Philosophical Review 111 (3):429 (2002)

Paul Guyer
Brown University
This new translation is an extremely welcome addition to the continuing Cambridge Edition of Kant’s works. English-speaking readers of the third Critique have long been hampered by the lack of an adequate translation of this important and difficult work. James Creed Meredith’s much-reprinted translation has charm and elegance, but it is often too loose to be useful for scholarly purposes. Moreover it does not include the first version of Kant’s introduction, the so-called “First Introduction,” which is now recognized as indispensable for an understanding of the work. Werner Pluhar’s more recent translation, which does include the First Introduction, is highly accurate when it confines itself to rendering Kant’s German. However, it is often more of a reconstruction than a translation, containing so many interpretative interpolations that it is often difficult to separate out Kant’s original text from the translator’s contributions. Paul Guyer and Eric Matthews have provided a translation that compares to or exceeds Pluhar’s in its literal approach to the German, but that confines all interpretative material to footnotes and endnotes, so that the text itself, with all its unclarities and ambiguities, lies open to view. In addition, Guyer, as editor of the volume, has provided a great deal of valuable supplementary material. This includes an introduction with an outline of the work and details of the history of its composition and publication, and a wealth of endnotes offering clarifications of the text, background information, and, most strikingly, many references to related passages in Kant’s voluminous writings, particularly in connection with Kant’s earlier writings related to aesthetics. The edition also records differences among the first three editions of the work, and—of particular interest—erasures from and additions to Kant’s manuscript of the First Introduction. Although the introduction and endnotes reflect interpretative views that are sometimes disputable, this supplementary material makes the present edition into a valuable resource even for those able to read the text in German.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0031-8108
DOI 10.2307/3182550
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