Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant born on the 22nd of april 1724 and died on the 12th of February 1804 was a german philosopher and geographer from the 18th century. He lived in the Prussian city of Konigsberg.

He was the last influential  philosopher of the period of the theory of knowledge. One of his most famous works was the critique of pure reason in 1787. An investigation into the structure of reason. It suggests that traditional metaphysics can be reformed through epistemology.

Immanuel Kant in his “On the different races of man 1775” aligned people with their physical appearances. Meaning appearance and behaviour ran together. People could judge your worth just by looking at you. He used the term “race” loosely as most people did in that time. Without any concern for scientific precision. This provided a vocabulary for telling people apart based on their natural differences and determined peoples abilities through them.

Immanuel Kant although he thought it necessary to believe in god, He did not believe you could prove his existence and looked for reasons outside of religious faith for the moral law within that he found inspiring. He came to the conclusion that we should act how we think others would/ should act in certain situations. So it would be wrong to lie because we wouldn’t want everyone to lie. He also believed that we should all see others as ends in themselves rather than means to an end. In other words we should not use others for our own purpose. Many humanists would agree with these principles but they would probably be less positive about his belief that consequence and emotion even love were irrelevant to peoples decisions because they are not under our control.

Immanuel Kant believed in the unilineal evolution which was the theory that western European culture was the height of human cultural evolution. In said context the bible was interpreted to sanction slavery and from the 1820s to the 1850s was an oft cited pro slavery legalism was used in the southern united states.


Guyer, Paul (1998, 2004). Kant, Immanuel. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge, from http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/DB047

Tallis, Raymond (2007). Kant, Immanuel. British Humanist Association, London, Gower Street, from www.humanism.org.uk/humanism/humanist-tradition/enlightenment/kant

Ghosh, Abhik (2003). Kant Immanuel. Department of Anthropology, Punjab, Chandigarh, from www.nsdl.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/155/1/PDF+7.2CulturalEvolution.pdf

BBC (2008). Immanuel Kant 18th century portrait, London, BBC Ethnic guide, www.bbc.co.uk/ethnics/lying/lying_1.shtml

1 comment:

  1. 3 and 5 paragraph need to be elaborated on. publish source and quote no later than 7pm !