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Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant (/kænt/;[19] German: [ʔɪˈmaːnu̯eːl ˈkant, -nu̯ɛl];[20][21] 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was an influential German philosopher[22] in the Age of Enlightenment. In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, he argued that space, time, and causation are mere sensibilities; "things-in-themselves" exist, but their nature is unknowable.[23][24] In his view, the mind shapes and structures experience, with all human experience sharing certain structural features. He drew a parallel to the Copernican revolution in his proposition that worldly objects can be intuited a priori ('beforehand'), and that intuition is therefore independent from objective reality.[25] Kant believed that reason is the source of morality, and that aesthetics arise from a faculty of disinterested judgment. Kant's views continue to have a major influence on contemporary philosophy, especially the fields of epistemology, ethics, political theory, and post-modern aesthetics.

In one of Kant's major works, the Critique of Pure Reason (1781),[26] he attempted to explain the relationship between reason and human experience and to move beyond the failures of traditional philosophy and metaphysics. Kant wanted to put an end to an era of futile and speculative theories of human experience, while resisting the skepticism of thinkers such as David Hume. Kant regarded himself as showing the way past the impasse between rationalists and empiricists,[27] and is widely held to have synthesized both traditions in his thought.[28]

Kant was an exponent of the idea that perpetual peace could be secured through universal democracy and international cooperation. He believed that this would be the eventual outcome of universal history, although it is not rationally planned.[29] The nature of Kant's religious ideas continues to be the subject of philosophical dispute, with viewpoints ranging from the impression that he was an initial advocate of atheism who at some point developed an ontological argument for God, to more critical treatments epitomized by Nietzsche, who claimed that Kant had "theologian blood"[30] and was merely a sophisticated apologist for traditional Christian faith.[1]

Kant published other important works on ethics, religion, law, aesthetics, astronomy, and history.

Biography


Kant's mother, Anna Regina Reuter[32] (1697–1737), was born in Königsberg (since 1946 the city of Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia) to a father from Nuremberg. Her surname is sometimes erroneously given as Porter. Kant's father, Johann Georg Kant (1682–1746), was a German harness maker from Memel, at the time Prussia's most northeastern city (now Klaipėda, Lithuania). Kant believed that his paternal grandfather Hans Kant was of Scottish origin.[33] While scholars of Kant's life long accepted the claim, there is no evidence that Kant's paternal line was Scottish and it is more likely that the Kants got their name from the village of Kantwaggen (today part of Priekulė) and were of Curonian origin.[34][35] Kant was the fourth of nine children (four of whom reached adulthood).[36]

Kant was born on 22 April 1724 into a Prussian German family of Lutheran Protestant faith in Königsberg, East Prussia. Baptized Emanuel, he later changed his name to Immanuel[37] after learning Hebrew. He was brought up in a Pietist household that stressed religious devotion, humility, and a literal interpretation of the Bible. His education was strict, punitive and disciplinary, and focused on Latin and religious instruction over mathematics and science.[38] Kant maintained Christian ideals for some time, but struggled to reconcile the faith with his belief in science.[39] In his Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, he reveals a belief in immortality as the necessary condition of humanity's approach to the highest morality possible.[40][41] However, as Kant was skeptical about some of the arguments used prior to him in defence of theism and maintained that human understanding is limited and can never attain knowledge about God or the soul, various commentators have labelled him a philosophical agnostic.[42][43][44][45][46][47]

Common myths about Kant's personal mannerisms are listed, explained, and refuted in Goldthwait's introduction to his translation of Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime.[48] It is often held that Kant lived a very strict and disciplined life, leading to an oft-repeated story that neighbors would set their clocks by his daily walks. He never married, but seemed to have a rewarding social life — he was a popular teacher and a modestly successful author even before starting on his major philosophical works. He had a circle of friends with whom he frequently met, among them Joseph Green, an English merchant in Königsberg.

A common myth is that Kant never traveled more than 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Königsberg his whole life.[49] In fact, between 1750 and 1754 he worked as a tutor (Hauslehrer) in Judtschen[50] (now Veselovka, Russia, approximately 20 km) and in Groß-Arnsdorf[51] (now Jarnołtowo near Morąg (German: Mohrungen), Poland, approximately 145 km).

Kant showed a great aptitude for study at an early age.

His father's stroke and subsequent death in 1746 interrupted his studies.

Kant is best known for his work in the philosophy of ethics and metaphysics,[22] but he made significant contributions to other disciplines.

