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PITHY QUOTE FROM Kant: Philosophische Briefe

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Immanuel Kant: Philosophische Briefe. Electronic Edition. book cover

Immanuel Kant: Philosophische Briefe. Electronic Edition.

ISBN: 978-1-57085-665-5

Language: German

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Immanuel Kant. Silhouette by Heinrich Wolff

Philosophische Briefe (Auswahl)

Immanuel Kant: Philosophische Briefe contains approximately 115 letters of philosophical import and content from and to such significant German thinkers of the late 18th century as Lambert, Hamann, Herder, Lavater, Maimon, Sulzer, Garve, Mendelssohn, Reinhold, Schiller and Fichte. All letters are drawn from the Akademie-Ausgabe; and references to the volume and pages numbers are to the Akademie edition.


The Vorlesungsnachschriften ("Lecture Notes") of the Einleitung in die philosophische Religionslehre ("Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion") follow the edition of Karl Heinrich Ludwig Pölitz 1817 (2nd edition 1830) and are most likely based on a set of lectures Kant gave in in the Winter Semester of 1782-83 (not, as Pölitz claims, 1791-92; Kant did not lecture on "philosophische Religionslehre" that semester). The lecture notes were made by a colleague of Kant at Königsberg, and bought by Pölitz who edited them slightly (mostly just punctuation, he maintains in his preface) and published them.

Kant, Immanuel. Vorlesungen über die philosophische Religionslehre. Hrsg. von Karl Heinrich Ludwig Pölitz. 2. Aufl. Leipzig: Taubert'sche Buchhandlung, 1830.

_____. Werke. Electronic edition. Berlin: Karsten Worm, 1998.

The lecture notes of Kant's Einleitung in die Metaphysik are a bit more complicated. Here, Pölitz claims that he had the luxury of comparing two sets of notes of the same lectures, which Kant began in 1788, one of which actually contained addenda from Kant's later lectures on the same subject: "So ist also dieses Werk im Ganzen hervorgegangen aus zwei Manuscripten, und aus Heften, nachgeschrieben in dreimaligen Vorlesungen Kants über die Metaphysik." However, contrary to Pölitz, recent scholarship believes that these notes derive from two manuscripts, not three, probably from lectures Kant gave in the mid-1770s and then again almost two decades later in the early 1790s. In any case, even though Pölitz published his version of these manuscripts as an amalgam, they do enable us to see Kant's thoughts on metaphysics in an enlarged context.

I am happy to say that I have found your organisation most cooperative on all of these issues, very prompt in replying and very full in the information provided. The ability to transact business so quickly and efficiently on email still fills me with admiration and awe, as Kant might have said!

—Dr. Harry McCauley
Faculty of Philosophy
National University of Ireland, Maynooth