Immanuel Kant

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Engraving by unknown artist, c1859.
Born April 22, 1724(1724-04-22)
Königsberg, Province of Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia)
Died February 12, 1804(1804-02-12) (aged 79)
Königsberg, Province of East Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia
Web Aaaaarg, Wikipedia, Wikisource, Internet Archive, Open Library, Project Gutenberg,

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) was a German philosopher. He argued that human concepts and categories structure our view of the world and its laws, and that reason is the source of morality. His thought continues to have an influence in contemporary thought, especially in fields such as metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics.

Life and work[edit]

From Werner S. Pluhar, "Kant's Life and Works", in Kant, Critique of Judgment, Hackett, 1987, pp xxvii-xxx.

Immanuel Kant was born at Königsberg, Prussia, on April 22, 1724. His father was a master saddler of very modest means, his mother a woman without education but with considerable native intelligence. According to Kant's own account, his grandfather was an immigrant from Scotland. Kant was raised, both at home and at school (at the Collegium Fridericianum at Königsberg), in the tradition of Pietism, a Protestant movement with a strong ethical orientation and a de-emphasis of theological dogma.

Kant attended the University of Königsberg from 1740 to about 1746. After that he served as a tutor in several aristocratic families in different parts of East Prussia, earning a very modest income. Having kept up his studies in the meantime, he returned, in 1755, to the University of Königsberg, employed as an instructor. He continued in this position for fifteen years, lecturing in several natural sciences, in mathematics, and in philosophy. In 1770 he was appointed professor of logic and metaphysics at the University of Königsberg. He remained active in this position until a few years before his death, at Königsberg, on February 12, 1804.

Kant's first publication (on a topic in Leibnizian physics) appeared in 1747, when he was still a student. For the next fifteen years, most of his writings were in the natural sciences, but some were in philosophy. Two of these philosophical works were (roughly) in the philosophy of religion (the more important of these is The Only Possible Basis of Proof for Demonstrating the Existence of God, 1763); another was the Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime, 1764, Kant's only publication, apart from the Critique of Judgment, that touches on aesthetics. (It discusses the subject from the point of view of social psychology; not untit a few years before publication of the third Critique did Kant believe that an aesthetic judgment about the beautiful or sublime had validity for persons other than the subject making it.) The Inaugural Dissertation of 1770 (which was written in Latin), On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and Intelligible World, marks the beginning of Kant's so-called "critical period" (as distinguished from the "precritical period"), because here for the first time Kant treats space and time as he does in the first Critique: as forms of sensibility (forms of "intuition"), i.e., as something that the subject contributes to the world of experience, which is therefore only a phenomenal world. (Kant does not yet assign such a contributory role to any concepts.)

By then Kant's publications had already won him a considerable reputation in learned circles in Germany; and the publication of Kant's most important work, the Critique of Pure Reason, was eagerly anticipated. It took Kant about a decade to complete the work. When it finally appeared, in 1781, it was met with enthusiasm by some, by others with consternation. Kant rewrote portions of the work for the second edition, of 1787; but first he published, in 1783, the Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, a greatly simplified and shortened restatement of the main positions and arguments of the first Critique. Kant reversed this procedure in publishing his practical philosophy: the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, a simplified introduction to the subject, appeared in 1785, the Critique of Practical Reason in 1788. Between the two, in 1786, appeared the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science.

The third Critique, the Critique of Judgment, was published in 1790. An essay pertaining to teleology, On Using Teleological Principles in Philosophy, had appeared in 1788, but teleology as well as theology were of great concern to Kant throughout his life and are discussed in many of his works, in some extensively. While Kant was preparing the third Critique for publication, he wrote (late in 1789 or early in 1790) an introduction, which later he decided was too long. He replaced it with a shorter introduction, and this was published with the first edition, with the second edition of 1793, and with later editions as well as translations ever since. The First Introduction was not published in its entirety until 1914, when it appeared in the Cassirer edition (vol. 5) of Kant's works.

