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Immanuel Kant

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Immanuel Kant

*  1724 Königsberg
† 1804 Königsberg


The philospher was born on April 22, 1724 in Königsberg, Prussia. Kant attended the Friedrichskollegium in 1732, receiving there an intense education. He began studying theology at the University in Königsberg in 1740. His interests turned quickly to the natural sciences, and, with the help of his professor for logic and metaphysics Martin Knutzen, he became familiar the teachings of Leibnitz and Newton. Kant temporarily broke off his studies in 1748, because his dissertation "Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces " ("Gedanken von der wahren Schätzung der lebendigen Kräfte") did not receive the expected reception by Knutzen. He returned to Königsberg in 1754 to continue his studies. Kant's work, "General History of Nature and Theory of the Heavens" ("Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels") was published in 1755. Kant then became assistent professor in Königsberg, teaching logic, metaphyics, anthropology, moral philosophy, natural theology, mathematics, physics, mechanics, geography, pedagogy, and natural justice. His lectures were attended with great interest. In 1762, Kant declined the offer of the chair of Poetry. In his treatise "The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God" ("Der einzige mögliche Beweisgrund zu einer Demonstration des Daseins Gottes"), published in 1762, Kant attempted to prove that all previous proofs of the existence of God were unsatisfactory. "De mundi sensibilis atque intelligibilis forma et principiis" ("On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and Intelligible World") appeared in 1770. In this work, Kant drew a sharp differentiation between the sensual recognition of the appearance of things and the recognition of things through reason. Kant was made Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at the University of Königsberg in 1770. When he published "Critique of Pure Reason" ("Kritik der reinen Vernunft") in 1781, Kant's philosophy had fundamentally changed. He published his "Prolegomena" in 1783 to be a generally understandable introduction to critical philosophy. Kant published his ethical system in 1785 in "Groundwork on the Metaphysics of Morals" ("Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten"). Kant occupied the office of Rector at the University of Königsberg in the years 1786 and 1788. Kant was inducted into the Academy of Sciences in Berlin in 1787. Kant spent much time constantly battling the censors. Kant was allowed to continue teaching until 1796 only on the understanding that he keep his religious writings to himself, because they spread deistic and socianistic ideas which were not compatible with the Bible. Immanuel Kant died in Königsberg on February 2, 1804.