On the Synthesis of Disjunctive Inferences of Reason in Transcendental Logic Article uri icon



  • The transcendental Logic of disjunctive synthesis presents one of the more subtle fine points in Kant's Critical system. Kant's own lectures on the subject appearing in Logik can be difficult to follow owing to Kant's annoying habit of not identifying, much less defining, many of his key technical terms. Compounding the problem for the English-speaking world is the fact that English translations of Kant's gesammelte Schriften are frequently misleading. This occurs innocently enough. In order to properly translate, a translator must translate the author's ideas, not merely his words. Because Kant's own words present numerous ambiguities of interpretation, and because translators of his Logic works tend to be logicians themselves and habitually accustomed to interpreting logic terminology in traditional ways, Kant's very nontraditional system of Logic has a tendency to not "travel" well into English. Further compounding the problem is the fact that other key translations that translators frequently call upon to interpret Kant's meanings, such as Critique of Pure Reason, are also sometimes extremely poor, misleading, or even technically wrong. Kemp Smith's "standard" translation of Critique of Pure Reason is probably the foremost example of a translation that is so bad one is better off not reading it at all.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012