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Immanuel Kant the easy way

From: Steve
Sent on: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 3:39 PM
Greetings Fellow Philosopher's,

Are you telling yourself that you just Kant read this stuff?

Turn off the TV and try watching or listening to some of these sites (but keep a note pad handy):

This one is short but provides a good explanation of Kant's metaphysics:
Immanuel Kant: The Great Synthesizer (8 min)
This clip describes Immanuel Kant's great synthesis of the rationalist and empiricist philosophical traditions. Kant famously stated "Percepts without concepts are empty; concepts without percepts are blind." Kant argues that our experience of reality is not merely passive, but rather that the mind actively structures how we encounter the world.

Here's everything you wanted to know about Kant in a 4-minute song:
Immanuel Kant Song (4 min)

What about Kant's ethics? Check this out.
Philosophy: Normative Ethics: Deontology - Kant (6 min)
The clip explains the difference between analytic/synthetic judgments and a priori/a posteriori judgments. It then closes with a brief description of Kant's deontological ethical theory, and his critique of metaphysics.

Kant on religion? (warning: you have to read the screen)
Philosophy & Religion: Immanuel Kant (2 min)

Here's a pretty good audio selection on Kant's metaphysics:
Philosophy Talk - Kant
Peter Gilgen
Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of German Studies at Cornell University.

This is not actually just about Kant, but it is pretty interesting and answers this question:
What is the relationship between Kant, Frankenstein and Emmanuel Swedenborg?
The Philosopher's Zone
'It's alive!' Frankenstein, science and philosophy in the Romantic period

What would happen if Kant met Richard Dawkins or Daniel Dennett?
The Philosopher's Zone
Philosophy, spirituality and the self - Part 1

Tom Morton: But I mean one thing that's very clear about the new Darwinism from Richard Dawkins through Daniel Dennett onwards, is that it does pose a very powerful challenge to one of those fundamental ideas in the Enlightenment which comes particularly from Kant, which is that we are human because we're able to exercise a kind of autonomy and that autonomy is being able to make rational choices about what we do in the world. It seems to me that this is a really fundamental challenge to the Enlightenment, and the values of Enlightenment.

Alan Saunders: So let's stay with Richard Dawkins's and Daniel Dennett's idea of the meme: that unit of cultural information which can propagate from one mind to another in a manner analogous to genes, which is a unit of genetic information. A meme can be all sorts of things: a catchphrase, a fashion, or perhaps more importantly, a belief. So what's wrong with the idea?

Here's Charles Taylor with Tom Morton.

Charles Taylor: Well, Kant captured something absolutely crucial that we all know exists in human life, that human beings have this common predicament, which is arising all the time in their lives, where they see something as up to them, there are certain choices to be made, they have to go one way or the other and they deliberate about that. That's the difference between, let's say, the first person, living life in the first person point of view, we're always facing that. You could look at us from the outside from the third person point of view, or maybe a Martian could look at us and maybe try to construe us as just acting as the result of a parallelogram of forces, I mean the kind of thing you say, according from Dennett the means and the organism and so on, they could look at us that way, but that's not the way human life can be actually lived. Now, since the basic phenomena of human life is that they're lived by people as agents, that is the first person point of view, it's very hard to see how you're even engaging with the phenomena and trying to explain the real phenomena, if you start talking about it exclusively in these terms that you quoted from Dennett, you're sort of changing the subject. I mean you could imagine some human beings were somewhat different than they were, then you could explain it by your theory but that's not what we're trying to do when we're trying to understand and explain human life.

This one may put you to sleep and the audio is poor, but it does cover a good bit of Kant's philosophy:
Geoffrey Warnock on Kant: Section 1 (4 sessions - 38 min)

Cheers -Steve

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