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About Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) published The Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens in 1755. This English translation, based on Georg Reimerís German edition of the complete works of Immanuel Kant (1905), was first completed and posted on the web in 1998. It has been considerably revised for this printed edition, mainly to improve the accuracy and fluency of the translation.

The footnotes in this translation come from Kantís original text except for those which are provided by the translator. The latter are prefaced by the comment [Translatorís Footnote]. All footnotes without that initial phrase are Kantís. The initial Table of Contents is an addition to Kantís text.

In the English translation I have used the original lines from the works of Alexander Pope and Addison in those places where Kant quotes the often quite loose German versions of these English poets. The translations of the von Haller quotations are my own.

There are also occasional references to two earlier English versions of Kant's text: those by Stanley L. Jaki (Scottish Academic Press, 1981) and by William Hastie (first published in 1900, reprinted by University of Michigan Press, 1969). The translator of the present text would like to acknowledge the great help he has received from these two earlier translations. Anyone seeking a detailed contextual examination of Kantís scientific ideas in this essay should consult the Jaki edition, which is outstanding in this respect.

Ian Johnston 


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