The Powers of Pure Reason
Kant and the Idea of Cosmic Philosophy
The Critique of Pure Reason—Kant’s First Critique—is one of the most studied texts in intellectual history, but as Alfredo Ferrarin points out in this radically original book, most of that study has focused only on very select parts. Likewise, Kant’s oeuvre as a whole has been compartmentalized, the three Critiques held in rigid isolation from one another. Working against the standard reading of Kant that such compartmentalization has produced, The Powers of Pure Reason explores forgotten parts of the First Critique in order to find an exciting, new, and ultimately central set of concerns by which to read all of Kant’s works.
Ferrarin blows the dust off of two egregiously overlooked sections of the First Critique—the Transcendental Dialectic and the Doctrine of Method. There he discovers what he argues is the Critique’s greatest achievement: a conception of the unity of reason and an exploration of the powers it has to reach beyond itself and legislate over the world. With this in mind, Ferrarin dismantles the common vision of Kant as a philosopher writing separately on epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics and natural teleology, showing that the three Critiques are united by this underlying theme: the autonomy and teleology of reason, its power and ends. The result is a refreshing new view of Kant, and of reason itself.