Immanuel Kant

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Immanuel Kant, 1791 (painting by Gottlieb Doebler . Second version for Johann Gottfried Kiesewetter , 1795)
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Immanuel Kant's signature

Immanuel Kant (* 22. April 1724 in Königsberg , Prussia ; † 12. February 1804 ) was a German philosopher of the Enlightenment . Kant is one of the most important representatives of western philosophy . His work Critique of Pure Reason marks a turning point in the history of philosophy and the beginning of modern philosophy.

Kant created a new, comprehensive perspective in philosophy that will significantly influence the discussion well into the 21st century. This includes not only his influence on epistemology and metaphysics with the critique of pure reason , but also on ethics with the critique of practical reason and aesthetics with the critique of judgment . In addition, Kant wrote important writings on the philosophy of religion , law and history as well as contributions to astronomy and the geosciences .


Kant's monument (sculptor: Christian Daniel Rauch ) in his hometown of Koenigsberg, today's Kaliningrad

Immanuel (in the baptismal register: Emanuel; Kant's birthday was the day of St. Emanuel in the Prussian calendar) Kant was the fourth child of the master saddler and belt maker Johann Georg Kant (* 1683 in Memel ; † 1746 in Königsberg) and his wife Anna Regina (* 1697 in Königsberg; † 1737 ibid), born. Reuter, who married on November 13, 1715. His father had moved to Königsberg as a young man, the mother came from the family of a Riemermeister who had moved from Nuremberg to Königsberg. Of Kant's eight siblings, only four reached adulthood. A great-grandfather on his father's side probably came from a Curonian family who had moved from Latvia to Kantwaggen (later Kantwinen ) in the Memelland . His parents were strongly pietistic and his mother was very open to education. In 1732 Kant came to the Collegium Fridericianum (also called Friedrichskollegium), where he was particularly encouraged to learn the classical languages. In 1740 he began studying at the Albertus University in Königsberg . Whether he was initially enrolled in theology, as one of the early biographers put it, can no longer be reconstructed from the university's documents. In any case, Kant listened to natural sciences and dealt, among other things, with philosophy - his actual subject - as well as with natural philosophy and elementary mathematics, among others with Johann Gottfried Teske and Martin Knutzen .

Kant's house in Königsberg.

In 1746 he published his first work, The Thoughts of the True Appreciation of Living Forces . It was suspected that Kant originally planned it as a dissertation, but published it in German as a polemic because of the contradiction to the Pietist position and to Martin Knutzen. When his father fell seriously ill in 1744 and died in 1746, Kant not only had to provide for his own livelihood, but also for that of two younger siblings. He left Königsberg and took positions as private tutor , initially until around 1750 with the Reformed preacher Daniel Ernst Andersch (active 1728–1771) in Judtschen near Gumbinnen , a Swiss colony of mostly French-speaking settlers. In 1748 he was listed in the local church register as a godfather, where he is referred to as studiosus philosophiae - so Kant was still matriculated at the Albertina. Later he was tutor on the estate of Major Bernhard Friedrich von Hülsen in Groß-Arnsdorf near Mohrungen until around 1753 . He found his third job near Königsberg at Waldburg-Capustigall Castle with the Keyserlingk family , who also gave him access to the higher society of Königsberg. He taught the two step-sons of Caroline von Keyserling , with whom he shared mutual admiration throughout his life.

In 1754, after a generation change had taken place in some chairs at the University of Königsberg (Martin Knutzen had since died), Kant returned to Königsberg. He published some essays in the summer and submitted the De Igne font as a thesis in April 1755 and was then awarded a doctorate. In the same year he published his first larger work, General Natural History and Theory of Heaven , which initially met with little approval. As early as September, the Nova dilucidatio followed, which dealt with “the first principles of metaphysical knowledge” as the second university thesis, with whose defense he received the venia legendi and was able to take up extensive teaching activities as a private lecturer. His subjects included logic , metaphysics , moral philosophy , natural theology , mathematics , physics , mechanics , geography , anthropology , pedagogy, and natural law . His lectures met with great interest. Johann Gottfried Herder , who heard from him from 1762–64, later wrote about it:

"With grateful joy I remember the acquaintance and lessons of a philosopher who was a true teacher of humanity to me [...] His philosophy awakened my own thinking, and I can hardly imagine anything more exquisite and effective than that his lecture was. "

A first application for the Königsberg chair for logic and metaphysics in 1759 failed. In 1764, Kant turned down a call to a chair for poetry. From 1766 to 1772 Kant worked as a sub-librarian in the royal palace library , which was his first permanent position. Kant also turned down the opportunity to teach in Erlangen in 1769 and in Jena in 1770, before he was appointed professor of logic and metaphysics at the University of Königsberg in 1770 at the age of 46. In the same year he presented another dissertation with the study forms and reasons of the sensory and intellectual world . He also refused the call to the then famous University of Halle , which was associated with significantly higher remuneration, in 1778, despite the special request of the Minister of Culture von Zedlitz . In 1786 and 1788 Kant was rector of the University in Königsberg. In 1787 he was accepted into the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin . In 1794 he became an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg .

The last fifteen years of his life were marked by the steadily worsening conflict with the censorship authority , which the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II  had entrusted to the new Minister of Education, Johann Christoph von Woellner - Zedlitz's successor after the death of King Friedrich II .

Kant's monument in its first place in what was then Königsberg, in the background the Old Town Church

Three years after Wöllner's censorship decree of December 19, 1788 , Kant came into conflict with censorship for the first time because of his work On the Failure of All Philosophical Attempts in Theodicy . In a further edict of 1794, he was charged with the "degradation of some main and basic doctrines of the Holy Scriptures and Christianity". Kant continued to teach until 1796, but was instructed to abstain from religious scriptures, as they spread deist and socinian ideas that were not compatible with the Bible. His friend Johann Erich Biester , the publisher of the Berlin Monthly Journal in Berlin, complained to the king, who refused the complaint.

Kant is often portrayed as a stiff professor, bound to a regular daily routine, who, driven by duty, was fully focused on his work. But this picture is an exaggeration. As a student he was a good card player and earned extra income for his studies with billiards . At parties he liked to attend, he was considered gallant, dressed up in fashionable clothes and impressed with “excellent reading and an inexhaustible supply of entertaining and funny anecdotes, which he told and told dryly without ever laughing himself knew how to season [...] with his own genuine humor in apt replicas [...]. ” Johann Gottfried Herder was asked by Kant not to brood over the books so much. And Johann Georg Hamann feared that Kant would not get enough to work because he would be "carried away by a whirlpool of social distractions" (quotations from Kühn).

Kant's tomb next to the Koenigsberg Cathedral in Kaliningrad

His legendary punctuality, according to which other Königsbergers allegedly even set their watches, was much more that of his close friend, the English businessman and banker Joseph Green . His rigorously planned daily routine forced Kant to leave Greens' house punctually at seven on every visit.

By his own admission in Scripture The Conflict of the Faculties Kant taught until he was beyond the 40 and he realized that he economize on health grounds with his forces had a regular daily routine one, which, however, later with its wide appeal of Heinrich Heine in Regarding the history of religion and philosophy in Germany, the following was interpreted as an expression of rigorism : In the morning at 4:45 am he let his housekeeper wake him up with the words "It's time!" And went to bed at 10 pm. He usually invited friends for lunch and was sociable, but avoided philosophical subjects. He also went for a walk at the same time every day. His long-time house servant was the retired soldier Martin Lampe .

Kant spent almost his entire life in the then cosmopolitan Königsberg, where he died in 1804 at the age of almost 80. His last words were supposedly: “It's good.” Immanuel Kant's tomb is located on the outside of the Königsberg Cathedral , the so-called Stoa Kantiana.


With his critical approach ( Sapere aude  - have the courage to use your own mind!) Kant is probably the most important thinker of the German Enlightenment . Usually a distinction is made between the pre-critical and the critical phase in his philosophical path, because his position has changed considerably with the publication of the Critique of Pure Reason at the latest . Until the 1760s, one can attribute Kant to rationalism in the succession of Leibniz and Wolff. Kant himself characterized this period as "dogmatic slumber".

In his (second) dissertation in 1770 a clear break can already be seen. In addition to the understanding, perception is now also a source of knowledge whose peculiarity must be observed. To present intellectual knowledge as vivid is surreptitious . The dissertation and the appointment to the university then lead to the famous phase of silence, in which Kant elaborates his new epistemology , known as Criticism and still widely discussed today . Only after eleven years of intensive work was it published in 1781 in the Critique of Pure Reason . After answering the question of what conditions underlie the possibility of knowledge , on this basis, at the age of 60, Kant can finally turn to the topics of practical philosophy and aesthetics that are actually important to him.

