KANT IN THE CLASSROOM     Materials to aid the study of Kant’s lectures

Bibliography
Kant’s Writings
Academy Edition
Glossary
Biographies
Kant’s Life

Universities
Students
Professors

Introduction
Describing the Notes
Production of the Notes
Dating the Notes
Lists: [Published Notes] [Unpublished Notes]
Lists: [Composite] [Variant Names] [Menzer 1912] [Locations]

Descriptions of the Notes (click below):

Kant’s Lectures

> The Student Notes

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Mathematics Notes

Kant taught mathematics a total of fifteen semesters, all at the beginning of his career; the last time was as a privatissima course in WS 1763/64. The only student notes from these lectures stem from Herder (early 1760s), and these are quite fragmentary. Kant used Wolff’s Anfangsgründe aller mathematischen Wissenschaften [1710], of which Kant owned the 1750 edition, and sometimes he used the shorter Auszug aus den Anfangsgründen aller mathematischen Wissenschaften [1713], of which Kant owned the 1749 edition (Kant’s copies have not been found).  See the Mathematics lectures.

(1) Herder 3

Physical Description and History

Two fragments, four sheets each.  Irmscher is not certain that both stem from Kant’s lectures; he writes: “The text on ms 3r appears to be a latter entry, the continuation possibly occurring between sheets 2 and 3, and then being lost.  P. 3v is empty until the heading ‘Anwendung auf die’.  Also the handwriting varies…” [Irmscher 1964, 12; and see Lehmann 1980, 658-60].

Location

(1) Ms: Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Haus II, NL-Herder:

XXV.45.  Four sheets (17.5 x 20.5 cm), from a larger printer’s sheet, folded twice.  Paper is ribbed, with a watermark (Irmscher calls it a crowned eagle).  The left-hand margin is marked with a crease down the middle, and contains some marginalia.  Page 8 is blank.  Brown ink throughout.  Printed at Ak. 29: 49-58.
XXV.46.  Same size and format as the previous.  Page 8 is also blank.  Printed at Ak. 29: 59-66.

Publications

(1) Irmscher [1964, 17-39].

(2) Lehmann [1980; Ak. 29: 49-66].  The Academy edition marginal pagination does not include the blank pages.

Dating

Johann Gottfried Herder [bio] matriculated August 10, 1762.  Kant taught mathematics WS 1762/63 and SS 1763 during Herder’s stay in Königsberg (he would not likely have attended Kant’s privatissima course held in WS 1763/64).  If these are in fact notes from Kant’s classroom, then they would need to stem from one of these two semesters.  Böttiger [1998, 125] reports that Herder attended — “with great dilligence” — the mathematics lectures of F. J. Buck [bio], who was at that time the full professor of Logic and Metaphysics.  See also Herder’s notes on metaphysics, physical geography, moral philosophy, physics, and logic.


Copyright ©2006 Steve Naragon (Manchester University)
Last modified: 27 Jan 2009
Please send comments and questions to: ssnaragon@manchester.edu