Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Professor M. Radner
In 1789 Karl Leonhard Reinhold published a book entitled Versuch einer Neuen Theorie des Menschlichen Vorstellungsvermögen. With it he intended to show that the position taken by Immanuel Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason was without a ground. That is to say, Kant's work lacked a principle which would enable it to be presented as a system. By focusing on representation and its preconditions, Reinhold intended to provide such a ground through an exhaustive yet unified description of the contents of consciousness. He will being with a universal and self-evident first principle that will set Kant's results beyond doubt. In this way, Reinhold's Elementarphilosophie becomes the ground of the critical philosophy and together they constitute the only possible system of knowledge.
Through a detailed exposition of his book and its relation to Kant's, and by drawing on the reaction of Schulze, Maimon and Fichte to the aforementioned first principle, we want to suggest that Reinhold fails in his attempt to 're-write the Critique of Pure Reason'.
Pfohl, David William, "Mediation and System: Reinhold's 1789 Attempt to Re-write the 'Critique of Pure Reason'" (1979). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 271.