In 1793 Kant published Religion Within the Bounds of Reason Alone. In the following year, the Prussian authorities informed Kant that the king, Frederick William II, had been displeased for some time with Kant's teachings and writings on religion, which the authorities found too rationalistic and unorthodox. Kant was ordered to desist from disseminating his views on the subject, and he did not return to it until the king died in 1797. In 1795 appeared Perpetual Peace, in 1797 the Metaphysics of Morals, and in 1798 Kant's last major work, the Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View. Kant's style in these many works varies greatly. from the easy flow and almost conversational tone in some of his early works to the ponderous and scholastic presentation, with its often artificial structure, in the works he saw as most scientific. But the breadth of Kant's interests and learning, intellectual and cultural generally, is evident throughout his works.

As regards Kant's personality, what is most familiar to the general public is the caricature of Kant as a pedantic and puritanical Prussian, by whose regular afternoon walks the housewives of Königsberg would set their clocks, and so on. But some persons, persons who knew him, described him as sprightly (even as an old man), as witty, cheerful, and entertaining, even in his lectures. He had a circle of friends, with whom he dined regularly. Kant never married. Physically, he was never robust. Just over five feet tall and hollow-chested, he was able to avoid major illnesses until his final years. Although Kant was greatly interested in the rest of the world (he greeted the French Revolution with enthusiasm and listened to and read with eagerness the accounts of other people's journeys), he himself never traveled outside East Prussia.