Pre-critical period

General natural history and theory of heaven , title page of the first edition from 1755

Until his doctorate in 1755 he worked as a private tutor and wrote the first writings on natural philosophy, such as the Thoughts on the True Appreciation of Living Forces (Immanuel Kant: AA I, 1–181) and in 1755 the General Natural History and Theory of Heaven ( Immanuel Kant: AA I, 215–368), in which he presents a theory of the formation of the planetary system according to "Newtonian principles" ( Kant-Laplace theory of planet formation ). In the same year he received his doctorate with a thesis on fire ("De igne", Immanuel Kant: AA I, 369–384 About fire ), in which he developed a theory of the "heat substance", and completed his habilitation with a treatise on the first principles of metaphysical knowledge (“Nova dilucidatio”, Immanuel Kant: AA I, 385–416), both in Latin .

As mentioned, Kant dealt intensively with some questions of the natural philosophy of the time , which later faded into the background, but which he never gave up entirely: The General Natural History and Theory of Heaven formulated a groundbreaking theory of the formation of planets from a primordial nebula . Since Pierre-Simon Laplace developed a similar, albeit mathematically elaborated theory in his Traité de mécanique céleste in 1799 , the main features of which have been confirmed today, one speaks of the Kant-Laplace theory of planet formation since Hermann von Helmholtz .

In 1762, appeared after a few minor writings, the treatise The only possible argument for a demonstration of the existence of God to prove in Kant tried that all previous evidence for the existence of God are not sustainable, and its own version of the ontological proof of God developed , which should remedy these shortcomings.

The following years were determined by a growing awareness of the problem of the method of traditional metaphysics, which was expressed above all in Kant's most literarily entertaining work, Dreams of a Seer, Explained by Dreams of Metaphysics (1766), a criticism of Emanuel Swedenborg . In the work De mundi sensibilis atque intelligibilis forma et principiis , published in 1770, he for the first time made a sharp distinction between the sensual knowledge of the appearances of things ( phenomena ) and the knowledge of things as they are in themselves through the understanding ( noumena ). He also understands space and time as “pure intuitions” belonging to the subject , which are necessary to order the appearances with one another. With this two essential points of the later critical philosophy are anticipated, even if Kant's method is still dogmatic here, and he considers an understanding of things as they are in themselves possible. However, whoever pretends intellectual knowledge as tangible knowledge commits vitium subreptionis , the mistake of creeping . In the following ten years the development of critical philosophy took place without any significant publication (the "silent years").

The Kantian questions
According to Kant, the task of a committed philosophy is to answer three questions that lead to a fourth.
  1. What can i know
  2. What should I do?
  3. What can I hope for?
  4. what is the human?

The questions are dealt with by epistemology, ethics and the philosophy of religion. In his critical period, Kant himself presented a fundamental text on each of these areas. Together they answer the question “What is man?” In a philosophical way. With his anthropology , Kant attempted an empirical answer to this question in relation to pragmatic aspects .

General presentation of the Critique of Pure Reason

Critique of Pure Reason , title page of the first edition from 1781

When Kant published the “Critique of Pure Reason” in 1781, the “Copernican turn” in philosophy was complete. For before any ontology, Kant discussed how such a science is possible at all.

The critical method required for this deduces the general conditions that underlie every intellectual act, every knowledge and every perception in advance, a priori, and thereby determine them. The “Critique of Pure Reason” sets out these conditions in two sections, the “Transcendental Aesthetics”, in which the notions of time and space are treated, and the first section of “Transcendental Logic” (the analysis of the concepts and principles a priori ). In the second section, the “transcendental dialectic”, the conclusions of reason are discussed.

The “Transcendental Aesthetics” presents perception as what Kant calls “inner and outer sense” (intuitione pura), not to be confused with sensation (sensatio).

In a formulation by the neo-Kantian philosopher Ernst Cassirer, it is the possibility of being able to think and imagine "one thing next to the other or one after the other". The pure perception of space without any sensuality finds its expression in geometry, that of time in arithmetic (since numbers are only possible through succession). But both are also the conditions of every experience.

It is therefore not necessary - as in Wolffianism - to distinguish between an ideal space for mathematics and a real space for physical interaction. All sensations are only possible under the conditions of spatial or temporal perception.

In the transcendental analytics Kant deduces that sensual knowledge is generated by pure concepts (a priori), the categories. Only through them can sensations (a posteriori) be understood as objects of experience.

By applying the categories to space and time, synthetic a priori judgments arise, the principles of the understanding (second book of analytics), which likewise represent general conditions for objects that can be experienced, such as e.g. B. that all notions are extensive quantities. This gives the first possibility of a pure natural science.

In a chapter that has been very controversial since the publication of “Critique” and to this day, Kant then presents the purely thinkable, but which will never be something recognizable, as a “boundary concept”, in philosophical terminology as a “problematic concept”, since so-called noumena, today mostly only mentioned in the singular, which promotes misunderstandings, is at least possible to think.

In the attempt of human reason to know the unconditioned and to transcend sensual knowledge, it becomes entangled in contradictions, since the "transcendental ideas" are inevitable by the conditions a priori themselves, namely the idea of ​​the soul, the idea of ​​the causal world as a whole and the idea of ​​God. Thus, in the “transcendental dialectic”, Kant refutes the possibility of an ontological proof for this - as well as for the cogito ergo sum des Descartes, which is deciphered as a tautology - but grants the transcendental ideas a regulative function.

The book was placed on the list of forbidden books by the Vatican in 1827 because of the refutations of the evidence of God .

Since every effect can also have a cause out of freedom, namely the free decision to bring about one that is not itself subject to natural laws, the regressing series of causes (of the universe) can be used as the first and necessarily unconditional cause (because if it were conditioned, the condition would again have a cause, etc.) the freedom of a will would be posited as possible.

The "Transcendental Aesthetics" and the two departments of the "Transcendental Logic" together form the "Elementary Doctrine", which is followed by the "Transcendental Methodology", in which Kant z. B. distinguishes the transcendental proof, the deduction, from the inductive one.


“What can I know?” In his pre-critical phase, Kant was a representative of the revisionist rationalism of the Wolffian school. However, through his attempts to reconcile the metaphysics of monadology with the natural philosophy of Isaac Newton and finally through the study of Hume , Kant is awakened from his “dogmatic slumber” (Immanuel Kant: AA IV, 257– Prolegomena ). He recognizes Hume's criticism of rationalism as methodologically correct; H. it is no longer possible for him to return knowledge solely to the pure understanding without sensual intuition. On the other hand, the empiricism of David Hume leads to the conclusion that a certain knowledge is not possible at all, i. H. into skepticism . However, in view of the evidence of certain synthetic a priori judgments - especially in mathematics (such as the a priori certainty of the equation ) and in (classical) physics - Kant regards this as untenable. At least, however, Hume's skepticism "struck a [methodical] spark" by which an epistemological "light" could be "ignited". Thus Kant comes to the question of how knowledge in general, and especially knowledge a priori, is possible; because that it is possible is beyond question in view of the achievements of mathematics and physics. Under what conditions is knowledge even possible? Or - as Kant puts it - what are the conditions for the possibility of knowledge?

The Critique of Pure Reason (KrV) , in which Kant formulates his epistemology as the foundation of a scientific metaphysics, is therefore a discussion on the one hand with the rationalist and on the other hand with the empirical philosophy of the 18th century, which faced each other before Kant. At the same time, the KrV will deal with traditional metaphysics, insofar as it represents concepts and models for explaining the world beyond our experience. Against the dogmatism of the rationalists (e.g. Christian Wolff , Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten ) is that knowledge without sensual intuition, i.e. H. without perception , is not possible. What stands against empiricism is that sensory perception remains unstructured if the mind does not add concepts and through judgments and conclusions, i.e. H. connects with perception through rules.

For Kant, knowledge takes place in judgments . In these judgments, the perceptions that stem from sensuality are combined with the concepts of understanding (synthesis). Sensuality and understanding are the two only, equal and interdependent sources of knowledge. "Thoughts without content are empty, views without concepts are blind." (Immanuel Kant: AA III, 75– B 75)

Illustration to the epistemology of Immanuel Kant

So how does experience come about , that is, knowledge of the world? Kant discusses this in the Transcendental Analytic , the second part of his Critique of Pure Reason . Before that, however, he determines the sensual basis of perception with the transcendental aesthetic . Through the pure intuition of space and time , according to Kant, we distinguish an external sense in which we are given ideas in space side by side. On the other hand, we have an inner sense with which we experience ideas as a temporal sequence. The pure perceptions of space and time are thus the forms of all sensual representations of objects in general, because we cannot imagine these without space and time. But the senses are receptive, i. H. they only contain ideas if they are affected (≈ stimulated) by a conceptually incomprehensible external world (the thing in itself ).

