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Kant, Immanuel (1724–1804)

james van cleve

Subject Philosophy » Epistemology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631192589.1993.x


Kant is often regarded as the greatest of the modern philosophers. He spent his entire life in or near the East Prussian city of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad), holding the post of Professor of Philosophy at the University of Königsberg from 1770 onwards. His best-known works are his three Critiques : the Critique of Pure Reason (1781, with a second edition in 1787), which deals with epistemology and metaphysics; the Critique of Practical Reason (1788), which deals with ethics, and the Critique of Judgement (1790), which deals with aesthetics and teleology. Other important works are the Dissertation on the Form and Principles of the Sensible and Intelligible World (1770), Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (1783), Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785), Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (1786), and Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone (1793). His contributions to epistemology are contained mainly in the first of the three Critiques. The Critique of Pure Reason has both positive and negative aims: its task is to ‘institute a tribunal which will assure to reason its lawful claims, and dismiss all groundless pretensions’ (A xi). In other words, Kant seeks to determine the scope and possibility of a priori knowledge, defending such knowledge against sceptical suspicion in areas where it is legitimate and exposing its lack of credentials in ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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