  • Critik der reinen Vernunft (A), Riga: Hartknoch, 1781, 856 pp, DTA, WS, Commons; 2nd (B) ed., Riga, 1787, 884 pp, HTML, Google; 3rd ed., unchanged, 1790, IA; 3rd improved ed., Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1791; 5th ed., 1799, IA. The 1781 ed. repr. in Kants gesammelte Schriften, Bd. 4, ed. Benno Erdmann, Berlin: Reimer, 1903, pp 1-252, IA; 1911. The 1787 ed. repr. in Kants gesammelte Schriften, Bd. 3, ed. Benno Erdmann, Berlin: Reimer, 1904, IA; 1911. "In the current Easter book fair there will appear a book of mine, entitled Critique of Pure Reason [...] This book contains the result of all the varied investigations that start from the concepts we debated together under the heading mundi sensibilis and mundi intelligibilis." — thus begins Kant’s letter to Marcus Herz from 1 May 1781 (Ak. 10:266). [1]
    • Critique de la raison pure, 2 vols., trans. C.-J. Tissot, Paris: Ladrange, 1835/36, IA/1, IA/2; 2nd ed., 1845, IA/1, IA/2; 3rd ed., 1864, IA/2, IA/2. (French)
    • Critick of Pure Reason, trans. Francis Haywood, London: Pickering, 1838, IA, IA. First English translation. (English)
    • Critique of Pure Reason, trans. J.M.D. Meiklejohn, London: Bohn, 1855, IA, PG, HTML; London: Bell & Daldy, 1872, IA; London: George Bell and Sons, 1878, IA; London: George Bell and Sons, 1890, IA; rev.ed., The Colonial Press, 1899, IA; New York: Collier, 1901, IA; New York: Collier, 1902, IA. (English)
    • Critique de la raison pure, 2 vols., trans. Jules Barni, Paris: Germer-Baillière, 1869, IA/1, IA/2; Paris: Flammarion, 1900, IA/1, IA/2. (French)
    • Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Friedrich Max Müller, intro. Ludwig Noire, London: Macmillan, 1881, IA, IA, pt 1, IA, pt 1, IA, pt 2; New York: Macmillan, 1896, IA; 2nd ed., rev., New York and London: Macmillan, 1896, IA; New York and London: Macmillan, 1922, IA, HTML. (English)
    • La Critique de la raison pure, trans. A. Tremesaygues and B. Pacaud, intro. A. Hannequin, Paris: Felix Alcan, 1905, BnF. (French)
    • Critique Of Pure Reason, trans. Norman Kemp Smith, London: Macmillan, 1929, IA. Smith's commentary, 1918. (English)
    • Kritika čistého rozumu, trans. František Krejčí, Prague: Česká akademie věd a umění, 1930, 567 pp. (Czech)
    • Critica rațiunii pure [1781/1787], trans. & pref. T. Brăileanu, Bucharest: Casei Școalelor, 1930, 664 pp. (Romanian)
    • Critica ratiunii pure, trans. Nicolae Bagdasar and Elena Moisuc, 1969, 700 pp; 2nd edition, Bucharest: IRI, 1994, 697 pp.; new edition, 1999, 288 pp.; 3rd ed., Bucharest: Univers enciclopedic, 2009, PDF. (Romanian)
    • Critica rațiunii practice [1788], Întemeierea metafizicii moravurilor [1785], trans. & notes N. Bagdasar, postf. Nicolae Bellu, Bucharest: Științifică, 1972, 344 pp. (Romanian)
    • Mihai Eminescu, Lecturi kantiene, eds. Constantin Noica and Alexandru Surdu, intro. C. Noica, Bucharest: Univers, 1975, xlviii+162 pp. Contains trans. of two fragments from Kant by Mihai Eminescu. (Romanian)
    • Kritika čistého rozumu, trans. Teodor Münz, Bratislava: Pravda, 1979, 578 pp, PDF. Of the 1913 edition. (Slovak)
    • Titu Maiorescu, Prelegeri de filozofie, Craiova: Scrisul Românesc, 1980. Fragments trans. by T. Maiorescu. (Romanian)
    • Critique of Pure Reason, Concise Text, trans. & intro. Wolfgang Schwartz, Darmstadt: Scientia Verlag Aalen, 1982, 281 pp.Review, Review. (English)
    • Critique of Pure Reason: Unified Edition, trans. Werner S. Pluhar, intro. Patricia W. Kitcher, Hackett, 1996, 1030 pp, ARG, Google. With all variants from the 1781 and 1787 editions. (English)
    • Critique of Pure Reason, trans. & eds. Paul Guyer and Allen Wood, Cambridge University Press, 1998, 785 pp, ARG. (English)
    • Kritika čistého rozumu, trans. Jaromír Loužil, with Jiří Chotaš and Ivan Chvatík, Prague: Oikoymenh, 2001, 567 pp, PDF. Of the 1904 and 1903 editions. (Czech)
    • Critique of Pure Reason, trans. & intro. Marcus Weigelt, Penguin Books, Penguin Classics, 2007, 784 pp. Based on the translation by Max Müller. (English)
  • Critik der practischen Vernunft, Riga: Hartknoch, 1788, 292 pp, DTA, IA; 2nd ed., 1792, IA, MDZ; unauthorized repr., Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1795, Google; 3rd ed. not published; 4th ed., 1797, IA. The 1788 ed. repr. in Kants gesammelte Schriften, Bd. 5, ed. Paul Natorp, Berlin: Reimer, 1908, pp 1-163, IA; 1913. Kant sent the manuscript to the printers (Grünert, in Halle) in summer 1787. Originally given to E.A.Ch. Wasianski as a gift, Kant’s own 1st edition copy of this book is available in Halle (at the university archive). Kant’s marginalia are recorded in the “Lesarten” printed at Ak. 5: 500-05, and a complete set of facsimiles of this copy is available at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences website. [2]
    • Critical Examination of Practical Reason, trans. Thomas Kingsmill Abbott, 1873. Later published as part II of Critique of Practical Reason and Other Works on the Theory of Ethics, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1879, IA; 4th ed., rev., 1889, IA, IA; 5th ed., 1898, IA, HTML; 6th ed., 1909, IA; 1927, IA. (English)