In the Universal Natural History, Kant laid out the Nebular hypothesis, in which he deduced that the Solar System had formed from a large cloud of gas, a nebula. Kant also correctly deduced (though through usually false premises and fallacious reasoning, according to Bertrand Russell[62]) that the Milky Way was a large disk of stars, which he theorized formed from a much larger spinning gas cloud. He further suggested that other distant "nebulae" might be other galaxies. These postulations opened new horizons for astronomy, for the first time extending it beyond the Solar System to galactic and intergalactic realms.[63] According to Thomas Huxley (1867), Kant also made contributions to geology in his Universal Natural History.

From then on, Kant turned increasingly to philosophical issues, although he continued to write on the sciences throughout his life.

The issue that vexed Kant was central to what 20th-century scholars called "the philosophy of mind". The flowering of the natural sciences had led to an understanding of how data reaches the brain. Sunlight falling on an object is reflected from its surface in a way that maps the surface features (color, texture, etc.). The reflected light reaches the human eye, passes through the cornea, is focused by the lens onto the retina where it forms an image similar to that formed by light passing through a pinhole into a camera obscura. The retinal cells send impulses through the optic nerve and then they form a mapping in the brain of the visual features of the object. The interior mapping is not the exterior object, and our belief that there is a meaningful relationship between the object and the mapping in the brain depends on a chain of reasoning that is not fully grounded. But the uncertainty aroused by these considerations, by optical illusions, misperceptions, delusions, etc., are not the end of the problems.

Kant saw that the mind could not function as an empty container that simply receives data from outside.

It is often claimed that Kant was a late developer, that he only became an important philosopher in his mid-50s after rejecting his earlier views.

At age 46, Kant was an established scholar and an increasingly influential philosopher, and much was expected of him.

In correspondence with his ex-student and friend Markus Herz, Kant admitted that, in the inaugural dissertation, he had failed to account for the relation between our sensible and intellectual faculties. He needed to explain how we combine what is known as sensory knowledge with the other type of knowledge—i.e. reasoned knowledge—these two being related but having very different processes.

Kant also credited David Hume with awakening him from a "dogmatic slumber".[65] Hume had stated that experience consists only of sequences of feelings, images or sounds. Ideas such as "cause", goodness, or objects were not evident in experience, so why do we believe in the reality of these? Kant felt that reason could remove this skepticism, and he set himself to solving these problems. He did not publish any work in philosophy for the next 11 years.

Although fond of company and conversation with others, Kant isolated himself, and resisted friends' attempts to bring him out of his isolation.

When Kant emerged from his silence in 1781, the result was the Critique of Pure Reason. Although now uniformly recognized as one of the greatest works in the history of philosophy, this Critique was largely ignored upon its initial publication. The book was long, over 800 pages in the original German edition, and written in a convoluted style. It received few reviews, and these granted it no significance. Kant's former student, Johann Gottfried Herder criticized it for placing reason as an entity worthy of criticism instead of considering the process of reasoning within the context of language and one's entire personality.[67] Similar to Christian Garve and Johann Georg Heinrich Feder, he rejected Kant's position that space and time possessed a form that could be analyzed. Additionally, Garve and Feder also faulted Kant's Critique for not explaining differences in perception of sensations.[68]Kant's%20Early%20Critics%3A%20The%20Empir]]2C%20vol.%20]]uch as his[[CITE|70|https://openlibrary.org/search?q=Gulyga%2C%20Arsenij.%20 larify the original treatise, Kant wrote theProlegomena to any Future Metaphysics ly thereafter, Kant's friend Johann Friedrich Schultz (1739–1805) (professor of mathematics) published Erläuterungen über des Herrn Professor Kant Critik der reinen Vernunft (Königsberg, 1784), which was a brief but very accurate commentary on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.

Kant's reputation gradually rose through the latter portion of the 1780s, sparked by a series of important works: the 1784 essay, "Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?"; 1785's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (his first work on moral philosophy); and, from 1786, Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. But Kant's fame ultimately arrived from an unexpected source. In 1786, Karl Leonhard Reinhold published a series of public letters on Kantian philosophy. In these letters, Reinhold framed Kant's philosophy as a response to the central intellectual controversy of the era: the Pantheism Dispute. Friedrich Jacobi had accused the recently deceased Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (a distinguished dramatist and philosophical essayist) of Spinozism. Such a charge, tantamount to atheism, was vigorously denied by Lessing's friend Moses Mendelssohn, leading to a bitter public dispute among partisans. The controversy gradually escalated into a debate about the values of the Enlightenment and the value of reason.

Reinhold maintained in his letters that Kant's Critique of Pure Reason could settle this dispute by defending the authority and bounds of reason. Reinhold's letters were widely read and made Kant the most famous philosopher of his era.

