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Kant, Immanuel (1724–1804)

Philip Walsh

Subject Philosophy
Sociological and Social Theory » Classical Theory

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1700-1799

People Kant, Immanuel

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Immanuel Kant was born in Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad), where he spent his entire life, first as a student and Privatdozent , later as Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at the University of Königsberg. The fourth child of an intensely religious family, Kant rose beyond his humble origins – his father was a harness-maker – to become one of the most important figures of the European Enlightenment. His trilogy of main works, the Critique of Pure Reason (1781) , Critique of Practical Reason (1788) , and Critique of Judgment (1790) , constitutes the basis for a system of thinking that has become an indispensable reference point for all subsequent philosophy. But Kant's philosophy of mind, epistemology, and ethics were also instrumental in laying the foundations of the human sciences, and classical sociology in particular was inspired from Kantian roots. His thought has remained influential through the development of sociological thinking during the course of the twentieth century, and remains an important source of ideas and inspiration within contemporary social theory. The first and second generations of classical European sociology were educated in an environment where Kantian ideas were dominant, and Émile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, and Max Weber were all closely associated with, or influenced by, the so-called neo-Kantians, an influential group of scholars who ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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