Kant was the fourth of nine children born to Johann Georg Cant, a harness maker, and Anna Regina Cant. He spent the next 15 years as a metaphysics lecturer. Biography. His writings on criminology and economics were well ahead of their time. Immanuel Kant (22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was an influential Prussian German philosopher  in the Age of Enlightenment. Immanuel Kant Biography (1724–1804) Updated: Jun 18, 2020 Original: Apr 30, 2015. Her surname is sometimes erroneously given as Porter. We strive for accuracy and fairness. In 1770, he became a full professor at the University of Konigsberg, teaching metaphysics and logic. His best-known work is the 'Critique of Pure Reason.'. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. German philosopher and revolutionary socialist Karl Marx published 'The Communist Manifesto' and 'Das Kapital,' anticapitalist works that form the basis of Marxism. For a decade, he worked as a private tutor for the wealthy. Kant is also considered to be a central figure of the modern philosophy. In 1781, Immanuel Kant published the Critique of Pure Reason, an enormous work and one of the most important on Western thought. Kant's mother, Anna Regina Reuter (1697–1737), was born in Königsberg (since 1946 the city of Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia) to a father from Nuremberg. Later in his life, Immanuel changed the spelling of his name to Kantto to adhere to German spelling practices. In 1740, Kant enrolled at the University of Konigsberg as a theology student, but was soon attracted to mathematics and physics. In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, he argued that space, time, and causation are mere sensibilities; “things-in-themselves” exist, but their nature is unknowable. Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher in the 17th century, was best known for his book 'Leviathan' (1651) and his political views on society. Born: April 22, 1724 Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia) Died: February 12, 1804 Königsberg, East Prussia German philosopher The major works of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant offer an analysis of theoretical … But, although he attended courses in theology and even preached on a few occasions, he was principally attracted to mathematics and physics. Immanuel Kant, (born April 22, 1724, Königsberg, Prussia [now Kaliningrad, Russia]—died February 12, 1804, Königsberg), German philosopher whose comprehensive and systematic work in epistemology (the theory of knowledge), ethics, and aesthetics greatly influenced all subsequent philosophy, especially the various schools of Kantianism and idealism. His comprehensive and systematic work in epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics greatly influenced all subsequent philosophy. Francis Bacon was an English Renaissance statesman and philosopher, best known for his promotion of the scientific method. In this lesson, we explore the life and philosophy of arguably the German Enlightenment's greatest philosopher, Immanuel Kant, and his theories concerning ethics. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is one of the most influential philosophers in the history of Western philosophy. His other books included the Critique of Practical Reason (1788) and the Critique of Judgment (1790). Though by that time he had decided to pursue an academic career, the death of his father in 1746 and his failure to obtain the post of under-tutor in one of the schools attached to the university compelled him to withdraw and seek a means of supporting himself. His father, a saddler, was, according to Kant, a descendant of a Scottish immigrant, although scholars have found no basis for this claim; his mother was remarkable for her character and natural intelligence. He was the fourth of nine children born Updates? Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Human beings are obligated to follow this imperative unconditionally if they are to claim to be moral. In his last years, he became embittered due to his loss of memory. He worked for 15 years as a Privatdozent, or lecturer, at the University of Königsberg until he was appointed to the chair of logic and metaphysics, a position in which he remained active until a few years before his death. His subject areas include philosophy, law, social science, politics, political theory, and religion. Kant was a generation younger than Hume and Voltaire, and got his education when the Enlightenment was already in full swing. Save 50% off a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Learn more about Kant’s life and work. What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong; there is no grey area. © 2020 Biography and the Biography logo are registered trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC. In 1740 he enrolled in the University of Königsberg as a theological student. John Stuart Mill, who has been called the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the 19th century, was a British philosopher, economist, and moral and political theorist. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 - February 12, 1804) was a Prussian philosopher, generally regarded as the last major philosopher of the early modern period and one of history's most influential thinkers. Kant continued to write on philosophy until shortly before his death. In him were subsumed new trends that had begun with the rationalism (stressing reason) of René Descartes and the empiricism (stressing experience) of Francis Bacon. He exerted an immense influence on the intellectual movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. There is no aspect of modern Western philosophy that does not bear the influence of Immanuel Kant. Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher during the Enlightenment era of the late 18th century. He thus inaugurated a new era in the development of philosophical thought. Jean-Jacques Rousseau is best known as an influential 18th-century philosopher who wrote the acclaimed work 'A Discourse on the Arts and Sciences.'. Immanuel Kant Philosopher Specialty Epistemologoy, metaphysics, ethics Born Apr. https://www.sunsigns.org/famousbirthdays/d/profile/immanuel-kant The major works of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) offer an analysis of speculative and moral reason and the faculty of human judgment. Immanuel Kant Biography - An eminent philosopher of the Enlightenment era, Immanuel Kant was born of April 22, 1724, in Konigsberg, Prussia. Without ever leaving the vicinity of his hometown of Königsberg, the philosopher changed the course of ethics, moral philosophy, metaphysics, and aesthetics. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Immanuel Kant’s father, a saddler, was, according to Kant, descended from a Scottish immigrant, and his mother was remarkable for her character and natural intelligence. Seeing the potential in the young man, a local pastor arranged for the young Kant's education. ‘The first full biography in the proper sense of the term and therefore very welcome.’ Source: Literary Review ‘An excellent new life … a substantial biography.’ Source: The Economist ‘Manfred Kuehn’s book on Immanuel Kant is a fascinating and monumental treatment of … At the age of eight Kant entered the Pietist school that his pastor directed. Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher during the Enlightenment era of the late 18th century. Biography of Immanuel Kant Widely considered one of the most important philosophers to have ever lived, Immanuel Kant was born in Königsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia) in 1724.