Immanuel Kant : biography
Emmanuel Kant was in a family of modest means. The boy’s father was a craftsman. Emmanuel was named in honor of St. Emmanuel. Franz Albert Schultz, the doctor of theology noticed the boy’s talent and helped him through his studies. Emmanuel managed to finish a prestigious gymnasium “Friedrich’s Collegium” and then entered the Konigsberg University. Emmanuel Kant didn’t manage to finish his education because of his father’s death. He had to come back home to help to provide the family. The following ten years Emmanuel Kant worked as a home teacher making money for leaving. Those years, since 1747 till 1755 he spent working at his cosmological theory saying that the origin of the Solar system was the primary nebula. After finishing it Kant published his theory. It should be mentioned that the theory has not lost its urgency even nowadays.
In 1755 Kant defended his dissertation and got the doctor’s degree. That meant Kant could finally start teaching in the university. That was the forty years period of his teaching activity.
During the seven-year war since 1758 till 1762 Konigsberg was under the competence of the Russian government. That fact reflected in Emanuel Kant’s business correspondence. Particularly he asked for the position of an ordinary professor in his letter to the empress Elizaveta Petrovna in 1758.
The scientific and philosophical investigations of Emanuel Kant were supplemented with political opuses. In his treatise “Perpetual Peace” he firstly added the cultural and philosophic reasons for the future consolidation of Europe in a family of enlightened nations, affirming that enlightenment was the courage to use one’s own intellect.
It was accepted that since 1770 started the “critical” period in Kant’s creative work. In 1770 Emanuel Kant, at the age of 46, was given the position of a professor of logics and metaphysics in Konigsberg University. He held his teaching activity till 1797 I that university, lecturing for a vast range of disciplines, such as philosophy, mathematics and physics.
By that time one principal declaration by Emanuel Kant had matured. The plan was conceived long ago. It was about the way the field of pure philosophy should be treated. There were three main objects:
1) What can I know? (metaphysics) 2) What must I know? (morality) 3) What dare I hope for? (religion)
In the end the sequence should have been followed with the fourth object – what is man?(anthropology, which was the subject Emanuel Kant had been lecturing for twenty years).
That was the period Emanuel Kant wrote the fundamental philosophical works, which brought him the reputation of one of the greatest outstanding philosophers of the 20th century, who greatly influenced on the development of the philosophy as a field in the whole word. They were: “Critique of Pure Reason” (1781) – gnosiology or epistemology, “Critique of Practical Reason”(1788) –ethics, “Critique of Judgement” (1790) – aesthetics.
Having poor health, the philosopher made himself follow a strict routine which let him outlive most of his friends. His exactness in following the order was fabulous even among punctual German people; it was the reason of proverbs and anecdotes. Kant was not married. He joked that when he wanted to have a wife he couldn’t support her and when he could he didn’t want a wife anymore. However, one could not call Emanuel Kant a woman-hater; he gladly got involved in conversations with them and was a good interlocutor in any social talking. In his old ages he was taken care by one of his sisters.
In spite of the fact that Kant was a philosopher he didn’t disdain some prejudges, especially anti-Semitism.
Kant was buried in the east corner of the north part of the Konigsberg cathedral in the professorial vault. There was build a chapel above his grave. In 1924, for the second centenary of Kant the chapel was replaced by a new building, which was an open columned hall strikingly different from the chapel in style.
The periods of working
There were two main periods in Kant’s creative work: pre-critical and critical. The terms the determined by the philosopher’s own works: “Critique of Pure Reason” (1781),“Critique of Practical Reason” (1788) and “Critique of Judgement” (1790). The first period lasted till 1770, Kant worked at the questions which had been stated by the preceding philosophical thought. In addition to that Immanuel Kant studied some general scientific problems:
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