Immanuel Kant Essays

Immanuel Kant Essays

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Immanuel Kant 1724-1804

Immanuel Kant was born on April 22, 1724 in Konigsberg, East Prussia. He was the son of a saddler. At age 8, he entered the Collegium Fredericianum, a Latin school, where he remained for 8 1/2 years and studied the classics. He then entered the University of Konigsberg in 1740 to study philosophy, mathematics, and physics. The death of his father halted his university career so he became a private tutor. In 1755, he returned to Konigsburg where he later resumed his studies. In 1756, he received a degree and was made a lecturer, and in 1770 he became a professor.
     Kant felt he had to adhere to a very strict schedule during his years as a professor. He would get up shortly before five in the morning and spent an hour drinking tea, smoking a pipe, and thinking over his day’s work. From six to seven he prepared his lecture, which would begin at seven or eight and lasted until nine or ten. After his lecture he would devote himself to writing until the midday meal. He always had company for his midday meal and it would always last several hours because he enjoyed conversation. After the meal he would take a walk for an hour or so and his evenings were devoted to reading and reflection. He would go to bed at ten o’clock. Besides his writings, he became famous for his schedule.
     Kant’s most striking character trait was probably his moral earnestness and his devotion to the idea of duty. He was a sociable man and was also kindly and benevolent. He was never rich but he was careful in money matters. He regularly assisted a number of poor people. He was a sincere and loyal friend and his conduct was marked by courtesy and respect for others.
For 15 years after completing his doctorate he taught at the university where he lectured on science and math, but eventually he expanded his field to cover almost all branches of philosophy. Kant was an amazing orator and was internationally famous for his lectures. His main goal in philosophical courses was to stimulate his listeners to “stand on their own feet” as he put it. He was appointed to a regular chair of philosophy at the University at the age of 46 in 1770. He was made the professor of logics and metaphysics.
He came into conflict with Prussia's government due to his unorthodox religious teachings. In 1792, the King of Prussia, Frede...


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...mpiricist. Descartes, on the other hand, was a "realist" believing that objects exist separately from us. He also thought that we could only know their essences through "clear and distinct" innate ideas. This made him a "transcendental" realist. Kant's thoughts were mainly influenced by the rationalism of Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, Christian Wolff, and the empiricism of David Hume. The reason I chose Immanuel Kant to research is because not only of his philosophical views but also because of his interests in scientific issues. He was interested in virtually every aspect of human experience. While researching him I became impressed with his views on war, especially that if we allowed the people who have to do the fighting to make the decision about war, we would have peace. I agree that sometimes the government makes the decisions that doesn’t represent what the people want. I was also impressed with his views on religion, how the churches become instruments in the hands of the government and the clergy become tools of politics. Since Kant's thought is truly the basis of modern philosophy, it is still a main point of departure for the 21st century.

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