However, Kant does not advocate a simple image theory. After Kant's famous Copernican turn , we do not recognize the thing in itself , but only its appearance , what it is for us . Appearance is what the cognition subject recognizes as the object of an intuition given by sensuality (cf. Immanuel Kant: AA III, 50– B 34). The most general rules under which things as we know them stand are the structures of sensuality and the mind, and not ontological principles based on being. So man recognizes on the basis of his own personal knowledge and does not know whether this knowledge actually has a counterpart in the outside world. Kant explains this “change in the way of thinking” (Immanuel Kant: AA III, 14– B xxii) in the preface to the second edition of the KrV by referring to Copernicus , who changes the visible movement of the planets and fixed stars through the earth's own movement their own axis and around the sun explained. The viewer is the one who turns, not the starry sky. Just as we imagine the world, there are objects whose effects are perceived by the senses - sensuality is affected. We only notice the results of this affection, the sensory perceptions. The appearances are given to us only as spatial objects. Being in space is even the condition of their existence. The outside world, if we understand it as the totality of appearances, is already a “subjective” idea. Such empirical views, composed of individual elements, are what Kant calls sensations . But space and time are added to sensations (matter) as pure forms of sensual perception. They are pure forms of human perception and do not apply to objects in themselves. This means that knowledge is always dependent on the subject. Our reality is the appearances; H. everything that is for us in space and time. According to Kant, the fact that we cannot imagine objects without space and time is due to our limitations and not to the objects themselves. We cannot know whether space and time exist in things in themselves.

Appearances alone do not lead to concepts , and certainly not to judgments. At first they are completely indefinite. Kant explains his considerations on this in the section on transcendental logic, which deals with the part of the understanding in knowledge and which breaks down into a theory of concepts and judgments. The concepts come from the mind, which spontaneously forms them according to rules through the productive imagination . This requires transcendental self-awareness as the basis of all thinking. The pure, d. H. The consciousness of “I think” , which is abstracted from all sensual perceptions and which can also be described as the self-attribution of the mental, is the pivot of the Kantian epistemology. This self-awareness is the origin of pure intellectual concepts, the categories. Quantity , quality , relation and modality are the four functions of the mind according to which categories are formed.

Chalkboard of the categories.
1. The quantity :
Allness .
2. The quality:
Limitation .
3. The relation :
of inherence and subsistence ( substantia et accidens )
of causality and dependency (cause and effect)
the community ( interaction between the doer and the sufferer).
4. The modality :
Possibility - impossibility
Existence - non-existence
Necessity - randomness .
Immanuel Kant: AA III, 93– KrV B 106

On the basis of the categories, the mind connects the sensations with the help of judgment (the ability to subsume under rules) according to so-called schemes. A scheme is the general process of the imagination to picture a concept; z. B. I see something four-legged on the street. I realize: this is a dachshund . I know: a dachshund is a dog, is a mammal, is an animal, is a living being. Schemas are thus (possibly multi-level) structuring general terms that cannot be obtained from empirical intuition, but come from the mind, but relate to perception.

Having described how knowledge is possible at all, now comes the basic question of Kant, if we the science of metaphysics can be justified. Are there statements based purely on intellectual considerations that increase our knowledge in terms of content? Kant formulates the question as follows: Are synthetic knowledge a priori possible?

Kant's answer is "yes". We can gain synthetic knowledge a priori through the categories. So are z. B. under the concept of relation the categories of substance , causality and interaction . The example of causality can be seen: In our sensory perception we recognize two sequential phenomena. Their connection as cause and effect eludes our perception. Causality is thought of by us and that with generality and necessity. We understand causality as the basic principle of nature - this also applies to today's physics, even if its fundamentals operate with probabilities and fields - because we think causality into nature as it appears to us. However, Kant clearly limits this view against the rationalists. Categories without sensual perception are pure form and thus empty (see above), i.e. H. Empirical sensations are required to be effective. Here lies the limit of our knowledge.

How do metaphysical theories come about? This is a question of reason , which denotes that part of the mind with which we draw inferences from concepts and judgments. It is in the nature of reason that it strives for ever greater knowledge and in the end tries to recognize the unconditioned or absolute. But then reason leaves the ground of sensual knowledge and enters the realm of speculation . In doing so, it necessarily brings about the three transcendental ideas immortality ( soul ), freedom ( cosmos ) and infinity ( God ). Kant now shows in dialectics as the science of appearance that the existence of these regulative principles can neither be proven nor refuted.

For Kant it is a philosophy scandal that metaphysics has not yet managed to resolve its traditional disputes. His aim is to give metaphysics a method , as in mathematics since Thales or in the natural sciences since Galileo , which allows us to arrive at tenable statements. The way to do this is to determine the limits of the knowable and to reject transcendent claims to knowledge that go beyond the knowable. Kant summarized this procedure with the formulation - which is not unambiguous outside of its context - that in metaphysics one must “ keep knowledge in order to have room for faith ” (Immanuel Kant: AA III, 18– KrV B xxx). The three postulates of practical reason are understood as the object of “belief”.

Caused by the hesitant reception and considerable misunderstandings in the first review of the Critique of Pure Reason , Kant published the Prolegomena in 1783 , which are intended to introduce critical philosophy in a generally understandable manner. Kant also takes up the questions of natural philosophy again and in 1786 the Metaphysical Beginnings of Natural Science appear , which establish the foundations of Newtonian physics through the critical principles, but develop a theory of the forces that lead out of Newtonian natural philosophy and the starting point for the natural philosophy of the formed German idealism .

Practical philosophy

Foundation of moral philosophy

The question: "What should I do?" Is the fundamental question of the Kantian ethics. But an answer to this question was only possible through epistemological investigations in the Critique of Pure Reason , through which Kant had laid a theoretical foundation for practical philosophy.

The questions about the foundation of moral philosophy, which are only hinted at in the final chapters of the Critique of Pure Reason, are answered by Kant in 1785 in the Foundation for the Metaphysics of Morals (GMS). Here the categorical imperative is developed as a fundamental principle of ethics and the idea of ​​freedom, which in the first criticism could not be proven for theoretical reason, is now justified as a fundamental and necessary postulate of practical reason. After the revision of individual pieces of the Critique of Pure Reason for the second edition in 1787, the Critique of Practical Reason (KpV) appears in 1788 , which partly revises the moral-philosophical approach of the "foundation" argumentatively and expands it further in terms of action theory.

In both of these writings, Kant examines the prerequisites and the possibility of morally binding statements of should. It is not religion, common sense, or empirical practice that can answer this question, only practical reason. In Kant's reflections on ethics , three elements are essential: the concept of a good will, the assumption of freedom of will and the logical form of a categorical imperative , which alone can guarantee the unconditionality of a moral requirement. Kant sees the basis of morality in the self-determination of free will through an unconditional principle:

"[...] the will is able to choose only that which reason recognizes as practically necessary, ie as good, regardless of inclination."

- Immanuel Kant: AA IV, 412

Kant argues for the view that every person finds the standard of morality in himself and that he should form the maxim of his action according to this general principle:

“Practical principles are sentences that contain a general determination of the will that has several practical rules under it. They are subjective, or maxims, if the condition is seen by the subject as valid only for the will of the subject; but objective, or practical laws, if they are recognized as objective, ie valid for the will of every reasonable being. "

- Immanuel Kant: AA IV, 19

The determination of the rational will by oneself alone thus dictates that the maxim of one's own action be aligned with the principle of morality. For the human being, who is not a pure rational being but at the same time a sensual being, this principle is expressed in the formula of a categorical imperative as an unconditional requirement. Kant gives several different formulations of the categorical imperative in the GMS;

  • Natural law formula :. "[...] act as if the maxim of your action should become the general law of nature through your will." ( Immanuel Kant: AA IV, 421 )
  • General law formula :. "[...] only act according to the maxim by which you can also want it to become a general law." ( Immanuel Kant: AA IV, 421 )
  • Human purpose formula: "Act in such a way that you use humanity both in your person and in the person of everyone else at the same time as an end, never just as a means." ( Immanuel Kant: AA IV, 429 )
  • Realm of purposes formula: "Accordingly, every rational being must act as if through its maxims it were at all times a legislative member in the general realm of ends." ( Immanuel Kant: AA IV, 438 )

Without freedom, the categorical imperative would be impossible; conversely, freedom can only be demonstrated from the moral law, because purely theoretically it cannot be secured. If a person acts according to the moral law, he is independent of sensual, also instinctual influences and therefore not determined by others (heteronomous), but autonomous. As an autonomous being, he has human dignity according to Kant . For Kant, however, the prerequisite for human dignity is not that a person acts morally, but that he is capable of ethical action.

Kant developed his understanding of freedom by examining the opinions on free will that were widespread at the time. Hume, for example, asserts that man is entirely a natural being who is exclusively subject to the causal chains to which the rest of nature is also subject. Kant, on the other hand, tries to resolve the contradiction between thinking in natural chains of causality and the necessity of free will for morality. To this end, he looks at people from a double perspective: On the one hand, he sees people as an empirical being who, as with Hume, is subject to the laws of nature. At the same time, however, the human being is also an intelligible being who can orientate himself on moral principles and follow the laws that reason gives itself, and thus at the same time belongs to the "realm of freedom".

