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Wishing Immanuel Kant a Happy 292nd Birthday

It has been almost three centuries since his birth, and today Philosophical Library is celebrating the 292nd birthday of philosopher Immanuel Kant. Born on April 22, 1724, Kant was raised in a strict, religious household where the core of his upbringing centered on literal interpretations of the Bible; however, skepticism would later hover over his religious beliefs. Kant’s education revolved mostly around religious studies, and he went on to study philosophy at the University of Konigsberg where he was introduced to Isaac Newton’s mathematical physics. Though his father’s death in 1748 would temporarily tear him from his studies, he published his first philosophical work titled Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces a year later.

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Immanuel Kant is known for his contribution in the philosophies of metaphysics and ethics, though a light shines brightly on an astronomical discovery he uncovered regarding the Earth’s rotation. Kant concluded that the frictional resistance against ocean currents affects the planet’s speed of rotation which, up until his finding, had gone unnoticed by astronomers and mathematicians. Though Kant had a strong foundation in philosophy, he kept one foot in the realm of science and would continue to write on the topic for the remainder of his life. He wrote of his hypothesis that the Solar System formed from a large cloud of gas and found that the Milky Way was composed of a large group of stars. Such conclusions and hypotheses opened doors to new possibilities for astronomers, stretching a focus beyond our own solar system.

“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.” – Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant went on to become a noted scholar and publisher of many philosophical works. One of his most influential pieces is titled The Critique of Pure Reason where he explores what can be known by reason alone without having evidence gained from experience. Kant maintains that there are two types of knowledge. One is obtained through the senses and the other is a self-evident truth understood without having prior experience. Continuing his discussion on the topic, he goes on to examine the relationship between these two types of knowledge and concludes that we are capable of finding universal truth through reason.

“All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.” – Immanuel Kant

Perhaps more accessible than his other works, Immanuel Kant is the author of another thoughtful text titled Introduction to Logic where he explains his views and conclusions on logic, aesthetics and moral reasoning. A more comprehendible read, Kant’s Introduction to Logic provides a clear explanation of his philosophical beliefs, appealing to anyone just beginning to explore the philosophies of this influential scholar. Immanuel Kant’s contributions to the world of science and philosophy have been continuously studied and respected for more than a century. For anyone looking to learn more about or purchase these titles, please click here.

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