Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant
  • Born: April 22, 1724
  • Died: February 12, 1804
  • Nationality: Prussian
  • Profession: Philosopher

61

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26

Citations

132

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Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher who is a central figure in modern philosophy. 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. 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. 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.

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All human knowledge thus begins with intuitions, proceeds thence to concepts, and ends with ideas. Human Nature
All that is required for this enlightenment is freedom; and particularly the least harmful of all that may be called freedom, namely, the freedom for man to make public use of his reason in all matters. But I hear people clamor on all sides: Don't argue! The officer says: Don't argue, drill! The tax collector: Don't argue, pay! The pastor: Don't argue, believe! The public use of a man's reason must be free at all times, and this alone can bring enlightenment among men... Freedom & Liberty
As everybody likes to be honored, so people imagine that God also wants to be honored. They forget that the fulfillment of duty towards men is the only honor adequate to him. Religion & God
As nature has uncovered from under this hard shell the seed for which she most tenderly cares - the propensity and vocation to free thinking—this gradually works back upon the character of the people, who thereby gradually become capable of managing freedom; finally, it affects the principles of government, which finds it to its advantage to treat men, who are now more than machines, in accordance with their dignity. Freedom & Liberty
Criticism alone can sever the root of materialism, fatalism, atheism, free-thinking, fanaticism, and superstition, which can be injurious universally. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Dare to know! Have the courage to use your own understanding. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Democracy is necessarily despotism, as it establishes an executive power contrary to the general will; all being able to decide against one whose opinion may differ, the will of all is therefore not that of all: which is contradictory and opposite to liberty. Democracies & Republics
Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination. Happiness & Unhappiness
Have patience awhile; slanders are not long-lived. Truth is the child of time; erelong she shall appear to vindicate thee. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Human freedom is realized in the adoption of humanity as an end in itself, for the one thing that no-one can be compelled to do by another is to adopt a particular end Freedom & Liberty
Intelligence divorced from judgment produces nothing but foolishness. Miscellaneous
Man must have an incentive to set him in motion before he can be given a goal towards which this motion should be directed. This incentive can obviously be none other than the law itself Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing can ever be made.
Punishments inflicted with signs of anger are useless. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Since the narrower or wider community of the peoples of the earth has developed so far that a violation of rights in one place is felt throughout the world, the idea of a cosmopolitan right is not fantastical, high-flown or exaggerated notion. It is a complement to the unwritten code of the civil and international law, necessary for the public rights of mankind in general and thus for the realization of perpetual peace. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The child … must not learn religion before he knows morality Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The citizen cannot refuse to pay the taxes imposed on him … But the same person nevertheless does not act contrary to his duty as a citizen, when, as a scholar, he publicly expresses his thoughts on the inappropriateness or even the injustices of these levies Citizenship & Patriotism
The death of dogma is the birth of morality. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
The inscrutable wisdom through which we exist is not less worthy of veneration in respect to what it denies us than in respect to what it has granted.. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The public use of a man's reason must be free at all times…. But I hear people clamor on all sides: Don't argue! The military officer says: Don't argue, drill! The tax collector: Don't argue, pay! The minister: Don't argue, believe! Freedom & Liberty
The public use of man's reason must always be free, and it alone can cause enlightenment. Development & Growth
The touchstone of everything that can be concluded as a law for a people lies in the question whether the people could have imposed such a law on itself. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The universal law of justice is: act externally in such a way that the free use of your will is compatible with the freedom of everyone according to a universal law. Justice & Injustice
There will always be some people who think for themselves, even among the self-appointed guardians of the great mass who, after having thrown off the yoke of immaturity themselves, will spread about them the spirit of a reasonable estimate of their own value and of the need for every man to think for himself. Immigration & Emigration
Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind Management & Managing Government
To Perpetual Peace War & Peace ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
A categorical imperative would be one which represented an action as objectively necessary in itself, without reference to any other purpose.
Act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world.
All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
All the interests of my reason, speculative as well as practical, combine in the three following questions: 1. What can I know? 2. What ought I to do? 3. What may I hope? Hope
All thought must, directly or indirectly, by way of certain characters, relate ultimately to intuitions, and therefore, with us, to sensibility, because in no other way can an object be given to us.
Always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as means to your end.
But although all our knowledge begins with experience, it does not follow that it arises from experience. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
By a lie, a man... annihilates his dignity as a man.
Even philosophers will praise war as ennobling mankind, forgetting the Greek who said: 'War is bad in that it begets more evil than it kills.' War & Peace
Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play.
From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned.
He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
I had therefore to remove knowledge, in order to make room for belief. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
If man makes himself a worm he must not complain when he is trodden on.
Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without the guidance of another.
In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.
Ingratitude is the essence of vileness.
Intuition and concepts constitute... the elements of all our knowledge, so that neither concepts without an intuition in some way corresponding to them, nor intuition without concepts, can yield knowledge. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
It is beyond a doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
It is not God's will merely that we should be happy, but that we should make ourselves happy. Religion & God ;Happiness & Unhappiness
It is not necessary that whilst I live I live happily; but it is necessary that so long as I live I should live honourably.
Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law. Life
May you live your life as if the maxim of your actions were to become universal law. Life
Metaphysics is a dark ocean without shores or lighthouse, strewn with many a philosophic wreck.
Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness. Happiness & Unhappiness
Nothing is divine but what is agreeable to reason.
Religion is the recognition of all our duties as divine commands. Religion & God
Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. Life ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them.
So act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world.
The only objects of practical reason are therefore those of good and evil. For by the former is meant an object necessarily desired according to a principle of reason; by the latter one necessarily shunned, also according to a principle of reason.
Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.
To be is to do.
Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.
What can I know? What ought I to do? What can I hope? Hope