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Kant: a middle-aged thin man with gray hair pulled back in a pigtail and a velvet jacket on

Immanuel Kant, a European philosopher

Immanuel Kant’s family and childhood

By the end of the 1700s ADGermany was starting to be a more powerful country. France was busy with the Revolution, and the next important European philosopher after Rousseau came from Germany: Immanuel Kant.

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Unlike earlier philosophers, Kant never traveled more than ten miles from his home in Prussia. When he was eight, he went to boarding school. His mother died when he was 13. In college, he learned about Newton‘s work. But like all the other Enlightenment philosophers, Kant never married or had children.

A starry sky with the Milky Way galaxy(thanks to Bernd Nies)

A starry sky with the Milky Way galaxy(thanks to Bernd Nies)

A successful astronomer

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Kant’s philosophy

Kant built on Descartes’ idea that we can only know what we ourselves think, and what our senses tell us. Hume wanted a firm line between imagination and fact. Kant pointed out that even when our senses report facts, we can only understand them by thinking about them. You need both the facts and the thinking to understand the world.

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Even though he wanted to use reason and rejected organized religion, Kant still allowed for the possibility that there was a God.

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