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
    • 3.9 • 63 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.

    Just what is Kant's "project"?

    Just what is Kant's "project"?

    Lecture 1/8. Both sense and reason are limited. Kant must identify the proper mission and domain of each, as well as the manner in which their separate functions come to be integrated in what is finally the inter-subjectively settled knowledge of science. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 46 min
    The broader philosophical context

    The broader philosophical context

    Lecture 2/8. The significant advances in physics in the 17th century stood in vivid contrast to the stagnation of traditional metaphysics, but why should metaphysics be conceived as a "science" in the first place? Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 45 min
    Space, time and the "Analogies of Experiences"

    Space, time and the "Analogies of Experiences"

    Lecture 3/8. Kant's so-called "Copernican" revolution in metaphysics begins with the recognition of the observer's contribution to the observation. Thus, to the extent that Hume's empiricism restricts knowledge to experience, empiricism succeeds only by accepting the a priori grounding of experience itself. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 48 min
    How are a priori synthetic judgements possible?

    How are a priori synthetic judgements possible?

    Lecture 4/8. Kant claims that, "our sense representation is not a representation of things in themselves, but of the way in which they appear to us. Hence it follows that the propositions of geometry... cannot be referred with the assurance to actual objects; but rather that they are necessarily valid of space... [and] space is nothing else than the form of all external appearances". [Prolegomena 286-287] Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 40 min
    Idealisms and their refutations

    Idealisms and their refutations

    Lecture 5/8. The very possibility of self-awareness (an "inner sense" with content) requires an awareness of an external world by way of "outer sense". Only through awareness of stable elements in the external world is self-consciousness possible. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 42 min
    Concepts, judgement and the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories

    Concepts, judgement and the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories

    Lecture 6/8. Empiricists have no explanation for how we move from "mere forms of thought" to objective concepts. The conditions necessary for the knowledge of an object require a priori categories as the enabling conditions of all human understanding. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
63 Ratings

63 Ratings

Darth Brosephus ,

A series on Locke, Hume, and Reid, with Kantian digressions interspersed

There are moments of brilliance throughout this 8 week lecture series, but they are certainly sparse and scattered throughout the professor’s presentations in a seemingly unorganized fashion. If you are looking for a clear, thorough, and unbiased engagement with the CPR, this series might not be for you. The bias, as many have pointed out below, is that the professor is an unapologetic realist. If you are looking for a academic engagement with the CPR, there does exist such a series offered by the University of Glasgow here on the podcast app. I profited greatly from the series a couple of years ago during the initial phases of my Master’s thesis.

If you are looking for a series that very generally walks through the main themes of the CPR, then you can rest assured that this series does an adequate job. Keep in mind that it is an 8 weeks series, and for that reason it is more topical than academic. It really seems to be a series designed for graduate philosophy students to obtain, or refresh, their familiarity with Kant’s project and its historical placement. The main themes if the CPR are covered, and the listener is left with a very basic understanding of Kant’s general project.

Scattered throughout the series there are interesting digressions into Locke, Hume, and Reid, which provides a relevant backdrop for Kant’s project, and somewhat paints, in broad strokes, the philosophical climate of the day. Considering the 8 week time constraint of this series, and taking into account the original audience that this lecture series was crafted for, the series is fine. Do not judge it outside of this context. Oxford has been kind enough to share this with the public. However, it is definitely a series that I play in the car on the way to the office, and not a series that I sit listening to intently, pen-in-hand, to advance my understanding of Kant.

As a brief aside, if you are unfamiliar with Aristotle’s basic acts of mind, unfamiliar with John Locke and David Hume, and unfamiliar with Kant’s basic jargon...good luck. This series does not elucidate Kant’s jargon par excellence, but swashes it around in a fashion that often leaves little clarity as to what is being said in detail. Again, there are moments of pure brilliance and insight, but they are buried within random digressions that are interesting, usually obscure, and only sometimes relevant.

If you really want to grasp the CPR deeper, get a copy of the CPR—Norman Kemp Smith translation is very good—and a commentary, and then go listen to the University of Glasgow series.

tentdweller26 ,

Good lectures

Low reviews are being a little excessive in my opinion. These are very enjoyable and useful lectures. As others have noted though it does not stand alone. I recommend as a companion for dedicated study of the first critique.

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.

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