Immanuel Kant (22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was an 18th-century German philosopher from the Prussian city of K?nigsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia). He is regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of modern Europe and of the late Enlightenment.
Kant created a new widespread perspective in philosophy which influenced philosophy through the 21st Century. He also published important works of epistemology, as well as works relevant to religion, law, and history. His most important work is the Critique of Pure Reason, an investigation into the limitations and structure of reason itself. It encompasses an attack on traditional metaphysics and epistemology, and highlights Kant's own contribution to these areas. The other main works of his maturity are the Critique of Practical Reason, which concentrates on ethics, and the Critique of Judgment, which investigates aesthetics and teleology.
Pursuing metaphysics involves asking questions about the ultimate nature of reality. Kant suggested that metaphysics can be reformed through epistemology. He suggested that by understanding the sources and limits of human knowledge we can ask fruitful metaphysical questions. He asked if an object can be known to have certain properties prior to the experience of that object. He concluded that all objects about which the mind can think must conform to its manner of thought. Therefore if the mind can think only in terms of causality – which he concluded that it does – then we can know prior to experiencing them that all objects we experience must either be a cause or an effect. However, it follows from this that it is possible that there are objects of such nature which the mind cannot think, and so the principle of causality, for instance, cannot be applied outside of experience: hence we cannot know, for example, whether the world always existed or if it had a cause. 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.
Kant believed himself to be creating a compromise between the empiricists and the rationalists. The empiricists believed that knowledge is acquired through experience alone, but the rationalists maintained that such knowledge is open to Cartesian doubt and that reason alone provides us with knowledge. Kant argues, however, that using reason without applying it to experience will only lead to illusions, while experience will be purely subjective without first being subsumed under pure reason.
Kant’s thought was very influential in Germany during his lifetime, moving philosophy beyond the debate between the rationalists and empiricists. The philosophers Fichte, Schelling, Hegel and Schopenhauer each saw themselves as correcting and expanding the Kantian system, thus bringing about various forms of German idealism. Kant continues to be a major influence on philosophy to this day, influencing both analytic and continental philosophy.
Immanuel Kant was born in 1724 in K?nigsberg, the capital of Prussia at that time, today the city of Kaliningrad in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast. He was the fourth of eleven children (five of them reached adulthood). Baptized 'Emanuel', he changed his name to 'Immanuel' after learning Hebrew. In his entire life, he never traveled more than a hundred miles from K?nigsberg. His father Johann Georg Kant (1682–1746) was a German craftsman from Memel, at the time Prussia's most northeastern city (now Klaip?da, Lithuania). His mother Anna Regina Porter (1697–1737) was German, the daughter of a Scottish saddle maker. Johann Georg Kant was born in Memel, a harness maker like his grandfather (who had emigrated from Scotland) and his great grandfather before him. Kant's grandfather immigrated from Scotland to East Prussia and even his father spelled their family name "Cant.". In his youth, Kant was a solid, albeit unspectacular, student. He was raised in a Pietist household that stressed intense religious devotion, personal humility, and a literal interpretation of the Bible.
Consequently, Kant received a stern education – strict, punitive, and disciplinary – that preferred Latin and religious instruction over mathematics and science.
The Young Scholar 年轻学者
Kant showed a great aptitude to study at an early age. He was first sent to Collegium Fredericianum and then enrolled at the University of K?nigsberg (where he would spend his entire career) in 1740, at the age of 16. He studied the philosophy of Leibniz and Wolff under Martin Knutzen, a rationalist who was also familiar with developments in British philosophy and science and who introduced Kant to the new mathematical physics of Newton. Knutzen dissuaded Kant from the theory of pre-established harmony, which he regarded as "the pillow for the lazy mind". He also dissuaded the young scholar from idealism, which was negatively regarded by most philosophers in the 18th century. The theory of transcendental idealism that Kant developed in the "Critique of Pure Reason" is not traditional idealism, i.e. the idea that reality is purely mental. In fact, Kant produced arguments against traditional idealism in the second part of the "Critique of Pure Reason". His father's stroke and subsequent death in 1746 interrupted his studies. Kant became a private tutor in the smaller towns surrounding K?nigsberg, but continued his scholarly research. 1749 saw the publication of his first philosophical work, Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces.
