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Dan Robinson

Dan Robinson came to philosophy by way of the brain sciences, earning a doctorate in Neuropsychology in 1965. His early publications were based on research addressed to information-processing in the visual system and, more generally, in the central nervous system. This background from the outset raised persistent questions ordinarily addressed in philosophy of mind, action theory, philosophy of science and metaphysics. Over the years, Professor Robinson has contributed to the literature in all these areas. Issues of determinism and responsibility are considered at length in his Wild Beasts and Idle Humours: The Insanity Defense from Antiquity to the Present (Harvard, 1996) and Praise and Blame (Princeton, 2002). His arguments against reductionism appear in a number of publications and at book-length in Consciousness and Mental Life (Columbia, 2008). His close study of Kant’s metaphysics is given in his How Is Nature Possible: The Project of Kant’s First Critique (Continuum, 2012). He has received two lifetime achievement awards from the American Psychological Association and in 2011 was selected for the Josephy Gittler Award for significant contributions to the philosophical foundations of Psychology. The award carries an honorarium of $10,000 and was previously given to Jerome Bruner and Daniel Kahneman.

Series featuring Dan Robinson

  • Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
  • Reid's Critique of Hume
  • Foundation for Law, Justice and Society
# Episode Title Description People Date
1 From Locke on Toleration to the First Amendment Professor Dan Robinson gives a talk on the First Amendment in the US Constitution and the philosophy of John Locke. Dan Robinson 14 Oct 2016
2 Creative Commons Reid on the Principles of Morals The final part of Professor Dan Robinson's series on Reid's critique of David Hume. Dan Robinson 14 May 2014
3 Creative Commons Hume’s “Sentimentalist” Theory of Morals The seventh part of Professor Dan Robinson's series on Reid's critique of David Hume. Dan Robinson 14 May 2014
4 Creative Commons Reid on Personal Identity The sixth part of Professor Dan Robinson's series on Reid's critique of David Hume. Dan Robinson 14 May 2014
5 Creative Commons Hume on Personal Identity The fifth part of Professor Dan Robinson's series on Reid's critique of David Hume. Dan Robinson 14 May 2014
6 Creative Commons Reid on Causation and Active Powers The fourth part of Professor Dan Robinson's series examining Reid's critique of David Hume. Dan Robinson 14 May 2014
7 Creative Commons Hume on Causation The third part of Professor Dan Robinson's series examining Reid's critique of David Hume. Dan Robinson 14 May 2014
8 Creative Commons Reid and Common Sense Realism Part two of Professor Dan Robinson's examination of Reid's critique of David Hume. Dan Robinson 14 May 2014
9 Creative Commons The “representational” theory of knowledge Professor Dan Robinson, Oxford University, delivers the first part of his series examining Reid's Critique of Hume. Dan Robinson 14 May 2014
10 Creative Commons The discipline of reason: The paralogisms and Antinomies of Pure Reason. Lecture 8/8. Reason, properly disciplined, draws permissible inferences from the resulting concepts of the understanding. The outcome is knowledge. Dan Robinson 16 Mar 2011
11 Creative Commons The "Self" and the Synthetic Unity of Apperception Lecture 7/8. Kant argues that: "The synthetic unity of consciousness is... an objective condition of all knowledge. Dan Robinson 16 Mar 2011
12 Creative Commons Concepts, judgement and the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories Lecture 6/8. Empiricists have no explanation for how we move from "mere forms of thought" to objective concepts. The conditions necessary for the knowledge of an object require a priori categories as the enabling conditions of all human understanding. Dan Robinson 16 Mar 2011
13 Creative Commons Idealisms and their refutations Lecture 5/8. The very possibility of self-awareness (an "inner sense" with content) requires an awareness of an external world by way of "outer sense". Only through awareness of stable elements in the external world is self-consciousness possible. Dan Robinson 16 Mar 2011
14 Creative Commons How are a priori synthetic judgements possible? Lecture 4/8. Kant claims that, "our sense representation is not a representation of things in themselves, but of the way in which they appear to us. Dan Robinson 16 Mar 2011
15 Creative Commons Space, time and the "Analogies of Experiences" Lecture 3/8. Kant's so-called "Copernican" revolution in metaphysics begins with the recognition of the observer's contribution to the observation. Dan Robinson 16 Mar 2011
16 Creative Commons The broader philosophical context Lecture 2/8. The significant advances in physics in the 17th century stood in vivid contrast to the stagnation of traditional metaphysics, but why should metaphysics be conceived as a "science" in the first place? Dan Robinson 16 Mar 2011
17 Creative Commons Just what is Kant's "project"? Lecture 1/8. Both sense and reason are limited. Kant must identify the proper mission and domain of each, as well as the manner in which their separate functions come to be integrated in what is finally the inter-subjectively settled knowledge of science. Dan Robinson 16 Mar 2011