Talk:Immanuel Kant

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Immanuel Kant:
  • The section on freedom has nothing to do with Kant's proof of freedom in the second critique. This needs to be updated.
  • Some discussion of Kant's Religion is needed in the sections on moral philosophy and on religion.
Priority 1 (top)
Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team / v0.5 / Vital
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Personal life[edit]

Did he marry, have kids, have a girlfriend, boyfriend?--Timtak (talk) 12:00, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Nope. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:14, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

All bodies have mass[edit]

I think we can have a better example to illustrate a synthetic proposition. "All bodies have mass" is quite ambiguous. In fact I believe that the statement is analytic , since all bodies have mass. Without getting into a debate over science, the statement could be changed to something like "The sky is blue." shampoo (talk) 06:56, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

'All bodies are heavy' is Kant's example (CPR A7/B11), because the concept body does not contain the concept 'heavy.' That all bodies have mass does not per se make the statement analytic on Kant's view. Mtwasson (talk) 23:25, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Analytic statements are necessarily true. Your argument says, "Because all bodies have mass, the statement 'all bodies have mass' is analytic." This can be restated as, "If all bodies have mass, then 'all bodies have mass' is analytic." Formalized: "If P, then P is analytic," or, "If P, then necessarily P." This last statement is not true, so your argument doesn't hold. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:59, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Before getting into the structure of an argument and the science behind this subject, what is exactly meant by "bodies"

Critique or Critic?[edit]

Whilst reading the writings of C.S. Peirce, I found an article in which Peirce discusses the correct way to translate Kritik into English. Peirce writes, "This word [Critic], used by Plato (who divides all knowledge into epitactic and critic), was adopted into Latin by the Ramists, and into English by Hobbes and Locke. From the last it was taken into German by Kant, who always writes it Critik, the initial c being possibly a reminiscence of its English origin. At present it is written Kritik in German. Kant is emphatic in the expression of the wish that the word may not be confounded with critique, a critical essay (German Kritik)." [See Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, v.1, (Indianapolis, 1960), paragraph 205, pp. 121] Peirce, perhaps, was observing this same distinction when he entitled one of his books A Critick of Arguments: How to Reason.

So, according to Peirce, Kant adopted the word Critik from the English, and retained the C, and he retained the C so that Critik could be distinguished from the word Kritik, which has the meaning of Critique! Perhaps everyone will consider this a moot point, since most modern English translations of Kant's works use the word Critique instead of Critic or Critick. However, I thought I'd raise this point, because it seems to me that Peirce is clearly saying that Critique is the wrong way to translate Kant's Critik into English. For, Peirce reckons that Kant was emphatic that Critik is to be distinguished from Kritik. As a result, I wonder whether the English translations in the wikipedia article should bear out this distinction too, even if the modern translations fails to do so. I leave this point for discussion.

Kant the Logician[edit]

Kant was more than a philosopher of Logic - he was a Logician in his own right. Therefore, I propose that Logic is added to the section titled 'Main Interests'.

For, consider that the Kant-Jasche Logic is an elementary text book in logic which Gottlob Benjamin Jasche (a student of Kant) constructed at the request of Kant, using Kant's notes. This Logic gives a thoroughgoing, and Kantian, treatment of classical logic, and it underpins Kant's three Critiques. Indeed, his three Critiques elaborate on the topics considered in the Logic book. Admittedly, much of his work is concerned with the philosophy of logic, but he adds something to logic itself as well, I think. For instance, Kant laid down his own list of logical categories and explained them in detail. Surely Kant must be regarded as a logician as well as a philosopher; or at least logic must be considered to be one of Kant's main interests? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:29, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

He also developed the theory of the syllogism in his paper 'On the False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures' —Preceding unsigned comment added by Plotinus (talkcontribs) 22:24, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Kant was in no way or form a logician. The great logicians made lasting an influential contributions to logic. These would include Aristotle (who is considered the first logician) Chrysippus (who founded propositional logic,) Leibniz (who set the seeds for a symbolic logic,) and Frege who, inspired by leibniz created the hybrid predicate calculus. Those people were logicians. Kant was not.
Even though Kant wrote on logic, it was far from his main interest. He didn't write substantially on logic and he wrote no critique on it. Kant main interests were metaphysics, epsitemology, and ethics, but not logic. I'm going to remove logic from his main interests. If anyone feels free to give a stronger defense of why such a main interest should be supported, i'd be happy to hear it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xenfreak (talkcontribs) 18:51, 25 November 2012 (UTC)


I would like to point out that Ayn Rand is a philosopher (meaning shallow and spacious thinking) first and a scientist last, if at all. This article suggests that Kant was a scientist first and philologist intent on putting metaphysics on the sure path of a science, and would never have descended to crass propaganda. In Kant's day, philosophy was a general subject equivalent to today's technical college More evidence to that can be seen by reading (the structure of) the Table of Contents of, and then the first two pages of "The Fundamental Principles Of The Metaphysics Of Morals" (at least as far as "skills"). However that is hardly the point. Nobody is deserving of over one A4 page of criticism in the body of an article. Please would someone relocate her remarks to her page and put a link to it. Giving so much attention to Kant's "critics" diminishes the Wikipedia. This should generally be applied to all Wikipedia articles. I don't mind doing it but I prefer to get your opinions first.--Justin2007 (talk) 00:44, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Looking at the dates and seeing that Rand has been removed, I could be forgiven for thinking that my plea for action, had been heard and and action carried out. It seems I've been sitting in a dead end. Anyway, on the topic of Criticism of the "creator" of the term "Critical Philosophy" or "Critical Method", Alas, it seems, nobody I have read so far, has actually studied Kant in any depth, and furthermore read the three volumes as Kant intended, as a "System". For indeed he has quite plainly given us the clue, to not only solving this tiny problem, but designing an authentic encyclopedia, like nupedia (if that was its name). Hellooo is anybody listening !!!--Justin2007 (talk) 04:30, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

I notice that Immanuel Kant does not have a criticisms section, whereas several other philosophers on Wikipedia do. Is this an oversight? User:gmork7

Yes, be bold. - Sam 06:40, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

No. Actually it is not an oversight. It has, in the past, been the topic of much discussion on this page (archived as well). It was generally rejected because of the propensity for POV and the fact that Kant has been the target by trolls with innuendo of Racism, as well as the followers of Ayn Rand wanting to reiterate her non-philosophy and anti-Kantian bullshit, and editors who really had no idea what they were talking about, and so on. My prescription for any one editing on criticism to be careful because it will be scrutinized carefully and without qualification must be accurately sourced. There are also the criticisms of many philosophers that have been rejected in past discussions as meaningless. Criticisms can also be handled from the section on Influence, and this is prescribed. Past discussions have rejected a section on criticism, and there are many articles and prescriptions on Wikipedia for the careful handling of criticism, and whether an encyclopedic format is appropriate for criticism. Being bold here will probably get you vigorously edited.Amerindianarts 07:35, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

propensity for POV and the fact that Kant has been the target by trolls with innuendo of Racism, as well as the followers of Ayn Rand wanting to reiterate her non-philosophy and anti-Kantian bullshit - Alright, fair enough. You're funny though... for identifying that the propensity of POV is too much for a criticism section, and then vehemently identifying Ayn Rand as having a non-philosophy (which is incorrect) and being anti-Kantian (which is correct.) I can see why you push for no sections on criticism, being so quick to a very particular POV yourself. This isn't the place to argue this point, but I just wanted to throw in a sentence or two on this point: Rand has just as much a philosophy as anyone else if Kant's noumenal world is recognized as coherent philosophy as well. If Rand was non-philosophical she would have written nothing about any of the questions that philosophy poses to us. That's all I'm going to say. I'm not going to even try to pursue a criticism section here if this is the POV tripe I'm going to receive in return. I'll of course not in parting that it's funny Rand has one, a rather LARGE one, just for herself: Seems Kant's supporters are just louder, so much for avoiding POV. User:gmork7
Relax, gmork7. Try not to take out your frustrations in the form of ranting and fingerpointing. If you have suggestions - complaints get us nowhere - for a criticism section of Kant, perhaps you could submit them to Amerindianarts or I, or to the community here and something could be developed collaboratively. - Sam 05:35, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
That is a reasonable suggestion, Sam. As someone who has been overseeing this article for a couple of years, I am familiar with what has been suggested and rejected. Many philosophers criticizing Kant have been suggested who's criticism are not important, and often represent slanted views, presenting the problem of representing an alternative view to balance the equation, and this generally leads to POV. Like I said gmork7, as a newbee you should first familiarize yourself with Wikipedians outlook on criticism. It is usually considered non-encyclopedic. This is an article on Kant's philosophy, and inclusion of other philosopher's thoughts have been limited to the influence section. Other criticisms are generally applicable across philosophy, and not just Kant, e.g. the external source in the morals section mentions the universalizability test and that source handles criticisms; not only of Kant, but the usage across the board in philosophy.
The issues of Rand and Racism have been settled. Rand has been thoroughly rejected. She is for the most part not accepted in the philosophical community, and her criticisms of Kant are certainly not important. Didn't she say herself that she was an existentialist, but since that name was already taken she would call her philosophy "objectivism". What? Was she too good for the existentialist school? Why couldn't she just state her philosophy and let it go at that. Did she consider herself so special that she had to steal Frege's term and give it a new meaning? Her criticisms of Kant as a "monster" is enough said. She is an egoist simply looking to make a name, and emotively at that. It is not philosophy, but more of a psychology with followers. You may consider that POV, but this is the page for that, and this IS the page for that type of discussion if you are considering to insert her criticisms in this article.
As for your statement "Seems Kant's supporters are just louder, so much for avoiding POV", this is childishness. The current article is well sourced and scrutinized for POV. Talk pages are the place for POV on Wiki. Since you are new and don't seem to know that, I suggest you cool your jets before tackling an article as important as this one and do a little reading of Wiki guidelines, etc.Amerindianarts 08:17, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
I would also like to add that points for criticism have been handled by presenting the problematic in the footnotes. An example is Kant's statement that "space is a pure intuition and not a concept". Different translations have presented the issue in different lights, and there is also the difference in the first and second editions. Did Kant also mean "spaces" as in the Kemp Smith translation? This translation throws a little different light on the construction of concepts in Kant (and possibly even contradictory on Smith's part, as opposed for example to the Meikeljohn translation). Which do you choose in your criticism? Whatever the choice, right at the heart of the matter is a presupposition that can be taken literally as POV, either way. Criticism here is a very complex issue, even if you are an expert. Criticism can only be secondarily sourced, and the issues are so complex that many philosophers, e.g. Rand, don't have an inkling. It must be presented in a balanced manner, and this generally falls outside the domain of being descriptive of Kant, which is how this article will remain (see tags at the top of the page and talk page discussion in bringing this article to "A" quality). Also check Wiki discussions on criticisms in bios under that project. If noumena is to be criticized, it should be footnoted from a section on Kant's epistemology. That is the section currently needed, and not a section on criticism. The point is remaining descriptive and not tainting the reader, but let them perform their own discovery, which is how encyclopedias work. I could care less about the criticism section in Rand. Amerindianarts 09:19, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

