Immanuel Kant was one of the most well-known philosophers who lived in the Age of Enlightenment. He is best known for his philosophical ideas and a number of articles in various spheres including law, history, aesthetics and astronomy.
Do you know anything about Immanuel Kant? Let’s see how much you know! Today, we chose 8 interesting facts about him that the majority of people doesn’t know about. Here these facts are:
Immanuel Kant: 8 interesting facts about one of the most extraordinary thinkers of the 18th century
1. Immanuel Kant’s family was poor
Kant was born in April 1724 in Königsberg. His father was a saddler. His mother never got any education but was intelligent from nature. Immanuel had 8 siblings. Unfortunately, the majority of them didn’t survive infancy.
The family often had financial problems. However, Kant’s parents didn’t believe that money was important. While bringing up their children, they focused on religion, Latin and strict discipline.
Both of Kant’s parents adhered to the idea that life should be as simple as possible. They promoted the principle of following moral laws.
2. Immanuel Kant was a talented boy who could build a successful academic career
Since early childhood, Kant showed an interest for Latin classics. He spent hours reading Lucretius. The pastor at the local church that the family visited regularly saw that Immanuel had potential to build an academic career. With his support, young Kant started to attend the Pietist school.
He continued his education in one of the most prestigious gymnasiums of Königsberg, an interesting fact about Immanuel Kant. After the graduation, he enrolled at the University of Königsberg. The university played a crucial role in his life. It was at the University that Kant started to build his career.
3. Immanuel Kant worked as a tutor
After the death of Kant’s father, the situation in the family changed. To make matters worse, Immanuel couldn’t find a position at one of the schools working under the University protection. He was forced to leave the University and look for a different job.
Kant found a job as a family tutor. The families he worked with introduced him to the influential people of those days. One of the friends he made at that time helped him to acquire a University degree and get the position of lecturer.
4. Immanuel Kant contributed to the development of astronomy and other disciplines
In one of his earliest works, Kant explained the evolution of the Solar System. An interesting fact about Immanuel Kant is that he also studied the phenomenon of gravity and put forth the idea concerning the problem of Earth rotation.
After he acquired the position of a lecturer at the University of Königsberg, he started teaching mathematics, physics and metaphysics. He was the first teacher to start giving lectures on geography as an independent subject.
5. Immanuel Kant put forth an important idea on the philosophy of mind
The development of natural sciences allowed people to better understand the process of information reaching the brain. Kant refused to believe that brain is simply a container that keeps information received from many sources. He believed that there was something that put visual images in a particular order. The order in which they were received.
6. Immanuel Kant supported the idea of autonomous thinking
Kant believed that the age of Enlightenment was the age shaped by the people who dare to be wise. He highlighted the importance of thinking autonomously, without looking up to any authorities. His works influenced many of the idealist philosophers of the 19th century and attracted the attention of many philosophers of the 20th century.
7. Immanuel Kant explored the nature of morality
Immanuel Kant expressed the idea that the source of good lies only in the good will of a human, an interesting Immanuel Kant fact. Any good person does acts of kindness because s/he freely follows certain morality law. The law that states the following: any person is obliged to treat others as valuable “human objects”. The principles of the law imply that people are represented in one another.
8. Immanuel Kant introduced the idea of thing-in-itself
Kant believed that people are unable to cross the bounds of the mind and access the “thing-in-itself”. It was one of the concepts introduced by Kant. What does it mean? According to the concept, people only see the appearance of an object. It is impossible for humans to understand what an object is in itself. The idea proposed by Kant was often discussed after his death. “The concept implies that objects literally do not exist. Therefore, we shouldn’t take into account the objects that don’t exist”, – this was the reaction of some philosophers to Kant’s concept.
Kant had been suffering from various illnesses during his last years. He died in February 1804. Almost all his life he lived in his hometown. He travelled only twice in his life. He was a talented man. His talents didn’t lie only in the sphere of philosophy, but also in many other spheres.
We hope that the facts provided above helped you to learn more about the achievements of Immanuel Kant. If you are interested, visit the Historical People Facts Page!