Saturday, May 26, 2012

Life before Amazon and Google

So Daniel recommends the new Eckart Förster book, which I ordered, and now here it is. Looks good, and in fact I may already report an interesting bit from it. Check this out (p. 13):
The Critique appeared in 1781 in an edition of one thousand copies and went out of print within just a few years. [...] [I]t is important to remember that (with the exception of Jacobi) the later thinkers who followed upon Kant [...] were only familiar with either the second or even later editions of the Critique. The original edition did not again become available until 1838 when the first complete edition of Kant's works was published—seven years after Hegel's death! Today's practice of printing the first and second edition on facing pages or at least in the same volume was unknown in those days. Neither Fichte nor Schelling nor Hegel was familiar with the first edition of the Critique, and we must remain open to the possibility that this fact might have had consequences for the manner and extent to which they understood themselves to be engaged in a Kantian project.
Wow, I totally did not know that. Of course you might think, well, the B-edition is Kant's considered view, so what does it matter? But even the A-deduction alone is hugely informative about what Kant thought he was doing (and I always liked the threefold synthesis anyway). And Förster has promised to say more about this later, so I look forward to that.


Jon Cogburn said...

I can't remember where I read that it was Schopenhauer who championed the A version, and that the double publication was a result of his efforts. Maybe this is in Safranski's book.

In any case, I'm excited to start the Forster book in two weeks. Graham Bounds and I have a thing on Schelling's account of intellectual intuition that is probably inconsistent with Forster's criticism of Schelling. We argue that in the identity philosophy period intellectual intuition became non-active and non-productive for finite beings.

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