Essay on Transcendental Philosophy presents the first English translation of Salomon Maimon's principal work, originally published in Berlin in 1790.

In this book Maimon seeks to further the revolution in philosophy wrought by Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason by establishing a new foundation for transcendental philosophy in the idea of difference. Kant judged Maimon to be his most profound critic, and the Essay went on to have a decisive influence on the course of post-Kantian German Idealism. A more recent admirer was Gilles Deleuze who drew on Maimon’s Essay in constructing his own philosophy of difference. This long-overdue translation makes Maimon's brilliant analysis and criticism of Kant's philosophy accessible to an English readership for the first time.

The text includes a comprehensive introduction, a glossary, translators' notes, a bibliography of writings on Maimon and an index. It also includes translations of correspondence between Maimon and Kant and a letter Maimon wrote to a Berlin journal clarifying the philosophical position of the Essay, all of which bring the book's context alive for the modern reader.

Table of Contents

Translators' Introduction
Note on the Translation

1. Matter, Form of Cognition, Form of Sensibility, Form of Understanding, Time and Space.
2. Sensibility, Imagination, Understanding, Pure A Priori Concepts of the Understanding or Categories, Schemata, Answering the Question Quid Juris, Answering the Question Quid Facti, Doubts about the Latter.
3. Ideas of the Understanding, Ideas of Reason, etc.
4. Subject and Predicate. The Determinable and the Determination.
5. Thing, Possible, Necessary, Ground, Consequence, etc.
6. Identity, Difference, Opposition, Reality, Logical and Transcendental Negation
7. Magnitude
8. Alteration, Change, etc.
9. Truth, Subjective, Objective, Logical, Metaphysical
10. On the I, Materialism, Idealism, Dualism, etc.
Short Overview of the Whole Work
My Ontology
On Symbolic Cognition and Philosophical Language
Notes & Clarifications

Appendix I Letter from Maimon to Kant
Appendix II Letter from Kant to Herz
Appendix III Maimon Article from Berlin Journal for Enlightenment
Appendix IV Newton's Introduction to 'The Quadrature of Curves'


Salomon Maimon

Salomon Maimon (1754-1800) was a German philosopher and one of the most important Jewish intellectuals of the Enlightenment. Described by Kant as 'my harshest critic', Maimon had an enormous influence on post-Kantian German idealism, as well as on modern Continental philosophers such as Gilles Deleuze.


Alistair Welchman

Alistair Welchman is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at San Antonio, USA. He is the co-translator of Schopenhauer's World as Will and Representation (CUP, forthcoming).

Henry Somers-Hall

Henry Somers-Hall is Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. He has published several articles on Gilles Deleuze's relationship to Kant, phenomenology and mathematics.

Merten Reglitz

Mergen Reglitz is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at the University of Warwick, UK.

Nick Midgley

Nick Midgley is an independent scholar based in London, UK. He co-translated Habermas's 'Dialectical Idealism in Transition to Materialism' in The New Schelling, ed. Judith Norman and Alistair Welchman (Continuum, 2004).