After considering the possibility that Kantian prudential reasoning might serve as a conception of personal autonomy, I argue that the elements of a more suitable conception can be found in Kant's Tugendlehre, or "Doctrine of Virtue" - specifically, in the imperfect duties of self-perfection and the practical love of others.
Throughout his career, Immanuel Kant engaged many of the major issues that contemporary philosophy groups together under the heading “philosophy of religion.” These include arguments for the existence of God, the attributes of God, the immortality of the soul, the problem of evil, and the relationship of moral principles to religious belief and practice. In the writings from his so-called “pre-critical” period, i.e., before the publication of the <i>Critique of Pure Reason</i> in 1781, Kant was interested principally in the theoretical status and function of the concept of God. He thus sought to locate the concept of God within a systematically ordered set of basic philosophical principles that account for the order and structure of world.
This essay will examine Kant's early response to Newtonian science. Specifically, it will investigate the sources of his scientific though and describe his changing and deepening understanding of Newtonian science during his pre-Critical period - that is, before the 1770s when he began his enterprise of the critique of pure reason.
"Morality is not really the doctrine of how to make ourselves happy but of how we are to be worthy of happiness."
"There can be no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience."
The fundamental idea of Kant's “critical philosophy” — especially in his three Critiques: the <i>Critique of Pure Reason</i> (1781, 1787), the <i>Critique of Practical Reason</i> (1788), and the <i>Critique of the Power of Judgment</i> (1790) — is human autonomy. He argues that the human understanding is the source of the general laws of nature that structure all our experience; and that human reason gives itself the moral law, which is our basis for belief in God, freedom, and immortality.
"It is impossible to think of anything at all in the world, or indeed even beyond it, that could be considered good without limitation except a good will. Understanding, with, judgement, and the like, whatever such talents of mind may be called, or courage, resolution, and perseverance in one's plans, as qualities of temperament, are undoubtedly good and desirable for many purposes, but they can also be extremely evil and harmful if the will which is to make use of these gifts of nature, and whose distinctive constitution is therefore called character, is not good."
Kant is most famous for his view—called transcendental idealism—that we bring innate forms and concepts to the raw experience of the world, which otherwise would be completely unknowable. Kant's philosophy of nature and human nature is one of the most important historical sources of the modern conceptual relativism that dominated the intellectual life of the 20th century.
Kant was a respected and competent university professor for most of his life, although he was in his late fifties before he did anything that would bring him historical repute. He lived a very regulated life: the walk he took at three-thirty every afternoon was so punctual that local housewives would set their clocks by him. He never married and he owned only one piece of art in his household, advocating the absence of passion in favor of logic so that he may better serve.
Immanuel Kant was an 18th-century German philosopher, one of the foremost thinkers of the Enlightenment, and a scholar who continues to influence current philosophical thought. Kant's work provided a key turning point in the history of philosophy, offering an entirely new way of understanding our ways of knowing and the ways that our minds construct meaning from objects.