Kant published a second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason (Kritik der reinen Vernunft) in 1787, heavily revising the first parts of the book. Most of his subsequent work focused on other areas of philosophy. He continued to develop his moral philosophy, notably in 1788's Critique of Practical Reason (known as the second Critique) and 1797's Metaphysics of Morals. The 1790 Critique of Judgment (the third Critique) applied the Kantian system to aesthetics and teleology. It was in this critique where Kant wrote one of his most popular statements, "it is absurd to hope that another Newton will arise in the future who will make comprehensible to us the production of a blade of grass according to natural laws".[72]

In 1792, Kant's attempt to publish the Second of the four Pieces of Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason, in the journal Berlinische Monatsschrift, met with opposition from the King's censorship commission, which had been established that same year in the context of the French Revolution.[73] Kant then arranged to have all four pieces published as a book, routing it through the philosophy department at the University of Jena to avoid the need for theological censorship.[73] This insubordination earned him a now famous reprimand from the King.[73] When he nevertheless published a second edition in 1794, the censor was so irate that he arranged for a royal order that required Kant never to publish or even speak publicly about religion.[73] Kant then published his response to the King's reprimand and explained himself, in the preface of The Conflict of the Faculties.[73]

He also wrote a number of semi-popular essays on history, religion, politics and other topics.

Kant's health, long poor, worsened and he died at Königsberg on 12 February 1804, uttering "Es ist gut (It is good)" before expiring.[77]Immanuel%20Kant%3A%20Der%20Mann%20und%20das%20W]]Immanuel%20Kant%3A%20Der%20Mann%20und%20das%20W]]Immanuel%20Kant%3A%20Der%20Mann%20und%20das%20W]]Immanuel%20Kant%3A%20Der%20Mann%20und%20das%20W]]Immanuel%20Kant%3A%20Der%20Mann%20und%20das%20W]]Immanuel%20Kant%3A%20Der%20Mann%20und%20das%20W]]is unfinished final work was published asOpus Postumum

Philosophy


In Kant's essay "Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?", Kant defined the Enlightenment as an age shaped by the Latin motto Sapere aude ("Dare to be wise"). Kant maintained that one ought to think autonomously, free of the dictates of external authority. His work reconciled many of the differences between the rationalist and empiricist traditions of the 18th century. He had a decisive impact on the Romantic and German Idealist philosophies of the 19th century. His work has also been a starting point for many 20th century philosophers.

Kant asserted that, because of the limitations of argumentation in the absence of irrefutable evidence, no one could really know whether there is a God and an afterlife or not. For the sake of morality and as a ground for reason, Kant asserted, people are justified in believing in God, even though they could never know God's presence empirically. He explained:

The sense of an enlightened approach and the critical method required that "If one cannot prove that a thing is, he may try to prove that it is not. If he fails to do either (as often occurs), he may still ask whether it is in his interest to accept one or the other of the alternatives hypothetically, from the theoretical or the practical point of view. Hence the question no longer is as to whether perpetual peace is a real thing or not a real thing, or as to whether we may not be deceiving ourselves when we adopt the former alternative, but we must act on the supposition of its being real."[79] The presupposition of God, soul, and freedom was then a practical concern, for "Morality, by itself, constitutes a system, but happiness does not, unless it is distributed in exact proportion to morality. This, however, is possible in an intelligible world only under a wise author and ruler. Reason compels us to admit such a ruler, together with life in such a world, which we must consider as future life, or else all moral laws are to be considered as idle dreams...."[80]

Kant drew a parallel between the Copernican revolution and the epistemology of his new transcendental philosophy. He never used the "Copernican revolution" phrase about himself, but it has often been applied to his work by others.[81]

Kant's Copernican revolution involved two interconnected foundations of his "critical philosophy":

These teachings placed the active, rational human subject at the center of the cognitive and moral worlds. Kant argued that the rational order of the world as known by science was not just the accidental accumulation of sense perceptions.

Conceptual unification and integration is carried out by the mind through concepts or the "categories of the understanding" operating on the perceptual manifold within space and time. The latter are not concepts,[82]Critique%20of%20Pure%20Reas]]ut are forms of sensibility that are for any possible experience. Thus the objective order of nature and the causal necessity that operates within it depend on the mind's processes, the product of the rule-based activity that Kant called, "synthesis." There is much discussion among Kant scholars about the correct interpretation of this train of thought.

The 'two-world' interpretation regards Kant's position as a statement of epistemological limitation, that we are not able to transcend the bounds of our own mind, meaning that we cannot access the "thing-in-itself". However, Kant also speaks of the thing in itself or transcendental object as a product of the (human) understanding as it attempts to conceive of objects in abstraction from the conditions of sensibility. Following this line of thought, some interpreters have argued that the thing in itself does not represent a separate ontological domain but simply a way of considering objects by means of the understanding alone – this is known as the two-aspect view.

