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Kant’s Final Synthesis

Kant’s Final Synthesis

An Essay on the Opus postumum

Eckart Förster

ISBN 9780674009813

Publication date: 09/15/2002

This is the first book in English devoted entirely to Kant’s Opus postumum and its place in the Kantian oeuvre. Over the last few decades, the importance of this text for our understanding of Kant’s philosophy has emerged with increasing clarity.

Although Kant began it in order to solve a relatively minor problem within his philosophy, his reflections soon forced him to readdress virtually all the key problems of his critical philosophy: the objective validity of the categories, the dynamical theory of matter, the natures of space and time, the refutation of idealism, the theory of the self and its agency, the question of living organisms, the doctrine of the practical postulates and the idea of God, the unity of theoretical and practical reason, and the idea of transcendental philosophy itself. In the end Kant was convinced that these problems, some of which had preoccupied him throughout his career, could finally be brought to a coherent and adequate solution and integrated into a single philosophical conception.

As Eckart Förster shows in his penetrating study, Kant’s conviction deserves not only our intellectual respect but also our undivided philosophical attention. Förster provides detailed analyses of the key problems of Kant’s Opus postumum and also relates them to Kant’s major published writings. In this way he provides unique insights into the extraordinary continuity and inner dynamics of Kant’s transcendental philosophy as it progresses toward its final synthesis.


  • In 1993, as one volume in the Cambridge edition of the works of Immanuel Kant, there appeared the first-ever English translation of this, Kant’s last major work; selected and edited, with an introduction and notes, by Eckart Förster… This in itself was a great service to English-speaking students of Kant; and Förster has now more than doubled their indebtedness to him by publishing Kant’s Final Synthesis: An Essay on the Opus postumum; for the last work itself, more than any other of Kant’s, stands sadly in need of sympathetic elucidation.

    —P. F. Strawson, Times Literary Supplement


  • Eckart Förster is Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University and Honorary Professor of Philosophy at Humboldt University in Berlin.

Book Details

  • 230 pages
  • 4-7/8 x 8-15/16 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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