For what it is worth, I think the both of you have a valid point, however, you both seem to be sashaying in another direction from which you began, that this article does not have a section concerning a levelled critique of Kant's work. You appear now to be deciding on what is a valid critique. There are, as noted, some philosophers who have criticised different elements of Kant's work, albeit with different personal motives (is that not inherent in any critique anyway?). Regardless of the more 'colourful' characters who have provided some sort of a critique, perhaps this is still worth a second look. Irrespective of arguments of right or wrong on a critique I find them valid as they elucidate the possibility that there is another way of thought about a particular topic or matter. Perhaps even highlighting this possibility concerning Kant's philosophies, without entering into the argument of the criticisms themselves may be the way forward? Lokifluff 14:17, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

"...the propensity for POV...wanting to reiterate her non-philosophy and anti-Kantian bullshit...who's (sic) criticism are not important...this is childishness...It must be presented in a balanced manner..." Ha ha ha..., you wikipedians are too funny. It's good that an expert of criticism is here to tell us that criticism of Kant is simply too complex, even for experts, to be applicable here. This is very prudent, as Objectivist wikipedians might otherwise descend upon us like hordes of the unwashed hun, flooding wikipedia with their anti-kantian bullshit. I would also add that discrediting Ayn Rand as unimportant in the philosophical community, at the mere mention of criticism of Kant, is solid, irrefutable proof of her lack of notability and significance. It's so solid, in fact, that I might even call it downright unfalsifiable! Thanks also for informing me that, rather than to actually discuss the writing of the article in question in a reasonable, intelligent manner, "Talk pages are the place for POV on Wiki." I am new here, so let me be one of the (presumably) many newbies thanking you, Amerindianarts, for curing such naivete.

Kant is not perfect, therefore in the interest of creating a balanced page on his philosophy, some part of the page should be devoted to criticism, even if that criticism is, "He's overly wordy and difficult to understand." Which is certainly true, regardless of your opinion of his philosophy. Rand may not be the best response to Kant and I'm not familiar enough with either philosophy to write such a criticism myself, but there must certainly be some post-modern philosopher of note. 22:28, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

I still don't see why Ayn Rand should be cited in the context of a discussion of Kant and his thinking. If she is to be considered a philospher so should L. Ron Hubbard and Mickey Mouse - Otto Strasser. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:31, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Reivsed What I Thought Was Obvious Vandalism[edit]

I'm pretty sure Kant never authored a work titled, "Do me like a dirty pig" so I changed it to what the underlying link led to. 16:30, 29 November 2006 (UTC)JLG 11-29-06

what up with this?

Actually, it is a little known work in Latin age me similis immunda sus. 1Z 20:06, 1 April 2007 (UTC) (NB date)

Incomplete sentence in Moral Philosophy section?[edit]

This sentence doesn't appear to parse properly. Did something get dropped after "rational agents"?

"Accordingly, he believed that moral obligation applies to all and only rational agents (408).[10]"

"...only rational agents" what?

If moral obligations apply to all, then surely they apply to rational agents, so then that piece of the sentence is moot. So it seems something after "rational agents" was cut or never fully inserted. Forgive my ignorance if I've missed some deep philosophical point here... 04:38, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

This is a way of saying that it applies to all rational agents but only rational agents, i.e. all every rational agent but nobody else. If it were only stated that it applied to all rational agents, then it would still be open for interpretation on part of the reader whether it applied to some non-rational agents as well. --D. Webb 12:14, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Emanuel Kant?[edit]

"Immanuel Kant — who was baptized as "Emanuel" but later changed his name to "Immanuel" after he learned Hebrew" Wikipedia seems to be the only source telling me about "Emanuel", that's why I added [citations needed]. I used google, and checked few books, but I don't have access to all the books nor had I time to check every link. -

It happens to be true, though. But I'm not sure where I can find a source in English. I think that you will find this information in Manfred Kühn, Kant. Eine Biographie (München: Beck, 2004). --D. Webb 20:02, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Re: Religious references to Immanuel Kant:[edit] 00:34, 13 December 2006 (UTC)I'm asking anyone interested in Kant's enduring influence on religious thought to checkout a specific reference @ [1]. See "Whoa Woe (Jesus Is All I Need)". Please leave feedback and/or cite other relevant references. Thank you.

The Kant Song[edit]

I think it would be worthwhile to add 'The Kant Song' to the external links. It is humourous and informative. ChaosKind 03:16, 17 January 2007 (UTC) 20:16,16 January 2007

Try reading Kant's works and understanding them. Then, you can talk about a Kant song. Lestrade 20:18, 1 April 2007 (UTC)Lestrade
There's no reason to be snotty.--Brijohn6882 (talk) 23:55, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Sorry to seem snotty. Kant's works have been ignored and unread because people rely on secondary and tertiary sources instead of reading Kant's own works. As a result, he has effectively been denied his right to present his ideas to the world. Scientists, in particular, have damaged themselves and, as a result, all other people by not reading Kant.Lestrade (talk) 22:43, 7 November 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

The Kant Song is great, and lacking a sense of humor does not a philosopher make. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:52, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Not funny in the least. Another nail in Kant's coffin. Comprehension of his philosophy elanguesces.Lestrade (talk) 18:41, 9 November 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

Criticism Again[edit]

All due fairness, there is a noticable swinging in the opinions of the wiki staff when involving Kant & Rand. Even the way that the articles are presented show an agenda.

I feel that aloowing a Criticism section would be rair or removing the one from Rand. 22:32, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

I am no fan of Kant, but as far as reputation goes, to compare Kant to Rand is to compare Bach to Elvis. Rick Norwood 13:49, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Having so much of the content of this page devoted to criticism of his work by Anne Rand makes the article look ridiculous in the eyes of anyone who studied philosophy in college. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:08, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Considering that the commenter directly above believes that Rand's first name is Anne, I will assume that he, like many of Ayn Rand's critics has never read her work. I started the criticism section, and began it with Rand because she is the one philosopher most opposed to Kant's philosophy. I included a quote by her addressing every fundamental of that opposition. I admit that the entry is lengthy and I will be editing it for the sake of brevity, but besides the issue of length, the entry is completely appropriate. I will be submitting further the criticisms of Kant by other philosophers in the near future and hope that other users join me. --Andrewsandberg (talk) 06:31, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

In all due respects Andrew, what is this obsession with rhetoric (dialectic) as the way to truth?
The search for truth (for that is all that criticism is), can never be found by way of the dialectic.
for ease of understanding I will call upon:
: and
I beg you to read the first line of the most devastating statement ever written about our beloved gutter "criticism".
Kant was dealing altogether with something else.
"WE have already entitled dialectic in general a logic of illusion. etc"
     Part I. Transcendental Aesthetic
           Section 1. Space
           Section 2. Time
     Part II. Transcendental Logic
           Division I. Transcendental Analytic in two books
           Division II. Transcendental Dialectic in two books
For truths sake stop reading critics of Kant before you have first read Kant and understood him.
against which critical point do you take a measure? Search on "goat" and read more on the dialectic.
For if a question is absurd in itself and calls for an answer where none is required, it not only brings shame on the propounder of the question, but may betray an incautious listener into absurd answers, thus presenting, as the ancients said, the ludicrous spectacle of one man milking a he-goat and the other holding a sieve underneath. Kant--Justin2007 (talk) 06:04, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Go easy on me, as this is my first post. I'm not sure if this talk of criticism is dead, but the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy mentions (what appear to be, at least) legitimate 'critiques' of Kant's 'Critique of Pure Reason,' when it mentions the two most popular interpretations of Kant's Transcendental Idealism; the interpretations put forth call into question the consistency of Kant's theses. Is this relevant? The link is At any rate, good luck!--Time Jockey (talk) 02:53, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Main Fact Summary Not Supported in Body and Fact Citations[edit]

Philosophers influencing Immanuel Kant in the right-hand summary table are not supported in body. Nearly all featured philosopher facts within the Philosophy WikiProject are inadequately cited, Thomas Aquinas is the exception.

Paradoxos 23:59, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Mathematics being Synthetic[edit]

This may seem a little off topic, but I have a question: when Kant says "3 + 3 = 6" is synthetic, is he saying that "3" is the subject and "+ 2 = 6" the predicate or is he saying "3 + 3" is the subject and "= 6" is the predicate? If he means the former, then I would agree with him, if the latter, I'm not so sure, because although there is nothing in the two 3s that shows that when combined they equal 6, isn't the meaning changed with the addition of the plus sign, which says to add them together, which, in maths, means to calculate them? So is this analytic or not? I'm guessing not since there is nothing in the "+" sign that says the answer, or the two "3s" if examined separately, but combined to make one subject which does in fact equal 6, isn't 6 in the subject then? I'm guessing not, but I just want to make sure. Sorry if this is a silly question, I've just discovered Kant and have only started on the Prolegomena. Josh.passmore 16:42, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Be careful about using Wikipedia for a discussion forum. You are seeing an equation as a categorical assertion, employing subject, copula, and predicate. Does the copula "is" mean "equals" or "possesses (has)"? The idea of a synthetic equation becomes more understandable when you use larger numbers. For example, 13464 is not readily analyzed into the summation of 9987 and 3477. As a matter of fact, 13464 could be analyzed into the summation of 2012 and 11452, as well as a great many other combinations of numbers.Lestrade 18:29, 29 March 2007 (UTC)Lestrade
Thanks ever so much for the information. After posting this I went back to the book and figured it out, so I guess this can be removed then. Josh.passmore 16:45, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

I just read the part about math being synthetic as well, and I think not only is it misleading but it's probably wrong on a few technicalities at least (especially if the meaning of equality here is not clarified, as there are many interpretations):

Once we have grasped the concepts of addition, subtraction or the functions of basic arithmetic, we do not need any empirical experience to know that 100 + 100 = 200, and in this way it would appear that arithmetic is in fact analytic. However, that it is analytic can be disproved thus: if the numbers five and seven in the calculation 5 + 7 = 12 are examined, there is nothing to be found in them by which the number 12 can be inferred. Likewise, the terms "the current President of the United States" and "George W. Bush" have the same reference, but not the same sense; such it is that "5 + 7" and "the cube root of 1,728" or "12" are not analytic because their reference is the same but their sense is not - meaning that the mathematic judgment "5 + 7 = 12" tells us something new about the world. It is self-evident, and undeniably a priori, but at the same time it is synthetic. And so Kant proves a proposition can be synthetic and known a priori.