The notion of the "thing in itself" was much discussed by philosophers after Kant. It was argued that because the "thing in itself" was unknowable, its existence must not be assumed. Rather than arbitrarily switching to an account that was ungrounded in anything supposed to be the "real," as did the German Idealists, another group arose to ask how our (presumably reliable) accounts of a coherent and rule-abiding universe were actually grounded. This new kind of philosophy became known as Phenomenology, and its founder was Edmund Husserl.

With regard to morality, Kant argued that the source of the good lies not in anything outside the human subject, either in nature or given by God, but rather is only the good will itself. A good will is one that acts from duty in accordance with the universal moral law that the autonomous human being freely gives itself. This law obliges one to treat humanity – understood as rational agency, and represented through oneself as well as others – as an end in itself rather than (merely) as means to other ends the individual might hold. This necessitates practical self-reflection in which we universalize our reasons.

These ideas have largely framed or influenced all subsequent philosophical discussion and analysis.

Kant defines his theory of perception in his influential 1781 work the Critique of Pure Reason, which has often been cited as the most significant volume of metaphysics and epistemology in modern philosophy. Kant maintains that our understanding of the external world had its foundations not merely in experience, but in both experience and a priori conceptsconcepts]]offering ast critique of rationalist philosophy, which is what has been referred to as his Copernican revolution.[83]

Firstly, Kant distinguishes between analytic and synthetic propositions:

An analytic proposition is true by nature of the meaning of the words in the sentence — we require no further knowledge than a grasp of the language to understand this proposition.

Kant contests this assumption by claiming that elementary mathematics, like arithmetic, is synthetic a priori, in that its statements provide new knowledge not derived from experience. This becomes part of his over-all argument for transcendental idealism. That is, he argues that the possibility of experience depends on certain necessary conditions — which he calls a priori forms — and that these conditions structure and hold true of the world of experience. His main claims in the "Transcendental Aesthetic" are that mathematic judgments are synthetic a priori and that space and time are not derived from experience but rather are its preconditions.

Once we have grasped the functions of basic arithmetic, we do not need empirical experience to know that 100 + 100 = 200, and so it appears that arithmetic is analytic.

Kant asserts that experience is based on the perception of external objects and a priori knowledge.[84] The external world, he writes, provides those things that we sense. But our mind processes this information and gives it order, allowing us to comprehend it. Our mind supplies the conditions of space and time to experience objects. According to the "transcendental unity of apperception", the concepts of the mind (Understanding) and perceptions or intuitions that garner information from phenomena (Sensibility) are synthesized by comprehension. Without concepts, perceptions are nondescript; without perceptions, concepts are meaningless — thus the famous statement, "Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions (perceptions) without concepts are blind."[85]

Kant also claims that an external environment is necessary for the establishment of the self.

Kant deemed it obvious that we have some objective knowledge of the world, such as, say, Newtonian physics.

To begin with, Kant's distinction between the a posteriori being contingent and particular knowledge, and the a priori being universal and necessary knowledge, must be kept in mind. If we merely connect two intuitions together in a perceiving subject, the knowledge is always subjective because it is derived a posteriori, when what is desired is for the knowledge to be objective, that is, for the two intuitions to refer to the object and hold good of it for anyone at any time, not just the perceiving subject in its current condition. What else is equivalent to objective knowledge besides the a priori, (universal and necessary knowledge)? Before knowledge can be objective, it must be incorporated under an a priori category of understanding.[65][88]

For example, if a subject says, "The sun shines on the stone; the stone grows warm," all he perceives are phenomena.

To explain the categories in more detail, they are the preconditions of the construction of objects in the mind.

Judgments are, for Kant, the preconditions of any thought.

One may now ask: How many possible judgments are there?

The fundamental building blocks of experience, i.e. objective knowledge, are now in place.

Kant ran into a problem with his theory that the mind plays a part in producing objective knowledge.

Kant developed his moral philosophy in three works: Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals (1785), Critique of Practical Reason (1788), and Metaphysics of Morals

In Groundwork, Kant' tries to convert our everyday, obvious, rational[90] knowledge of morality into philosophical knowledge. The latter two works used "practical reason", which is based only on things about which reason can tell us, and not deriving any principles from experience, to reach conclusions which can be applied to the world of experience (in the second part of The Metaphysic of Morals).

