Immanuel Kant
Essay Preview: Immanuel Kant
Report this essay
Immanuel Kant was a well-known German philosopher from K√ź”¬∂nigsberg in East Prussia, which is currently known as Kalingrad, Russia. Kant is thought of as one of the most influential philosophers of modern Europe and the last major philosopher of Enlightenment. Immanuel Kant was born on April 22, 1724 and died on February 12, 1804. Kant was born and baptized as “Emmanuel” but changed his name to “Immanuel” after he learned Hebrew. Kang lived in and around his hometown his entire life. Some viewed him as an isolationist due to his living in one place and later in his life completely isolating himself from family and friends. They tried to bring him out of isolation, but he refused because he needed to work on a solution to problems with his philosophies. While still young, Kant was a very gregarious socialite and he remained fond of dinner parties through most of his life. Only later in his life, under the influence of his friend, the English merchant Joseph Green, did Kant adopt a more regulated lifestyle. Kant was born to Johann George Kant and Anna Regina Porter. Kants father was a German craftsmen and his mother was the daughter of a saddler/harness maker.

Immanuel Kant was raised in a Pietist household, which was a then-popular Lutheran reform movement that stressed intense devotion, personal humility, and a literal reading of the Bible. Kant received a stern education during his young life. Kants education was strict, punitive, and disciplinary that favored Latin and religious instruction over mathematics and science (wikipedia.org). When Kant was a young boy, he was taught Latin and other subjects at Collegium Fredericianum (Wood 4). He began to take classes at the Collegium Fredericianum, which was a Pietistic institution, in the summer of 1732, at the age of eight. Kant was sent to Collegium Fredericianum in preparation for a later education in theology (Kuehn 46). Later, Kant entered the University of K√ź”¬∂nigsberg in 1740, at the tender age of 16 (Wood 4). Upon entering the university, he experienced complete freedom to do as he wish and study any subject he wanted to study, without the religious interference he had previously experienced at the Collegium Fredericianum. During his previous school years, all his activities had been highly regimented (Kuehn 61).

At the University of K√ź”¬∂nigsberg, the first study Kant took was Latin literature, which left its mark on Kants philosophical writings. Kant became under the influence of those at the university who taught mathematics, metaphysics, and natural science. In fact, all of Kants writings published before the age of 30 were in natural science- on topics in Leibnizian physics, astronomy, geology, and chemistry. Kant left the University of K√ź”¬∂nigsberg in 1744, at the age of 20, to earn a living as a private tutor, which he did in various households in East Prussia for the next decade (Wood 5). In 1749, Kant saw the publication of his first philosophical work, Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces. Kant published several more works on scientific topics. From this point on, Kant turned increasingly to philosophical issues, although he would continue to write on the sciences throughout his life (wikipedia.org)

Kant returned to the University of K√ź”¬∂nigsberg in 1755, receiving the degrees of Master and Doctor of Philosophy, and obtaining a position as Privatdozent. This means he was licensed to teach at the University, but was paid no salary, so that he had to earn his living from fees paid to him by students for his lectures (Wood 6). In the early 1760s, Kant produced a series of important works in philosophy. The False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures, which was a work on logic and published in 1762. Two more works appeared the following year: Attempts to Introduce the Concept of Negative Magnitudes into Philosophy and The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God.

In 1770, at the age of 45, Kant was finally appointed Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at the University of K√ź”¬∂nigsberg. At the age of 46, Kant was an established scholar and an increasingly influential philosopher. Kant came to realize that he had failed to account for the relation and connection between our sensible and intellectual faculties. This realization would cause him to not publish any other work in philosophy for the next eleven years. Kant isolated himself while working on a solution to the problems posed, despite friends attempts to bring him out of his isolation. When Kant emerged from his silence in 1781, the result was the Critique of Pure Reason. Although now uniformly recognized as one of the greatest works in the history of philosophy, this Critique was largely ignored upon its initial publication (wikipedia.org).

Immanuel Kant is most notably known for his three Critiques; The Critique of Pure Reason, The Critique of Practical Reason, and The Critique of Judgment. After the first Critiques response, he recognized the need to clarify the original treatise. Kant wrote the Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics in 1783 as a summary of the first Critiques main views to help clarify. Kants reputation gradually rose through the 1780s, sparked by a series of important works: the 1784 essay, “Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?”; 1785s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (his first work on moral philosophy); and, from 1786, Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. But Kants distinction ultimately came from an unexpected source. In 1786, Karl Reinbold began to publish a series of public letters on the Kantian philosophy. In these letters, Reinbold framed Kants philosophy as a response to the central intellectual controversy of the era: the Pantheism Dispute. Friedrich Jacobi had accused the recently deceased G. E. Lessing (a distinguished dramatist and philosophical essayist) of Spinozism. Such a charge, tantamount to atheism, was vigorously denied by Lessings friend Moses Mendelssohn, and a bitter public dispute arose between them. The controversy gradually escalated into a general debate over the values of the Enlightenment and of reason itself. Reinhold maintained in his letters that Kants Critique of Pure Reason could settle this dispute by defending the authority and bounds of reason. Reinholds letters were widely read and made Kant the most famous philosopher of his era (wikipedia.org).

Kant published a second edition of the “Critique of Pure Reason” in 1787, making heavy revisions of the first part of the book. He continued to develop his moral philosophy, notably in 1788s Critique of Practical Reason ( known as the second Critique) and 1797s

Get Your Essay

Cite this page

Immanuel Kant And Series Of Public Letters. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/immanuel-kant-and-series-of-public-letters-essay/