Immanuel Kant

Biography : Born in Königsberg, Prussia, in 1724; appointed Professor of Philosophy at the University of Königsberg in 1770 Immanuel Kant died in 1804.
Kant defined the expression "Enlightenment". In contrast to his French colleagues, Kant did not speculate on the best form of government or on certain practical policies the enlightened rulers were to implement, and therefore is listed on the absolutism table of contents as an unpolitical philosopher.
This characterization is questionable, as his attempt to justify morals without the concept of religion ('treat others, as you want to be treated yourselves'), despite the fact that he concedes the existence of God, is implicitly postulating the thesis that civil society can get on without the foundation of religion (as the French Revolution would soon try out). His publication "On Perpetual Peace" - published in front of the background of the First War of the Coalition, in a country the existence and success of which, for the last 140 years, had predominantly depended on her army, also contains a political concept.
The main difference between Kant and the French school of Enlightenment philosophy - Kant does not give explicit advice, he implies it, trusts in his reader drawing the proper conclusions himself.

List of publications

1781 . . Kritik der Reinen Vernunft (Critique of Pure Reason)
1783 . . Prolegomena zu einer jeden künftigen Metaphysik die als Wissenschaft wird auftreten können (Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysic which may appear as Science)
1784 . . Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung? ("Answering the Question : What is Enlightenment?"
1785 . . Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten (Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals)
1786 . . Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Naturwissenschaft (Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science)
1788 . . Kritik der praktischen Vernunft (Critique of Practical Reason)
1790 . . Kritik der Urteilskraft (Critique of Judgment)
1791 . . Beantwortung der Frage : Ist es eine Erfahrung, dass wir denken? (On Comprehension and Transcendental Consciousness)
1793 . . Die Religion innerhalb die Grenzen der blossen Vernunft (Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone)
1795 . . Zum ewigen Frieden (On Perpetual Peace)

Biography of Immanuel Kant, from Blupete, from Philosophy Pages;
DOCUMENTS Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, from RIH
Kant, Critique of Judgment, from J.C. Meredith
Kant, An Answer to the Question : What is Enlightenment, posted by eserver, from UPenn
Kant, A Perpetual Peace : a Philosophical Sketch, posted at Mt. Holyoke
Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, posted by eserver

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on September 16th 2003, last revised on November 14th 2004

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