Kant is known for his theory that there is a single moral obligation, which he called the "Categorical Imperative", and is derived from the concept of duty. Kant defines the demands of moral law as "categorical imperatives". Categorical imperatives are principles that are intrinsically valid; they are good in and of themselves; they must be obeyed in all situations and circumstances, if our behavior is to observe the moral law. The Categorical Imperative provides a test against which moral statements can be assessed. Kant also stated that the moral means and ends can be applied to the categorical imperative, that rational beings can pursue certain "ends" using the appropriate "means". Ends based on physical needs or wants create hypothetical imperatives. The categorical imperative can only be based on something that is an "end in itself", that is, an end that is not a means to some other need, desire, or purpose.[91] Kant believed that the moral law is a principle of reason itself, and is not based on contingent facts about the world, such as what would make us happy, but to act on the moral law which has no other motive than "worthiness of being happy".[92]%2C%20A806%2FB834.]]%2C%20A806%2FB834.]]%2C%20A806%2FB834.]]%2C%20A806%2FB834.]]%2C%20A806%2FB834.]]%2C%20A806%2FB834.]]ccordingly, he believed that moral obligation applies only to rational agents.

Unlike a hypothetical imperative, a categorical imperative is an unconditional obligation; it has the force of an obligation regardless of our will or desires[94] In Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals (1785) Kant enumerated three formulations of the categorical imperative that he believed to be roughly equivalent.[95]

According to Kant, one cannot make exceptions for oneself.

Kant believed that, if an action is not done with the motive of duty, then it is without moral value.

In Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, Kant also posited the "counter-utilitarian idea that there is a difference between preferences and values, and that considerations of individual rights temper calculations of aggregate utility", a concept that is an axiom in economics:[97]

A phrase quoted by Kant, which is used to summarize the counter-utilitarian nature of his moral philosophy, is Fiat justitia, pereat mundus, ("Let justice be done, though the world perish"), which he translates loosely as "Let justice reign even if all the rascals in the world should perish from it". This appears in his 1795 Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch ("Zum ewigen Frieden. Ein philosophischer Entwurf"), Appendix 1.[98][99][100]

The first formulation (Formula of Universal Law) of the moral imperative "requires that the maxims be chosen as though they should hold as universal laws of nature".[95] This formulation in principle has as its supreme law the creed "Always act according to that maxim whose universality as a law you can at the same time will" and is the "only condition under which a will can never come into conflict with itself [....]"[101]

One interpretation of the first formulation is called the "universalizability test".[102] An agent's maxim, according to Kant, is his "subjective principle of human actions": that is, what the agent believes is his reason to act.[103]

(For a modern parallel, see John Rawls' hypothetical situation, the original position.)

The second formulation (or Formula of the End in Itself) holds that "the rational being, as by its nature an end and thus as an end in itself, must serve in every maxim as the condition restricting all merely relative and arbitrary ends".[95] The principle dictates that you "[a]ct with reference to every rational being (whether yourself or another) so that it is an end in itself in your maxim", meaning that the rational being is "the basis of all maxims of action" and "must be treated never as a mere means but as the supreme limiting condition in the use of all means, i.e., as an end at the same time".[104]

The third formulation (i.e. Formula of Autonomy) is a synthesis of the first two and is the basis for the "complete determination of all maxims".

In principle, "So act as if your maxims should serve at the same time as the universal law (of all rational beings)", meaning that we should so act that we may think of ourselves as "a member in the universal realm of ends", legislating universal laws through our maxims (that is, a universal code of conduct), in a "possible realm of ends".[105]

Commentators, starting in the 20th century, have tended to see Kant as having a strained relationship with religion, though this was not the prevalent view in the 19th century.

Kant articulates his strongest criticisms of the organization and practices of religious organizations to those that encourage what he sees as a religion of counterfeit service to God.[109] Among the major targets of his criticism are external ritual, superstition and a hierarchical church order. He sees these as efforts to make oneself pleasing to God in ways other than conscientious adherence to the principle of moral rightness in choosing and acting upon one's maxims. Kant's criticisms on these matters, along with his rejection of certain theoretical proofs grounded in pure reason (particularly the ontological argument) for the existence of God and his philosophical commentary on some Christian doctrines, have resulted in interpretations that see Kant as hostile to religion in general and Christianity in particular (e.g., Walsh 1967). Nevertheless, other interpreters consider that Kant was trying to mark off defensible from indefensible Christian belief.[110] Kant sees in Jesus Christ the affirmation of a "pure moral disposition of the heart" that "can make man well-pleasing to God".[109] Regarding Kant's conception of religion, some critics have argued that he was sympathetic to deism.[111] Other critics have argued that Kant's moral conception moves from deism to theism (as moral theism), for example Allen W. Wood[112] and Merold Westphal.[113]The%20Emerge%20of%20Modern%20Phil]]s for Kant's bookre Reason, it was emphasized that Kant reduced religiosity to rationality, religion to morality and Christianity to ethics.

