In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Edited Volumes
  • Commentaries
  • Historical Context
  • Systematic Reconstructions of the Critique of Pure Reason
  • Analytic/Synthetic and A Priori/A Posteriori
  • Transcendental Aesthetic, Including Philosophy of Mathematics
  • Metaphysical Deduction
  • Transcendental Deduction
  • Principles of Pure Understanding, Especially Analogies of Experience
  • Transcendental Dialectic
  • Transcendental Idealism
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Kant’s Philosophy of Science

Philosophy Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy
Eric Watkins
  • LAST REVIEWED: 10 May 2010
  • LAST MODIFIED: 10 May 2010
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0061


The historical and systematic importance of Kant’s philosophy can hardly be exaggerated. The revolutionary contribution it made to earlier modern philosophy, the influence it had on the subsequent course of philosophical thought, and the significance it has for an understanding of our current situation are unparalleled. Given its importance, it is not surprising that scholarship on Kant’s philosophy has also been extremely rich, with attention being paid both to specific sections of Kant’s famous Critique of Pure Reason and to the systematic topics that are treated therein. While Kant’s practical philosophy and aesthetics are revolutionary in their own right, the focus in the present context is on Kant’s theoretical philosophy, which is expressed primarily, though not exclusively, in the Critique of Pure Reason.

General Overviews

The volumes listed in this section all present an overview of Kant’s philosophy in one way or another. Broad 1978 offers a sensible overview of the main position and arguments of the Critique of Pure Reason. Ameriks 2003 provides the outlines of a philosophical project and method that would unify all three Critiques (Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Practical Reason, and Critique of Judgment). Wood 2004 and Guyer 2006 both write for those with no previous familiarity with Kant, although neither is in danger of succumbing to oversimplification. Ward 2006 presents a systematic overview of each of Kant’s three Critiques.

  • Ameriks, Karl. Interpreting Kant’s Critiques. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

    Ameriks’s introduction presents the outlines of a comprehensive reading of all three Critiques. The bulk of the book then consists of essays on each of the three Critiques, explaining how the general methodology plays out for some of the main topics of the distinctive subject matter treated in each Critique.

  • Broad, Charlie D. Kant: An Introduction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1978.

    Provides a helpful introduction to the subject matter and main arguments of the Critique of Pure Reason.

  • Guyer, Paul. Kant. New York: Routledge, 2006.

    A helpful introduction to Kant’s thought as well as his legacy.

  • Ward, Andrew. Kant: The Three Critiques. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2006.

    Presents a systematic overview of each of Kant’s three Critiques.

  • Wood, Alan. Kant. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.

    A helpful introduction to Kant’s major theories, including empirical cognition and Transcendental Idealism.

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