel Gabriel (peace be upon him) were as follows, interpretation of meaning:

In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful
1. Recite in the name of your Lord who created
2. Created man from a clinging substance.
3. Recite, and your Lord is the most Generous -
4. Who taught by the pen
5. Taught man that which he knew not.

Let us try to further this inquiry so that with little effort you understand Kant's philosophy, if God wills.
Now, suppose that someone were to deny the undeniable, ie suppose someone were to deny the existence of God, or denies the numerous blessings of God, the Almighty. How is such a person going to account for the knowledge that we have? This is the question that the CPR is ultimately all about; in the words of Kant: how is synthetic a priori judgements possible? Can you fill in the blanks from there? This is just an exercise in psychology now! Recall that in Kant's philosophy, synthetic a priori judgements, (such as the geometry of his time, ie Euclidean geometry) could not have come from experience because experience teaches us what is but not what must be. Can you take a guess? [hint: how is mathematics viewed nowadays!]
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Zarathustra
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Re: Recommendation for some of the best companion books for Kant Philosophy

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Sorry I am an agnostic, it will never change. :)
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Re: Recommendation for some of the best companion books for Kant Philosophy

Post by Averroes »

Zarathustra wrote: Wed Sep 01, 2021 12:10 pm Sorry I am an agnostic, it will never change. :)
I am more sorry for you because you are missing out on great opportunities to expand and blossom. One thing I find strange though. For the very little knowledge that I have shared with you so far, you have thanked me each time which amounts to several times already. Of course, no doubt I appreciate your courtesy and good manners towards me. But then I find it very odd that you don't take the opportunity to thank the One Who created this earth and the whole universe and Who created you and me and put us on His earth. And each day of our lives, He, the Most High feeds us and gives us so many good things. So you were courteous enough that you took the opportunity to thank the author of some posts on PhilosophyNow, but you forget (I don't say "neglect" out of courtesy) to thank the Creator of the world in which we live in. Don't you think that the Creator and Provider of all His creation would be so happy if you were to thank Him if just only once for all the blessings He has given us? Please, can I humbly ask you to thank The Most Merciful for all His blessings to us?

On my side, I will help you and share whatever knowledge that I have with you that can benefit you, if God wills. But you need to know that I am a limited being, ie there is only so much I know and can do. Whereas God, the Almighty is infinite in His Wisdom and Knowledge and He has power over all things. Thus, it would be of much greater benefit to you if you were to show gratitude to Him for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us. Moreover, in the Holy Quran, God, the Almighty says that if we are grateful to Him, He will give us more.
  • And ˹remember˺ when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will certainly give you more. But if you are ungrateful, surely My punishment is severe.’”[Quran, interpretation of meaning 14:7]
From what I can judge so far, it seems to me that you have chosen to tread the path of knowledge on a self-study basis. This is a very honorable and respectful undertaking. And I firmly believe that if you were to thank God, the Most Generous as often as you can for all the good things He has sent and is sending your way, then He will make your path to knowledge easy amd beneficial. It doesn't take much to thank God, the Almighty. When I want to thank God, I say "Alhamdulillah". The latter is an Arabic expression which can be translated as " All Praise be to Allah" or "Praise be to Allah". You could say something like: "O my Creator, I thank you for all the blessings you have given me, praise be to you". Or you could just say "alhamdulillah" too if you want. It doesn't cost you anything while it will greatly benefit you.

Besides, you would really need help if you want to understand Kant's CPR. You haven't replied my the question that I asked you in my previous post about mathematics. It was a true question, and not only rhetorical! You will have to know some of the maths of Kant's time if you want to understand Kant's arguments. Do you know some proofs in Euclidean geometry? Check out the proof of the Pythagoras theorem for a start: https://youtu.be/JLCAphSHYls
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