In Kant in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Kant's life and ideas and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world.
©1996 Paul Strathern; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks
Although the author gives a great account of the life of Kant, there is very little dicussion of his theories. This audio book is great for beginners wanting a sketch of this philosopher's state of mind and peculiar behavior, but not for those seeking clarity regarding his contribution to modern philosophy.
While the compact narrative of Kant's life was informative and conveyed in an engaging manner, the overall book was not helpful for gaining knowledge and insight into Kant's basic concepts of philosophy and ethics. Instead of analyzing or explaining Kant's seminal ideas, such as the categorical imperative, and putting those ideas in dialogue with other viewpoints or situating them within the context of the time, the recording too often quotes verbatim excerpts from Kant's various works. The result is a philosophical patchwork quilt without a consistent pattern. The second half of the recording is a "cut and paste" presentation of quotes and timetables. Despite a pleasant and resonant speaking voice, the narrator mispronounces the name of his subject so that he sounds like a contraction denoting inability instead of an eminent Prussian philosopher. I "Can't" recommend this disappointing audio book on Kant.
If you could sum up Kant in 90 Minutes in three words, what would they be?
aka Cliff Notes
Would you recommend Kant in 90 Minutes to your friends? Why or why not?
Yes - I've listened to each book in the series about a major philosopher that is available on Audible. Strathern's books don't have the analytical depth found in Will Durant's "The Story of Philosophy" books, but he does a good job summarizing each philosopher's biography, major philosophical points, and criticisms. Additionally, Strathern's breadth is broader than Durant's in that he covers a greater number of philosophers. I believe that the time spent listening to these books has been well-spent.
My reviews for each book in the series about a philosopher are identical.
What about Robert Whitfield’s performance did you like?
Voice is clear, well-modulated, and easily understood, even at 1 1/2 speed.
This is one of Strathern's best attempts at distilling both the work and and life of a philosopher in a short space. (It is well worth listening to the entire series.) One wonders whether Strathern is sometimes too hung up on Freudian-style musings on the motivations of thinkers long dead, but in the end they can be fun if not taken too seriously. As usual, what can be gleaned in 90 minutes is only a start, and you will be disappointed if you expect these little books to do anything more than whet your appetite for the real thing.
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