The above seems problematic to me. In particular, the statement about how there is "nothing to be found in them" (5 + 7) "by which the number 12 can be inferred" is simply wrong from a number of viewpoints. If one considers numbers in the Peano tradition:

1. 0 \in \mathbb{N}

2. \frac{n \in \mathbb{N}}{\mathrm{succ}\ n \in \mathbb{N}}

3. ...

so that:

0 = 0

\mathrm{succ} \ 0 = 1

\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ 0) = 2


and so on, and if addition is defined thusly:

n + m \triangleq
    n,                                          & \mathrm {if} \ m = 0 \\ 
    (\mathrm{succ} \ n) + m', & \mathrm {if} \ m = \mathrm{succ} \ m'

Then 5 + 7 becomes the rather verbose:

(\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ 0))))) \ + \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ 0)))))))

Now one could argue that the above has a different sense from 12:

\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ (\mathrm{succ} \ 0)))))))))))

If you want to claim that sense is distinguished just by the different syntax tree of the second sentence (Frege's notion of sense is more nuanced than this though) then OK, but even so, the original claim is wrong -- there is something to be found in 5 + 7 by which 12 (the denotation or referent of the sentence '5 + 7', if we are again oversimplifying things) can be inferred. That something is precisely the inherent structure (i.e., something to be found 'in' them, in contradiction to the original claim of the quoted passage) of both 5 and 7 when evaluated as arguments to +. In fact, by the Curry-Howard Isomorphism 'inferring', or rather deducing this result, is simply the same as computing the \beta-normal form.

I don't think that Kant is sloppy enough to make this mistake in his understanding of mathematics. Granted, I am speaking here of the logical form of numbers, but this logical form is driven by our intuition of how computation of natural numbers must work.

So I think a better way to put this issue is to say that we may learn something about the world by deducing that 5 + 7 = 12 simply because the result of 5 + 7 is not immediate -- it must be computed, or decided, and thus it requires a certain amount of calculation in our minds, driven by intuition (i.e., it is synthetic). However, that 5 + 7 actually does turn out to be equal to 12 (with respect to \beta-normal form), is a logical necessity because of the way we have defined our numbers and operations (it is a priori). Thus it is synthetic a priori. 07:18, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Article length[edit]

As it stands, the article is 74kb long, almost twice the desireable length. I think it ought to be considered to split the article, perhaps with one biographical aricle and one philosophical, such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Thoughts?Skomorokh 15:45, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

For it!--Heyitspeter 00:02, 9 September 2007 (UTC)


I've been adding (the equivalent to) the following in many rather patchy Further Reading sections of a lot of Philosophy pages, but this article already seems to have a worthwhile Further Reading section, so I'm only going to give it here on the talk page. If anyone sees a reason to add it or improve the FR section in the article by using this resource, go right ahead.

- KSchutte 23:13, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Removed line[edit]

I have removed the line "basically contending that the world conforms to our understanding, rather than the vice versa", which was used to describe transcendental idealism. If someone can explain how this is not a gross simplification/mistatement, or back it up with a source, I won't object to it being re-added —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Luminos (talkcontribs) 06:41, 1 May 2007 (UTC).

Influences and Influenced[edit]

I have started a discussion regarding the Infobox Philosopher template page concerning the "influences" and "influenced" fields. I am in favor of doing away with them. Please join the discussion there. RJC Talk 14:16, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Tomb inscription[edit]

cross-posted from image description here:'s_tombstone_Kaliningrad.jpeg - sorry >_<'

Russian lines read: "Две вещи наполняют душу все новым и растущим восхищением и благоговением по мере того, как задумываешься над ними все глубже и дольше : звездное небо надо мной и моральный закон во мне."

More correct english for that would be something like this:

"Two things fill the soul with increasingly new and growing admiration and awe as you ponder on them increasingly deeper and longer: the starry sky above me and the moral law within me". 23:17, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Nevermind. Actually, it's better translated as "mind" into english, not "soul" :) . So says the russian "Critique" 21:34, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

The Death penalty?[edit]

What were his views on it? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 22:10, 12 May 2007 (UTC).

I´m a student of law in germany and we have had some lectures about the different theories on the purpose of punishment. Beeing a child of his time, Kant didn`t reject death-penalty. Maybe there is an article about Kant`s "island-model"?

I thought that Kant was pro-death penalty - a simple case of universalising the maxim: the death penalty for murder is simply universalising the murderer's own maxim.Pgg7 (talk) 09:51, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't think this would be the right interpretation of Kant's Ethics, because you don't just universalise the action the murderer took. Instead you have to consider for yourself if "kill somebody else" is a right maxim. Although I have to admitt, that I don't know Kant's personal viewpoint on the death penalty, I think a modern intepretation would reject it, because Kant'S Ethic doesnt't know maxims like " A is right, if B". -- (talk) 01:15, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

From what I remember from my philosophy class where we briefly talked about Kant, he was against murder and his ethical theory of kantianism said that if you have rules, there can be no exceptions or justifications for breaking them due to the fact that this destroyed the actual meaning of the rule. But that's only what i think i remember, you should probably get it checked out.

There is no need to interpret this question in terms of the CI. Kant stated in the Metaphysical Elements of Justice, ""But whoever has committed murder, must die." (talk) 00:59, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

entry in 'Kant's Later Work'[edit]

The following complete nonsense is in the Biography section under 'Kant's Later Work': "Immanuel Kant was the cousin of Eugene Williams. Much of his thinking was influenced by the numerous evening conversations in the tavern sipping brewed root beer."

Some person or persons has made the effort to put together an entry on an important philosopher, but presumably someone else thought this inane addition was the height of hilarity. We'll never get to the Kingdom of Ends at this rate, unless there is a tavern of that name somewhere. Wizziwiks 13:44, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Incorrect statement or misleading?[edit]

The Analytic-synthetic distinction page lists this; "analytic proposition: a proposition whose predicate concept is contained in its subject concept & synthetic proposition: a proposition whose predicate concept is not contained in its subject concept"

The main article on Kant, under the section on Kant's theory of perception, states;

"Before Kant's first Critique, empiricists (cf. Hume) and rationalists (cf. Leibniz) assumed that all synthetic statements required experience in order to be known."

Isn't this a ridiculous claim? To know without direct experience is just extrapolation. It sounds like their claiming Kant was the first to think of what is a basic human cognitive function we all develop as infants. Am I just reading this incorrectly? 21:05, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

I believe that you are reading this incorrectly. It is true that both Hume and Leibniz use that definition stated above for analytic and synthetic propositions. Analytic propositions are those in which the predicate is implicit in the subject, as in 'All bodies are extended'. The concept of 'extension' is necessarily contained in the concept of 'body'. In this case all we have to do is examine the definition of 'body' to infer that the predicate is already contained in it. In contrast, synthetic propositions are those in which the predicate is not contained in the subject, that is to say, we can only know it by direct resort to experience. So, when you say "Isn't this a ridiculous claim? To know without direct experience is just extrapolation." This right here presupposes or assumes that experience is the source of knowledge, which is the central presupposition of empiricism; the notion that we can know certain propositions independent of experience or a priori was the central tenet of rationalism. Hume, when he address the question of 'analytic propositions' simply concludes that these propositions are tautological and belong to what he calls 'relations of ideas' as opposed to 'matters of fact'. Accordingly, Hume states, analytic propositions do not tell us anything about the world, but merely about the way our concepts work. The problem with your question, as I have tried to indicate, is that it assumes something, namely, that experience is the source of experience, and furthermore, it shows that you have not considered the other side of the argument. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rphilosophy29 (talkcontribs) 18:35, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Newbie question regarding 'The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics' (1780)[edit]

I note that this work does not appear in the Bibliography. See:

Is it know under another name? If so what? Mercury543210 20:13, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Critique of Mr. Critique[edit]

How about an article criticizing Kant or at least a section where modern philosophers or even traditional philosophers point out Kant's weak points or contradictions? I'd be very grateful to read about a critique of Kant, Mr. Critique himself. It would excellent for Wikipedia. Kleinbell 05:36, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

You could try Schopenhauer's criticism of the Kantian philosophy, Schopenhauer's criticism of Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, and Schopenhauer's criticism of Kant's schemata.Lestrade 13:13, 6 October 2007 (UTC)Lestrade
Thanks Lestrade. How about a synthesis of this and of other critiques as part of this article? Kleinbell 07:58, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Sorry Mr Kleinbell, (forgive me if I'm wrong), but I thought this was and OPEN encyclopedia as distinct from a CLOSED authenticated enclopedia, but an encyclopea none the less. As if we are not awash with critics. My dream is that someone who has actually read and studied Kant in depth would actually pull his entire works together and present it as a complete SYSTEM. Kant does not read like a novel. Schopenhauer was just one of the many artful "critics" who seized upon a portion of the Whole and ran off to make a meal of it. Fichte, Schelling, Hegal, Marx was another line of Kantian opportunist philosophers (lovers of specious thinking). It seems Kant will remain the eternal Giordano Bruno, facing an eternity of inquisitions. Rest his soul --Justin2007 (talk) 04:54, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Added Section on Categories[edit]

I was surprised that the article had so much information on Immanuel Kant's theory of space and time, but none on his categories, so I added a section. It may need a little cleaning, but I think it's a start. Le vin blanc 07:56, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Corrected Misleading Words[edit]

I have corrected numerous misleading words and sentences in the second paragraph of "The Young Scholar." The paragraph was originally too definititive in its statements of affirmation of Kant's work. For example, Kant did not "discover" that nebulae form into star systems, he theorized it. He had no proof. The paragraph as it reads now reflects such distinctions. (talk) 16:22, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

New Criticism Section[edit]

I created a criticism section last week, and began it with Ayn Rand. I did this, first of all because Objectivism differs from Kant's philosophy on every fundamental and Rand's denunciations of him are more sweeping and aggressive than any other philosopher in history. Secondly, besides Kantianism, Objectivism is the only philosophy I have a technical knowledge of, and I wanted to give the criticism section a proper start, free of factual error. My initial submission included quotes from Rand's work addressing what she considered his primary flaws. This submission was lengthy and because of that seemed like an advertisement for Objectivism (and I will admit that is my primary intention), rather than a serious contribution of unbiased information. I have attempted to mend this problem by editing the entry down to two quote blocks, both addressing only epistemology. I hope this meets with the approval of other users, and I hope to see more entries into the criticism section. An important philosopher to include is Hegel, since his philosophy was the most influential of Kant's derivative thinkers(I know very little about its details however). --Andrewsandberg (talk) 08:30, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

This has been discussed numerous times before, and the consensus was to not have a criticism section. One of the main reasons was because Randoids were using it to advertise objectivism, as you yourself have admitted you are doing. So I am removing the section. --Le vin blanc (talk) 21:30, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
One solution is to have separate articles for each philosophical criticism. There is an article entitled Schopenhauer's criticism of the Kantian philosophy that can be read by anyone who is really interested. By having a separate article for each criticism, the Immanuel Kant article is not overburdened. This means that anyone who feels competent can create an Ayn Rand's criticism of the Kantian philosophy article.Lestrade (talk) 04:28, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Lestrade

Most important figure in philosophy after Aristotle[edit]

I added a citation needed tag after this statement. It seems a rather bold claim to make with out any referencing. It's not something that would be considered common knowledge. CrazySpas (talk) 09:55, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I think it should be removed outright. It is hardly universally held. I'd certainly say he's behind Augustine. That he's the most influential SINCE Augustine I would find difficult to dispute, however. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:04, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

While it might not be universally held, I do believe that when reading the history of philosophy through a schema of paradigmatic shifts, one would end up with something like:

Plato - Descartes - Kant

My main objection to the above-mentioned status of Augustine is that he is merely refining on the subtler points of Aristotle (which again systematized and refined Plato). Come Descartes and his Discourse, western philosophy suddenly takes a turn away from the scholastic and into the modern or rationalistic world (quoth the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Descartes has been heralded as the first modern philosopher". and then again Kant, of which it is undoubtedly true that any post-Kantian philosopher has felt the need to relate to, directly or indirectly.

