The Life & Work of Immanuel Kant


Channel: Philosophy Overdose
Duration: 42:50
Bryan Magee and Geoffrey Warnock discuss the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, who is considered the central figure in modern philosophy. Kant synthesized early rationalism and empiricism, set the terms for much of 19th and 20th century philosophy, and continues to exercise a significant influence today in epistemology, ontology, ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, and other fields. Kant is famous for many ideas, including his distinction between appearances and things-in-themselves, and that the basic categories of the mind structure experience. He had argued that we can only know things as they appear and come to us through our sensory and mental faculties, not how they are in themselves independent of us and our mental apparatus. Among other things, this allowed for the possibility of synthetic a priori knowledge, i.e. necessary and substantial truths that are about the world but which are not derived from the world. He is also famous for deontology in moral philosophy, especially his notion of the categorical imperative, and that reason is the ultimate source of morality. He also famously maintained that aesthetics is based on a faculty of disinterested judgment. This interview was part of a BBC program from 1987. It’s not the best interview in my opinion, but it’s still worth checking out. Unfortunately, the quality is kind of shitty, but the audio and video should at least stay in sync.

Published: July 24, 2016 1:23 am