In the Critique of Pure Reason,[115] Kant distinguishes between the transcendental idea of freedom, which as a psychological concept is "mainly empirical" and refers to "the question whether we must admit a power of spontaneously beginning a series of successive things or states" as a real ground of necessity in regard to causality,[116] and the practical concept of freedom as the independence of our will from the "coercion" or "necessitation through sensuous impulses". Kant finds it a source of difficulty that the practical idea of freedom is founded on the transcendental idea of freedom,[117] but for the sake of practical interests uses the practical meaning, taking "no account of... its transcendental meaning," which he feels was properly "disposed of" in the Third Antinomy, and as an element in the question of the freedom of the will is for philosophy "a real stumbling-block" that has "embarrassed speculative reason".[116]

Kant calls practical "everything that is possible through freedom", and the pure practical laws that are never given through sensuous conditions but are held analogously with the universal law of causality are moral laws.

In the Critique of Practical Reason, at the end of the second Main Part of the Analytics,[121] Kant introduces the categories of freedom, in analogy with the categories of understanding their practical counterparts. Kant's categories of freedom apparently function primarily as conditions for the possibility for actions (i) to be free, (ii) to be understood as free and (iii) to be morally evaluated. For Kant, although actions as theoretical objects are constituted by means of the theoretical categories, actions as practical objects (objects of practical use of reason, and which can be good or bad) are constituted by means of the categories of freedom. Only in this way can actions, as phenomena, be a consequence of freedom, and be understood and evaluated as such.[122]

Kant discusses the subjective nature of aesthetic qualities and experiences in Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime (1764). Kant's contribution to aesthetic theory is developed in the Critique of Judgment (1790) where he investigates the possibility and logical status of "judgments of taste." In the "Critique of Aesthetic Judgment," the first major division of the Critique of Judgment, Kant used the term "aesthetic" in a manner that, according to Kant scholar W.H. Walsh, differs from its modern sense.[123]Encyclop]]n thePure Reason, to note essential differences between judgments of taste, moral judgments, and scientific judgments, Kant abandoned the term "aesthetic" as "designating the critique of taste," noting that judgments of taste could never be "directed" by "lawsa priori Aesthetica (1750–58), rehensive philosophical system, utilizing ideas that played an integral role throughout his philosophy.[126]

In the chapter "Analytic of the Beautiful" in the Critique of Judgment, Kant states that beauty is not a property of an artwork or natural phenomenon, but is instead consciousness of the pleasure that attends the 'free play' of the imagination and the understanding. Even though it appears that we are using reason to decide what is beautiful, the judgment is not a cognitive judgment,[127] "and is consequently not logical, but aesthetical" (§ 1). A pure judgement of taste is subjective since it refers to the emotional response of the subject and is based upon nothing but esteem for an object itself: it is a disinterested pleasure, and we feel that pure judgements of taste (i.e. judgements of beauty), lay claim to universal validity (§§ 20–22). It is important to note that this universal validity is not derived from a determinate concept of beauty but from common sense (§40). Kant also believed that a judgement of taste shares characteristics engaged in a moral judgement: both are disinterested, and we hold them to be universal. In the chapter "Analytic of the Sublime" Kant identifies the sublime as an aesthetic quality that, like beauty, is subjective, but unlike beauty refers to an indeterminate relationship between the faculties of the imagination and of reason, and shares the character of moral judgments in the use of reason. The feeling of the sublime, divided into two distinct modes (the mathematical and the dynamical sublime), describes two subjective moments that concern the relationship of the faculty of the imagination to reason. Some commentators[128] argue that Kant's critical philosophy contains a third kind of the sublime, the moral sublime, which is the aesthetic response to the moral law or a representation, and a development of the "noble" sublime in Kant's theory of 1764. The mathematical sublime results from the failure of the imagination to comprehend natural objects that appear boundless and formless, or appear "absolutely great" (§§ 23–25). This imaginative failure is then recuperated through the pleasure taken in reason's assertion of the concept of infinity. In this move the faculty of reason proves itself superior to our fallible sensible self (§§ 25–26). In the dynamical sublime there is the sense of annihilation of the sensible self as the imagination tries to comprehend a vast might. This power of nature threatens us but through the resistance of reason to such sensible annihilation, the subject feels a pleasure and a sense of the human moral vocation. This appreciation of moral feeling through exposure to the sublime helps to develop moral character.