Kant is best known for his transcendental idealist philosophy that time and space are not materially real but merely the ideal a priori condition of our internal intuition. But what is not well known is that Kant is responsible for an important astronomical discovery, namely the discovery of the retardation of the rotation of the Earth, for which he won the Berlin Academy Prize in 1754. Even more importantly, from this Kant concluded that time is not a thing in itself determined from experience, objects, motion, and change, but rather an illusion of the human mind that preconditions possible experience.
According to Lord Kelvin:
"Kant pointed out in the middle of last century, what had not previously been discovered by mathematicians or physical astronomers, that the frictional resistance against tidal currents on the earth's surface must cause a diminution of the earth's rotational speed. This immense discovery in Natural Philosophy seems to have attracted little attention,--indeed to have passed quite unnoticed, --among mathematicians, and astronomers, and naturalists, until about 1840, when the doctrine of energy began to be taken to heart." -- Lord Kelvin, physicist, 1897
He became a university lecturer in 1755. The subject on which he lectured was "Metaphysics"; the course textbook was written by A.G. Baumgarten.
According to Thomas Huxley:
"The sort of geological speculation to which I am now referring (geological aetiology, in short) was created as a science by that famous philosopher, Immanuel Kant, when, in 1775 , he wrote his General Natural History and Theory of the Celestial Bodies; or, an Attempt to Account for the Constitutional and Mechanical Origin of the Universe, upon Newtonian Principles." -- Thomas H. Huxley, 1869
In the General History of Nature and Theory of the Heavens (1755), Kant laid out the Nebular hypothesis, in which he deduced that the Solar System formed from a large cloud of gas, a nebula. He thus attempted to explain the order of the solar system, seen previously by Newton as being imposed from the beginning by God. Kant also correctly deduced that the Milky Way was a large disk of stars, which he theorized also formed from a (much larger) spinning cloud of gas. He further suggested the possibility that other nebulae might also be similarly large and distant disks of stars. These postulations opened new horizons for astronomy: for the first time extending astronomy beyond the solar system to galactic and extragalactic realms.
From this point on, Kant turned increasingly to philosophical issues, although he continued to write on the sciences throughout his life. In the early 1760s, Kant produced a series of important works in philosophy. The False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures, a work in logic, was published in 1762. Two more works appeared the following year: Attempt to Introduce the Concept of Negative Magnitudes into Philosophy and The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God. In 1764, Kant wrote Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime and then was second to Moses Mendelssohn in a Berlin Academy prize competition with his Inquiry Concerning the Distinctness of the Principles of Natural Theology and Morality (often referred to as "the Prize Essay"). In 1770, at the age of 45, Kant was finally appointed Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at the University of K?nigsberg. Kant wrote his Inaugural Dissertation in defense of this appointment. This work saw the emergence of several central themes of his mature work, including the distinction between the faculties of intellectual thought and sensible receptivity. Not to observe this distinction would mean to commit the error of subreption, and, as he says in the last chapter of the dissertation, only in avoidance of this error will metaphysics flourish.
The issue that vexed Kant was central to what twentieth century scholars termed "the philosophy of mind." The flowering of the natural sciences had led to an understanding of how data reaches the brain. Sunlight may fall upon a distant object, whereupon light is reflected from various parts of the object in a way that maps the surface features (color, texture, etc.) of the object. The light reaches the eye of a human observer, passes through the cornea, is focused by the lens upon the retina where it forms an image similar to that formed by light passing through a pinhole into a camera obscura. The retinal cells next send impulses through the optic nerve and thereafter they form a mapping in the brain of the visual features of the distant object. The interior mapping is not the exterior thing being mapped, and our belief that there is a meaningful relationship between the exterior object and the mapping in the brain depends on a chain of reasoning that is not fully grounded. But the uncertainty aroused by these considerations, the uncertainties raised by optical illusions, misperceptions, delusions, etc., are not the end of the problems.
Kant saw the mind could not function as an empty container that simply receives data from the outside. Something had to be giving order to the incoming data. Images of external objects have to be kept in the same sequence in which they were received. This ordering occurs through the mind's intuition of time. The same considerations apply to the mind's function of constituting space for ordering mappings of visual and tactile signals arriving via the already described chains of physical causation.
