20 October 1999
KANT, Immanuel (1724-1804). Critik der reinen Vernunft. Riga: Johann Friedrich Hartknoch, 1781.
8 (198 x 120mm). Floral vignette on title-page. (Some browning and spotting.) Contemporary half calf, spine gilt (worn, hinges partially split, front hinge restored), modern brown half morocco box. Provenance: [?]Laydler (contemporary ownership inscription on title and marginal annotations by the same hand); Fr. Wechlirt, 99 (ownership inscription on fly-leaf).
FIRST EDITION of Kant's magnum opus, a work which 'was to conclude finally the lines on which philosophical speculation had proceeded in the eighteenth century, and to open up a new and more comprehensive system of dealing with the problems of philosophy' (PMM). The writing of Critik der reinen Vernunft occupied Kant for much of 11 years. He set out to determine what reason, in and of itself and without recourse to other faculties, could achieve in the way of knowledge. 'Kant was a type of realist not unlike Descartes or Locke in his claim that appearances are not all that there is but all that one has an actual and detailed knowlege of. There is a reality behind the appearance, but one has only a problematic concept of this reality. He often characterized this position of the Critique as transcendental idealism in order to distinguish this brand of idealism from the extreme form typified by Berkeley' (DSB). Norman Library 1197; Warda, Die Druckschriften Kants 59; PMM 226.
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