First Edition of Kant's Prolegomena"
Prolegomena zu einer jeden künftigen Metaphysik. die als Wissenschaft wird auftreten können.
Riga: Johann Friedrich Hartknoch, 1783.
First Edition, second issue with woodcut device to title, woodcut head-piece (angels) on p. 3, and woodcut tail-piece (rod with leaves) on page 222. Two titles in one octavo volume (7 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches; 199 x 117 mm). 222, [2, blank] pp. With final blank.
Grundlegung der Metaphysik der Sitten. Dritte Auflage. Riga: Johann Friedrich Hartknoch, 1792.
Third edition. , 128 pp. With vignette on title-page. Separate title-page for each work.
Full original marbled paper boards. Printed paper spine label. Paper on spine and label splitting, but holding firm. Small ink stamp on title-page of first book. Internally very clean. Overall a very good copy.
"The Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics is the preeminent synopsis in the history of philosophy. Kant completed it about fifteen months after the Critique of Pure Reason was published. He wanted to present his critical philosophy concisely and accessibly, for 'future teachers' of metaphysics. He also wanted to convince his fellow metaphysicians 'that it is unavoidably necessary to suspend their work for the present,' until they have determined 'whether such a thing as metaphysics is even possible at all' (4:255). Although the Critique 'always remains the foundation to which the Prolegomena refer only as preparatory exercises' (4:261), Kant nonetheless hoped that the shorter work would be used to assess the critical philosophy 'piece by piece from its foundation,' serving 'as a general synopsis, with which the work itself could then be compared on occasion." (Cambridge University Press).
Grundlegung der Metaphysik der Sitten was Kant s first major work on Ethics. "Kant's most influential positions in moral philosophy are found in The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals but he developed, enriched, and in some cases modified those views in later works" (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
"Kant's great achievement was to conclude finally the lines on which philosophical speculation had proceeded in the eighteenth century, and to open up a new and more comprehensive system of dealing with the problems of philosophy...The influence of Kant is paramount in the critical method of modern philosophy. No other thinker has been able to hold with such firmness the balance between speculative and empirical ideas" (PMM).