Kant's Second and Third Critiques Philosophy 80
2:30 - 3:50, MTh Peter Suber Carpenter 323 Fall 2000-20001 Syllabus
The required reading for this course consists simply of these two books by Kant, in these translations:
- Critique of Practical Reason, trans. Lewis White Beck, Macmillan, third edition, 1993 (original 1788).
- Critique of Judgment, trans. Werner Pluhar, Hackett, 1987 (original, 1790, 1793, 1799).
I've created a course home-page containing a collection of hand-outs and course-related web links at http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/courses/kant23/kanthome.htm. If you find any other relevant links, let me know and I'll add them to the collection.
Works and pages cited for a given day will be discussed that day and should have been read in advance. Writing assignments are due at class time on the days listed.
Page numbers in parentheses, preceded by "Ak." for Akademie, refer to the Prussian Academy edition of Kant's complete works, volume V. The only exception is Kant's first Introduction to the Critique of Judgment, which appears in volume XX of the Prussian Academy edition. The Ak. page numbers are the standard for scholarly citations and appear in the margins of our (and most other) English translations of Kant's works.
Week 1, August 21 - 25 Mon No class Thu First class, no reading due Week 2, August 28 - September 1 Mon This syllabus, Generic hand-out, Essay assignment hand-out. Second Critique Day 1, pp. 3-16 (Ak. 3-16) Thu Second Critique Day 2, pp. 17-35 (Ak. 19-35) Week 3, September 4 - 8 Mon Second Critique Day 3, pp. 36-52 (Ak. 35-50) Thu Second Critique Day 4, pp. 52-74 (Ak. 50-71) Week 4, September 11 - 15 Mon Review day Second Critique short paper due Thu Second Critique Day 5, pp. 75-92 (Ak. 71-89) Week 5, September 18 - 22 Mon Second Critique Day 6, pp. 93-112 (Ak. 89-106) Thu Second Critique Day 7, pp. 113-126 (Ak. 107-119) Week 6, September 25 - 29 Mon Second Critique Day 8, pp. 126-149 (Ak. 119-141) Second Critique long paper topic due Thu Second Critique Day 9, pp. 149-171 (Ak. 142-163) Week 7, October 2 - 6 Mon Review day Tue No class, but... Second Critique long paper due Thu Third Critique Day 1, pp. 3-39 (Ak. 167-199) Week 8, October 9 - 13 Mon Third Critique Day 2, pp. 43-84 (Ak. 203-236) Thu No class, mid-semester break Week 9, October 16 - 20 Mon Third Critique Day 3, pp. 85-117 (Ak. 236-260) Thu Third Critique Day 4, pp. 119-156 (Ak. 260-291) Week 10, October 23 - 27 Mon Review day Thu Third Critique Day 5, pp. 157-195 (Ak. 291-325) Week 11, October 30 - November 3 Mon Third Critique Day 6, pp. 195-232 (Ak. 325-356) Thu Third Critique Day 7, pp. 235-270 (Ak. 359-389) Week 12, November 6 - 10 Mon Third Critique Day 8, pp. 270-307 (Ak. 389-421) Thu Third Critique Day 9, pp. 308-342 (Ak. 421-453) Week 13, November 13 - 17 Mon Third Critique Day 10, pp. 343-381 (Ak. 453-485) Thu Review day Third Critique short paper due Week 14, November 20 - 24 Mon No class. Thanksgiving break. Thu Week 15, November 27 - December 1 Mon Third Critique Day 11, pp. 383-409 (Ak. 193'-221') Third Critique long paper topic due Thu Third Critique Day 12, pp. 409-441 (Ak. 221'-251') Week 16, December 4 - 8 Mon Review day Evaluation form due before next class Thu Judgment Day. Last day of class. Third Critique long paper due
I've stuck in a review day every couple of weeks. Here are some of my ideas on how to use these days; let me hear yours.
- Review the sections of the book we just finished. Ask any questions that you didn't have a chance to ask earlier. Tie up loose ends. Put the details into a larger picture. Get comfortable evaluating, not just interpreting, Kant's position and arguments.
- Discuss how to write a paper on Kant and how to write philosophy papers in general. Go over some possible paper topics.
- Talk shop about library research in philosophy. How does one find scholarship on a particular philosophical topic, figure, or period?
- Assess the quality of our discussions. How could we improve?