Is it then valid to say that Kant was the most important philosopher since "x"? Rather, I would recommend filling the space with a paragraph stating thusly that Kant defined a paradigm in philosophy (and as soon as I get up in the morning, I shall look the reference up in my books). Melpomenon (talk) 22:43, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

In general, statements of this form do not belong in an encyclopedia, since they are necessarily opinion rather than information. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:09, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Confusion: Kant's philosophy[edit]

The raw code is this:

==Kant's philosophy==
{{Confusing|date=March 2008}}

which is a little bit ironic. All (or most) philosophers consider Kant's philosophy being confusing. It might be a wish in vain to hope for the article being not confusing then... It should rather be:

==Kant's philosophy==
{{Confusing|date=March 1744}}

or some such. Said: Rursus 11:21, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

LOL X-D Would you like to preserve that joke at wp:humor?. I offer my personal page as lodging Randroide (talk) 10:20, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

See also section suggestion[edit]

The section has too many references. I suggest to order the links with subsections, as "Concepts", "Individuals", "Criticism"... something like this:

See also[edit]




Feedback, please. Randroide (talk) 17:06, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Did it[edit]

[2] I think this way is much better Randroide (talk) 12:51, 1 May 2008 (UTC) do I put this[edit]

This may not be relevant to anything, but at least is amusing if you are as immaure as I am, speaking to a German about Kant (who I know only a little about, and in my experience have always pronounced kAnt), apparently the correct pronunciation of the name is more akin to the well known expletive c*nt. Perhaps this could be made a note of as pronunciation is with other names? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:18, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

It has been a while since I studied German, but I am still a language and philosophy teacher. The name "Kant" does not rhyme with "punt" or "want" (at least not in my Midwestern English) but is pretty close to rhyming with "jaunt" or "font." P0M (talk) 05:48, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Im a native German speaker. "Kant" is pronounced like "can´t" in British (!) English. Maybe the A is a bit shorter than in the word can´t. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

With regard to POM's entry: Ermm... want for you doesn't rhyme with jaunt or font? Also, the German pronunciation is a less nasal short a, so it does sound quite close to "see you next Tuesday" (talk) 05:14, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

An incomprehensible sentence[edit]

The text currently says:

Recent Kant scholarship has devoted more attention to these "pre-critical" writings and has recognized a degree of continuity with his mature work.

I cannot be sure what the intended meaning is and so would not like to contemplate fixing it. "Scholarship has recognized continuity with his mature work" -- means what? P0M (talk) 05:48, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps those who deeply study Kant's writings recognize that there is a "flow", a consistency in his writing that indicates a maturity in his philosophical thought and in his ability to impart his knowledge using the written word.  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  23:42, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Probably impossible to defend[edit]

The text currently says:

These ideas have largely framed or influenced all subsequent philosophical discussion and analysis.

Whenever a writer makes a statement about all, s/he takes on an impossible burden of proof. How does the writer know that there is not a significant philosopher somewhere in some third world country who will blow everybody's mind away, but who has never even heard of Kant? P0M (talk) 06:19, 27 June 2008 (UTC)


This which has just been explicated is commonly called a transcendental reduction.

I've seen "that which" at the head of a sentence before, but never "this which." One key to good writing is to avoid making the reader guess what is trying to be said. P0M (talk) 06:56, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Moment? In what sense?[edit]

The section called "Kant’s Categories of the Understanding" repeatedly uses the word "moment." Is that word used as a term in physics? (Tendency, or measure of tendency, to produce motion, esp. motion about a fixed point or axis.)Or is the word intended to mean the more commonplace "brief period of time?" Or is it a special term derived from Kant's own technical vocabulary and having neither of the above meanings? The average well-informed reader should not have to guess. P0M (talk) 07:14, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

I think that it should be taken out of the article and replaced with some comprehensible English expression. I don't remember Kant using the term. Hegel may, certainly certain writers in the Hegelian tradition, such as Adorno, use it, to mean an aspect or sub-tendency of something. But I don't think a normal person reading the article would understand it. I started to rewrite it after seeing your comment, but realized that it would be a more complicated rewrite than I thought, and don't have time to pursue it right now. In this context it could sometimes be rendered as "role", "contribution", "function", etc. Jjshapiro (talk) 18:18, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
I wrote the section, so I can say with certainty that most of the time, by 'moment' I did indeed mean 'role', 'contribution' and 'function'. On a sidenote, I should really apologize for the section's prose. They are just awful, but I figured that they would be better than nothing, considering that the categories of the faculty of the understanding are such an important component of Kant's philosophy, and that the prose would be amended by other wiki-users. --Le vin blanc (talk) 21:05, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Kant uses 'moment' in CPR A70/B95 "[T]he function of thought in judgment can be brought under four heads, each of which contains four moments." (Kemp Smith's translation) It means something like subspecies; eg under "quantity" the moments are universal (all), particular (some), singular (one). He also uses the word 'function' in various places. That said, K's terminology is almost never clear. Mtwasson (talk) 23:38, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Faculty of understanding versus understanding[edit]

Just a short time ago, the expert, J Shapiro, blithely did a global revert of edits I had made. In so doing, Shapiro has reverted different categories of edits. Most of my edits consisted of changing "the understanding" to "understanding". Shapiro explained that I had been mistaken in supposing that this was a matter of a contrast between the use of the definite article in the two languages, German and English. Instead, there is a substantive issue involved. But the annotation to my own edit made clear that there were other changes I had made. Now it seems I must call more attention to them. First, the hyphen in "free-play" is absolutely wrong, in English at least. Second the following sentence is obviously missing one or more words:

Man thinks via judgments, so all possible judgments must be listed and the perceptions connected within them put aside, so the moments the understanding is involved in constructing judgments can be examined.

I amended it to

Man thinks via judgments, so all possible judgments must be listed and the perceptions connected within them put aside, so THAT the moments the understanding is involved in constructing judgments ABOUT can be examined.

Now, if my understanding is faulty, then correct it. But we cannot tolerate that anybody would see nothing wrong with the previous version of the sentence.

That addressed, let's remind the experts that you have to *explain things* to the nonexperts. You can't just write about "the understanding", meaning some "faculty of understanding", when hardly anybody outside of philosophy is aware of the notion of a faculty of understanding, and *for sure*, in English, the collocation, "the understanding" is exclusive to philosphers. Therefore, I have taken the crucial explanation that Shapiro provided in his annotation and inserted it at the head of the subsection that discusses "the understanding". Hurmata (talk) 08:06, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Inserted the "Wikify" tag[edit]

What brought me to this article was merely the need for chronological information. I started really trying to read the explanation of Kant's philosophy, and I am shocked at both how useless it is for educating the public, because of its density, and at the lack of internal links. With a dense subject like this, almost every word could be Wikified. Be that as it may, there's almost NO Wikification -- crazy. Anyway, I really feel that persons who collectively have brought the text to its present state had no interest in making themselves intelligible to anyone who is not a confirmed fan of the subject matter. Even for such people, the exposition is abrupt, there is no sense of a need to make proper introductions and transitions from one sentence to the next. Hurmata (talk) 09:27, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

I think you are quite right. To me, the article reads very much like it was written by Kant himself. P0M (talk) 00:15, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

A problematical addition[edit]

Someone added the following collection of words:

Accordingly his reasoning that a person forfeits his right to be treated as a human if he acts like an animal.

The above is not syntactically correct. Moreover, it needs a citation to establish that it is actually something Kant said. I have removed it pending clarification. P0M (talk) 04:43, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Innate or not?[edit]

On Wikipedia, there appear to be several users who believe that Kant did not maintain that the categories of the power of the understanding are innate ideas. They have even stated this belief as fact in articles (here is an example). I find this to be controversial, because I -- and I am sure many other people have to -- have been taught that Kant held the categories to be innate, and it is precisely because they are innate that we are forced to think in accordance with them, and cannot therefore know things as they are in themselves; all my translated copies of Kant's works support this common interpretation too, although I am ashamed to admit that I am not capable of reading the original German, so there is a slight possibility that, unbeknownst to me, they are inaccurate, and thus my understanding of Kant is too. Therefore I would like the supporters of the unusual interpretation -- which reads like a linguistic reinterpretation of Kant, done under the light of Wittgenstein -- to state their case, because I can otherwise see no reason for their reading to be stated as fact in articles, and I am, I admit, very interested myself in this new interpretation. --Le vin blanc (talk) 16:17, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

It is difficult to keep the vocabulary defined as one is reading Kant, and there is likely to be even more slippage when writing about it. I've marked the passage you mentioned above to request a citation. The fundamental difficulty for Kant, once he realized that there is a chain of causation and inference between the thing-in-itself and what the human observer experiences, is how to characterize and inter-relate the "components" of lived experience. The vocabulary he uses and/or creates really needs a series of explanations in clear English. I think most people try to stick with Kant's words and his definitions in order to avoid going off the track. Maybe the passage in question is an attempt to make such a clear English explanation that is clear but wrong. I don't recall Kant being worried about "word and object" questions. I suspect that one reason may be that the first thing he does is to question our access to "the object." What we have access to is "the experience," and how experience relates to object is problematical. So simply giving a name to one or another kind of experience is reliable -- at least if we are all really sharing the same kind of experience due to our very similar human organisms.
When I have time I can look for some clarification in one of the secondary texts I find most reliable.P0M (talk) 08:36, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Please realize that many academics have an interest in making Kant's words seem to relate to logic and not to psychology. If Kant were to be thought of as claiming that he knew what innate ideas were in people's minds, then he would be dismissed as writing about psychology or subjective ideas. However, if he can be made to seem as though he was talking about logic, then he can be taken seriously as a philosopher today. Innate ideas are anathema. They are loathed and detested because they are claimed to be the inner contents of a mind, of which we can have no objective, certain knowledge.Lestrade (talk) 02:45, 15 August 2008 (UTC):estrade