The Silent Decade 十年沉默
At the age of 46, Kant was an established scholar and an increasingly influential philosopher. Much was expected of him. In response to a letter from his student, Markus Herz, Kant came to recognize that in the Inaugural Dissertation, he had failed to account for the relation and connection between our sensible and intellectual faculties, i.e., he needed to explain both how humans acquire data and how they process data—related but very different processes. He also credited David Hume with awakening him from "dogmatic slumber". Kant did not publish any work in philosophy for the next eleven years.
Kant spent his silent decade working on a solution to the problem mentioned above. Although fond of company and conversation with others, Kant isolated himself. He resisted friends' attempts to bring him out of his isolation.
When Kant emerged from his silence in 1781, the result was the Critique of Pure Reason. Although now uniformly recognized as one of the greatest works in the history of philosophy, this Critique was largely ignored upon its initial publication. The book was long, over 800 pages in the original German edition, and written in what some considered a convoluted style. It received few reviews, and these granted no significance to the work. Its density made it, as Johann Gottfried Herder put it in a letter to Johann Georg Hamann, a "tough nut to crack," obscured by "…all this heavy gossamer." Its reception stood in stark contrast, to the praise Kant had received for earlier works such as his "Prize Essay" and other shorter works that precede the first Critique. These well-received and readable tracts include one on the earthquake in Lisbon which was so popular that it was sold by the page. Prior to the change in course documented in the first Critique, his books sold well, and by the time he published Observations On the Feeling of the Beautiful and the Sublime in 1764 he had become a popular author of some note. Kant was disappointed with the first Critique's reception. Recognizing the need to clarify the original treatise, Kant wrote the Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics in 1783 as a summary of its main views. He also encouraged his friend, Johann Schultz, to publish a brief commentary on the Critique of Pure Reason.
Kant's reputation gradually rose through the 1780s, sparked by a series of important works: the 1784 essay, "Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?"; 1785s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (his first work on moral philosophy); and, from 1786, Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. But Kant's fame ultimately arrived from an unexpected source. In 1786, Karl Reinhold began to publish a series of public letters on the Kantian philosophy. In these letters, Reinhold framed Kant's philosophy as a response to the central intellectual controversy of the era: the Pantheism Dispute. Friedrich Jacobi had accused the recently deceased G. E. Lessing (a distinguished dramatist and philosophical essayist) of Spinozism. Such a charge, tantamount to atheism, was vigorously denied by Lessing's friend Moses Mendelssohn, and a bitter public dispute arose among partisans. The controversy gradually escalated into a general debate over the values of the Enlightenment and the value of reason itself. Reinhold maintained in his letters that Kant's Critique of Pure Reason could settle this dispute by defending the authority and bounds of reason. Reinhold's letters were widely read and made Kant the most famous philosopher of his era.
Kant's Early Work 康德的早期著述
A variety of popular beliefs have arisen concerning Kant's life. It is often held, for instance, that Kant was a late bloomer, that he only became an important philosopher in his mid-50s after rejecting his earlier views. While it is true that Kant wrote his greatest works relatively late in life, there is a tendency to underestimate the value of his earlier works. Recent Kant scholarship has devoted more attention to these "pre-critical" writings and has recognized a degree of continuity with his mature work.
Many of the common myths concerning Kant's personal mannerisms are enumerated, explained, and refuted in Goldthwait's introduction to his translation of Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime. It is often held that Kant lived a very strict and predictable life, leading to the oft-repeated story that neighbors would set their clocks by his daily walks.
