Philosophy Index

Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) is one of the greatest figures in philosophy. Kant was a professor of philosophy and sciences, and eventually logic and metaphysics at the University of Königsberg.

Kant called his insights on knowledge “the Copernican revolution in philosophy” (comparing his impact on philosophy to Copernicus’ impact on astronomy). He believed that ideas can have truth independant of reality outside of our minds, that reality is known only when it conforms to the mind that holds its knowledge. According to Kant, all that which lies outside of experience is unknowable, but, contrary to the phenomenological view of German idealism that would come later, it is necessary to presume that outside things exist. Kant's view is known as transcendental idealism.

Kant also discusses the flaws in the metaphysical, that many metaphysical concepts, such as the existence of god(s) or freedom, can neither be disproven nor proven with proper reasoning alone. Kant illustrates the necessity for belief in subjective reality.

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Name: Immanuel Kant
Born: April 22, 1724, Königsberg, Prussia
Died: February 12, 1804, Königsberg
Awards: Berlin Academy Prize, 1754