The Critique of Judgment

Detail from the Preface to Cassirer's Commentary on Kant's Critique of Judgment (1938).

On Kant's Third Critique

Cassirer’s first English work, A Commentary on Kant's Critique of Judgment, was dedicated to his father, Ernst. According to Toni Cassirer (H.W.’s mother and Ernst’s wife), the son presented his father with a copy as a 65th birthday present.

The copy in the H. W. Cassirer Archive (CASSIRER 019) formerly belonged to Sheila Kerr, whom Cassirer acknowledges in the Preface for her “enormous patience in correcting my mistakes, along with her skill in showing me how to avoid them in the future”.

In the preface, Cassirer also acknowledges the wider community of scholarly and financial support that enabled him to complete this work, both at the University and from the “Jewish Community of Glasgow”.

Go to the Digital Cassirer Collection: Editions to read about this text in the author’s own words.

Copyright: Digital edition copyright (c) The H.W. Cassirer Archive, University of Sheffield, 2020. Intellectual copyright: The Estate of Olive Cassirer. Digitisation supported by the Estate of Ronald Weitzman.


The works and editions referred to by Cassirer (HWC) in his Preface are:

Original First (and Second) editions

  • Critik der Reinen Vernunft, Riga 1871. [“A”] [digital facsimile and transcription] | The Critique of Pure Reason, version A.

  • Critik der Reinen Vernunft, Riga 1878. [“B”] [transcript via Berlin edn] | The Critique of Pure Reason, version B.

  • Kritik der praktischen Vernunft, 1789. | The Critique of Practical Reason.

  • Kritik der Urtheilskraft, 1790. | The Critique of Judgment.

And (unpublished manuscript): Erste Einleitung in die Kritik der Urtheilskraft, 1790. | The first introduction to the Critique of Judgment.

The Berlin edition. Kant’s gessamelte Schriften. 1900-.

From which HWC consulted:

  • Volume 5. Berlin, 1908 | 1913. Containing the Kritik der praktischen Vernunft and the Kritik der Urteilskraft. [online]

Early volumes from the Berlin edition have been digitised and made available online by the University of Bonn.

The E. Cassirer (ed.) series, Immanuel Kants Werke.

From which HWC consulted: the first introduction to the Critique of Judgment.

  • Part of volume 5. Ed. Otto Buek. Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1914.

Bruno was Ernst's cousin. His press relocated to Oxford in the 1940s.

The Meiner series, Sämtliche Werke, a subseries of the larger Philosophische Bibliothek.

In which HWC likewise consulted the first introduction to the Critique of Judgment:

  • Part of volume 2; also PB vol. 39. Ed. Gerhard Lehmann. Leipzig: Felix Meiner, 1924.

And in translation:

  • Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by Norman Kemp Smith. London: Macmillan, 1929. [IA]

  • Thomas Kingsmill Abbott (translator): Kant’s Theory of Ethics or practical philosophy. London: Longmans, Green, Reader and Dyer, 1873. || Subsequently enlarged, revised and reissued including as Kant's Critique of practical reason and other works on the theory of ethics, London: Longmans, Green and co. 1909. 6th edition and the last of Abbott’s lifetime. [1898 edn online, w. transcription] [1873 edn online, facsimile]

A detailed account of Kant editions is available from the University of Manchester.