This is an intellectual biography covering Kant's early years, from 1747 (when he published his first book) to 1770, just before he published his most influential work, The Critique of Pure Reason. Schonfeld meticulously examines almost all of Kant's early works, summarizing their content, exhibiting their shortcomings, and most important, arguing that they are all aspects of a single project that Kant progressively carried out over the course of his early years -namely, the effort to reconcile metaphysical and scientific perspectives and combine them into a coherent model of nature. He reveals the continuity in Kant's entire oevre and shows that 'the pre-critical project', despite Kant's later repudiation, pushed philosophy forward.

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