I don't think it will necessarily help to explain the psychological leanings of the academics. Your comment suggests that academics are being intellectually dishonest because they have some kind of interest in making Kant more acceptable to others. Kant's critique cannot be reduced to psychology because that science is based on things that Kant's metaphysics puts in question. Kant's critique also cannot be reduced to logic because logic deals with statements, and statements are composed of words that refer to experience, to imagined experience, etc. Kant's philosophy is an attempt to sort out the structures of dependency that constitute ideas, observations, and statements about them. The contrast between "realism" and "idealism" then comes to the fore. The threatening question is, "Can we understand (make an entirely satisfactory account of) a system when we cannot look at the system from the outside? If we start with a naive (realistic) view of science, and that view indicates that one does not have the simple, objective, realistic view that science presupposes, then how can there be a properly grounded account of anything?
If we take the view of Newtonian physics and its implications as a first order of approximation, as I think Kant did, then we can ask how those ideas would work out in practice. What would the idea of mappings of characteristics of "things in themselves" onto light and other signals explain, and what would it leave out? One of the first thing that appears is that the human organism must have a function (in our modern terminology) that enables it to keep the incoming data in a coherent sequence. (If information came in like grains of corn falling from a spout into a grain elevator ("silo"), it would be randomized and somebody's birth and death could be side by side and that person's college life could be ten meters over and five meters down.)
Whitehead asked a very interesting question about space. He noted that most all people agree that there is an external space and that we can see things arranged in this external space, make maps that indicate the relationships of objects in this space that are acceptable to all observers, etc. So it seems that there is a "thing" called space and that objects are located in it, and that something could not exist in our usual understanding of that word if it did not have a location or series of locations in that space. Then, he asks, what is the ontological status of the space that we perceive in imagination and in dreams. That additional space, or those additional spaces, seem to depend on the mind and to be unrelated to the space that is intersubjective and consensual.
Entanglement in physics points to the possibility that our mentally constituted ideas of space can create problems in properly conceptualizing changes/interactions in the real world. Our ordinary experience of the world indicates to us very clearly that there is no "action at a distance." Even something that appears to be an effect caused on one thing by something that happens somewhere else will turn out to depend on interactions that pass through space and time. An electro-magnet initially has no effect on a steel plate at some distance from it. Throw the switch, and the plate is strongly accelerated toward the electromagnet. But we know that an electro-magnetic field was initiated, grew, and spread through space to interact with the plate. That is what all our everyday eperience teaches us.
But when two entangled photons are created and allowed to go off in different directions, so that observers would all agree that they are "spatially separated," a change produced by some physical operation performed on one of them will instantaneously produce a change in the other. Our conceptualization, our sense of their being individually located in remote parts of space, tells us that any change in one should behave as does any other change, i.e., some field or other physical change should move from one particle to the other, and it should move at no speed greater than the speed of light. But the entangled photons behave as they would if they were a single particle, a particle having a single location in space. To the human observer it looks like instantaneous interaction -- over any distance one might imagine
The logic of statements that are descriptive of quantum events is definitely not what one would expect on the basis of everyday experience. The basic idea behind ordinary logic is that if one says, "It is the case that XYZT" and one also says "It it not the case that XYZT," where "XYZT" is shorthand for some statement about what one would find in the real world at a certain space or range of space and a certain time or range of times, then you've basically said something and then "erased" it, and all that others can make out is that you have called their attention to XYZT. I think that Kant would agree that the human mind cannot act on the basis of statements that contradict each other.
What happens in quantum mechanics is instructive, and casts an unexpected light on the idea of logic. The problems to comprehension that present themselves are not contradictions in the area of logic as much as contradictions in the area of set theory. The scheme used in Venn diagrams suggests that there is a kind of conceptual "space," i.e., that we can map sets onto areas on a plane, and the areas will correspond to sets of entities, i.e., entities that fall under a certain definition. We are used to thinking of exclusive distinctions, "as different as black and white," so we could have one circle to represent all black objects and another circle to represent all white objects. We can deal with gray objects in a number of ways, explaining them as half-tone combinations of white areas and black areas, or as the result of mixtures of pigments made of molecules that are individually black or else white, and so forth. What we are not prepared to deal with are entities that can be found in both the "pure white" and the "pure black" circles. Our everyday experience is that if we investigate something such as a robin's egg we will find it to be robin's egg blue. If an egg is pure white then it cannot be a robin's egg -- and especially we will not find a single egg that different observations will determine to be different colors. If we were to find an egg that was put away white and turned out to be blue when reexamined a few minutes later, then we would look for Easter egg dye, trickery, or some other "logical" explanation.
What happens with atomic-scale objects is that they look like waves in air, water, or steel if we "ask them what they are" using certain techniques, and look like particles such as baseballs, bullets, or planets if we "ask them" using alternative techniques. If one allows that the statement,"This is a wave," is the logical equivalent to, "This is not a particle," then the physical situation says that it is true that, "This is a wave," and "This is not a wave." But that is probably an illegitimate implication. Anyway, the observation has frequently been made by the physicists that study these things that if you don't think this stuff is weird you don't even begin to understand it. And that kind of "does not compute" reaction seems to me to be consistent with Kant's ideas. Nature may be fine with this state of affairs, but humans cannot deal with it conceptually because they are not made in a way that allows them to do so. Is that an observation about "logic" or an observation about "psychology"? We can ground half of what we know about light in one set of experiences, and the other half in another set of experiences, but the two sets of evidence cannot be merged -- in the sense that a bag full of black billiard balls and white billiard balls would still contain the two separate kinds of balls no matter how they were arranged. The universe doesn't have any problem with merging the "thing in itself" behind our perceptions, but our minds have problems merging our experiences of whatever is "really out there." So what is really out there may have an unreliable connection to what we experience. P0M (talk) 06:49, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
"I don't think it will necessarily help to explain the psychological leanings of the academics." There are many books written by academics that explicitly state that Kant's philosophy is based on logic rather than psychology. "Your comment suggests that academics are being intellectually dishonest because they have some kind of interest in making Kant more acceptable to others." My comment suggests that to you but may not suggest that to someone else. Yours is a subjective, personal judgment of my comment.Lestrade (talk) 20:02, 9 November 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

Recent major changes[edit]

Somebody identified as "Lizardcry" has evidently added large numbers of citations in one or more blocks and then removed all of them in a series of edits. It appears that there are no real differences between what was there before, and what was there after these edits, but I could be wrong.

Anybody making such major changes should discuss them first in the Discussion page. P0M (talk) 05:12, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Capital of Prussia[edit]

The Text says "Immanuel Kant was born in 1724 in Königsberg, the capital of Prussia at that time." Königsberg wasnt the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was just the Coronation place (because it was outside the Holy Roman Empire). Berlin was the Capital. Although Königsberg was the capital of the province of Prussia/Eastern Prussia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:45, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Problem with formatting[edit]

I can only see the infobox (using IE7), any ideas? Other browsers seem OK as do other wiki pages in IE7 Talltim (talk) 22:35, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Seems to work OK now, some strange glitch Talltim (talk) 09:41, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Scottish on both sides of the family[edit]

According to Fischer's " Scots in Germany" (1902)Kant's paternal grandfather was also Scottish, although there seems to have been some confusion about where he lived,

"At this point of our survey we must not forget the grandfather of the great philosopher Emanuel Kant, who was born of Scottish parents. In the draft of an answer to a letter of the Swedish Bishop Lindblom, in which the Swedish descent of Kant’s father had been started, the philosopher says: "It is very well known to me, that my grandfather, who was a citizen of the Prusso-Lithuanian town of Tilsit, came originally from Scotland." ( (talk) 18:18, 16 October 2008 (UTC))

Immanuel Kant`s mother`s maiden name is REUTER, not Porter, and she was born and baptized in Koenigsberg, not Nuremberg. The story of Kant`s supposed Scottish ancestry was debunked years ago. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

1) Petras Klimas in his memoirs wrote that in one of Kantas work, that was printed in 1804, had been written that Kantas is from the region of Klaipėda, from gardeners Lithuanians. His mother was unable even to speak German. 2) Soviet linguists V. Toporov and A. Nepokupn took a note of surname of Kantas that is clearly Prussian-Lithuanian. They also noticed that only Germans from East Prussia has this surname. 3) G and H Martensens made such a conclusions: ancestors of Kantas are from the village KANTvainė(5 kilometers to north-east from Priekulė. Ancesotrs of Kantas worked in Šilutė and Rusnė. His great grandfather Richard even didin't know German language, because in trial he even used translator. What do You think? - Egisz —Preceding unsigned comment added by Egisz (talkcontribs) 12:04, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Monument in Gołdap[edit]

There is a monument to Kant in Gołdap, Poland. It is apparently the place where he spent his longest trip away from Koenigsberg. I have a photo is anyone is interested in putting it on the site.( (talk) 18:18, 16 October 2008 (UTC))

You could go to

and upload it yourself. Putting it in the Commons would make it accessible to all language groups in the Wikipedia community. Others really can't easily upload things for you since you are the one who holds the copyright and you have the right to release it. P0M (talk) 05:15, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

The Poles put up a monument to a German!!?? What an amazing outcome that would be . . . Oops, forgot, Kant has too many Scottish grandparents to be a "real" German, nevermind that his first language was German. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ANNRC (talkcontribs) 09:19, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
If you'd ever been to Goldap you'd realise it needs all the tourism and links to famous people it can get! Actually, Poland has quite a few monuments to famous Germans ( (talk) 17:35, 26 October 2008 (UTC)).

Political philosophy[edit]

I thought more comments would be gained if we discussed it here.. the section "Political Philosophy" has a link to the "main article" Political philosophy of Immanuel Kant. That main article page seems useless as the only information missing from this page (Immanuel Kant) is a brief information on EU's critics. I say we merge? No reason for two to be split. --staka (T) 01:43, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Kant's theory of perception[edit]

The article says "Kant maintains that our understanding of the external world has its foundations not merely in experience, but in both experience and a priori concepts". However, they are not mutually exclusive. Experience cannot become experience without an a priori intervention, first through the imaginative binding together of sense data into schema and then through the relating of similar schema into concepts that make experience. I think this requires a rewrite. Torricelli01 (talk) 18:01, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

The passage you quote says "not merely (x) but in both (x) and (y)," so it does not claim any components or entities are "mutually exclusive." Bu you probably have a point because "experience" is being used as an ordinary language term and not as Kant defines it as a term of art in his philosphy. What is the right term for the inputs that come in to us and give us reason to believe that there is thing-in-itself that is behind each of these inputs? P0M (talk) 18:33, 24 December 2008 (UTC)


In the "Biography", the grammar breaks down, at one point. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:34, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

I think that Gauss (Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss, born in 1777) is not an example for the advancements of sciences in Kant's age: when Kant wrote the first Kritik, Gauss was at the college... see for example [1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:03, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

No contribution[edit]

Kant made no real contribution to science or maths. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:20, 2 April 2009 (UTC) At least, Kant did not launch an attack on science, as Hegel did with Ceres. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:55, 2 April 2009 (UTC) See Gauss's attack on Hegel. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:57, 2 April 2009 (UTC) Kant did deny modern relativity, but this is inevitable for someone born in the 18th. century. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:47, 18 April 2009 (UTC) Kant seems to have been the first to refer to tidal retardation, but this is something of a statement of the obvious. See Tidal acceleration. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:49, 22 April 2009 (UTC) Kant is said to have drawn far-reaching conclusions from tidal retardation. He does not seem to have done so from proper motion, referred to in 1718. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:55, 1 May 2009 (UTC) Kant once said that the mind of man cannot conceive of any geometry except Euclidean geometry, just a few years before the discovery of non-Euclidean geometry. (It seems to be a tradition to leave posts to this thread in run-on paragraphs and unsigned.)