    • "Încheierea la Critica rațiunii practice", trans. Dumitru Cristian Amzăr and Raul Vișan, "Cuvântul" magazine, an VII, nr. 2346, 31 octombrie, p. 1, 1931. (Romanian)
    • Critica rațiunii practice [1788], trans. T. Brăileanu, 1932, unpublished.
    • Critica rațiunii practice [1788], trans. D.C. Amzăr and R. Vișan, pref. D.C. Amzăr, notes C. Rădulescu-Motru and Nae Ionescu, Bucharest: Institutul Social Român, 1934, 160 pp. (Romanian)
    • Kritika praktického rozumu, trans. Antonín Papírník, Prague: Laichter, 1944, 240 pp. (Czech)
    • Critique of Practical Reason and Other Writings in Moral Philosophy, trans. Lewis White Beck, University of Chicago Press, 1949. (English)
    • Critica raţiunii practice. Întemeierea metafizicii moravurilor, trans. and notes Nicolae Bagdasar, Bucharest: Ştiinţifică, 1972, 344 pp.; 2nd edition, Bucharest: IRI, 1995, 288 pp.; new ed., 1999, 288 pp. (Romanian)
    • "Critique of Practical Reason", in Kant, Practical Philosophy, trans & ed. Mary J. Gregor, Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp 133-271, ARG, Scribd. Of the 1788 edition. (English)
    • Kritika praktického rozumu, trans. Jaromír Loužil, Prague: Svoboda, 1996, 306 pp, PDF. (Czech)
    • Critique of Practical Reason, trans. Werner S. Pluhar, intro. Stephen Engstrom, Hackett, 2002, 284 pp, ARG. (English)
    • Critica rațiunii practice [1788], trans & intro. T. Brăileanu, Bucharest: Paideia, 2003, 164 pp., PDF (Romanian)
  • Critik der Urteilskraft, Berlin and Libau: Lagarde und Friederich, 1790, 477 pp, Google, Google, HTML; 2nd ed., unauthorized repr., Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1792, 476 pp, Google; 2nd ed., exp., Berlin: Lagarde, 1793, 482 pp, IA; 3rd ed., Berlin: Lagarde, 1799, 482 pp, Google. The 1790 ed. repr. in Kants gesammelte Schriften, Bd. 5, ed. Wilhelm Windelband, Berlin: Reimer, 1908, pp 165-485, IA; 1913; in Kants sämmtliche Werke, Bd. 39a, ed. Karl Vorländer, Leipzig: Meiner, 1924; in Immanuel Kants Werke, Bd. 5, ed. Otto Buek, Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1914; ed. H.F. Klemme, Hamburg: Meiner, 2001. Kant claims to have completed the manuscript for this work in mid-September 1789, and he began sending sections to the Berlin publisher beginning 21 January 1790, with the final installment (the preface and introduction) sent March 22. Lagarde was able to have copies printed for the Leipzig book fair at the end of April. This was the only book Kant published with Lagarde. [3]
    • Kritik of Judgment, trans. & intro. J.H. Bernard, London and New York: Macmillan, 1892, IA, IA; 2nd ed., rev., as Critique of Judgement, London: Macmillan, 1914, IA, IA, HTML; New York: Hafner, 1951. (English)
    • Critique of Aesthetic Judgement, trans. & intro. James Creed Meredith, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1911, IA, IA, IA, HTML; new ed. as The Critique of Teleological Judgment, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928; The Critique of Judgment, trans. & intro. James Creed Meredith, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952 (reprint of the previous two editions without the introductions and notes); rev. & intro. Nicholas Walker, Oxford University Press, Oxford World's Classics, 2007, ARG. (English)
    • Critica facultății de judecare [1790], trans. T. Brăileanu, Bucharest, 1934. (Romanian)
    • Istoria esteticii de la Kant și până azi în texte alese, trans. Tudor Vianu, Bucharest: Institutul de arte grafice "Bucovina", 1934. Includes fragments of Critica facultății de judecare [1790], pp. 61-71. (Romanian)
    • Două introduceri și o trecere spre idealism, trans. C. Noica, Bucharest: Fundația Regală pt. Literatură și Artă, 1943, 192 pp. Includes the 1st "Introducere" of Critica facultății de judecare [1790]. (Romanian)
    • Analytic of the Beautiful from the Critique of Judgment, with Excerpts from Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, trans. & intro. Walter Cerf, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1963. (English)
    • Kritika soudnosti, trans. Vladimír Špalek and Walter Hansel, intro. Milan Sobotka, Prague: Odeon, 1975, 271 pp, PDF. Of the 1913 edition. (Czech)
    • Critica facultății de judecare [1790], trans. Alexandru Surdu, Vasile Dem. Zamfirescu and C. Noica, intro Mircea Florian, notes and comments Rodica Croitoru, Bucharest: Științifică şi Enciclopedică, 1981, 572 pp. (Romanian)
    • Critique of Judgment, trans. & intro. Werner S. Pluhar, Hackett, 1987, PDF, ARG. (English)
    • Critica facultăţii de judecare, trans. Vasile Dem Zamfirescu, Alexandru Surdu and Constantin Noica, Bucharest: Trei, 1995, 368 pp. PDF. (Romanian)
    • Critique of the Power of Judgment, ed. Paul Guyer, trans. Paul Guyer and Eric Mathews, Cambridge University Press, 2000; 2002, ARG. (English)
    • Critica facultăţii de judecare [1790], trans., intro and notes de R. Croitoru, Bucharest: All, 2008, 551 pp. (Romanian)
    • Critique de la Faculte de Juger, trans. and intro Alain Renaut, Paris: Garnier/ Flammarion, 2015, PDF. (French)