For Kant, a free will is therefore only a will under moral laws. In his later philosophy of religion, however, Kant also drafts a theory of how the decision to act badly can be reconciled with his understanding of freedom.

Because of the orientation towards the demanding character of the moral commandment, Kant's ethics is, in its approach , an ethics of duty as opposed to an ethics of virtue such as that represented by Aristotle . According to Kant, too, every person inevitably strives for “happiness”, but the variety of subjective opinions about human happiness does not make it possible to derive objective laws of a eudaimonistic ethic. In the place of happiness, Kant subsequently places “worthiness for happiness” , which arises from moral behavior. Only when man does his duty are he worthy of bliss. The desire for happiness is neither denied nor criticized, but Kant denies that it should play a role in deciding the question of what is morally necessary. Where Kant in his other writings on practical philosophy does not deal with fundamental questions, but with concrete ethical phenomena, it becomes clear that his ethics is not an empty formalism and neither is it a rigorous overburdening of human beings, but rather strives for the diversity of human beings To capture behavior.

In Kant's opinion, in human life it is not possible to achieve full happiness, but only “complacency” . By this he understands the satisfaction of people with the fact that they orientate themselves to morality in their actions. For Kant, one of the moral duties is to promote the happiness of other people through helpfulness and unselfish action in friendship, marriage and family.

Legal Philosophy and Ethics

In 1793, in the foreword to the Critique of Judgment , Kant proclaimed that this work concluded his critical business. Now he wants to proceed “unhampered to the doctrinal” ( Immanuel Kant: AA V, 170 ) business, that is, the elaboration of a system of the transcendental philosophy . However, this is preceded by The Religion within the Limits of Mere Reason (1793), in which Kant examines the rational content of religion and further explains the approach of a moral-practical religion of reason, as developed by the postulate theory of the second and third Critique.

As an elaboration of the system, Kant published Die Metaphysik der Sitten in 1797 , in which he outlined a detailed political philosophy and ethics in the two main sections on the doctrine of law and the doctrine of virtue . Kant derives the concept of law from the need to make violations of the rights of others sanctionable. In his treatise On Eternal Peace , Kant expanded his legal philosophy and the principle of reciprocity developed there into a League of Nations that ultimately encompasses all states and peoples :

"For if luck puts it this way: that a powerful and enlightened people can form a republic (which by its nature must be inclined to eternal peace), then this republic provides a focal point of the federal association for other states to show themselves on to join them and thus to secure the state of freedom of the states in accordance with the idea of ​​international law and to gradually expand through several connections of this kind. "

- Immanuel Kant: AA VIII, 356

History, Enlightenment and Religion

An answer to his third question, “What may I hope?” , Even in the Critique of Pure Reason, did not consider Kant to be possible based on reason alone. Since God, the immortality of the soul and freedom cannot be proven by reason, but also reason cannot prove the non-existence of these ideas, the question of the absolute is a question of faith: “I had to save knowledge in order to make room for faith get. "( Immanuel Kant: AA III, 18 )

Accordingly, according to Kant, no divine intention can be found in the course of history. History is an image of man who is free. Because of this freedom, one cannot recognize any regularities or further developments in history, for example in the direction of happiness or perfection, because progress is not a necessary prerequisite for action. Still one can think of a plan in nature, i. H. imagine that the story has a guide (is teleological ). If one follows this idea, reason develops in the coexistence of people. For this coexistence, man has created the law out of reason, which gradually determines the social order more and more. In the end this leads to a perfect civil constitution, which lasts even if an external legality has arisen between the states. From this " history with cosmopolitan intent " results a political mandate for those in power:

“But to take this into consideration, as well as the lust for honor of the heads of state as well as of their servants, in order to direct them to the only means that their glorious memory can bring to the later time: that can also be a small motive for trying make such a philosophical story. "

- Immanuel Kant: AA VIII, 31
"What is education?"

This self-understanding determined Kant's attitude as a pioneer of the Enlightenment , which he sees as a destiny of man. Its definition is famous:

“Enlightenment is the outcome of a person from his or her self-inflicted immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's mind without someone else's guidance. This immaturity is itself to blame if the cause of it lies not in a lack of understanding but in the determination and courage to use it without guidance from another. Sapere aude [dare to be sensible]! Have the courage to use your own reason! is therefore the motto of the Enlightenment. "

- Answer the question: what is education? : Berlinische Monatsschrift, 1784,2, pp. 481–494

In Religion within the Limits of Mere Reason (1793) Kant writes:

"Everything that, apart from the good way of life, man still thinks he can do in order to please God is mere religious delusion and after-service of God."

- Immanuel Kant: AA VI, 170

Kant was optimistic that free thinking, which had developed particularly strongly under Frederick the Great - albeit mainly related to religion - led to the people's way of thinking gradually changing and ultimately influencing the principles of government People, "who are now more than machines, to be treated according to their dignity" ( Immanuel Kant: AA VIII, 42 ). Kant was a strong advocate of the French Revolution and stood by this stance, although he had to reckon with sanctions after Friedrich Wilhelm II took over the government. Despite increasing censorship, Kant published his religious writings during this period. According to this, God cannot be proven. But consistent moral action is not possible without a belief in freedom, immortality and God. Hence morality is the original and religion declares moral duties as divine commandments. So religion followed the already existing moral law. In order to find the actual duties, one must, conversely, filter out the right thing from the various religious teachings. Kant criticized ritual church practices as clergy. After the publication of the religious publication The Religion within the Limits of Mere Reason in 1793 and 1794, Kant actually received a cabinet order prohibiting him from further publishing in this sense. Kant bowed in favor of the reign of the king, but took up the position again undiminished in the dispute between the faculties after his death .

Kant summarized his attitude to religion in his self-composed obituary for the Königsberg theologian Lilienthal 1782 as follows:

“What follows life covers deep darkness. What we are due to do we are only certain of. Like Lilienthal, no death can rob him of hope if he believes to do right, does right to believe happily. "

- Immanuel Kant: AA XII, 397

Aesthetics and purposes of nature

Usually, the Critique of Judgment (KdU) is referred to as the third major work of Kant. In the work published in 1790, Kant tries to complete his system of philosophy and to establish a connection between the theoretical understanding on which the knowledge of nature is based, on the one hand, and the practical pure reason, which leads to the recognition of freedom as an idea and moral law, on the other. The feeling of pleasure and displeasure is the link between the faculty of knowledge and the faculty of desire. The connecting principle is expediency. This is shown on the one hand in the aesthetic judgment of the beautiful and sublime (Part I) and on the other hand in the teleological judgment that determines the relationship between man and nature (Part II). In both cases, the power of judgment is not decisive, as is the case with knowledge, where a certain concept is included under a general concept, but reflective, which means that the general is obtained from the individual.

The determination of the aesthetic is a subjective judgment process, in which an object is assigned a predicate by the judgment as beautiful or sublime . Criteria for purely taste judgments are that they are made regardless of the interest of the person making the judgment, that these judgments are subjective, that the judgment continues to claim general validity and that ultimately the judgment is necessarily made. An aesthetic judgment is purely subjective, even if it is thought without any interest and without any concepts in contrast to the knowledge judgment; nevertheless, according to Kant, it claims general validity (KdU, § 8 / § 9). This is only possible if there is a "quasi-knowledge", otherwise general validity is not conceivable. This power of cognition arises in the free play of imagination (for the composition of the manifold of perception) and understanding (for the union of ideas into concepts), which creates a feeling of pleasure (or displeasure) in the observer of an object and triggers a pleasure that we do to connect with the object that we call “beautiful”, but without this pleasure triggering the judgment. In this respect, the observer of an object who thinks an aesthetic judgment through pleasure demands that this judgment is valid for everyone and that no discussion can be ignored, even if there is no agreement in opinion (KdU § 7).

As in ethics, Kant looks for the formal criteria of a judgment (for the conditions of possibility) and excludes the content-related (material) determination of the beautiful. When the viewer judges an object, something has to be present on the object (on the surface) so that this free play of cognitive power comes into play and triggers the feeling of pleasure that leads to the judgment of a "beautiful" object. The peculiarity of the taste judgment consists in the fact that, although it has only subjective validity, it nonetheless claims all subjects as if it were an objective judgment based on cognitive grounds.

In contrast to the beautiful, the sublime is not tied to an object and its form:

“What is sublime is that which even to be able to think proves a faculty of the mind that surpasses every standard of the senses.”

