PHILOSOPHY 350. Kant: Critique of Pure Reason


Earlham College, Spring Semester 2004-2005
Monday, Thursday 1:00-2:20. Carpenter 320
Instructor: Ferit Güven
Office: Carpenter 328
Office Hours: Monday 11:00-12:00, Wednesday 2:30-3:30, and by appointment
Office Phone: 983-1399 (voice mail),
web page:

Course Description: The general aim of this course is to introduce you to Kant's critical philosophy.  In this course we will read his major work, Critique of Pure Reason in its entirety.  The Critique of Pure Reason is one of the most important works in the history of philosophy.  It synthesizes the problems of modern philosophy, paves the way for 19th Century Philosophy, and frames important problems of Contemporary Philosophy.  Therefore, reading this work will not only be philosophically rewarding and pleasurable, but also it will enable us to understand contemporary philosophical problems in a larger context.

Required Text: Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Werner S. Pluhar, (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1996).
This is the only required text for this course. However, you are encouraged to consult Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, which is a short piece that addresses some important issues dealt with in Critique of Pure Reason, and (for those of you who can read German) the German original of the CPR, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 1971). These books are on reserve at the Lilly Library .

Course Requirements:  This course will be conducted in a seminar format.  Therefore, attandance and participation are important dimensions of the course and your grade.  I expect you to come to class prepared and ready to participate, i.e., having read the text carefully, and ready to raise and answer questions.  With a difficult text like the Critique of Pure Reason, you may find participation difficult at first.  However, keep in mind that participation is supposed to help you to understand the text, rather than simply demonstrate how well you understood it.  Therefore, you should raise questions and try to answer them even if, and especially when, you are not sure about the text and do not feel confident that you have understood it.

You are required to write 4 short explication papers and 2 longer papers.
Short papers will be limited to explaining the text in your own words.  I will give you specific questions concerning the part of the text we read. These papers will be 5-7 pages long.  There will be no extensions for these papers and late papers will not be accepted.
The longer papers will answer more general questions about the Critique of Pure Reason.  These papers will be 8-12 pages long.  I will also provide paper topics and guidelines for these papers.

Each week two students will work together in order to prepare a class presentation. These presentations will introduce us to the reading for the day, raise questions concerning the reading, and explain how it relates to previous readings.  I will give you specific guidelines for this assignment once we start these presentations.
There will be no final examination.

Your grade will be calculated according to the following distribution: Short Papers 10% each= 40%; Long Papers 20% each= 40%; Presentation= 10%; Attandence and Participation= 10%

Participation and Attendance:
Even though participation counts for only 10% of your grade, it may still mean a lot if you are between two grades, e.g., A and A-. However, I expect you to participate not simply for the sake of your grade, but hopefully because you will be interested in what will be discussed in class.
If you miss more than four classes you will fail this course regardless of your grade.

Our sessions will start at 1:00 pm. Students are expected to come on time. Walking in and out of the classroom while the session is in progress is extremely disruptive for everybody. I ask you not to do these. I will mark late students absent, and reduce their grade.

Office hours are for students to discuss ideas, assignments and questions. You are encouraged and welcome to come by my office or make appointments for times other than scheduled office hours. You should take advantage of office hours and appointments not simply to discuss your papers (you are obviously welcome to do that too) but also to understand ideas, and texts discussed in class.

Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact the instructor and Disability Services Office (Academic Support Services) at the beginning of the semester. Accommodation arrangements must be made during the first-two weeks of the semester.

The pages cited for a given day will be covered that day.  You must read these assignments in advance and be prepared to discuss them in class.
CPR refers to the Critique of Pure Reason. Reading Questions

Week 1: Introduction to the course
January 13: No Reading

Week 2: Prefaces of the Critique of Pure Reason& Introduction to CPR
January 17: CPR, pp. 5-40
January 20: CPR, pp. 43-68

Week 3: Transcendental Aesthetic
January 24: CPR, pp. 71-84
January 27: CPR, pp. 85-104

Week 4: Transcendental Logic; Analytic of Concepts
January 31:  CPR, pp. 105-129
February 3: CPR, pp. 129-150; 1st Short Paper due

Week 5: Transcendental Deduction in the A-edition;
February 7: CPR, pp. 150-174
February 10: Mid-semester Break

Week 6: Transcendental Deduction in the B-edition, Analytic of Principles, Schematism; Axioms and Anticipations
February 14: CPR, pp. 175-203
February 17: CPR, pp. 204-247

Week 7: Analytic of Principles, Analogies, Postulates;
February 21: CPR, pp. 247-282; 2nd Short Paper due
February 24: CPR, pp. 283-302

Week 8: Phenomena and Noumena; Transcendental Dialectic
February 28: CPR, pp. 303-322 [323-345]
March 3: CPR, pp. [323-345] 346-379

Week 9: Transcendental Dialectic, Paralogisms
March 7: CPR, pp. 380-441
March 10: CPR, pp. 380-441; First Long Paper due

Week 10: Transcendental Dialectic, Antinomy of Pure Reason
March 14: CPR, pp. 442-485
March 17: CPR, pp. 442-485

March 21-March 25: Spring Break

Week 11: Transcendental Dialectic, Antinomy of Pure Reason
March 28: CPR, pp. 486-517
March 31: CPR, pp. 517-559; 3rd Short Paper due

Week 12: Transcendental Dialectic, The Ideal of Pure Reason
April 4: CPR, pp. 560-572
April 7: CPR, pp. 572-616

Week 13: The Ideal of Pure Reason, Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic
April 11: CPR, pp. 617-662
April 14: CPR, pp. 617-662, 4th Short Paper due

Week 14: Transcendental Doctrine of Method
April 18: CPR, pp. 663-727
April 21: CPR, pp. 728-774

Week 15:
April 25: Review
April 28: Evaluation
April 30: Second Long Paper Due 

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