6

Question. Is Kant's "De Mundi Sensibilis atque Intelligibilis Forma et Principiis" available online in its Latin original?

Remarks.

  • Rather unbelievably, it seems to me that the answer is currently negative. If this is so (and in particular, if it is not available in both the formats mentioned below), what, do you think, would be a useful way to change that?

  • This work of Kant's is often referred to by the term 'the inaugural dissertation'.

  • It would be preferable to have it both in a scanned format, so as to have some degree of certification of originality and reference in case of doubting parts of a typed format, and in some text-format typed by someone living in the computer-age, so as to make it searchable. Neither only a scanned format, nor only a text-format seem enough for all scholarly uses.

  • An English translation, said to be of William J. Eckoff, is available from this Wikisource.

  • A scanned form of an 1894 edition of William J. Eckoff's English translation is available from this archive.org page.

  • A wonderful, commented, different, though again English version, translated by a professional philosopher, apparently having been in the works for six years, is

The Form and Principles of the Sensible and Intelligible World (Kant's inaugural dissertation), by Jonathan Bennett, 2010-2015. Available at http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/kant1770.pdf

5

Is Kant's "De Mundi Sensibilis atque Intelligibilis Forma et Principiis" available online in its Latin original?

Hard to answer with a sound "no", as I might end up being proved wrong. However, I could not find one version in Latin wherever I searched. I also looked at my university's library, which has access to paywalled repositories of classical texts (and it's big on classics).

Rather unbelievably, it seems to me that the answer is currently negative. If this is so (and in particular, if it is not available in both the formats mentioned below), what, do you think, would be a useful way to change that?

If this end up being the case, I suggest to bring it to the public domain! For that, do the following:

  1. get access to a physical copy of the book, maybe in your university or city library. For example, in my university there is a version available both in Italian and Latin, which is 107 pages.

  2. make a scan of it. Sounds like a lot of work, but in the above case, provided the format is friendly, you only have to scan maybe 50 pages (the English version you linked has 108 pages, which means 54 two-pages scans). This is not too bad. (if you are lucky, the library might have a scanning service for you, which is probably not free, but might be worth it).

  3. Use an OCR software to transform the pictures into text. There are plenty of free and decent quality software for this.

  4. Since OCR'ing a document is not likely to be perfect, you might need to manually correct some typos and errors. This is probably the most time consuming process. Alternatively, upload both the pdf and the OCR text and ask in a Latin forum (e.g. here, in the chat) and ask for help. I'm sure you will get a bit of support for this.

  5. Once you are done, share it with the world, for instance in archive.org, and with the Project Gutenberg.

If 3 and 4 sounds hard work, by sharing the PDF you produce at point 2 you are already contributing to the public domain repository. Maybe others can take on those tasks.

1

Only now, somewhat accidentally while searching for another original source, did I find out that there is at least one online rendition of the Latin original of De Mundi Sensibilis atque Intelligibilis Forma et Principiis, and a professional and careful rendition at that:

https://korpora.zim.uni-duisburg-essen.de/Kant/aa02/

For what's that worth, here is an acknowledgement of the institutions which made this happen:

enter image description here

  • I don't read German, but does the page you linked contain the Latin text? I cannot find it. – luchonacho Oct 1 '17 at 18:37
  • @luchonacho: thanks for the comment, though I do not understand why you did not find it. Granted, I linked (intentionally, since this sees the 'right' and more 'stable; 'level' between the whole project and the 'Inaugural dissertation' proper) to a higher level, but it takes 1 click on the link I gave and then 1 'Ctrl+F' keystroke and then 4 keystrokes to enter 'prin' in the search box to be unambiguously directed to the relevant subsection containing the Latin original. – guest Oct 3 '17 at 10:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.