Monday, May 4, 2009

I Kant Kant-

I read Critique of Pure Reason twice. Two different translations. I don't have the text with me right now, but I sold one and kept the other. The one I kept had a better translation, and was somewhat easier to read.

Not necessarily easier to understand. I do not claim to understand what I read. I thought that this was largely my own fault. I suspect that I did have a lot to do with my own inability to understand, but I later learned that others found the language and presentation a bit ponderous.

It was described in one article I read (and of course do not have handy to cite) that the German philosophers of the time of Kant (and for some time after) felt it "scholarly" to couch their concepts in ponderous prose. I do not know if that is true, but it would explain the difficulty in getting an untrained brain around many of the concepts.

I think another aspect was the effort of Kant to describe the very generalized ideas of knowing and reason. What can we know? What can we not know? How are the regions defined? Not small or simple questions.

Not quite so general (and perhaps meaningless) as "What is the meaning of life?" However, it was not quite so particular as making a measurable observation of some natural phenomenon. Then again, not all phenomena are easy to observe and measure.

I will probably drag the book out again, someday soon. I will read it, and perhaps convince myself that I understand a bit more than before.


Then again, perhaps I simply Kant Kant.

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