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In this article I explore Kant’s theory of the scholar through the dual lens of his own lecture practice and his writings about scholarly speech. Along with analyzing two of Kant’s wellknown works on the public sphere and the university (the 1784 “Enlightenment” essay and the 1798 Conflict of the Faculties), I examine a transcript of one of Kant’s lecture courses to test out his programmatic account of university instruction. I show that Kant strategically aligns his own lecture practice with a “popular” mode of discourse in line with contemporary Popularphilosophen but not with his transformative paradigm of “public” scholarly speech in the print public sphere. I argue that the lecture takes on a conflicted, almost paradoxical position in Kant’s thought as a popular, but not fully public mode of discourse.