Kant's later work 康德的后期作品
Kant published a second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason in 1787, heavily revising the first parts of the book. Most of his subsequent work focused on other areas of philosophy. He continued to develop his moral philosophy, notably in 1788's Critique of Practical Reason (known as the second Critique) and 1797’s Metaphysics of Morals. The 1790 Critique of Judgment (the third Critique) applied the Kantian system to aesthetics and teleology. He also wrote a number of semi-popular essays on history, religion, politics and other topics. These works were well received by Kant's contemporaries and confirmed his preeminent status in eighteenth century philosophy. There were several journals devoted solely to defending and criticizing the Kantian philosophy. But despite his success, philosophical trends were moving in another direction. Many of Kant's most important disciples (including Reinhold, Beck and Fichte) transformed the Kantian position into increasingly radical forms of idealism. The progressive stages of revision of Kant's teachings marked the emergence of German Idealism. Kant opposed these developments and publicly denounced Fichte in an open letter in 1799. It was one of his final philosophical acts. In 1800, a student of Kant, named Gottlob Benjamin J?sche, published a manual of logic for teachers called Logik, which he had prepared at the request of Kant. J?sche prepared the Logik using a copy of a text book in logic by Georg Freidrich Meier entitled Auszug aus der Vernunftlehre, in which Kant had written copious notes and annotations. The Logik has been considered to be of fundamental importance to Kant's philosophy, and the understanding of it. For, the great nineteenth century logician Charles Sanders Peirce remarked, in an incomplete review of Thomas Kingsmill Abbott's English translation of the introduction to the Logik, that "Kant's whole philosophy turns upon his logic." Also, Robert Schirokauer Hartman and Wolfgang Schwarz, wrote in the translators' introduction to their English translation of the Logik, "Its importance lies not only in its significance for the Critique of Pure Reason, the second part of which is a restatement of fundamental tenets of the Logic, but in its position within the whole of Kant's work." Kant's health, long poor, took a turn for the worse and he died at K?nigsberg on 12 February 1804 uttering "Genug" [enough] before expiring. His unfinished final work, the fragmentary Opus Postumum, was published posthumously.
1787年，康德出版了《纯粹理性批判》的第二版，对该书的前面部分进行了大刀阔斧的修正。他多数后来的工作都聚焦于其他哲学领域。他继续发展他的道德哲学，著名的是1788年的《实践理性批判》（被称之为第二《批判》）和1797年的《道德形而上学》。1790年的《判断力批判》（第三批判）把康德的体系运用到美学与目的论中来。他也撰写了一系列有关历史、宗教、政治等的半通俗读物。这些作品得到了康德同时代人的普遍认可并确立了他在18世纪哲学中的突出地位。有几份专门保卫和批判康德哲学的杂志。但是，尽管他很成功，哲学走向正在转变。康德很多重要信徒（包括莱因霍尔德、贝克和费希特）把康德的立场变得愈加激进的唯心主义形式。对康的学说的修正的不断累积标志着德国唯心主义的产生。在1799年的一封公开信中，康德反对这些改变并公开谴责费希特。这是他最后的哲学举动之一。1800年，康德的一位名叫戈特布?本杰明?贾施的学生， 出版了一本老师们教学用的手册--《逻辑学》，他是应康德的请求而准备此书的。贾施搞《逻辑学》使用了一本乔治?弗里德里希?迈尔的逻辑教科书《逻辑学大纲》 ，其中就有康德撰写的大量的注解和注释。《逻辑学》被认为对康德哲学及其解读具有根本重要性。伟大的19世纪逻辑学家查尔斯?桑德斯?皮尔士在对托马斯?金斯米尔?阿伯特的《逻辑学》英译本导言的不完整的评论中评论道：“其重要性不仅在于对《纯粹理性批判》，其中第二部分就是对逻辑基本原则的重述，而且在于其立场也和康德是一致的。”康德的健康状况长期不佳，后来恶化并于1804年2月12日逝世，咽气之前说了句“足够了”。他的未完成的最后作品—不完整的《遗著》是死后出版的。
Kant never concluded that one could form a coherent account of the universe and of human experience without grounding such an account in the "thing in itself." Many of those who followed him argued that since the "thing in itself" was unknowable its existence could not simply be assumed. Rather than arbitrarily switching to an account that was ungrounded in anything supposed to be the "real," as did the German Idealists, another group arose to ask how our (generally reliable) accounts of a coherent and rule-abiding universe were actually grounded. This new kind of philosophy became known as Phenomenology, and its preeminent spokesman was Edmund Husserl.
Kant's philosophy 康德哲学
In Kant's essay "Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?," Kant defined the Enlightenment as an age shaped by the Latin motto Sapere aude ("Dare to Know"). Kant maintained that one ought to think autonomously, free of the dictates of external authority. His work reconciled many of the differences between the rationalist and empiricist traditions of the 18th century. He had a decisive impact on the Romantic and German Idealist philosophies of the 19th century. His work has also been a starting point for many 20th century philosophers.
