Thinking Oneself Into A System


Is anyone working on translating Maimon’s Versuch uber die Transzendentalphilosophie? I think someone should, it’s a pity that this book is not available in English: 

“I had now resolved to study Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, of which I had often heard but  which I had never seen. The method, in which I studied this work, was quite peculiar. On the first perusal I obtained a vague idea of each section. This I endeavored afterwards to make distinct by my own reflection, and thus to penetrate into the author’s meaning. Such is properly the process which is called thinking oneself into a system [sich in ein System hineindenken]. But as I had already mastered in this way the systems of Spinoza, Hume and Leibniz, I was naturally led to think of a coalition-system [Koalitionssystem]. This in fact I found, and put it gradually in writing in the form of explanatory observations on the Critique of Pure Reason, just as this system unfolded itself to my mind. Such was the origin of my Transcendental Philosophy.” 

This is from review by Yitzhak Y. Melamed in Journal of the History of Philosophy 43:3 (2005)

6 thoughts on “Thinking Oneself Into A System

  1. The people who translated it (Henry Sommers-Hall and Merten Reglitz) are working with some other people to produce a full translation. I think it’s nearly complete, though I can’t tell you when it’ll be published.

  2. Thanks, Pete – do you know what publisher it will be with? I know Ameriks was trying to persuade Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy to do it and he’s been continuously turned down since Maimon’s text is not popular enough for students to buy and read for class (supposedly that’s the purpose of the series)…

    In any case, I’d be very interested to know how this project is developing and all.

  3. Hi! You surely know that you cite not the Essay, but auto biography of Maimon, chapter 24, fully available in English, just in case. Levi

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