Two NDPR reviews of books on Kant

Helga Varden reviews the collection Kant’s Political Theory, edited by Elizabeth Ellis; Jill Vance Buroker reviews Daniel N. Robinson, How is Nature Possible? Kant’s Project in the First Critique. The second is one of the most critical reviews I’ve seen in a while, concluding “This book should not have been published because it adds nothing to the literature. It is difficult to imagine a Kant specialist recommending its publication.”

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4 Responses to Two NDPR reviews of books on Kant

  1. Marty says:

    Buroker’s review of Robinson is rude and stupid. Read the book for yourself and then read the review again.

  2. Ron Polosov says:

    Is this the “quite critical” review in Metapsychology?How is Nature Possible? Kant’s Project in the First Critique is a well-researched, introductory-level commentary on one of the more difficult books in the history of philosophy. Daniel N. Robinson’s usual audience (readers in historical, philosophical, and scientific psychology) and Kant scholars (who rarely encounter commentaries by non-specialists) might not have expected this book from this author.

    But his lifetime of attending carefully to the status and scope of scientific, historical, and philosophical claims uniquely qualifies him to show how Kant’s first Critique might be helpful for one of our most pressing questions: how is it possible that we can only see the world through our own lenses, and yet we share knowledge about objects in the world and lawful relations between them? How ought we understand the limits, scope, and relation of objectivity and subjectivity?

    Wherever it does this, Robinson’s work in How is Nature Possible is valuable for the whole breadth of its audience, which stretches from “generalists” to “well-prepared students of the text[.]” Like many things valuable, understanding it may require some work–especially for those unfamiliar with 18th century philosophy. Though it is replete with technical vocabulary, few introductory-level works include such lucid explanations of technical concepts as those he provides for ‘intuition’ (chapter 3), ‘schemata’ (chapters 3 and 6), and ‘transcendental realism’ (chapter 5).

  3. stuartelden says:

    There is a good discussion of the review, and ethics in reviewing generally at New APPS – http://www.newappsblog.com/2013/02/this-book-should-not-have-been-published.html

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