40 Best Immanuel Kant Quotes

Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant

Born in the eighteenth century, Immanuel Kant was a very prominent figure in modern philosophy. He is a major influence on political philosophy, epistemology, aesthetics, ethics and other fields of the present times. Kant attempted to bring together early modern rationalism and empiricism and significantly impacted nineteenth and twentieth-century philosophy. His most notable works of ‘critical philosophy’ are the three critiques- the Critique of Pure Reason published in 1781, the Critique of Practical Reason published in 1788, and the Critique of the Power of Judgment published in 1790.

Famous Quotes by Immanuel Kant

  1. “We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.”
  2. “He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
  3. “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end.”
  4. “Enlightenment is man’s release from his self-incurred tutelage. Tutelage is man’s inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another. Self-incurred is this tutelage when its cause lies not in lack of reason but in lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another. Sapere aude! ‘Have courage to use your own reason!’- that is the motto of enlightenment.”
  5. “Look closely. The beautiful may be small.”
  6. “I had to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith.”
  7. “Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.”
  8. “Dare to think!”
  9. “One who makes himself a worm cannot complain afterwards if people step on him.”
  10. “All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.”
  11. “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. I do not seek or conjecture either of them as if they were veiled obscurities or extravagances beyond the horizon of my vision; I see them before me and connect them immediately with the consciousness of my existence.”
  12. “Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt”
  13. “For peace to reign on Earth, humans must evolve into new beings who have learned to see the whole first.”
  14. “Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.”
  15. “Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.”
  16. “Seek not the favour of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number, not voices, but weigh them.”
  17. “The busier we are, the more acutely we feel that we live, the more conscious we are of life.”
  18. “Genius is the ability to independently arrive at and understand concepts that would normally have to be taught by another person.”
  19. “The death of dogma is the birth of morality.”
  20. “Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a portion of mankind, after nature has long since discharged them from external direction (naturaliter maiorennes), nevertheless remains under lifelong tutelage, and why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as their guardians. It is so easy not to be of age. If I have a book which understands for me, a pastor who has a conscience for me, a physician who decides my diet, and so forth, I need not trouble myself. I need not think, if I can only pay – others will easily undertake the irksome work for me. That the step to competence is held to be very dangerous by the far greater portion of mankind…”
  21. “But only he who, himself enlightened, is not afraid of shadows.”
  22. “Space and time are the frameworks within which the mind is constrained to construct its experience of reality.”
  23. “Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.”
  24. “Have patience awhile; slanders are not long-lived. Truth is the child of time; ere long she shall appear to vindicate thee.”
  25. “We are enriched not by what we possess, but by what we can do without.”
  26. “Dare to know! Have the courage to use your own intelligence!”
  27. “But to unite in a permanent religious institution which is not to be subject to doubt before the public even in the lifetime of one man, and thereby to make a period of time fruitless in the progress of mankind toward improvement, thus working to the disadvantage of posterity – that is absolutely forbidden. For himself (and only for a short time) a man may postpone enlightenment in what he ought to know, but to renounce it for posterity is to injure and trample on the rights of mankind.”
  28. “The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.”
  29. “Treat people as an end, and never as a means to an end”
  30. “Man must be disciplined, for he is by nature raw and wild.”
  31. “There is something splendid about innocence; but what is bad about it, in turn, is that it cannot protect itself very well and is easily seduced.”
  32. “Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play.”
  33. “Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.”
  34. “Freedom is the alone unoriginated birthright of man, and belongs to him by force of his humanity.”
  35. “By a lie, a amn…annihilates his dignity as a man.”
  36. “Even philosophers will praise war as ennobling mankind, forgetting the Greek who said: ‘War is bad in that it begets more evil than it kills.’ “
  37. “Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made nothing entirely straight can be carved.”
  38. “All the interests of my reason, speculative as well as practical, combine in the three following questions: 1. What can I know? 2. What ought I to do? 3. What may I hope?”
  39. “Religion is the recognition of all our duties as divine commands.”
  40. “It is not God’s will merely that we should be happy, but that we should make ourselves happy.”

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