Kant developed a distinction between an object of art as a material value subject to the conventions of society and the transcendental condition of the judgment of taste as a "refined" value in the propositions of his Idea of A Universal History (1784). In the Fourth and Fifth Theses of that work he identified all art as the "fruits of unsociableness" due to men's "antagonism in society"[129] and, in the Seventh Thesis, asserted that while such material property is indicative of a civilized state, only the ideal of morality and the universalization of refined value through the improvement of the mind "belongs to culture".[129]

In Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch,[131] Kant listed several conditions that he thought necessary for ending wars and creating a lasting peace. They included a world of constitutional republics.[132] His classical republican theory was extended in the Science of Right, the first part of the Metaphysics of Morals (1797).[133] Kant believed that universal history leads to the ultimate world of republican states at peace, but his theory was not pragmatic. The process was described in "Perpetual Peace" as natural rather than rational:

Kant's political thought can be summarized as republican government and international organization.

He opposed "democracy," which at his time meant direct democracy, believing that majority rule posed a threat to individual liberty. He stated, "...democracy is, properly speaking, necessarily a despotism, because it establishes an executive power in which 'all' decide for or even against one who does not agree; that is, 'all,' who are not quite all, decide, and this is a contradiction of the general will with itself and with freedom."[132] As with most writers at the time, he distinguished three forms of government i.e. democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy with mixed government as the most ideal form of it.

Anthropology


Kant lectured on anthropology, the study of human nature, for 23 and a half years.[137]Kant's%20Pragmatic%20Anthropolo]]is.) Kant's Lectures on Anthropology were published for the first time in 1997 in German.[138]Kant%20und%20die%20Wissenschaften%20vom%20Men]]Kant%20und%20die%20Wissenschaften%20vom%20Men]]Kant%20und%20die%20Wissenschaften%20vom%20Men]]Kant%20und%20die%20Wissenschaften%20vom%20Men]]Kant%20und%20die%20Wissenschaften%20vom%20Men]]Kant%20und%20die%20Wissenschaften%20vom%20Men]]was translated into English and published by the Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy series in 2006.

Kant was among the first people of his time to introduce anthropology as an intellectual area of study, long before the field gained popularity, and his texts are considered to have advanced the field.

Kant was also the first to suggest using a dimensionality approach to human diversity.

Kant viewed anthropology in two broad categories: (1) the physiological approach, which he referred to as "what nature makes of the human being": and (2) the pragmatic approach, which explored the things that a human "can and should make of himself".[141]

Influence


Kant's influence on Western thought has been profound.[142] Over and above his influence on specific thinkers, Kant changed the framework within which philosophical inquiry has been carried out.

  • Kant's "Copernican revolution", that placed the role of the human subject or knower at the center of inquiry into our knowledge, such that it is impossible to philosophize about things as they are independently of us or of how they are for us;[143]
  • His invention of critical philosophy, that is of the notion of being able to discover and systematically explore possible inherent limits to our ability to know through philosophical reasoning;
  • The notion of the "categorical imperative," an assertion that people are naturally endowed with the ability and obligation toward right reason and acting;
  • His creation of the concept of "conditions of possibility", as in his notion of "the conditions of possible experience" – that is that things, knowledge, and forms of consciousness rest on prior conditions that make them possible, so that, to understand or to know them, we must first understand these conditions;
  • The theory that objective experience is actively constituted or constructed by the functioning of the human mind;
  • His notion of moral autonomy as central to humanity;
  • His assertion of the principle that human beings should be treated as ends rather than as means.

Kant's ideas have been incorporated into a variety of schools of thought.

During his own life, there was much critical attention paid to his thought.

Hegel was one of Kant's first major critics.

Kant's thinking on religion was used in Britain to challenge the decline in religious faith in the nineteenth century.

Arthur Schopenhauer was strongly influenced by Kant's transcendental idealism. He, like G.E. Schulze, Jacobi, and Fichte before him, was critical of Kant's theory of the thing in itself. Things in themselves, they argued, are neither the cause of what we observe nor are they completely beyond our access. Ever since the first Critique of Pure Reason philosophers have been critical of Kant's theory of the thing in itself. Many have argued, if such a thing exists beyond experience then one cannot posit that it affects us causally, since that would entail stretching the category 'causality' beyond the realm of experience.[4] For Schopenhauer things in themselves do not exist outside the non-rational will. The world, as Schopenhauer would have it, is the striving and largely unconscious will. Michael Kelly, in the preface to his 1910 book Kant's Ethics and Schopenhauer's Criticism, stated: "Of Kant it may be said that what is good and true in his philosophy would have been buried with him, were it not for Schopenhauer...."

With the success and wide influence of Hegel's writings, Kant's influence began to wane, though there was in Germany a movement that hailed a return to Kant in the 1860s, beginning with the publication of Kant und die Epigonen in 1865 by Otto Liebmann. His motto was "Back to Kant", and a re-examination of his ideas began (see Neo-Kantianism). During the turn of the 20th century there was an important revival of Kant's theoretical philosophy, known as the Marburg School, represented in the work of Hermann Cohen, Paul Natorp, Ernst Cassirer,[147]Encyclope]]Encyclope]]Encyclope]]Encyclope]]Encyclope]]

Kant's notion of "Critique" has been quite influential.

