Kant: A Biography

Kant: A Biography

Manfred Kuehn

Language: English

Pages: 576

ISBN: 0521524067

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This is the first full-length biography in more than fifty years of Immanuel Kant, one of the giants among the pantheon of Western philosophers, and one of the most powerful and influential in contemporary philosophy. Taking account of the most recent scholarship, Manfred Kuehn allows the reader to follow the same journey that Kant himself took in emerging as a central figure in modern philosophy. Manfred Kuehn was formerly Professor of Philosophy at Purdue University. A specialist on German philosophy of the period, he is the author of numerous articles and papers on Immanuel Kant.

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articles of biographical interest than he is willing to admit. Yet it is undeniable that there is not as much written on Kant's life as one might reasonably expect. Furthermore, there has never been a biography that would satisfy the most stringent requirements of scholarship. Karl Vorländer's two-volume Immanuel Kant, Man and Work of 1924 comes closest to this ideal, but even Vorländer did not really attempt to accomplish this task.58 In a sense, his ambitions were higher. He did not want to

life. Though he lived in an isolated part of Prussia, though he did not undertake any thrilling journeys, though there are no great adventures to be told, and though much of his life is summed up by his work, there is still a highly interesting, and perhaps even exciting, story to be told. This is the story of Kant's intellectual life, as it is reflected not just in his work, but also in his letters, his teaching, and his interactions with his contemporaries in Königsberg and the rest of Germany.

This meant that for a long time neither a Catholic, nor a Jew, nor even a Reformed Protestant could be sworn in. 5 Only Lutherans were believed to be capable of loving the true Christian religion. While the Reformed could be sworn in after 1740, Catholics and Jews continued to be discriminated against.6 Emanuel, being only sixteen years old, was exempted from this requirement. He had only to promise that he would obey. Most students had to take an examination by the dean of the faculty in order

Mendelssohnschen Morgenstunden). October: "What Does 'Orientation in Thinking' Mean?" (Was heißt, sich im Denken orientieren?) in Berlinische Monatsschrift. September: Inauguration of Frederick William II. Kant organizes the uni¬ versity's role in the festivities. December 7: Kant becomes external member of the Berlin Academy of the Sciences. Schmid, Extract from Kant's Critique of Reason. 1786—87 Reinhold's "Letters on the Kantian Philosophy" in Der teutsche Merkur. 1787 Second edition of the

University of Königsberg, he found the man lacking. Metzger let it be known: Kant's works were great, but Kant himself was a far-from-admirable human being. He was as petty as human beings come, sharing in most of their faults. All in all, Kant, far from being a model of virtue, was an average person. He was neither particularly good nor par¬ ticularly bad, but it would be better if students did not emulate him. Metzger's short book was occasioned by other books on Kant that were meant to praise

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