German philosopher (1724–1804) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Immanuel Kant (UK: /kænt/, US: /kɑːnt/, German: [ɪˈmaːnu̯eːl ˈkant]; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher (a native of the Kingdom of Prussia) and one of the central Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics have made him one of the most influential figures in modern Western philosophy.
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In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, Kant argued space and time are mere "forms of intuition" that structure all experience and that the objects of experience are mere "appearances." The nature of things as they are in themselves is unknowable to us. In an attempt to counter the philosophical doctrine of skepticism, he wrote the Critique of Pure Reason (1781/1787), his most well-known work. Kant drew a parallel to the Copernican revolution in his proposal to think of the objects of experience as conforming to our spatial and temporal forms of intuition and the categories of our understanding, so that we have a priori cognition of those objects.
Kant believed that reason is the source of morality, and that aesthetics arises from a faculty of disinterested judgment. Kant's religious views were deeply connected to his moral theory. Their exact nature, however, remains in dispute. He hoped that perpetual peace could be secured through universal democracy and international cooperation. His cosmopolitan reputation, however, is stained by his promulgation of scientific racism for much of his career, even though he changed those views in the last decade of his life.