Immanuel Kant

German philosopher (1724–1804) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Immanuel Kant[lower-alpha 1] (22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher 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 and controversial figures in modern Western philosophy.[7][8][9]

Quick facts: Immanuel Kant, Born, Died, Education, Era...
Immanuel Kant
Portrait by Johann Gottlieb Becker, 1768
Born(1724-04-22)22 April 1724
Died12 February 1804(1804-02-12) (aged 79)
Königsberg, East Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia
EraAge of Enlightenment
RegionWestern philosophy
Other schools
InstitutionsUniversity of Königsberg
Academic advisorsMartin Knutzen, Johann Gottfried Teske (M.A. advisor), Konrad Gottlieb Marquardt
Notable studentsJakob Sigismund Beck, Johann Gottfried Herder, Karl Leonhard Reinhold (epistolary correspondent)
Main interests
Aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, systematic philosophy
Notable ideas
Signature written in ink in a flowing script

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 best-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. These claims have proved especially influential in the social sciences, particularly sociology and anthropology, which regard human activities as pre-oriented by cultural norms.[10]

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 an international federation of republican states and international cooperation. His Cosmopolitan reputation, however, is called into question by his promulgation of scientific racism for much of his career, although he altered his views on the subject in the last decade of his life.

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