Both the beautiful and the sublime please by themselves. But the sublime does not create a feeling of pleasure, but admiration and respect. The sublime in art is not possible for Kant, this is at most a bad imitation of the sublime in nature:

“What is beautiful is what pleases in mere judgment (that is, not by means of the sensation of the sense according to a concept of the understanding). From this it follows that it must please without any interest. What is sublime is what is immediately pleasing through its resistance to the interest of the senses. "

In teleological judgment, the expediency inherent in nature is considered. Purpose is not a property of objects, but is thought by us and placed in the objects; like freedom, it is a regulative idea. The objective natural purpose of an object, conceived by reason, results from the relationship between the parts and the whole. We cannot explain the structure of a tree or the coordination of natural processes with a pure mechanism. Unlike a clock, a tree is self-reproducing. We see the connections between natural things as if there was a purpose in them. However, we must be careful not to try to justify the perceived expediency of nature with religion:

“So if one brings in the concept of God for natural science and its context in order to make the expediency in nature explainable, and afterwards in turn needs this expediency to prove that there is a God: so is neither in both Internal sciences. "

- KdU § 68

Works on anthropology

In addition to the three questions characteristic of the “transcendental turning point”, Kant devoted himself to a fourth for almost forty years: “What is man?” However, the writings on this are not those of philosophical anthropology, as they were in the 20th century Rather, they fall into the scientific fields of psychology, ethnology, ethnology, cultural anthropology and historical anthropology. These works did not find any direct expression in the work of transcendental philosophy, but they form an essential background for Kant's thinking. For a long time, however, Kant's research considered it to be of secondary importance. It was only in the last quarter of the last century that pioneering studies began to develop this topic in an exegetically appropriate manner.

Early writings

Kant's early publications in these areas were Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime (1764), On the Disease of the Head (1764), On the Different Races of Men (1775), and Determination of the Concept of a Human Race (1785). The text Probable Beginning of Human History (1786) and parts of the religious-philosophical works are also to be counted . The late work Anthropology in a pragmatic way (1798) can partly be seen as a résumé of this work and is based primarily on the last anthropology lecture in the winter semester 1795/96. Kant was not interested in physiological anthropology, that is, "what nature makes of humans", but rather the question of "what he, as a free-trading being, does, or can and should do, of himself."

Anthropological lectures

The lectures on anthropology as a new subject at the university, after Kant had introduced physical geography there as early as 1755, began in the winter semester of 1772/73 and were held 24 times over the course of almost two decades. Since Kant always lectured freely and only based himself on notes, the exact text is no longer known, but on the basis of the drafts and some surviving transcripts of his students (including Herder ), a reconstruction was made in the New Edition of the Academy Edition in 1992 recorded.

Kant viewed the lectures on "What is the human being?" - which also include those on pedagogy - as propaedeutics for the transition of the university to an institution for imparting worldly wisdom, which had more to do with general human knowledge than one Methodology of the reasons for this. The lectures should also be entertaining and never dry. In addition to relevant philosophical works (Montesquieu, Hume), Kant primarily processed current literature and travel reports, so he developed his ideas on the basis of reports from third parties in order, combined with his own observations and reflections, to draw the most comprehensive picture of man possible.

The subject of races

In the short treatises From the different races of humans (in the original almost 20 pages) and definition of the concept of a human race (almost 30 pages), fundamentally comparable ideas are presented, namely that "all people in the wide world belong to one and the same species of nature" and "presumably belong to one tribe", but there are different races, which is largely due to the different skin color.

Both writings speak of four of them, which can be "brought under the following outline" "in connection with the natural causes of their formation" - meaning the climatic conditions set out above - whereupon, as the so-called "genus", initially "whites of brunette color ”, then, as the first, second, third and fourth races,“ high blond ”,“ copper red ”,“ black ”and“ olive yellow ”are mentioned.

The second writing also says: “One can assume four class differences of people with regard to skin color”, and it is reaffirmed: “The class of white people is not differentiated as a special species in the human species from that of black; and there are no different kinds of people. This would deny the unity of the tribe from which they could have sprung; for which, as has been shown by the inevitable inheritance of their classical characters, one has no reason, but rather a very important opposite. "

The assignment of all people to only one genus, one species and one tribe is to be opposed to the interpretation of a (pseudo) biological racism that has been raised in isolated cases, whereby the need for exegesis of the concept of the class of people, which is to be distinguished from it, emerges. In his reply to Georg Forster's objections in the autumn of 1786, Kant pointed out the special meaning in which he wanted the term to be understood: “What is a race? The word is not at all in a system of description of nature, so the thing itself is presumably not in nature anywhere either. (...) The character of the race can thus be sufficient to classify creatures according to it, but not to make a special species out of it, because this could also mean a strange ancestry, which we do not want to understand under the name of a race . ”Kant explains that he wants to use the race as progenies classifica and that this class is not“ in the extended sense ”, but“ for a completely different purpose ”.

In order to adequately address the above-mentioned question, the principles paragraphed in the ethical work should also be used, such as the one that the same global civil right (ius cosmopoliticum) applies to all people, as this is also pointed out at the end of the anthropology .

However, many of Kant's empirical statements on ethnology are untenable from today's point of view and are characterized by the only indirect knowledge of the subjects, which all too often adopt Eurocentric representations of the cultures of the world, simplifying them and readily assigning them to the respective peoples as characteristics.

Thus the evaluation contained in the fourth section of the observations on the feeling of the beautiful and sublime and in the text On the Use of Teleological Principles in Philosophy (1788) is essentially justified by the characteristic of cultural evidence, to the detriment of African and American peoples, and precisely on This area can hardly be denied Kant's lack of knowledge, not only in comparison with today's knowledge of Africanology and Americanology. In the tradition of the “climate theory”, which originated in antiquity and was widespread in the 18th century, Kant saw the geographical and climatic conditions as the cause, since it is difficult to give “another reason why this race, too weak for hard work, to” indifferent to industrious and incapable of all culture, for which there is enough example and encouragement in naughtiness, still standing far below the negro himself, who nevertheless occupies the lowest of all other levels that we have named as racial differences ”(after 1788 Any connotations of the word quoted and derived from Latin for “black”, today “African”, are to be considered as such in a diachronic analysis).

The Anthropology in pragmatic ways

Although Kant pragmatically describes anthropology as the handbook for his corresponding lectures, the division of people into classes can no longer be found in it. Since it has no methodological parallels, the cited view in Kant's work is usually only assessed as evidence of a cultural-philosophical arrogance - although it was also backward for his time.

The addition of the “pragmatic point of view” in the title of anthropology appears to be as programmatic as it is ambiguous in research. In the drafts of anthropology lectures from the 1770s, it is obscure: “Pragmatic is knowledge that can be used generally in society.” And in those from the 1780s: “Pragmatic anthropology should not be psychology be (...) also not the physician's physiology to explain the memory from the brain, but rather knowledge of human beings (sic). ”The vague definition of a pragmatic anthropology, in which this is only defined in distinction to physical and speculative sciences, adds to the difficulty to classify the work methodically. The association with the term from Kant's ethics is obvious, but it is questioned in the only standard commentary to date: "It is unlikely, however, that Kant was inspired by the use of the word in morality to describe his anthropology as pragmatic."

After long neglect of the subject, Kant's research initially took the opposite path, interpreting the entire critical philosophy as anthropology, which, however, seemed too bold to assert itself. The interpretation of seeing the “Transcendental Anthropology” mentioned marginally by Kant realized in this early work and “thereby providing it with a systematic place in the Transcendental Philosophy” was rejected as doomed to failure due to the content that hardly corresponds to such a view.

About the content: The first part, anthropological didactics , deals with the cognitive faculties (first book) of pleasure and displeasure (second book) and the faculties of desire (third book). Therein fundamental conceptions of the transcendental thought are repeated, but only in summary and rather casually. Rather, Kant uses the opportunity to go beyond the strict methodological system to deal with general human issues, such as powerlessness, intoxication, fortune-telling, but also the principle of association or the facultas signatrix , which is lacking in critical philosophy was later highlighted (first by Johann Georg Hamann). The mentioned casual style is clear, which gives an idea of ​​the gift often handed down, with which Kant entertained table parties and which can be called anecdotal. On the mysticism of numbers and their power on thought: “The Emperor of China is said to have a fleet of 9999 ships, and one secretly asks oneself with this number: why not one more? although the answer might be: because this number of ships is sufficient for its use. "

The second part, the anthropological characteristics, deals with character traits and how humans can develop them. In doing so, Kant addresses the person, the gender differences, the peoples, this time reducing the consideration of races to just one page and devoting himself to the human species as a whole. French, English, Spaniards, Italians and Germans are assigned typical nationality features in short and in the style of more columnist "portraits", so called by Kant himself. Further topics are the traditional doctrine of temperaments, the question of the disposition of properties (inheritance) and the "way of thinking". Kant saw women as emotional and taste-oriented and less rational than men.

Finally, Kant compares humans with bees, since both live in organized communities, but ends the comparison with the reference to the connection between freedom and law, which characterizes the human species and which needs a third factor, namely violence (in the sense of the executive ). Since freedom and law only result in anarchy without such violence, this third factor is necessary in order to establish civil constitutions. These should be guided by the regulative idea of ​​a "cosmopolitan society" (cosmopolitanism).

It must be left to future studies to decide on the meaning of anthropological writings in comparison with the methodical critical work, but it can be stated that too many considerations in them are superficial and dubious and thus have contributed to the company, to elevate the university to the institution of applicable human knowledge was not a tangible success.

