8 episodes

A lecture series examining Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. This series looks at German Philosopher Immanuel Kant's seminal philosophical work 'The Critique of Pure Reason'. The lectures aim to outline and discuss some of the key philosophical issues raised in the book and to offer students and individuals thought provoking Kantian ideas surrounding metaphysics. Each lecture looks at particular questions raised in the work such as how do we know what we know and how do we find out about the world, dissects these questions with reference to Kant's work and discusses the broader philosophical implications. Anyone with an interest in Kant and philosophy will find these lectures thought provoking but accessible.

Kant's Critique of Pure Reason Oxford University

    • Education
    • 4.0, 50 Ratings

A lecture series examining Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. This series looks at German Philosopher Immanuel Kant's seminal philosophical work 'The Critique of Pure Reason'. The lectures aim to outline and discuss some of the key philosophical issues raised in the book and to offer students and individuals thought provoking Kantian ideas surrounding metaphysics. Each lecture looks at particular questions raised in the work such as how do we know what we know and how do we find out about the world, dissects these questions with reference to Kant's work and discusses the broader philosophical implications. Anyone with an interest in Kant and philosophy will find these lectures thought provoking but accessible.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

Mr. Podcast1234 ,

Mixed

Pro’s: Robinson does a pretty good job clarifying extremely dense and often muddy Kant jargon. He doesn’t usually provide multiple interpretations or kinds of explanations, but he does hammer away at the summaries he does provide. He’s also pretty good at providing early modern context, and I think he speaks German. He’s certainly committed to the material.

Cons: Robinson is an ideologue not a real philosopher. He either isn’t interested in or is incapable of providing the strongest version of Kant’s arguments, subsequent counter-arguments, or critically Hume’s arguments that Kant was reacting against. So you get blithe dismissals of Quine’s sophisticated attacks on the analytic/synthetic distinction and no mention of Wittgenstein’s. Of course, there’s also nothing but a brief nod to Einstein’s devastating overturning of key Kantian assumptions on space and time. All of which might be ok in an explication only of the first critique, but Robinson drips with unearned contempt for Darwin, modern analytic philosophy, and maybe modernity. It gets so bad that Robinson has to pull back at one point to warn his students that he’s not a pure Kantian. Instead he says, “I died with Aristotle in 322 B.C.” BARF!
In other words, he is a high-level version of the wounded arrogant guy who doesn’t understand why he’s on the margins of his field and is angry about it (he was a fellow at Oxford, the equivalent of a lecturer in the US, and a guest lecturer at Princeton when I was there as an undergrad). Probably as a result, he is at times unbearably pretentious and condescending, for instance dropping in Shakespeare quotes in a phony voice then mocking students for not catching his references.
All of which is too bad because the material is very interesting and historically important. And I had high hopes that Robinson’s background in neuropsychology would help him explain Kant in modern terms. Instead, you get a conservative Catholic dogmatist who every five minutes pulls back on possible weaknesses in Kant with the thought stopping verbal tick of “you see.” No, Dan, I don’t see why Kant isn’t a relativist about cognition if his views are relative to humanity as species. What I see is your dodging the issue for most of lecture seven with stories about Augustine and Thomas Reid, then a bunch of self-pitying whining and victim posing about how you can’t call the pope “his holiness” and Aristotelian teleology went out of style with Darwin.

Poppledop ,

Exceptional Lectures

Robinson is fantastic as both a professor of Kant and a lecturer on Kant. It is obvious that he knows the material well and at times he gets very enthusiastic about the subject matter--a refreshing pick me up for the listener. He does well at historically situating ideas and philosophies. The first lecture is mostly expressing the influences on Kant from the Empiricists to the Rationalists. He gives concrete examples and makes Kant accessible to newcomers. Listening to these lectures is probably the best way to learn Kant outside of a University. It's accessible, free and a wonderful introduction to one of the greatest thinkers of all time.

Tomasz Malisiewicz ,

Lectures helped awaken me from my dogmatic slumber

Excellent overview of Kant. I would highly recommend these lectures to any researcher interested in cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and/or philosophy of mind.

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