Title Due date Weight Description Second Critique
September 11 10% 3-5 pages. Details. Second Critique
October 13 25% 10 page minimum, no maximum. Details. Third Critique
November 16 10% 3-5 pages. Details. Third Critique
December 8 30% 10 page minimum, no maximum. Details. Evaluation form December 6 0% Due any time before the last day of class. Use the hardcopy form I will hand out or print yourself a copy of the online version. Participation Daily 25% Attendance plus helpful, voluntary participation in every discussion. Includes giving presentations and leading discussion on Thursdays. Details. You must submit all assigned work to pass the course.
You'll write four papers for this course, two on each book, one short (2-5 pp.) and one long (10+ pp.).
Each paper should ask a question, interpret Kant's answer, and then evaluate Kant's answer. The paper assignment is described in more detail in the essay assignment hand-out.
In all four papers, library research will be welcome but is not required.
You may, of course, cite relevant parts of Kant's first Critique in any of your papers, and likewise make use of Kant's second Critique in your paper on his third. Use all the Kant you know when interpreting him, though you need not know any more than is assigned.
If you can read Kant in German, or if you know German well enough to consult the original for nuance lost in translation, then you may depart from the assignment in some respects and write a more interpretive paper on that nuance if you wish. But speak to me first. In any case, please use whatever German you know when marshalling the textual evidence for your interpretation of the text, struggling with difficult passages, and conducting research in the library.
See my generic hand-out for details on paper mechanics, lateness, rewrites, and the option of having me grade your paper on tape. In this course, save the option of taped evaluation for the long papers; I prefer to grade explications by hand.
If you submit a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your final paper, then I will mail it to you during the break. If you only have your campus mail box number on the paper, then I will mail it to your campus box.
This is a seminar; hence, there will be very few lectures. Attendance and good preparation are essential to the success of a seminar. I expect all of you to be fully prepared every day to discuss the reading, ask questions about its meaning and merit, help others to find the answers, discern presuppositions, trace consequences, reconstruct arguments, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of positions, and recognize the stakes.
Here's a paragraph from my syllabus on Kant's first Critique which applies here:I am aware that with a book like the Critique of Pure Reason, you will seldom feel ready to "answer" questions with any finality during discussion. You will be conscious of how many parts of the text you didn't understand; you will have doubts; you will be tentative. This is natural. But your tentativity is a good reason to speak, not a good reason to remain silent. For example, you can offer tentative answers in the spirit of experimentation or exploration. You can talk about what you didn't understand; what difficulties you'd like cleared up before we finish with a given section or topic; what sub-questions must be answered before we can answer the main question; what terms and concepts make the question perplexing; what the best contenders seem to be for the answers, and what can be said for and against some (or each) of them; what passages or issues are relevant in exploring the question; and so on. But don't wait to speak until you have certainty, or you will wait forever.
With this understanding, I expect everyone to talk voluntarily every day. I will not call on non-volunteers unless it is necessary to bring in every voice.
I hope to make use of electronic discussion to continue and deepen our in-class discussions. I've set up an email list for this course. If you send an email to the list, then everyone in class receives a copy automatically. To use the list, simply send email to kant23 or email@example.com. For answers to common questions about using such a list, see my electronic discussion hand-out.
Presentations and leading discussion
Starting Week 3, the first half of every Thursday class is reserved for student-led discussion. (I will lead on the one Review Day which happens to fall on a Thursday.) Discussion leaders need not have done any outside reading or library research, although I recommend it highly. They should be especially well prepared on the parts of the text assigned for that day. Leaders should start with a 10-15 minute presentation in which they offer a reading of selected parts of the text of interest to them. For the rest of the hour, they should lead discussion on those and other, related topics. In the presentation and subsequent discussion, the leaders will not lecture, and need not have answers, but should have good questions and know where in the text to look for answers and how to lead a discussion that discovers answers. Each leader should give me a short outline of their presentation and plan for discussion at the beginning of the hour. I will be glad to meet with discussion leaders beforehand to discuss topics and methods. See the hand-out on presentations for more information.
You will present and lead discussion as often as the enrollment divides in to the number of eligible Thursdays. Which Thursdays go to which students will be decided first-come, first-served. If there are no volunteers for a given Thursday, I will throw dice. Look ahead at the assignments and your work for other classes, and volunteer as soon as you can for the week of your choice.
The chief elements of the participation grade are attendance, preparation for class, performance in discussion, and the week(s) as presenter and discussion leader.
Return to the course home-page.
Peter Suber, Department of Philosophy, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana, 47374.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright © 2000, Peter Suber.