Non-Euclidean geometry is merely Euclidean geometry on a curved surface. Kant assumed that geometry was to be practiced on a flat surface, like a piece of paper. The basic diagrams are both the same, allowing for degree of curvature. Lestrade (talk) 20:27, 30 March 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

An incomprehensible sentence[edit]

The text currently says:

Recent Kant scholarship has devoted more attention to these "pre-critical" writings and has recognized a degree of continuity with his mature work.

I cannot be sure what the intended meaning is and so would not like to contemplate fixing it. "Scholarship has recognized continuity with his mature work" -- means what? P0M (talk) 05:48, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps those who deeply study Kant's writings recognize that there is a "flow", a consistency in his writing that indicates a maturity in his philosophical thought and in his ability to impart his knowledge using the written word.  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  23:42, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

An incomprehensible sentence in an article on Immanuel Kant. Imagine that! Rick Norwood (talk) 13:38, 2 June 2009 (UTC)


I have never read such a mockery of philosophy as with Ayn Rand and her criticism of Kant. She doesn't understand the meaning and usage of Kant's "transcendental" nor "transcendent", thus she doesn't fathom Kant's distinction between the two which is basically what her criticism is based upon. This culminates in a very distorted, if not emotive, criticism. Certainly not intellectual and new readers and researchers of Kant will certainly be misguided and mislead if putting any credence in her remarks. It is one thing to criticize and it is another to thing to criticize with understanding. If a criticism is to be offered as a reference then it should offer something meaningful. Of course, on the positive side, you can always leave it for those knowledgeable readers of the drab and dry Kant who could always use a good laugh and a little humor in their life. Amerindianarts (talk) 04:33, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

You are not a reliable source for her criticism's lack of notability. Ayn Rand, however, very much is. It is not up to you or me, but Wikipedia and what its policies are. Currently, that leaves with the notable, citable critic getting mention. Dfsghjkgfhdg (talk) 04:48, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm disappointed that after a week there is only one response. As far as "You are not a reliable source for her criticism's lack of notability", do you know this for certain? And do you know for certain that the editor that inserted the link was a "reliable source". I don't think so, unless maybe Glen Beck told you? You argue like a Rand cultist. Rand has no understanding of Kant and many of her criticisms are nothing more than fallacious ad hominem arguments directed at the man and not his philosophy. This is aside from her lack of understanding of the distinction I mentioned which is spelled out quite nicely by Peter Strawson and which people who do know Kant, such as myself, understand. I have read Rand's criticism. She is a hack. It is unfortunate that you are editing this article at all. But, like I said, all Kant readers can use a good laugh at Rand's expense. Amerindianarts (talk) 05:06, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
A few points for your consideration:
  1. Please do your best to deal with your disappointment. I cannot speak for all other editors who are interested in this article, but I, for one, have a life outside Wikipedia.
  2. There are literally hundreds of articles that I keep tabs on, and I watch my own Talk page much more closely than any of those, so if you know a particular editor and would like her or his opinion, you might want to add to their Talk page.
  3. I think what editor Dfsghjkgfhdg might have meant was that any claim made by any editor is always subject to third-party sourcing.
  4. I am trying to exercise as much good-faith assumption as possible, but I cannot help feeling that your tone above appears dangerously close to being a personal attack against another editor. You would be well-advised to curtail such similes as "cultist", and using words like "hack" and "It is unfortunate that you are editing this article . . .". There is no need for such inflammatory comments if you want to at least appear civil.
  5. How you feel about any notable person in this or any other encyclopedia has little if anything to do with the content. The reason for this is that there are about as many opinions about people like Kant and Rand as there are assholes stars in the night sky. So please try to stick to WP:NPOV in your edits.
  6. What is so bad about having a good laugh now and then?
  7. Thank you very much for helping to improve this encyclopedia!
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  08:10, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Nothing wrong with having a good laugh now and then. Isn't that what I said? The "positive" aspect?
My comment is not even close to a personal attack. "Hack" was a reference to Rand, not to any editor. Who the hell are you to ask me to refrain from my opinion on this page? Cultist is the word I choose.
I have a life outside Wiki too. When I left this article three years ago it was in good shape. No "need to do" or clarity warnings. Look at it now. Everyone who worked on it back in the day when it was a model article has left it alone. No one wants to tolerate the time and trouble of the petty crap it takes to do anything here, and I'm referring as an example to the last edit by editor Dfsghjkgfhdg that I undid. Pure pettiness.
I always stick to NPOV in my edits. I sourced one of the opening statements to an expect in the field (third party source)in a widely accepted publication and it is questioned by someone (editor Dfsghjkgfhdg) with a reference to a weasel word page?
Ayn Rand DOES attack the man, i.e. Kant. Not very intellectual and the distaste for ad hominem argumentation is widely accepted. I don't have too much of a problem with the link, i.e. "Nothing wrong with having a good laugh now and then". I do have a problem with petty edits and there seem to be as many "as there are assholes stars in the night sky".
Seriously, I think you know I'll take your comments with a grain of salt. I see nothing here constructive to the article.
The article is not recognizable from three years ago and it's in trouble. Good luck.Amerindianarts (talk) 08:44, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Wishing me luck will not improve the article. As my dear departed Uncle George used to say, "Quitcher whinin' and get busy!" Best of everything to you and yours!
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  09:01, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
I think you missed the point. Trying to improve the article would require too much time on this page listening to others whining and tolerating the aforementioned pettiness. Did your Uncle George ever mention anything about the senselessness of beating your head against a brick wall as a part of busyness? Not like you can really jump right in, roll up sleeves, and get busy without all the distractions.Amerindianarts (talk) 09:25, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
I missed no points, however you certainly did. Would you care for some cheese with your wine? Heavens to Murgatroyd, if everyone who edits here were to take on your attitude, nothing would get done. Seems to me that you came here writing like a Muslim among Christians, or an Arab among Israelites. I can understand a certain amount of frustration, for I've felt it myself at times. It would be heavenly if you would try not to take all that pent up anxiety out on your fellow editors. We're all here for the same thing, Amerindianarts: to improve the article. If you have something to contribute, then please do so. And don't get haughty just because I remind you about being civil with each other. There are ways and ways to express your opinion. If you cannot refrain from personal attacks, for which you still have not apologized, then please do get the heck out of Dodge. Most of us come here to donate our time trying to improve Wikipedia. We do not come here to have somebody use inflammatory language and piss us off. I hope I've made this clear this time. You are welcome here, to be sure. But only as long as you exhibit civility toward others (including the notable people who have articles in this reference work). Thank you for your time!
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  09:06, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
I find your ethnic comments troubling. And I have nothing to apologize for. I didn't use inflammatory language. I believe you brought the term "assholes" into the conversation so maybe you better reread (or read?) being civil yourself. I think you have a real problem reading the facts. And there is nothing wrong with me stating that there are people editing this article who really have no business editing this article other than watching for vandals and other juvenile and petty editors. This article requires someone with a substantial knowledge of the subject from what I can see it isn't happening. Amerindianarts (talk) 08:13, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Also, I noticed a mention of weasel wording in on of the recent edits. It was not weasel wording. It is not so much truth as it is VERIFIABILITY at Wiki. This is spelled out explicitly. One only has to check the reference. It was verifiable and not weasel wording. This is what I mean by editors monitoring with pettyness, vindictiveness, or anything else you choose to call it. The editor that made that comment needs a comprehensive overview of Wiki. The direct quote provided provides the verifiability which was really not needed, especially in a 6000 word article where the space could be better used. Not everything can be said, but everything must be verifiable. So why must we be so petty?Amerindianarts (talk) 08:41, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
NAMA Akrotiri 2.jpg This user believes in the ancient classic and epic struggle between WP:Preserve and WP:Burden.
Good question! One's golden grain is another's gooey garbage; one person's poignant perception is another person's pettiness. Thank you very much for your help to improve this article and, in the process of course, Wikipedia!
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  09:58, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Post script: Thanks for your reply anyway. My edit removing the link and first comments here were a goad so I could see who was here and who is not. This same argument concerning Rand and other things took place three years ago when Wiki was absolutely overrun with Rand cultists. I have assessed the situation and will be on my way.Amerindianarts (talk) 08:53, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

You're welcome, Amerindianarts! Don't let the door hit you in the stars on your way out. <g> Seriously, best of luck in your endeavors, and thank you very much for your help to improve this encyclopedia... in any era.
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  09:01, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
I never do.Amerindianarts (talk) 09:25, 26 August 2009 (UTC)


Read the page you cited Dfsghjkgfhdg . It doesn't apply here. The weasel words are non-existent in the quote with a range as wide as the Encyclopedia of Philosophy. If it's in that source then it does have a wide acceptance. Get with the program. Amerindianarts (talk) 07:32, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

