Immanuel Kant


German Philosopher, Metaphysician

Author Quotes

The moral worth of an action does not lie in the effect expended from it.

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

The death of dogma is the birth of morality.

The hasty appeal to the supernatural is a couch upon which the intellect slothfully reclines.

Happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination.

It is not right for men to seek happiness or wish to be happy, rather they should wish so to conduct their lives that they deserve to be happy.

Great minds think for themselves.

An imperative which commands a certain conduct immediately, without having as its condition any other purpose to be attained by categorical. It concerns not the matter of the action, or its intended result, but its form and the principle of which it is itself a result; and what is essentially good in it consists in the mental disposition, let the consequence be what it may. The imperative may be called that of Morality.

Enlightenment is man's leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without the guidance of another. Such immaturity is self-caused if it is not caused by lack of intelligence, but by lack of determination and courage to use one's intelligence without being guided by another. Sapere Aude! [dare to know]. Have the courage to use your own intelligence! is therefore the motto of the enlightenment.

There is in man a power of self-determination, independent of any coercion through sensuous impulses.

There is… only one categorical imperative. It is: Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.

What else can the freedom of the will be but autonomy, that is, the property of the will to be a law unto itself?

The whole course of our life must be subject to moral maxims; but this is impossible, unless with the moral law, which is a mere idea, reason connects an efficient cause which ordains to all conduct which conforms to the moral law an issue either in this or another life, which is in exact conformity with our highest aims.

The world is a sum of appearance, and must have some transcendent ground.

The righteous man may say: I will that there be a God, that my existence in this world be also an existence outside the chain of physical causes and in a pure world of the understanding, and lastly that my duration be endless; I firmly abide by this, and will not let this faith be taken from me; for in this instance alone my interest, because I must not relax anything of it, inevitably determines my judgment.

So act as to treat humanity, whether in thine own person or in that of any other, in every case as an end withal, never as means only.

Space and time, and with them all phenomena, are not things by themselves, but representations and cannot exist outside the mind.

The moral capacity of man is the foundation and interpreter of all religion.

Riches ennoble a man’s circumstances, but not himself.

My question is, what can we hope to achieve with reason, when all the material and assistance of experience are taken away?

Now the perfect accordance of the will to the moral law is holiness, a perfection of which no rational being of sensible world is capable at any moment of his existence.

In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of another. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.

Metaphysics has for the real object of its investigation three ideas only: God, Freedom and Immortality.

Morality is not properly the doctrine how we make ourselves happy, but how we make ourselves worthy of happiness.

Honesty is better than any policy.

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German Philosopher, Metaphysician