Kant’s Copernican Revolution

3 Jun, 2021 100 Philosophy

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the insight into our relationship with the world that Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) shared in his book The Critique of Pure Reason in 1781. It was as revolutionary, in his view, as when the Polish astronomer Copernicus realised that Earth revolves around the Sun rather than the Sun around Earth. Kant’s was an insight into how we understand the world around us, arguing that we can never know the world as it is, but only through the structures of our minds which shape that understanding. This idea, that the world depends on us even though we do not create it, has been one of Kant’s greatest contributions to philosophy and influences debates to this day.

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  • Fiona Hughes 2 episodes
    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Essex
  • Anil Gomes 3 episodes
    Associate Professor and Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at Trinity College, Oxford
  • John Callanan 3 episodes
    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at King's College London

Reading list

  • Kant's 'Critique of Pure Reason': An Introduction
    Jill Vance Buroker (Cambridge University Press, 2006) Google Books →
  • Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason
    Sebastian Gardner (Routledge, 1999) Google Books →
  • Kant
    Paul Guyer (Routledge, 2014) Google Books →
  • Kant's Aesthetic Epistemology: Form and World
    Fiona Hughes (Edinburgh University Press, 2007) Google Books →
  • Kant's Phenomenological Reduction?
    Fiona Hughes
  • Critique of Pure Reason
    Immanuel Kant (trans. Paul Guyer and Allen Wood) (Cambridge University Press, 1999) Google Books →
  • An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?
    Immanuel Kant (ed. Mary J. Gregor) (Cambridge University Press, 1996) Google Books →
  • The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics: Making Sense of Things
    A.W. Moore (Cambridge University Press, 2011) Google Books →
  • Kant's Critique of Pure Reason: An Introduction and Interpretation
    James R. O'Shea (Routledge, 2011) Google Books →
  • The Foucault Reader
    P. Rabinow (ed.) (Pantheon Books, 1984)
  • The Bounds of Sense: An Essay on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
    P.F. Strawson (Routledge, 2018) Google Books →
  • Kant: The Arguments of the Philosophers
    Ralph C.S. Walker (Routledge, 2010) Google Books →
  • Kant
    Allen Wood (Blackwell, 2004) Google Books →

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Programme ID: m000wlf4

Episode page: bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000wlf4

Auto-category: 100 (Philosophy)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1781, Immanuel Kant shared his insight into how we understand the world around us as revolutionary in his view as when Copernicus realised it's not the earth that's at the centre of the heavens, but the sun.