I sincerely want to say this without sounding patronizing, but I'm not sure that I can. Please forgive me if I can't. Your recent change of wording in the lede is, IMO, a significant improvement. I wish I could say the same for the quotation...
  1. I read a guideline or a policy recently (I'll hunt for it if I must) that counsels us to avoid quotations in the ledes of articles.
  2. . . . has "by no means passed unnoticed among the general public". This "general public" thing has always, at least to me, made a marked "pop"ping sound as it circled the mulberry bush.
I really, truly hated to bring this up, Amerindianarts, because the other rewording you made buries "excellent"!
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  15:24, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree. The point is that the previous edit was not weasel wording because it can be verified in the cited source and seemed more well suited content wise. It went with the flow. Verifiability over truth. But, I made the change to satisfy the critics and the quote was intended to do just that; answer the "who"? question requested. What would the critics say of the new edit without the quote?
Also, concerning that first edit, it was requested by user Johnuniq that user Dfsghjkgfhdg go to the talk page and explain his edit and why the reference was not good enough. Since you seem to be acting as a mouthpiece for user Dfsghjkgfhdg perhaps you can pass this along to Dfsghjkgfhdg. If they are going to make the edits then they should be accountable when other users request it. It is only fair.Amerindianarts (talk) 02:31, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
(ec) We'll have to agree to disagree about the previous wording. When a phrase like "is regarded as" is used, this is always subject to a reader wondering "regarded by whom?" and should be avoided. I cannot speak for other "critics", to include the editor you mentioned; I speak only for myself. And personally, I have no problem with how you have left it. I'm only cautioning you that it is not perfect, because "general public" is a vague entity. It does not indicate "everyone", but more like "most everyone", and "most" is a weasel word. The quote may very well be challenged in the future. The sentence as it now stands boils down to, "The influence . . . has not gone unnoticed by the general public." Why not just remove that and let the well-supported claim read...
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  03:04, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
If "is regarded as" was my opinion it would be weasel wording, but it is not. It can be verified in the article and is implied by the quote, which was the essential info requested. Since it is the sentiments of an expert then it is not weasel wording. Verifiability over truth. I think someone needs to rethink their definition of weasel wording and get a handle on the later distinction as well as wording by an editor in contrast to wording that can be verified in a well respected source. I will change the entry but it still seems to me that the "who"? request has become quite inane with its removal, and wasted a lot of time on this page for its justification. Especially in view of the fact that thus far two people feel the reference is sufficient and two people are opposed, one of which whom doesn't have the balls to be accountable on this page.
My last question: if you have been watching this article and are so uptight and picky about an expert's sentiments and the possibility that it is weasel wording, then how is it that this article has gotten in this bad a shape? Exactly what is it you are watching for? You don't have to answer. You may be just watching for vandals and nit-picky things. But someone has sure the hell left their guard down. I know there are other people watching this article, some who are familiar with Kant and I have heard no objections from anyone else in regard to the sufficiency or non-sufficiency of the reference. Just you and that other person who obviously feels that they need not be held accountable for their position. So, actually, a tie breaker is needed, I see no final word on the rejection yet. The shape this article is in requires me to ask for a little more support to give credibility for the objection to the reference's sufficiency. Of course, it may be that no one feels compelled to invest any time on this article simply because of the amount of time that would be needed on this page, which I can understand perfectly. My position is still that the sequence is important, and for that matter each of the philosophers is important, and that Kant was the last of these important philosophers within the sequence within the given time frame, is common sense, a position of fact, and "is regarded as" is non-consequential especially given that it can be verified. Amerindianarts (talk) 03:51, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
(ec) I added the "influential" adjective because saying he was "the last philosopher" had an odd ring to it. I am not obsessed with this or any other of the hundreds I watch. Yes, I watch for vandalism, and I have made minor edits. You say the source covered the "regarded", however the coverage was "general public", which was inadequate. In a nutshell, I'm ready to go forward if you are.
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  04:10, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I also invite you to read the second paragraph, which is uncited, and tell me how this survives objections of weasel wording. Could it be that the author felt that there was some common knowledge to it? Should the words "new", "important", "prominent" be referenced? Or omitted as weasel wording?Amerindianarts (talk) 04:01, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
You've lost me. What precisely is weasel-wordy about "new", "important" and "prominent". If you feel these claims require verification from a reliable third-party source, and they are not harmful to the article, then slap a Fact template on them. Anything else?
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  04:14, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
"Created" is the fattest term in the paragraph. Am I going to request citation? No. I agree with the terms except possibly the usage of "created". The point is their usage is weasel wording if the contested sentence in the first paragraph is weasel wording. There is no difference at all. Hopefully we can get some more feedback before moving on. Amerindianarts (talk) 04:19, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I re-edited without the quote. I still don't think that it is up to par with the initial edit. That the classic sequence in the theory of knowledge by these four philosophers was "important" goes without saying yet it can be found in the reference. That Kant was the "last" of these four philosophers is a matter of fact. Count 'em. One, two, three, four. Kant was the last important thinker of this sequence. It goes without saying, can be found in the reference, and is right there for anyone with any deductive skill to see. "The last important philosopher of the classic sequence". Not weasel wording. It can be found in the source, if the source is even needed to confirm that quote. The revert was petty and splitting hairs where there are no hairs to split. And I still think that user Dfsghjkgfhdg should reply to the request. Amerindianarts (talk) 02:47, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

This may be relevant to the above - I've removed the statement (by an anon editor) "In terms of influence, it is often said that there are only three towering figures in western philosophy, namely, Plato, Aristotle, and Kant." Although it may be debatable (Descartes, Hume, and Kierkegaard come to mind as alternative candidates for #3), if it can be sourced, it should be kept. Tevildo (talk) 19:09, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Russell's Comment About Kant[edit]

In An Outline of Philosophy, Russell wrote that he considers Kant a "mere misfortune". Should this be placed in the article? (talk) 14:44, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

The aristocratic Lord Russell had a supercilious way of dismissing people. In any case, his opinion was highly subjective and not supported by elucidating examples or illustrations. As such, it should be unworthy of mention.Lestrade (talk) 15:21, 12 November 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

Practical Reason v. Groundwork[edit]

A sentence in the introductory text reads 'The other main works of his maturity are the Critique of Practical Reason, which concentrates on ethics...'. I was thinking it might be more fitting to mention the 'Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals' instead of, or alongside with, the 'Critique of Practical Reason'. The Groundwork is arguably Kant's essential ethical work, and while it looks nice to have the critiques listed, I think the Groundwork would be more useful and more important for a reader just skimming the intro-text for an overview. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:12, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Confusing Sentence in Introduction[edit]

"And so the grand questions of speculative metaphysics cannot be answered by the human mind, but the sciences are firmly grounded in laws of the mind." End of 3rd paragraph. I'm confused by the meaning of this.Ursus Lapideus (talk) 05:25, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

The whole introduction is very unclear and written in a pompous manner such to make it unreadable. A newcomer would find it meaningless. Full of phrases such as " the classic sequence of the theory of knowledge " which don't refer to anything universal and even for those who are familiar its an ambiguous phrase. The whole introduction is like this. Leonig Mig (talk) 13:19, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Influence on Deconstruction[edit]

I marked the link to Deconstruction under 'Influence' as dubious as Deconstruction has nothing to do with Kantian philosophy. Except for the fact that Wikipedia wants any editors who use the "dubious" tag to post a discussion as to why, I would not post this section as it seems a stretch of the imagination to assume a connection between these two. If one knows as little about Kantian thought and Deconstruction as say would be provided in a Wikipedia article on the subject, this should be very clear.... --Carlon (talk) 00:52, 15 July 2010 (UTC)


By reading this article, Kant was mainly influenced by Leibniz, Wolff under Martin Knutze and Newton. Am I missing something, would it be worth while to expand a description of his influences? Zulu Papa 5 * (talk) 15:40, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Professor of Philosophy[edit]

Is there a reason why, of all the "philosophers" on wikipedia, Kant is the one who is denied that title and is instead merely referred to as "professor of Philosophy"? (talk) 11:25, 22 May 2011 (UTC)


I reverted an edit to reflect that he is more properly referred to as German.

His birthplace was Königsberg. This was the capital of East Prussia, referred to variously as a German province or state of the German Empire in Wikipedia. It would be a bit like saying that George Washington was not American, but a Virginian. Correct that he was a Virginian, but pedantic and misleading to infer that he was not American.

Also he is referred to as German by the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Any other thoughts on this?

TonyClarke (talk) 21:30, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Like Coppernicus, Kant was half German half Lithuanian...his father Johanas Georgas Kandtas was born in Klaipeda (Lithuania) and his father's father Hansas Kandtas couldn't speak German at all and also was born in Klaipeda...Kant's mother Ann Regine Reuter was German — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:49, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps the philosopher's infobox needs to add a parameter for native_language. For philosophers (and other writers), what language they wrote (& thought) in is quite important. Then we could leave nationality blank & be done with these endless debates on nationality. --JimWae (talk) 02:13, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Berkeley and Kant[edit]

Unlike Hume - Berkeley wasn't a skeptic. He classified his philosophy as an attempt to fight skepticism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Flash Fiction (talkcontribs) 12:07, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Revising the lede[edit]

Many apologies for undoing your edits on the lede, but I thought that they did not capture the full meaning and significance of the subject. You wrote "He argued that our world of experience was largely made up by our own constitution and makeup." This appears to be a tautology--that our experience is made by who we are. As I read him, as do many other commentators, Kant argues that our minds structure the world in a way that makes it comprehensible to us. Thus natural laws (science) such as motion are constructs that give us access to a reality that lies beyond perception. If you think the phrasing is still too convoluted perhaps we could work together on it?

Also, I think the entire lede is a mess and does not give a succinct intro to the subject. For example, there should not be any quotes in the lede. We should work on revising it in its entirety. Archivingcontext (talk) 00:14, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for taking the lead, Archivingcontex! I agree with you about not having any quote in the lede. New worl (talk) 03:52, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Agree in the main[edit]

Thanks for your co-operative approach here, and I should apologise also for editing your post!

I agree on reflection the intro looks too substantial and does not give a succinct overview. I had edited it some time ago to make it comprehensible, as there were comments that people did not understand it. It has stayed that way for a year now I think. Perhaps some of the comments could be moved down to the philosophy sections.

The wording will need to be careful if it is made more concise. For example, I think I would disagree that (Kant believes) we have access to the world beyond perception. However, he was a bit ambivalent on this. Philosophical points like that would need to be agreed in editing.

I am happy to work with you on this

TonyClarke (talk) 08:18, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Add Influence of Pietism on Kant[edit]


I wrote up a nice section to add to the article on the influences of Pietism on Immanuel Kant. I propose adding the following. I'm new to editing Wikipedia, so I'm not sure if it's appropriate for me to simply make the addition. Please notify!

  • Where should I put this in the article?
  • Are there good objections to my putting it in the article?
  • How long should I wait before putting it in the article?
  • Does anyone dispute any part of what I've written?

What I propose

Here's what I propose. Before I post this, I plan to format it properly and insert appropriate references as required.

Kant spent his entire life in the town of Konigsberg (Pojman, p. 122), whose culture was heavily influenced by Prussian brand of Lutheran Pietism (Kuehn, pp. 34-38), a religious movement that emphasized an emotional rather than cognitive experience of the divine by stressing the importance of inner religious conversion, personal access to God, and the good moral life (Pojman, p. 122; Kuehn, p. 34). Kant’s own experience of Pietism was mixed. He attended a Pietist school from ages eight to 16, an environment that for the most part seems to have been intellectually stifling (Wood, Kant, p. 4). For example, Kant later recounted his resentment for having to memorize the Lutheran Catechism, which he believed neither he nor his instructors really understood (Wood, “Life and Works,” p. 11). Nevertheless Kant did not react to Pietism by abandoning religious views altogether; on the contrary, Kant would develop his own rich theology, which became the subject of at least a half-dozen of his published writings (Ameriks, p. 26).
How Pietism broadly may have influenced Kant’s ethics is not fully understood. Certainly Kant’s moral thought as expressed in the Groundwork is built not on the inclinations of the heart but on human reason, a theme that stands in contrast to the currents of Pietism (Pojman, p. 122). Indeed, as the title of his Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason suggests, Kant’s approach to God is deeply rationalistic (Adams, p. vii). Yet the personal nature of Pietist spirituality was quite friendly to Kant’s revolutionary perspective on the source of the moral law, which was to be found not in external authorities but in the individual’s own capacity to reason (Sassen). In fact, Kant admired the fruit of this personal piety, which he saw as especially effective in fostering good moral character (Rossi). Kant later recalled,

Say what you will of Pietism, no one can deny the sterling worth of the characters which it formed. It gave to them the highest thing that man can possess, that peace, that cheerful spirit, that inner harmony with self which can be disturbed by no passion. No pressure of circumstance or persecution of man could make them discontented, no rivalry could provoke them to anger and bitterness. Even the casual observer was touched with an involuntary feeling of respect before such men (Caird, p. 55).