Kant asserted that, because of the limitations of argumentation in the absence of irrefutable evidence, no one could really know whether there is a God and an afterlife or not. For the sake of society and morality, Kant asserted, people are reasonably justified in believing in them, even though they could never know for sure whether they are real or not. He explained:
All the preparations of reason, therefore, in what may be called pure philosophy, are in reality directed to those three problems only [God, the soul, and freedom]. However, these three elements in themselves still hold independent, proportional, objective weight individually. Moreover, in a collective relational context; namely, to know what ought to be done: if the will is free, if there is a God, and if there is a future world. As this concerns our actions with reference to the highest aims of life, we see that the ultimate intention of nature in her wise provision was really, in the constitution of our reason, directed to moral interests only.
The sense of an enlightened approach and the critical method required that "If one cannot prove that a thing is, he may try to prove that it is not. And if he succeeds in doing neither (as often occurs), he may still ask whether it is in his interest to accept one or the other of the alternatives hypothetically, from the theoretical or the practical point of view. Hence the question no longer is as to whether perpetual peace is a real thing or not a real thing, or as to whether we may not be deceiving ourselves when we adopt the former alternative, but we must act on the supposition of its being real." The presupposition of God, soul, and freedom was then a practical concern, for "Morality, by itself, constitutes a system, but happiness does not, unless it is distributed in exact proportion to morality. This, however, is possible in an intelligible world only under a wise author and ruler. Reason compels us to admit such a ruler, together with life in such a world, which we must consider as future life, or else all moral laws are to be considered as idle dreams… ."
The two interconnected foundations of what Kant called his "critical philosophy" that created the "Copernican revolution" that he claimed to have wrought in philosophy were his epistemology of Transcendental Idealism and his moral philosophy of the autonomy of practical reason. These teachings placed the active, rational human subject at the center of the cognitive and moral worlds. With regard to knowledge, Kant argued that the rational order of the world as known by science could never be accounted for merely by the fortuitous accumulation of sense perceptions. It was instead the product of the rule-based activity of "synthesis." This activity consisted of conceptual unification and integration carried out by the mind through concepts or the "categories of the understanding" operating on the perceptual manifold within space and time, which are not concepts, but are forms of sensibility that are a priori necessary conditions for any possible experience. Thus the objective order of nature and the causal necessity that operates within it are dependent upon the mind. There is wide disagreement among Kant scholars on the correct interpretation of this train of thought. The 'two-world' interpretation regards Kant's position as a statement of epistemological limitation, that we are never able to transcend the bounds of our own mind, meaning that we cannot access the "thing-in-itself". Kant, however, also speaks of the thing in itself or transcendental object as a product of the (human) understanding as it attempts to conceive of objects in abstraction from the conditions of sensibility. Following this line of thought, some interpreters have argued that the thing in itself does not represent a separate ontological domain but simply a way of considering objects by means of the understanding alone – this is known as the two-aspect view. 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. A good will is one that acts from duty in accordance with the universal moral law that the autonomous human being freely gives itself. This law obliges one to treat humanity – understood as rational agency, and represented through oneself as well as others – as an end in itself rather than (merely) as means to other ends the individual might hold. These ideas have largely framed or influenced all subsequent philosophical discussion and analysis. The specifics of Kant's account generated immediate and lasting controversy. Nevertheless, his theses – that the mind itself necessarily makes a constitutive contribution to its knowledge, that this contribution is transcendental rather than psychological, that philosophy involves self-critical activity, that morality is rooted in human freedom, and that to act autonomously is to act according to rational moral principles – have all had a lasting effect on subsequent philosophy.
Kant's theory of perception 康德的感觉论
Kant defines his theory of perception in his influential 1781 work The Critique of Pure Reason, which has often been cited as the most significant volume of metaphysics and epistemology in modern philosophy. Kant maintains that our understanding of the external world had its foundations not merely in experience, but in both experience and a priori concepts, thus offering a non-empiricist critique of rationalist philosophy, which is what he and others referred to as his "Copernican revolution."
Before discussing his theory, it is necessary to explain Kant's distinction between analytic and synthetic propositions.
