German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is considered the most influential thinker of the Enlightenment era and one of the greatest Western philosophers of all times. His works, especially those on epistemology (theory of knowledge), aesthetics and ethics had a profound influence on later philosophers, including contemporary ones.
Besides establishing himself as one of the foremost Western philosophers, Kant also made an important contribution to science and is considered one of the most important figures in the development of modern science despite the fact that he was most interested in philosophy of science and knowledge that science produces. His main ...view middle of the document...
He spent the next 15 years working as a lecturer and made a living from fees that were paid by the students attending his classes. But he also devoted a lot of his time to writing on various topics although his greatest masterpiece â€“ the Critique of Pure Reason was published only in 1781. A decade earlier, he finally became a professor at the University of KÃ¶nigsberg and taught metaphysics and logic until 1797. During the last years of his life, he became embittered due to loss of memory which severely affected his ability to work but he continued to write nearly until the very end of his life. He died in 1804, aged 80.
Kant was only 5 feet tall, thin and of fragile health. Nevertheless, he reached at the time extremely old age which he attributed to his strict daily routine. He got up at 5 oâ€™clock every day and spent the next hour drinking tea, smoking his pipe and meditating. From 6 to 7 oâ€™clock, he prepared for lectures he gave at home until 9 oâ€™clock. He then worked in his study room until 1 oâ€™clock and spent the next three hours dining, usually with his friends. After his only meal, he took a one hour walk and spent the afternoon and evening for reading and writing. The renowned German philosopher was completely dedicated to his work and never married.
Work and Philosophy
Kantâ€™s philosophy is often described as the golden middle between rationalism and empiricism. He didnâ€™t accept either of both views but he gave credit to both. While rationalists argue that knowledge is a product of reason, empiricists claim that all knowledge comes from experience. Kant rejected yet adopted both, arguing that experience is purely subjective if not first processed by pure reason. Using reason while excluding experience would according to Kant produce theoretical illusion.
German philosopher published his first work â€“ Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces in 1747. Explaining the nature of space, Kant rejected post-Leibniz rationalists, arguing that metaphysic methods can prove the existence of essential force. Afterwards, Kant mainly focused on philosophical issues although he continued to write on science and similarly as Leibnizian also criticised Newtonâ€™s views.
First notable Kantâ€™s philosophical...