"Opus postumum"

Kant's attempt to further develop the philosophy of nature after the transcendental philosophy has remained unfinished. From 1790, while he was still working on the Metaphysics of Morals , Kant began work on a “transition from the metaphysical beginnings to physics” . He worked on this work until his death in 1804. The manuscripts from this period were summarized in an "Opus postumum" and have only been easily accessible to the public since 1935. These manuscripts show that even in old age Kant was still willing and able to transform critical philosophy.

Need for sensual experience

Starting from the problem of justifying specific regulative research maxims in natural science - in particular physics, chemistry and biology - Kant first feels compelled to examine more closely the role of the human body's senses in knowledge.

“There can be no experience of empty space, nor can there be any conclusion about its object. To be instructed about the existence of a matter, I need the influence of a matter on my senses. "

- Immanuel Kant: AA XXI, 216

Infinite ether or warmth

An essential part of the drafts of the “Opus postumum” is the proof of an ether , which Kant - as already four decades before (1755) in his master’s dissertation entitled “de igne” - also called heat substance.

"It is a matter spread throughout the whole of space as a continuum that pervades all bodies uniformly (therefore not subject to change of location) which one may call ether or heat substance etc. is not a hypothetical substance (in order to explain certain phenomena and cause given effects more or less apparently to be conceived) but can be recognized and postulated a priori as a necessary part of the transition from the metaphysical beginnings of the natural sciences to physics. "

- Immanuel Kant: AA XXI, 218

Unfinished "major work"

The problematic of these investigations - which Kant calls his "main work" or "chef d'œuvre" in private circles - shifts in the course of the drafts to increasingly abstract levels, so that around 1800 Kant returns to a systematic level, that of criticism corresponds to pure reason , although not necessarily to its problem (which is difficult to identify due to the condition of the manuscript). Kant developed a “doctrine of self-positing” , which he then expanded to include practical reason, and ended with drafts for a newly conceived “system of transcendental philosophy” , which he could no longer work out.


Immanuel Kant2.jpg
Immanuel Kant, black and white illustration of a portrait by VC Vernet (around 1800)
Immanuel Kant (Lehmann) .jpg
Immanuel Kant after FL Lehmann († 1848), academic engraver at the University of Königsberg (around 1836).
Kant with mustard pot , caricature by Friedrich Hagermann (1801)

During his lifetime

Kant was as far back as an outstanding philosopher, so that already in the 90s of the 18th century, a real Kantianism emerged. Johann Schulz, Karl Leonhard Reinhold and Friedrich Schiller should be highlighted as pioneers . Critical statements from rationalist representatives of the Enlightenment quickly arose. For example, Moses Mendelssohn called Kant one who crushes everything, or Johann August Eberhard even founded his own magazine in which he published his criticism, which Kant explicitly referred to in the book About a discovery, according to which all new criticism of pure reason by an older one to be made dispensable received.

Of greater importance was the criticism by Johann Georg Hamann and Johann Gottfried Herder, who accused Kant of having neglected language as an original source of knowledge. Herder also pointed out that humans already “metaschematize” in the course of perception , which already anticipated insights from Gestalt psychology . Another fundamental approach to criticism came from Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi , who clashed with the separation of the two bases of knowledge and therefore rejected “the thing in itself” .

In German idealism

A second phase of the discussion started from German idealism and here initially from the Kant student Fichte , who also rejected perception as a source of knowledge and thus came to his subjective idealism. He commented disparagingly on Kant's negative reaction. Schelling and Hegel also wanted to overcome and complete Kant through their absolute systems. With the death of Hegel there came an abrupt end to idealism, but not with regard to its further processing. Arthur Schopenhauer considered himself to be Kant's most important student. He detested the competition from Hegel and his school and took over Kant's epistemology in his main work The World as Will and Idea , but identified "the thing in itself" with the "will". Max Stirner and Friedrich Nietzsche's reactions to Hegel, whose absolutism they rejected, and to Kant himself are negative, because they sought a way out of the disillusioning knowledge of the limited possibilities of human action (“the finitude of man”), without stopping at something tangible God, yes, even without the certainty of freedom.

The corpus of further philosophical, critical and polemical Kant literature between 1775 and 1845 was compiled in the publication series Aetas Kantiana .

Kant and his table companions , painting by Emil Doerstling (1892/93)

Friesian School and Neo-Kantianism

A third way of reception began with Jakob Friedrich Fries , Johann Friedrich Herbart and Hermann von Helmholtz , who received Kant from a scientific - especially psychological - point of view. With Otto Liebmann , neo-Kantianism began to develop its effect in the second half of the 19th century , which was to dominate the discussion up to the time of the First World War . The main representatives in the Marburg School were Hermann Cohen and Paul Natorp with a strongly science- oriented approach, and in the Baden School Heinrich Rickert and Wilhelm Windelband with emphasis on value philosophy and history. What they all have in common is the critique of the central concept a priori , which they saw as a metaphysical element in Kant. In many ways her position was at least closely related to idealism. This was different in the criticism of Alois Riehl and his pupil Richard Hönigswald , who leaned closely on Kant and was only concerned with a continuation taking into account the insights of modern science. Hans Vaihinger went independent ways with the philosophy of "As if" as well as the former Marburg Nicolai Hartmann with an ontology of critical realism and Ernst Cassirer with the philosophy of symbolic forms. The latter showed u. a. that modern mathematical and scientific theories such as the theory of relativity can also be reconciled with criticism.

Kant research and reception in the 20th century

In the 20th century there are no more Kant schools, but (almost) every philosophy is a discussion or dialogue with Kant. This ranges from Charles S. Peirce to Georg Simmel , Edmund Husserl , Karl Jaspers , Max Scheler , Martin Heidegger , Ernst Bloch to Theodor Adorno and Karl Popper as well as in the analytical philosophy to Peter Frederick Strawson with a highly regarded commentary on the Critique of Pure Reason and John McDowell's resumption of Kantian thought motifs in his work Geist und Welt . The Erlangen constructivism is closely based on Kant. In Karl-Otto Apel's approach to transforming the transcendental philosophy or in Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker , Kant also makes up an essential point of reference. Lyotard refers in his aesthetics on Kant's concept of the sublime . In the second half of the century, a group of philosophers emerged who linked their philosophical positions directly to Kant in the sense of critical rationality, such as Helmut Holzhey , Dieter Henrich , Gerold Prauss , Norbert Hinske , Herbert Schnädelbach , Reinhard Brandt or Otfried Höffe . There are also corresponding representatives in the USA, such as Paul Guyer , Henry E. Allison and Christine Korsgaard . The revival of deontological ethics, which received a considerable impetus from John Rawls ' theory of justice, should be emphasized . It is also the basis of the discourse ethics developed by Apel and Jürgen Habermas and the discourse theory of law by Robert Alexy . But also in aesthetics and in the philosophy of religion there are intensive discourses with and about Kant. For the brothers Gernot and Hartmut Böhme , Kant's epistemology stands for a problematic approach to the world, for the idealization of an autonomous reason that is increasingly alienated from nature as well as from one's own body and feelings. In their book “The Other of Reason”, the authors try to make the costs of this self-control strategy visible and to make the losing side speak.

Even today, Kant is the most widely received philosopher. This can be seen in more than 1000 monographs and collections of essays that appeared in 2004, the 200th year of his death, as well as 1100 participants in the "Kant and the Berlin Enlightenment" congress in 2000 (IX International Kant Congress in Berlin). There are the Kant studies founded by Hans Vaihinger in 1896 with around 25 treatises per year as a forum for the Kant Society founded in 1904 in the 100th year of death in Halle / Saale, the Kant research center at the University of Mainz, the Bonn Kant corpus on electronic Publication of Kant's writings as well as the Marburg Kant archive , which handed over the completion of the academy edition to the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences . Japan also has its own Kant society. In Tokyo in the Temple of the Philosophers has been hanging a picture entitled The Four Wise Men with the representation of Buddha , Confucius , Socrates and Kant for over 100 years .