Still there are difficult questions on the relationship of Kant’s theology and his moral philosophy. For instance, Kant at times seems to suggest in his early lectures that God’s power to reward and punish can be summoned to supplement the motivation from duty in order to fulfill one’s obligations. How to reconcile this with Kant’s view in the Groundwork that such motivations are heteronomous is a matter of contemporary debate (Ameriks, p. 44).


  • Adams, Robert Merrihew. “Introduction,” in Immanuel Kant, Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason: And Other Writings, ed. Allen Wood and George Di Giovanni. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
  • Ameriks, Karl. "Reality, Reason, and Religion in the Development of Kant's Ethics." Kant’s Moral Metaphysics: God, Freedom, and Immortality (2010): 23-47.
  • Caird, Edward. The Critical Philosophy of Immanuel Kant, Volume 1. J. Maclehose & sons, 1889.
  • Kuehn, Manfred. Kant: A biography. Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • Pojman, Louis P., and James Fieser. Ethics: Discovering Right and Wrong. Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2008.
  • Rossi, Philip, "Kant's Philosophy of Religion", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL = <>.
  • Sassen, Brigitte, "18th Century German Philosophy Prior to Kant", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <>.
  • Wood, Allen. “Kant’s Life and Works,” in Bird, Graham, ed. A Companion to Kant. Wiley-Blackwell, 2008: 10-29.
  • Wood, Allen. Kant. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005.

Please comment! Thank you.Tylerscot (talk) 17:53, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Idea of God[edit]

This section is totally unreferenced. There is no way to tell what is not original research. It needs referencing and possibly cleanup. GreyWinterOwl (talk) 11:05, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Is this some kind of joke?[edit]

"Despite being raised in a religious household and still maintaining a belief in God, he was skeptical of religion in later life and was an agnostic, though it would be more precise to call him a deist."

So he's a theist, a skeptic, an agnostic and a deist. Reads like a parody of Wikipedia. It's amusing, but hardly appropriate to a serious article on a great philosopher. (talk) 08:04, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I've removed the deist part which was unsourced. — goethean 18:25, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Evidence of Bias and a General Evaluation[edit]

After looking over this article I noticed several discrepancies with Wikipedia guidelines and instances of bias. While the author(s) did make valid claims in terms of the article’s key points,the lead in section is simply too long for it to be considered an overview or biography. The author(s) sufficiently made note of why Kant is well known and where he lived, however he also quotes Kant, which seems unnecessary for an introduction to this article. Specifically the first quote presented would be a better fit and improve the flow of the article if it was moved to the “Idea of God” subheading in the “Moral Philosophy” section. Next, the list of prominent works is well done, although the subsequent descriptions for each are too lengthy. Finally, the last paragraph is well written and coincides with the aims for a biography lead in section and should be kept.

In terms of bias, there were a number of instances where the author(s) would lead with rather peculiar and sometimes biased statements. The first of these occurrences is found in the “References and further reading” section when the author(s) states that “Any suggestion of further reading on Kant has to take cognizance of the fact that his work has dominated philosophy like no other figure after him”, which not only lacks citation but comes more of an argument or opinion rather than a factual statement. Another example of clear bias by the author occurs in the “Philosophy” when he discusses morality. The statement “With regard to morality, Kant argued that the source of the good lies not in anything outside the human subject, either in nature or given by God, but rather is only the good will itself”, does not provide citation to where this claim originates and also comes off more persuasive rather than stating what Kant believed.

Lastly, the article fails to mention Humboldt as one of Kant's influences later on in terms of the history of nature and the connections it makes in an individuals reality.

Dwk014 (talk) 05:01, 11 February 2014 (UTC)


I strongly object to this edit by Archivingcontext. The number of contemporary philosophers influenced by Kant is large. As I said when I removed the reference to Unger from the lead, there is absolutely no good reason to single him out. It is simply a piece of nonsense to say that the Unger reference "adds depth to the influence of Kant on contemporary thinkers" - it doesn't "add depth", it gives undue importance to one man. Nor does the lead need "depth" here, it needs only a basic summary, per WP:LEAD. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 02:02, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

The paragraph under consideration here aims to note Kant's influence in the history of thought. The third sentence notes two twentieth-century thinkers. The fourth sentence under contest here notes contemporary thinkers, one of whom I single out because I had a reference saying as much and happen to be working on this thinker's entry. Given that this is a group effort we certainly should add other contemporary thinkers if necessary rather than just cutting references altogether. Can I suggest restoring the material under question according to Wikipedia:Don't revert due solely to "no consensus" and WP:BOLD until consensus is reached? Archivingcontext (talk) 19:13, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
You added a mention of Unger to the lead paragraph of the Kant article. This can only be described as foolish. The lead should summarize the main point of the article, not promote an editor's personal favorite contemporary author. — goethean 20:11, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Goethean. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 23:59, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
By this logic you should also remove Weber and Meinecke from the lede, as they do not show up in the article. Archivingcontext (talk) 02:07, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Go ahead and remove them if you wish. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 08:23, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
I would rather beef up the body of the article so that it made sense to include these names in the lede, as well as some contemporary thinkers, including Unger. I will have a go at it, and will welcome help in a collaborative effort. Archivingcontext (talk) 15:45, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
There is no conceivable version of the lede in which it would be appropriate to mention Unger. — goethean 02:03, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
Such unfounded, authoritative statements are not constructive and extremely inappropriate, especially on the Kant pages! We are all involved here in a joint effort to contribute and improve information and knowledge. If you cannot partake in a conversation involving reasoned responses, explanation, and discussion then please do not partake at all. (This type of attitude and remarks are the decline of Wikipedia.) Archivingcontext (talk) 13:58, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
I'd say Unger is a lost cause at this stage. Though you belittle Goethean's comments, you've provided no substantive case for mentioning Unger in the lead. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 20:06, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

The case for mentioning Unger or any other contemporary thinker is to show the legacy of Kant's thought in the context of intellectual history. This reason is no different than mentioning the 19th and early 20th century thinkers that are there now. I do agree that this should also appear in the body of the article, which I offered to help undertake. Let me be clear, I am not insistent that Unger be in the lede, only that we be consistent and inclusive--I am trying to help improve the article not push a favorite thinker. Archivingcontext (talk) 21:37, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

It would be perfectly possible for the lead to simply say that Kant is an influence on numerous contemporary thinkers, without mentioning Unger or any other arbitrarily selected and unrepresentative figure. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 03:51, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Mention of Descartes[edit]

I think Descartes deserves to be mentioned along with Hume in the introduction. Kant sought to respond to the major problems posed by both thinkers. Specifically, Hume's skeptical analysis of causation and Descartes' skeptical hypotheses. Kant responds to Descartes' arguments directly in the "Refutation of Idealism" (B275~), and classifies the problems posed by his analyses as akin to Berkeley's. For this reason, I think my recent edit warrants inclusion: "He hoped to put an end to what he considered an era of futile and speculative theories of human experience, while resisting the sceptical arguments developed by David Hume and René Descartes." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:57, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

It's misleading. The point of Descartes' arguments was to overcome skepticism. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 00:42, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
It's not misleading. Descartes developed sceptical arguments as a means to investigate epistemology. This is a famous and standard tactic for evaluating epistemological theories. Kant knew this, and so responded to those same arguments. Part of why Kant is such a significant influence is his response to Descartes' sceptical arguments, which began the Strawson-Evans-Campbell tradition in the 20th century, among other things. I don't see why my suggested edit is inaccurate or misleading. It would be a reader's mistake to suppose that Hume and Descartes both endorsed sceptical views, given how the sentence is phrased. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
The article should avoid content that is open to misinterpretation. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 02:37, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
But it's only open to misinterpretation of one doesn't read correctly :/ Catering wikipedia articles to people who can't read seems like shooting ourselves in the foot. It's accurate to say that Descartes developed sceptical arguments, and that responding to these arguments was an important aim of Kant's Critical work. Anyone interested in why Descartes developed those arguments can read his page, which is linked in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:25, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree with FreeKnowledgeCreator. This sentence as it stands is open to misinterpretation—not to say it is downright misleading. Please do not keep inserting it (as, and unless you can properly phrase it and source it. --Omnipaedista (talk) 02:04, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
I am not familiar-enough with Wikipedia sourcing to input the reference in the correct way. I have, however, found a reliable source: I'm open to discussing alternative ways of phrasing the contested statement. I don't see a real problem with it as it stands, so it seems best if someone else provides an alternative phrasing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:59, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

(outdent)This article says nothing about Descartes. This article is a tertiary source citing a secondary source: Dyck, C., 2011. “Kant's Transcendental Deduction and the Ghosts of Descartes and Hume,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 19: 473–96. Have you actually read what the secondary source says? "[S]o it seems best if someone else provides an alternative phrasing": it does not work this way; see WP:BURDEN. --Omnipaedista (talk) 23:57, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

I wonder if we're somehow not talking about the same thing. When I click on the link I provided above, the first sentence of the source reads "In the transcendental argument of the Refutation of Idealism, Kant's target is not Humean skepticism about the applicability of a priori concepts, but rather Cartesian skepticism about the external world." About my comment on phrasing, it seems I haven't made myself clear. I think my proposed edit is justified and clear. The principal objection to this edit was that it was unclear. I don't see why it's unclear, but given the truth and relevance of the edit, something needs to be done. I suggested that someone with a better grasp of Wikipedia's style of writing correct the language of the edit so make it clear by Wikipedia's standards - since I'm obviously unfamiliar with them. The comment was not about getting someone to justify the edit, but finding someone willing to edit according to Wikipedia's standards what others think is a rough edit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:41, 29 June 2014 (UTC)


As said in the article, Kant had two categories of anthropology: a physiological approach, and a pragmatic approach. Using reason to define human kind, the physiological approach follows biology and empirical evidence. Google defined pragmatic as "dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations" but Kant explains it as "exploring the things a human can and should make of himself." Kant's idea seems to be pointing at a deeper meaning than just science, but the google definition doesn't relate. Any ideas?

  1. ^