Kant: A Very Short Introduction

Narrated by: Kyle Munley
Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
4 out of 5 stars (116 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. This series is the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly accessible.

©1982, 2001 Roger Scruton (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Kant: A Very Short Introduction

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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

10 people found this helpful

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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.

20 people found this helpful

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Remove the citations

The citation references are disruptive. For citations, listeners can be referred to the print version. This subject is complex as it is and interrupting sentences with references throws the rhythm off.

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • AG
  • 03-18-14

Very enlightening, after a third round

What made the experience of listening to Kant: A Very Short Introduction the most enjoyable?

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.

What does Kyle Munley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I think there is no disparity, there is no dissonance between the book's narrator and one's own in-head narrator.

Any additional comments?

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • JP
  • 07-05-19

Deep dive intro. Good groundwork for further exploration

Each chapter takes you through a major aspect of Kant and major works. One warning: it is dense, especially chapter 3 which gives overview of Critique of Pure Reason.

But this is the first intro book that gave me a sense of the depth and achievement... I now see what the fuss is about and feel ready to read the Critiques.

Other overviews were over-interpreted and over-simplified which made it feel like history, instead of a living philosophy, visible everywhere around us.

I am also left with questions, like is Kant really adding anything to Hume over and above expounding our causality “habit” into lots of categories?

In short: good groundwork for further exploration.

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narration constantly interrupted by citations

This is a great book but the way the narrator reads out the parenthetical citations, which occur in the text often mid sentence, make it very difficult to listen to

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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An Excellent Survey

This is an excellent survey of the range of Kant's thought. All the important aspects of his philosophical and political thought are covered. The narration was also performed well.

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  • David Jones
  • 02-21-15

To go straight to the deepest depth,

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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin Mc Hale
  • 03-29-20

well written

Great introduction to philosophy for anyone even complete noobs like me. easy to follow and captivating

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 06-05-20

Referenced quotes ruin it.

This audiobook suffers from the use of constant quotations to Kants work - the problem being the long title of the work and just the fact that you have to hear it so many times.
"Critique of Pure Reason page 145" etc.

It would have been better if the quotes were not referenced, so it flowed better.

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  • David Schutz
  • 08-21-18

Kant Konfusion?

I needed an introduction to Kant’s thought. I appreciate that the topic is complex and difficult. But while Scruton’s introduction may be a good summary it does not make Kant’s philosophy more accessible. The reader is quite appalling. It sounds as if the text is read by a computer simulation. The constant interruption of the text with references to page numbers in the various editions of Kant’s work make it even harder to follow.