  • Thoughts on the True Appreciation of Living Forces (1746)
  • Investigation of the question whether the earth in its rotation around the axis, whereby it brings about the alternation of day and night, has suffered some changes since the earliest times of its origin and from which one can assure itself which of the royal. Academy of Sciences in Berlin abandoned for the price for the current year (1754)
  • The question of whether the earth is obsolete, physically considered (1754)
  • General natural history and theory of heaven (1755)
  • Meditationum quarundam de igne succincta delineatio (1755) [often referred to as De igne for short , dissertation]
  • Principiorum primorum cognitionis metaphysicae nova dilucidatio (1755) [German: New elucidation of the first principles of metaphysical knowledge, often short as Nova dilucidatio ]
  • On the causes of the earth tremors on the occasion of the disaster which struck the western countries of Europe towards the end of last year (1756)
  • History and description of the nature of the strangest occurrences of the earthquake, which at the end of the 1755th year shook a large part of the earth (1756)
  • Continued consideration of the earth tremors that have been perceived for some time (1756)
  • Metaphysicae cum geometria iunctae usus in philosophia naturalis, cuius specimen I. continet monadologiam physicam (1756) [dissertation, often called "physical monadology" for short]
  • New notes to explain the theory of winds (1756)
  • Draft and announcement of a Collegii of Physical Geography with the addition of a brief consideration on the question: Whether the westerly winds in our regions are damp because they sweep over a large sea (1757)
  • New concept of movement and rest and the related conclusions in the first reasons of natural science (1758)
  • An attempt at some reflections on optimism (1759)
  • Thoughts on the premature death of Mr. Johann Friedrich von Funk (1760)
  • The false subtlety of the four syllogistic figures (1762)
  • The only possible evidence for a demonstration of the existence of God (1763)
  • Attempt to introduce the concept of negative quantities in world wisdom (1763)
  • Observations on the feeling of the beautiful and sublime (1764)
  • Experiment on the diseases of the head (1764)
  • Inquiry into the clarity of the principles of natural theology and morality (1764)
  • Review of Silberschlag's writing: Theory of the fireball published on July 23, 1762 (1764)
  • News of the establishment of his lectures in the winter months of 1765–1766 (1765)
  • Dreams of a Spirit Seer illustrated by Dreams of Metaphysics (1766)
  • The first reason for the difference between regions in space (1768)
  • De mundi sensibilis atque intelligibilis forma et principiis (1770) [Inaugural dissertation, German: On the form and the principles of the sensual and the intellectual world]
  • Review of Moscati's paper: On the essential physical differences between the structure of animals and man (1771)
  • About the different races of men (1775)
  • Articles concerning the philanthropist (1776–1777)
  • Critique of Pure Reason , 1st edition. (1781) [Often as KdrV A ]
  • Advertisement of Lambert's correspondence (1782)
  • Message to doctors (1782)
  • Prolegomena to every future metaphysics that will be able to appear as science (1783)
  • Review of Schulz's attempt at a guide to moral teaching for all people, regardless of religion, together with an appendix on the death penalty (1783)
  • Idea for a general story with cosmopolitan intent (1784)
  • Answering the question: What is Enlightenment (1784)
  • Reviews of JG Herder's ideas on the philosophy of human history. Part 1. 2. (1785)
  • About the volcanoes in the moon (1785)
  • On the illegality of reprinting books (1785)
  • Definition of the concept of the race of men (1785)
  • Foundation for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785)
  • Metaphysical foundations of natural science (1786)
  • Presumed beginning of human history (1786)
  • Review of Gottlieb Huseland's attempt on the principle of natural law (1786)
  • What does it mean: to orient oneself in thinking? (1786)
  • Some remarks on LH Jakob's examination of Mendelssohn's morning hours
  • Critique of Pure Reason, 2nd, expanded and revised edition. (1787) [Often as KdrV B ]
  • On the use of teleological principles in philosophy (1788)
  • Critique of Practical Reason (1788)
  • Kraus' review of Ulrich's Eleutheriologie (1788)
  • Critique of Judgment (1790)
  • About a discovery, according to which all new criticisms of pure reason are to be made dispensable by an older one (1790) [briefly often as a polemic against Eberhardt ]
  • On the failure of all philosophical attempts in the Theodicee (1791)
  • Religion within the Limits of Mere Reason (1793)
  • About the common saying: This may be correct in theory, but not suitable for practice (1793)
  • The end of all things (1794)
  • Something about the influence of the moon on the weather (1794)
  • To eternal peace . A philosophical draft (1795)
  • Of a recently raised noble tone in philosophy (1796)
  • Resolving a Misunderstanding Mathematical Dispute (1796)
  • Announcement of the near conclusion of a treatise on perpetual peace in philosophy (1796)
  • The Metaphysics of Morals (1797)
  • About a supposed right to lie out of philanthropy (1797)
  • The dispute between the faculties (1798)
  • About bookmaking (1798)
  • Anthropology in a pragmatic way (1798)
  • Preface to Reinhold Bernhard Jachmann's examination of the Kantian philosophy of religion (1800)
  • Postscript to Christian Gottlieb Mielcke's Lithuanian-German and German-Lithuanian dictionary (1800)
  • Immanuel Kant's logic [edited and edited by Gottlob Benjamin Jasche based on lecture notes and notes, often referred to as Jasche logic ] (1800)
  • Physical geography [edited and edited by Friedrich Theodor Rink based on Kant's lecture materials] (1802)
  • On pedagogy [edited and edited by Friedrich Theodor Rink based on Kant's lecture materials] (1803)

Classical editions of works appeared as early as the 19th century, but the standard reference is the so-called "academy edition" of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff. (29 volumes), which also contains the surviving legacy, Kant's correspondence, several reference texts and numerous lecture notes. Support is now being continued by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences . His late work, the so-called Opus postumum, is part of the academy edition due to its eventful edition history, but one cannot speak of a reconstruction of the intention of the work, nor a critical edition, nor of a diplomatically correct reproduction of the sources.

Modern study editions are primarily Wilhelm Weischedel’s work edition from 1955 to 1962 and the critical individual editions published in the Philosophical Library.


Bust of Kant in the Walhalla near Regensburg (sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow ), 1808
Coin 5 DM Immanuel Kant Avers.png
Coin 5 DM Immanuel Kant Revers.png
5 DM commemorative coin for Kant's 250th birthday

In honor of Kant, numerous monuments were erected, especially in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A selection:

Busts and stills


On February 12, 1904 - the 100th anniversary of Kant's death - a bronze plaque was presented to the public at what was then Königsberg Castle (design: Friedrich Lahrs ). It contained a central sentence from the "decision" of the Critique of Practical Reason :

"Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and more persistently the reflection occupies itself with it: the starry sky above me and the moral law in me"

- Immanuel Kant: AA V, 161

The original tablet has been lost since 1945. On the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the city of Königsberg in 1955 was in the Patenstadt a replication of the edged board in Brunnenhof unveiled the Duisburg city hall Duisburg. In 1994 a bilingual Kant board was installed in Kaliningrad in the northern end of the new bridge over the Pregel towards the Hotel Kaliningrad. (See also Kant memorial plaque ).

The quote sums up the questions dominating Kant's thinking: the beauty of the order of empirically explainable nature and the respect for the moral law, in which the freedom of pure will is shown.


Introduction of



  • Josef Bohatec : Kant's philosophy of religion in religion within the limits of pure reason with special consideration of its theological-dogmatic sources. Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 1938. (Reprint: Olms, Hildesheim 1966)
  • Ernst Cassirer : Kant's life and teaching . Berlin 1921. (Volume 8 of the collected works. ) Meiner, Hamburg 2001, ISBN 3-7873-1408-3 .
  • Farah Dustdar : From Micropluralism to a Macropluralist Political Model. Kant's value-bound liberalism (= contributions to political science . Vol. 115). Duncker and Humblot, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-428-09997-4 .
  • Julius Ebbinghaus : Collected essays, lectures and speeches . Knowledge Buchges., Darmstadt 1968 (contains Ebbinghaus's most important essays on Kant's theoretical and practical philosophy)
  • Norbert Fischer (Hrsg.): Kant and Catholicism - stations of an eventful history. Herder Verlag, Freiburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-451-28507-3 .
  • Norbert Fischer, Maximilian Forschner (ed.): The question of God in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Herder Verlag, Freiburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-451-30135-3 .
  • Volker Gerhardt : Immanuel Kant. Reason and Life. Reclam, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-15-018235-2 .
  • Stefan Gerlach: How is freedom possible? An investigation into the potential for solving the problem of determinism in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Francke, Tübingen 2010, ISBN 978-3-7720-8360-0 .
  • Dietmar Heidemann, Kristina Engelhard (eds.): Why Kant today? Systematic meaning and reception of his philosophy in the present. De Gruyter, Berlin a. a. 2004, ISBN 3-11-017477-4 .
  • Otfried Höffe (Ed.): Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-05-003576-5 .
  • Otfried Höffe: Royal peoples. On Kant's cosmopolitan law and peace theory. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 2001, ISBN 3-518-29119-X .
  • Otfried Höffe: Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. The foundation of modern philosophy. Beck, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-50919-3 .
  • Dieter Hüning, Burkhard Tuschling (Ed.): Law, State and International Law with Immanuel Kant. Marburg conference on Kant's “Metaphysical Beginnings of Legal Doctrine” . Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-428-09602-9 .
  • Karl Jaspers : Kant. Life, Works, Effect. Piper, Munich 1975, ISBN 3-492-00424-5 .
  • Wolfgang Kersting : Well-ordered freedom. Immanuel Kant's Legal and State Philosophy , 3rd exp. u. edit Edition. Mentis-Verlag, Paderborn 2007, ISBN 978-3-89785-587-8 .
  • Nikolai F. Klimmek: Kant's system of transcendental ideas (= Kant studies, supplementary books. Volume 147). De Gruyter, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-11-018349-8 .
  • Darius Koriako: Kant's Philosophy of Mathematics. Basics - requirements - problems. Meiner, Hamburg 1999, ISBN 3-7873-1429-6 .
  • Günter Lottes, Uwe Steiner (Ed.): Immanuel Kant. German Professor and World-Philosopher. German professor and world philosopher. Wehrhahn, Hannover 2007, ISBN 978-3-86525-214-2 .
  • Robert Nehring: Critique of Common Sense: Common sense, reflective judgment and common sense - the sensus communis in Kant. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-428-13161-7 .
  • Günther Patzig : How are synthetic judgments a priori possible? In: Josef Speck (ed.): Basic problems of the great philosophers. Philosophy of the Modern Era II. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1988, ISBN 3-525-03306-0 .
  • Jürgen Stolzenberg (ed.): Kant in the present. De Gruyter, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-11-017529-5 .
  • Dieter Sturma , Karl Ameriks (ed.): Kant's ethics. Mentis Verlag, Paderborn 2004, ISBN 3-89785-308-6 .
  • Werner Thiede (Ed.): Faith from your own reason? Kant's Philosophy of Religion and Theology. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2004, ISBN 3-525-56703-0 .


