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Publisher's Summary

Immanuel Kant taught and wrote prolifically about physical geography yet never traveled further than forty miles from his home in Kvnigsberg. How appropriate it is then that in his philosophy he should deny that all knowledge was derived from experience. Kant's aim was to restore metaphysics. He insisted that all experience must conform to knowledge. According to Kant, space and time are subjective; along with various "categories," they help us to see the phenomena of the world-though never its true reality.

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

What listeners say about Kant in 90 Minutes

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Kant lite

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.

11 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A "Cut and Paste" Approach to Kant

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent first look at Kant

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Intro

This is a great book to get started learning about Kant. In fact the entire series is wonderful each about a great mind. and in less than 90 minutes!

3 people found this helpful

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what a Kant!

Thanks to this book, I learned alot about someone whom i always heard his name but never cared enough to read his biography, this very well written and performed book is a great introduction to a great mind.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Short and sweet.

Nice review and a way to decide what to read next. I recommend the whole ...in 90 minutes series.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Can't Pronounce Kant

The "In 90 Minutes" series is one of general mediocrity, more interesting as a quick way to sum up a few philosophers than a source of useful, or even accurate, insights about them.

But this particular episode is noteworthy in the sheer incompetence, and laziness, necessary for an audiobook reader to not know how to pronounce the name of the subject of the book he's reading. I could have overlooked this if it came up once or twice, but of course in this case it's more like once per paragraph. A constant undermining of the credibility of the reader, a tribal mantra of ignorance beating on the ears of the listener. And I don't mean that he doesn't use the correct Germanic allophone [ae], instead replacing it with [ah]. That is what I would expect, and I could live with it. But instead, he pronounces it like "can't". Which is horrifically wrong.

It's fine if you didn't know that. It would even be fine if I did not. But we should be able to count on an audiobook about Kant to get it right FOR us.

Now that I've gotten that domesticated peeve out of the way, I should make some small mention of the actual book. I have to confess that I did not finish this particular "In 90 Minutes" volume, as the ignorance of the reader was too distracting. I got perhaps halfway through, before stopping in despair. But I have completed many of the other "In 90 Minutes" books, and must say they are not something we listen to for real edification. They are a philosophical quickie, to be chewed up and spat out like bubblegum in some spare time. The actual author does not produce an objective, or even necessarily accurate, impression of the philosopher in question in each of these books. Instead, it's a quasi-clever opining of the author's own subjective and obviously-amateur views on the man thus contemplated. Not only does he cloud the view with acrimony and mocking if it's a historic person he doesn't like, but isn't even entertaining in the ways he passive-aggressively takes shots at them. It's just distracting. Meanwhile, he has an uncanny ability to focus either too much on the life of the man and not enough on the philosophy, or else just the philosophy without providing enough life story to explain it. He fails entirely to provide any kind of reasonable mixture of the man's life experiences as context AND ideas as outcome.

Because these came free with my Audible membership, and are so short, I have listened to a number of them when not up for anything serious or deep. But all too often I end up feeling I wasted my time, anyway.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Brief, clear review of an inherently opaque topic

Short survey of the life, times, and ideas of Immanuel Kant. There are some dry, witty, ironic remarks along the way, which may be taken as either critical editorial comment or slight humor meant to sustain reader interest in both the difficult, intense, seriousness of the man and the equally difficult, challenging intricacies of his philosophy. Definitely a quick, sympathetic and enlightening "dip" into the subjed - not a survey, but in the spirit of the "90 Minutes" series. Well worth the time. Very good performance by the reader.

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Finally I have found my Great Uncle

Where has this been all of my life and here I thought it was just me and I favored Schopenhauer.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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In 90 Minutes Series overview

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.