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"Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe... the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me." ~ Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant

German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was the fourth of nine children, born in isolated Königsberg, which is now a part of Russia. A scholar and teacher, he studied science and mathematics before settling with philosophy.

"We are not rich by what we possess but rather by what we can do without," he once observed. The basis of his work answered the following three questions: What can I know? What should I do? And for what may I hope?

"Man must be disciplined, for he by nature is raw and wild," said Kant whose theory of empirical realism made him one of history's most influential Western philosophers.

A small, frail bachelor, Kant was inspired by the writing of Scottish philosopher David Hume. The foundation of Kant's critical philosophy was in his Critique of Pure Reason (1781), which examined logic and metaphysics -- the existence of God, freedom, and immortality.

"To be is to do," said Kant who stressed experience, experiments, and mathematical reasoning.  He believed in the importance of moral duty. He stressed that the only world we will ever know is the one we form with our imperfect senses, and there is something out there beyond the wall of our senses. 

"The business of philosophy is not to give rules, but to analyze the private judgments of common reason," said Kant. "Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life."

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