Opus posthumously

  • Erich Adickes : Kant's Opus posthumously presented and assessed. Reuther & Reichard, Berlin 1920 (Kant studies. Supplementary booklets; No. 50)
  • Kurt Hübner : Body and experience in Kant's posthumous opus. In: Gerold Prauss (ed.): Kant: To the interpretation of his theory of recognition and action. Cologne 1973, pp. 192-204.
  • Dina Emundts: Kant's transitional conception in the “Opus postumum”. On the role of the legacy work in laying the foundations for empirical physics. De Gruyter, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-11-018052-9 . (= Sources and studies on philosophy. Volume 62).


Web links

Commons : Immanuel Kant  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Works in full text
Wikisource: Immanuel Kant  - Sources and full texts

reference books

Link collections / archives / research centers


Individual evidence

  1. Kants_Vorfahren on
  2. Rosa cabbage, Volker carbon home: Duden - Surnames: Origin and Meaning of 20,000 last name. Bibliographisches Institut & FA Brockhaus AG, Mannheim 2005, ISBN 3-411-70852-2 , p. 365.
  3. See Vorländer, p. 51, and Kühn, p. 83
  4. ^ Foreign members of the Russian Academy of Sciences since 1724. Immanuel Kant. Russian Academy of Sciences, accessed on September 4, 2015 (Russian).
  5. ^ Brigitte Meier: Friedrich Wilhelm II. King of Prussia: A life between Rococo and revolution. Blow. Regensburg 2007. ISBN 978-3-7917-2083-8 . P. 214
  6. Hans Michel Schletterer: Joh. Friedrich Reichardt: His life and his works. JA Schlosser, Augsburg 1865, p. 84.
  7. ^ Short biography of Joseph Green
  8. Manfred Kühn: Kant. A biography. Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-50918-5 , 185f.
  9. Karl Vorländer: Immanuel Kant. The man and the work. Felix Meiner, Hamburg 1992, p. II 332.
  10. Prolegomena for every future metaphor, G. 7-15. "I freely admit that the memory of David Hume was precisely what interrupted my dogmatic slumber many years ago and gave my investigations in the field of speculative philosophy a completely different direction."
  11. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA I, 1 –181 .
  12. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA I, 215 –368 .
  13. Further early writings, both from the year 1754, are The question of whether the earth is obsolete, physically considered ( online ) and the investigation of the question of whether the earth revolves around the axis, whereby it produces the alternation of day and night, have suffered some changes since the first times of their origins and how to be sure of them ... ( online ).
  14. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA I, 369 –384 .
  15. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA I, 385-416 .
  16. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA III, p. 57ff.
  17. E. Cassirer, On Einstein's theory of relativity. Epistemological considerations, Berlin, 1921, chap. V.
  18. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA IV, p. 66ff.
  19. Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA IV, p. 113 ff.
  20. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA IV, p. 173ff.
  21. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA III, p. 426ff.
  22. See Michael Friedman: Kant and the exact sciences Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 1992, pp. 1-55.
  23. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA IV, 257 -Prolegomena .
  24. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA III, 75 - B 75 .
  25. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA III, 50 - B 34 .
  26. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA III, 14 - B xxii .
  27. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA III, 93 - KrV B 106 .
  28. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA III, 18 - KrV B xxx .
  29. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA IV, 412 .
  30. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA IV, 19  / Weischedel 4, 125 / KpV 35- 36 ..
  31. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA IV, 421  / Weischedel 4, 51 / GMS 51- 53 ..
  32. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA IV, 421  / Weischedel 4, 51 / GMS 51- 53 ..
  33. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA IV, 429  / Weischedel 4, 60 / GMS 66- 68.
  34. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA IV, 438 .
  35. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA V, 170  / Weischedel 5, 240 / KdU B IX -X.
  36. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA VIII, 356  / Weischedel 6, 211 / ZeF 34- 37.
  37. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA III, 18  / KrV B xxx.
  38. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA VIII, 31  / Weischedel 4, 50.
  39. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA VI, 170  / Weischedel 4, 842 / RGV 260- 261.
  40. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA VIII, 42  / Weischedel 6, 61.
  41. ^ Herbert Schnädelbach: Kant . Reclam, Leipzig 2005, p. 106 .
  42. Vorländer - Kant: Own verses. Retrieved July 21, 2017 .
  43. ^ Karl Vorländer: Immanuel Kant. The man and the work , Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 1992, p. II 378
  44. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA XII, 397 .
  45. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA VII, 119
  46. Kant, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, new edition, Reinhard Brandt, Werner Stark (eds.), 1997, AA XV
  47. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA IV, 429-430
  48. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA IV, 441
  49. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA VIII, 93
  50. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA, VIII, 99-100
  51. Monika Firla: Kant's theses on the “national character” of Africans, his sources and the non-existent 'zeitgeist' . In: Rassismus und Kulturalismus (=  communications from the Institute for Science and Art . Volume 52 , no. 3 ). 1997, ISSN  0020-2320 , pp. 7–17 ( [PDF]).
  52. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff., AA VIII, 163
  53. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA VIII, 176
  54. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA XV, 660
  55. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA XV, 801
  56. Reinhard Brandt: Critical commentary on Kant's anthropology in pragmatic terms (1798). Hamburg 1999, p. 52.
  57. Frederick P. van de Pitte, Kant as Philosophical Anthropologist, Kant as Philosophical Anthropologist (1971)
  58. Monika Firla: Studies on the relationship between anthropology and moral philosophy in Kant. Frankfurt am Main 1981.
  59. Reinhard Brandt: Critical commentary on Kant's anthropology in pragmatic terms (1798). Hamburg 1999, p. 50.
  60. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA VII, 196
  61. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA VII, 331
  62. Academy Edition , Volumes 21 and 22 ; also as facsimiles
  63. Martin Hollender: The Berlin State Library acquires the manuscript Opus posthumously from Immanuel Kant . In: Mitt.SBB (PK) NF 8.1999, pp. 312-313. The confused history of the manuscripts of the "Opus postumum" after Kant's death is described in detail in: Erich Adickes : Kant's Opus postumum. Reuther & Reichard, Berlin 1920, pp. 1-35. See also: BBAW: Edition projects .
  64. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA XXI, 216 .
  65. Kant Lexicon: Kant's statements about the ether
  66. Stefan Schulze: Kant's defense of metaphysics: an investigation into the problem history of the Opus Postumum. Tectum Verlag, Marburg 1994, ISBN 3-929019-58-2 , p. 136. (Marburg scientific articles; Volume 7)
  67. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA XXI, 218 .
  68. Kant's handwritten estate: 2nd half (Convolut VII to XIII) p. 754.
  69. Kant's collected writings: Who thinks with pen in hand
  70. ^ Dina Emundts: Kant's conception of transition in the “Opus postumum”. on the role of the legacy work for the foundation of empirical physics. de Gruyter, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-11-018052-9 . (Sources and studies on philosophy; Volume 62)
  71. For example: James Conant (ed.): Analytic Kantianism (PDF; 1.8 MB), Philosophical Topics, 34, No. 1 & 2/2006, with contributions by Robert Brandom , John McDowell and others
  72. Gernot and Hartmut Böhme The Other of Reason. For the development of rationality structures using the example of Kant. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt, 1985, 5th edition 2007
  73. ↑ Accessible online at .
  74. ^ Homepage of the working group.
  75. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA V, 161 .
  76. See Sabine Rahmsdorf: Magazines of the Enlightenment in the Net - Retrospective Digitization of Scientific Review Organs and Literature Journals . In: Daniel Burckhardt u. a. (Ed.): History on the Net: Practice, Opportunities, Visions. Contributions to the .hist 2006 conference . Teilband 1, Berlin 2007, pp. 308–321 (Historisches Forum, Vol. 10).
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on August 18, 2005 .