1. Analytic proposition: a proposition whose predicate concept is contained in its subject concept; e.g., "All bachelors are unmarried," or, "All bodies take up space." 分析命题：谓词概念包含于主词概念之中；例如，“所有单身都未婚”或“所有物体都占空间”。
2. Synthetic proposition: a proposition whose predicate concept is not contained in its subject concept ; e.g., "All bachelors are happy," or, "All bodies have mass." 综合命题：谓词概念不包含于主词概念之中；如，“所有单身都幸福”或“所有物体都有质量”。
Analytic propositions are true by nature of the meaning of the words involved in the sentence—we require no further knowledge than a grasp of the language to understand this proposition. On the other hand, synthetic statements are those that tell us something about the world. The truth or falsehood of synthetic statements derives from something outside of their linguistic content. In this instance, mass is not a necessary predicate of the body; until we are told the heaviness of the body we do not know that it has mass. In this case, experience of the body is required before its heaviness becomes clear. Before Kant's first Critique, empiricists (cf. Hume) and rationalists (cf. Leibniz) assumed that all synthetic statements required experience in order to be known.
Kant, however, contests this: he claims that elementary mathematics, like arithmetic, is synthetic a priori, in that its statements provide new knowledge, but knowledge that is not derived from experience. This becomes part of his over-all argument for transcendental idealism. That is, he argues that the possibility of experience depends on certain necessary conditions—which he calls a priori forms—and that these conditions structure and hold true of the world of experience. In so doing, his main claims in the "Transcendental Aesthetic" are that mathematic judgments are synthetic a priori and in addition, that Space and Time are not derived from experience but rather are its preconditions.
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. 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—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.
Kant asserts that experience is based both upon the perception of external objects and a priori knowledge. The external world, he writes, provides those things which we sense. It is our mind, though, that processes this information about the world and gives it order, allowing us to comprehend it. Our mind supplies the conditions of space and time to experienced objects. According to the "transcendental unity of apperception", the concepts of the mind (Understanding) and the perceptions or intuitions that garner information from phenomena (Sensibility) are synthesized by comprehension. Without the concepts, intuitions are nondescript; without the intuitions, concepts are meaningless—thus the famous quotation, "Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind."
Kant’s Categories of the Faculty of Understanding 康德的知性能力范畴
In studying the work of Kant one must realize that there is a distinction between "understanding" as the general concept and the "understanding" as a faculty of the human mind. In much English language scholarship, the word "understanding" is used in both senses.
Immanuel Kant deemed it obvious that we have some objective knowledge of the world, such as, say, Newtonian physics. But this knowledge relies on synthetic, a priori laws of nature, like causality and substance. The problem, then, is how this is possible. Kant’s solution was to reason that the subject must supply laws that make experience of objects possible, and that these laws are the synthetic, a priori laws of nature which we can know all objects are subject to prior to experiencing them. So to deduce all these laws, Kant examined experience in general, dissecting in it what is supplied by the mind from what is supplied by the given intuitions. This which has just been explicated is commonly called a transcendental reduction.
To begin with, Kant’s distinction between the a posteriori being contingent and particular knowledge, and the a priori being universal and necessary knowledge, must be kept in mind. For if we merely connect two intuitions together in a perceiving subject, the knowledge will always be subjective because it is derived a posteriori, when what is desired is for the knowledge to be objective, that is, for the two intuitions to refer to the object and hold good of it necessarily universally for anyone at anytime, not just the perceiving subject in its current condition. Now what else is equivalent to objective knowledge besides the a priori, that is to say, universal and necessary knowledge? Nothing else, and hence before knowledge can be objective, it must be incorporated under an a priori category of the understanding.
For example, say a subject says, “The sun shines on the stone; the stone grows warm”, which is all he perceives in perception. His judgment is contingent and holds no necessity. But if he says, “The sunshine causes the stone to warm”, he subsumes the perception under the category of causality, which is not found in the perception, and necessarily synthesizes the concept sunshine with the concept heat, producing a necessarily universally true judgment.
To explain the categories in more detail, they are the preconditions of the construction of objects in the mind. Indeed, to even think of the sun and stone presupposes the category of subsistence, that is, substance. For the categories synthesize the random data of the sensory manifold into intelligible objects. This means that the categories are also the most abstract things one can say of any object whatsoever, and hence one can have an a priori cognition of the totality of all objects of experience if one can list all of them. To do so, Kant formulates another transcendental reduction.
