Critique of Impure Reason
Horizons of Possibility and Meaning
The Critique of Impure Reason comprises a major and important contribution to philosophy. Thanks to the generosity of its publisher, this massive volume of more than 800 pages has been released as a free open access publication. It inaugurates a revolutionary paradigm shift in philosophical thought by providing compelling and long-sought-for solutions to a wide range of philosophical problems. In the process, the work fundamentally transforms the way in which the concepts of reference, meaning, and possibility are understood. The book includes a Foreword by the celebrated German philosopher and physicist Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker.
In Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason we find an analysis of the preconditions of experience and of knowledge. In contrast, but yet in parallel, the new Critique focuses upon the ways—unfortunately very widespread and often unselfconsciously habitual—in which many of the concepts that we employ conflict with the very preconditions of meaning and of knowledge.
This is a book about the boundaries of frameworks and about the unrecognized conceptual confusions in which we become entangled when we attempt to transgress beyond the limits of the possible and meaningful. We tend either not to recognize or not to accept that we all-too-often attempt to trespass beyond the boundaries of the frameworks that make knowledge possible and the world meaningful.
The Critique of Impure Reason proposes a bold, ground-breaking, and startling thesis: that a great many of the major philosophical problems of the past can be solved through the recognition of a viciously deceptive form of thinking to which philosophers as well as non-philosophers commonly fall victim. For the first time, the book advances and justifies the criticism that a substantial number of the questions that have occupied philosophers fall into the category of “impure reason,” violating the very conditions of their possible meaningfulness.
The purpose of the study is twofold: first, to enable us to recognize the boundaries of what is referentially forbidden—the limits beyond which reference becomes meaningless—and second, to avoid falling victims to a certain broad class of conceptual confusions that lie at the heart of many major philosophical problems. As a consequence, the boundaries of possible meaning are determined.
Bartlett, the author or editor of more than 20 books, is responsible for identifying this widespread and delusion-inducing variety of error, metalogical projection. It is a previously unrecognized and insidious form of erroneous thinking that undermines its own possibility of meaning. It comes about as a result of the pervasive human compulsion to seek to transcend the limits of possible reference and meaning.
Based on original research and rigorous analysis combined with extensive scholarship, the Critique of Impure Reason develops a self-validating method that makes it possible to recognize, correct, and eliminate this major and pervasive form of fallacious thinking. In so doing, the book provides at last provable and constructive solutions to a wide range of major philosophical problems.