The Format 4 file is corrupted and does not play beyond about 53 minutes into the first chapter.
An interesting book. The performance left a lot to be desired. The narrator reads the book as though it's a pop-psychology self-help book. And he is unfamiliar with some of what he's reading: Within the first chapter, there were three mispronounced words. ("Zoroastrianism," "probabilistic," and the first one which I don't recall because I didn't think it would keep happening.)
This book is a profound exploration of one of philosophy's most challenging problems: The epistemological problem of inductive logic, and the establishment of truths about the material world. Harriman shows, using intensive explorations of the experimental science of Galileo, Newton, Watterston, and other scientists, how scientific laws and theories can be proven. I have listened to it three times, learning new things each time, and deepening my understanding of both the matter of the book, science itself, and logic.
The narrator does a fantastic job. His pace is perfect, and his inflection is natural. He doesn't seem to be reading.
Johnson's work is excellent. It is wide ranging, fair and understanding. (Despite an earlier reviewer's statement that this is history according to Ayn Rand and that all Republicans are praised, etc.--well, those claims are outright false. He presents fairly, without bias. It's history, not campaigning.)
The recording performance by Nadia May, however, is not so excellent. She has a particular manner of speaking, with her thick British accent, which causes her to swallow syllables repeatedly--the volume drops to inaudibility after a stressed word, or a word gets shortened to a length that makes it near impossible to hear. If the syllable is a whole word, you will lose the whole word. Sometimes it's as many as three words rushed through with a drop in volume and a clipping of the word or words, and the sense is gone. These things happen again and again in the recording, and I'm actually surprised her producer didn't notice it (unless, perhaps, he or she speaks English in the same way). Also, the bad accents for quotations---Russian, French, German, Slav (but oddly, no attempt to quote Americans with an American accent--I wonder why?)---are kind of funny. However, they do serve the purpose of letting the listener know when a quotation has begun and ended.
I read the book three years ago. Now, listening to it has made an even stronger impression on me. Contrary to another review, I found it easier to follow the arguments by listening, even "on the go." Peikoff's arguments are tight and insightful. What is most impressive is how far the book goes in integration of the branches of philosophy and the truths within them. If you have ever read much 20th century philosophy, you may be familiar with the arbitrariness, the groundlessness, of virtually every piece of work done in the field. And you'll also find Peikoff's philosophy here alien from what you've experienced. Yet it is this work that starts with reality and proceeds to solve the problems that the mess of 20th Century philosophy has found intractable.
My only qualms are the narrator's frequent mispronunciations. Most irritating is her mispronuncation of "processes" as "prah-cess-eez." There's no "eez," however many people butcher the word; that pluralization is used for Latin-based words whose singular ends in "is," e.g., "basis," "thesis." The purpose is to eliminate a messy buzz at the end of plurals ("baseses"? Like that?), so the "is" becomes "es" and is pronounced "eez." And oddly, about 40% through the book, she suddenly begins pronouncing it correctly--but not consistently. Another is her mispronunciation of "Aristotelian."
Other than those qualms, I like the narrator.
Smith's book is of a piece. This audio book is impossible to follow, because the narrator reads the scholarly apparatus right in the stream of the book. So you'll have a paragraph of Smith, and then two paragraphs of footnotes from the editor, then Smith for a couple paragraphs, then another footnote... it makes it impossible to follow the development of Smith's argument. Audible seriously needs to get another version of this book.
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