Kant is arguably the most influential modern philosopher, but also one of the most difficult. Roger Scruton tackles his exceptionally complex subject with a strong hand, exploring the background to Kant's work and showing why the Critique of Pure Reason has proved so enduring.
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©1982, 2001 Roger Scruton (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Whilst browsing the reviews of the print version, I noticed phrases like 'hard to follow' & 'difficult subject' but pressed ahead. Having read some other works by Roger Scruton, I was impressed by his ability to capture the essence of difficult subjects and was aware that Kant's philosophy influences much of Roger's own writing.
Unfortunately I cannot claim that listening to chapters 3 to 5 increased my (very modest) understanding of the basics of Kant's philosophy. Listening to those chapters seemed rather like listening to someone narrate computer code. I imagine the audio version of 'Design patterns' by Gamma et al would sound like this.
The problem was exaggerated by the extensive references (to multiple revisions of the source) which accompany every quote from Kant's original work. These are unobtrusive in print, but it was a poor decision to include them in the audio version.
The fault is mainly mine, as I listen to audio books whilst working or driving. I just need to read those chapters for myself, rather than via a narrator.
Quite suddenly, at chapter 6, Roger's distinctive style leaps from the page (speakers), and the rest of the book is everything I hoped the first crucial chapters would be: enlightening & enjoyable.
"Excellent Kant summary but horrible narration"
I couldn't even finish this book, thanks to the narrator's bizarre diction and insistence on giving parenthetical references in the middle of sentences. This is particularly annoying because most of the early book has Critique of Pure Reason Ed. 1 & ed. 2 page numbers listed. Not sure who is listening to a book and writing these down.
In terms of a Kant intro, this is solid. One needs to have at least some background in philosophy to understand the jargon, but the author does an admirable job in elucidating and summarizing some of the more complex parts of Kant's philosophy.
"Excellent book... totally ruined"
This is an excellent book on Kant. That doesn't mean you will understand it first time, but that is just the nature of any condensed summary of someone as complex as Kant. With repeated readings this book provides someone who is totally uninitiated in Kant with a good picture of what he was trying to do.
Sadly however, the audio version is almost completely incomprehensible because the narrator continually breaks mid sentence to read out the citations (which are frequent, repetitive and lengthy). You cannot follow the authors line of thought with these continual interruptions; let alone the authors thoughts on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. It's not that he's a bad narrator... but by reading the parenthetical citations, the whole audio experience is ruined. You cannot digest a philosophical argument when it is read in this way.
Audible, please re-release this without all the citations being read out! I really like this book! But it cannot be comprehended as it is currently being presented.
"Very enlightening, after a third round"
The author presents Kant's philosophy as something that is easy to understand and follow, although I had to listen to it various times to see that it was always that easy to grasp.
I think there is no disparity, there is no dissonance between the book's narrator and one's own in-head narrator.
I had read many things on Kant, had tried to read Kant directly a couple of times but was always beaten by the vocabulary, the huge amounts of cultural and philosophical baggage one must bring along in order to keep reading. I think this book made it very graspable and friendly.
"This is an excellent overview..."
I liked almost everything about it including the quality of the narration except that the narrator made a number of mistakes in pronunciation. Unfortunately this is not unusual for Audible especially in the case of works which are intellectually and/or linguistically more advanced.
"Very Fine Introduction..."
to both Kant the man and his philosophical theories. Entertaining and enlightening stories from what little "personal life" Kant engaged in, and a thorough going-through of his ideas and how they developed. This would be particularly good for someone just beginning to study Kant.
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