Kant believed that mathematical truths were forms of synthetic a priori knowledge, which means they are necessary and universal, yet known through intuition.[152] Kant's often brief remarks about mathematics influenced the mathematical school known as intuitionism, a movement in philosophy of mathematics opposed to Hilbert's formalism, and Frege and Bertrand Russell's logicism.[153]

With his Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch, Kant is considered to have foreshadowed many of the ideas that have come to form the democratic peace theory, one of the main controversies in political science.[154]

Prominent recent Kantians include the British philosophers P.F. Strawson,[155] Onora O'Neill,[156] and Quassim Cassam[157] and the American philosophers Wilfrid Sellars[158]Science%20and%20Metaphysics%3A%20Variat]] philosophy of psychology cognitive science[160]

Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls are two significant political and moral philosophers whose work is strongly influenced by Kant's moral philosophy.[161] They argued against relativism,[162] supporting the Kantian view that universality is essential to any viable moral philosophy. Jean-Francois Lyotard, however, emphasized the indeterminacy in the nature of thought and language and has engaged in debates with Habermas based on the effects this indeterminacy has on philosophical and political debates.[163]

Mou Zongsan's study of Kant has been cited as a highly crucial part in the development Mou’s personal philosophy, namely New Confucianism. Widely regarded as the most influential Kant scholar in China, Mou's rigorous critique of Kant’s philosophy—having translated all three of Kant’s critiques—served as an ardent attempt to reconcile Chinese and Western philosophy whilst increasing pressure to westernize in China.[164][165]

Kant's influence also has extended to the social, behavioral, and physical sciences, as in the sociology of Max Weber, the psychology of Jean Piaget, and the linguistics of Noam Chomsky. Kant's work on mathematics and synthetic a priori knowledge is also cited by theoretical physicist Albert Einstein as an early influence on his intellectual development, which he later criticised heavily and rejected.[166] Because of the thoroughness of the Kantian paradigm shift, his influence extends to thinkers who neither specifically refer to his work nor use his terminology.

Personal legacy


Kant always cut a curious figure in his lifetime for his modest, rigorously scheduled habits, which have been referred to as clocklike.

When his body was transferred to a new burial spot, his skull was measured during the exhumation and found to be larger than the average German male's with a "high and broad" forehead.[168] His forehead has been an object of interest ever since it became well-known through his portraits: "In Döbler's portrait and in Kiefer's faithful if expressionistic reproduction of it — as well as in many of the other late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century portraits of Kant — the forehead is remarkably large and decidedly retreating. Was Kant's forehead shaped this way in these images because he was a philosopher, or, to follow the implications of Lavater's system, was he a philosopher because of the intellectual acuity manifested by his forehead? Kant and Johann Kaspar Lavater were correspondents on theological matters, and Lavater refers to Kant in his work "Physiognomic Fragments, for the Education of Human Knowledge and Love of People" (Leipzig & Winterthur, 1775–1778).[169]

Tomb and statue


Kant's mausoleum adjoins the northeast corner of Königsberg Cathedral in Kaliningrad, Russia. The mausoleum was constructed by the architect Friedrich Lahrs and was finished in 1924 in time for the bicentenary of Kant's birth. Originally, Kant was buried inside the cathedral, but in 1880 his remains were moved to a neo-Gothic chapel adjoining the northeast corner of the cathedral. Over the years, the chapel became dilapidated and was demolished to make way for the mausoleum, which was built on the same location.

The tomb and its mausoleum are among the few artifacts of German times preserved by the Soviets after they conquered and annexed the city.[170] Today, many newlyweds bring flowers to the mausoleum.

Artifacts previously owned by Kant, known as Kantiana, were included in the Königsberg City Museum. However, the museum was destroyed during World War II.

A replica of the statue of Kant that stood in German times in front of the main University of Königsberg building was donated by a German entity in the early 1990s and placed in the same grounds.

After the expulsion of Königsberg's German population at the end of World War II, the University of Königsberg where Kant taught was replaced by the Russian-language Kaliningrad State University, which appropriated the campus and surviving buildings. In 2005, the university was renamed Immanuel Kant State University of Russia. The name change was announced at a ceremony attended by President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany, and the university formed a Kant Society, dedicated to the study of Kantianism.

In the late November 2018, his tomb and statue were vandalized with paint by unknown assailants, who also scattered leaflets glorifying Rus' and denouncing Kant as a "traitor". The incident is apparently connected with a recent vote to rename Khrabrovo Airport, where Kant was in the lead for a while, prompting Ruthenian nationalist resentment.[171]

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