Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics  

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I freely admit that the remembrance of David Hume was the very thing that many years ago first interrupted my dogmatic slumber and gave a completely different direction to my researches in the field of speculative philosophy. --Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (1783) Kant

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics That Will Be Able to Present Itself as a Science is one of the shorter works by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. It was published in 1783, two years after the first edition of his Critique of Pure Reason.

Prolegomena contains an overview and defense of the Critique‘s main conclusions, sometimes by arguments Kant had not used in the Critique. Kant characterizes his more accessible approach here as an "analytic" one, as opposed to the Critique‘s "synthetic" examination of successive faculties of the mind and their principles.

The book is also intended as a polemic. Kant was disappointed by the poor reception of the Critique of Pure Reason, and here he repeatedly emphasizes the importance of its critical project for the very existence of metaphysics as a science. The final appendix contains a detailed rebuttal to an unfavorable review of the Critique.

In the standard Akademie edition of Kant's works, the Prolegomena takes up part of Volume V.

See also

  • Prolegomenon (plural "prolegomena") refers to any introduction or essay at the beginning of a book.

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