More works online[edit]

UB Heidelberg, MDZ Munich, DeutschesTextArchiv, UB Bielefeld,, Projekt Gutenberg-DE.

Online Library of Liberty, University of Adelaide, Philosophical works (36 books, torrent), 5 GB of books by and on Kant (torrent). (English)


Collected writings (Standard edition)[edit]

  • Kants gesammelte Schriften [Akademie edition], 29 Vols, ed. Königlich Preußische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin: Reimer, Berlin: de Gruyter (since 1922), 1902–. [4]

Selected writings on Kant[edit]

On Kant's aesthetics
  • Ernst Cassirer, Die Philosophie der Aufklärung, Tübingen, 1932.
    • The Philosophy of the Enlightenment, trans. Fritz C.A. Koelln and James P. Pettigrew, Princeton University Press, 1951; 2009. (English) [5]
  • Gilles Deleuze, "Rapport des facultés dans la Critique du Jugement", in La Philosophie critique de Kant, Paris: PUF, 1963, pp 67-96. (French) [6]
    • "The Relationship of the Faculties in the Critique of Judgement", in Kant's Critical Philosophy: The Doctrine of the Faculties, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, London: Athlone, 1984, pp 46-67, n77. (English) [7]
  • Donald W. Crawford, Kant's Aesthetic Theory, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1974, 198 pp. (English)
  • Werner S. Pluhar, "Introduction", in Kant, Critique of Judgment, trans. & intro. Werner S. Pluhar, Hackett, 1987, pp xxiii-cix. (English)
  • Luc Ferry, "The Kantian Moment: The Subject of Reflection", in Ferry, Homo Aestheticus: The Invention of Taste in the Democratic Age, trans. Robert de Loaiza, University of Chicago Press, 1993, pp 77-113. (English) [8]
  • Ernst Cassirer, Kants Leben und Lehre, Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1918; 1921.
  • Manfred Kuehn, Kant: A Biography, Cambridge University Press, 2001, 576 pp. (English) [9]
Kant in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Michael Rohlf, "Immanuel Kant"; Robert Hanna, "Kant's Theory of Judgment" Hannah Ginsborg, "Kant's Aesthetics and Teleology"; Eric Watkins, "Kant's Philosophy of Science"; Lisa Shabel, "Kant's Philosophy of Mathematics"; Andrew Janiak, "Kant's Views on Space and Time"; Frederick Rauscher, "Kant's Social and Political Philosophy"; Andrew Brook, "Kant's View of the Mind and Consciousness of Self"; Garrath Williams, "Kant's Account of Reason"; Michelle Grier, "Kant's Critique of Metaphysics"; Derk Pereboom, "Kant's Transcendental Arguments"; Martin Schönfeld, "Kant's Philosophical Development"; Philip Rossi, "Kant's Philosophy of Religion"; Graciela De Pierris and Michael Friedman, "Kant and Hume on Causality"; Lara Denis, "Kant and Hume on Morality"; Catherine Wilson, "Leibniz's Influence on Kant".