Judgments are, for Kant, the preconditions of any thought. Man thinks via judgments, so all possible judgments must be listed and the perceptions connected within them put aside, so as to make it possible to examine the moments when the understanding is engaged in constructing judgments. For the categories are equivalent to these moments, in that they are concepts of intuitions in general, so far as they are determined by these moments universally and necessarily. Thus by listing all the moments, one can deduce from them all of the categories.
One may now ask: How many possible judgments are there? Kant believed that all the possible propositions within Aristotle’s syllogistic logic are equivalent to all possible judgments, and that all the logical operators within the propositions are equivalent to the moments of the understanding within judgments. Thus he listed Aristotle’s system in four groups of three: quantity (universal, particular, singular), quality (affirmative, negative, infinite), relation (categorical, hypothetical, disjunctive) and modality (problematic, assertoric, apodeictic). The parallelism with Kant’s categories is obvious: quantity (unity, plurality, totality), quality (reality, negation, limitation), relation (substance, cause, community) and modality (possibility, existence, necessity).
The fundamental building blocks of experience, i.e. objective knowledge, are now in place. First there is the sensibility, which supplies the mind with intuitions, and then there is the understanding, which produces judgments of these intuitions and can subsume them under categories. These categories lift the intuitions up out of the subject’s current state of consciousness and place them within consciousness in general, producing universally necessary knowledge. For the categories are innate in any rational being, so any intuition thought within a category in one mind will necessarily be subsumed and understood identically in any mind.
Kant’s Schema 康德的图式
Kant ran into a problem with his theory that the mind plays a part in producing objective knowledge. Intuitions and categories are entirely disparate, so how can they interact? Kant’s solution is the schema: a priori principles by which the transcendental imagination connects concepts with intuitions through time. All the principles are temporally bound, for if a concept is purely a priori, as the categories are, then they must apply for all times. Hence there are principles such as substance is that which endures through time, and the cause must always be prior to the effect.
Moral philosophy 道德哲学
Kant developed his moral philosophy in three works: Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals (1785), Critique of Practical Reason (1788), and Metaphysics of Morals (1797) .
In the Groundwork, Kant's method involves trying to convert our everyday, obvious, rational knowledge of morality into philosophical knowledge. The latter two works followed a method of using "practical reason", which is based only upon things about which reason can tell us, and not deriving any principles from experience, to reach conclusions which are able to be applied to the world of experience (in the second part of The Metaphysic of Morals).
Kant is known for his theory that there is a single moral obligation, which he called the "Categorical Imperative", and is derived from the concept of duty. Kant defines the demands of the moral law as "categorical imperatives." Categorical imperatives are principles that are intrinsically valid; they are good in and of themselves; they must be obeyed in all situations and circumstances if our behavior is to observe the moral law. It is from the Categorical Imperative that all other moral obligations are generated, and by which all moral obligations can be tested. Kant also stated that the moral means and ends can be applied to the categorical imperative, that rational beings can pursue certain "ends" using the appropriate "means." Ends that are based on physical needs or wants will always give for merely hypothetical imperatives. The categorical imperative, however, may be based only on something that is an "end in itself". That is, an end that is a means only to itself and not to some other need, desire, or purpose. He believed that the moral law is a principle of reason itself, and is not based on contingent facts about the world, such as what would make us happy, but to act upon the moral law which has no other motive than "worthiness of being happy". Accordingly, he believed that moral obligation applies to all and only rational agents.
A categorical imperative is an unconditional obligation; that is, it has the force of an obligation regardless of our will or desires (Contrast this with hypothetical imperative). In Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals (1785) Kant enumerated three formulations of the categorical imperative which he believed to be roughly equivalent:
Kant believed that if an action is not done with the motive of duty, then it is without moral value. He thought that every action should have pure intention behind it; otherwise it was meaningless. He did not necessarily believe that the final result was the most important aspect of an action, but that how the person felt while carrying out the action was the time at which value was set to the result.
In Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, Kant also posited the "counter-utilitarian idea that there is a difference between preferences and values and that considerations of individual rights temper calculations of aggregate utility", a concept that is an axiom in economics:
Everything has either a price or a dignity. Whatever has a price can be replaced by something else as its equivalent; on the other hand, whatever is above all price, and therefore admits of no equivalent, has a dignity. But that which constitutes the condition under which alone something can be an end in itself does not have mere relative worth, i.e., price, but an intrinsic worth, i.e., a dignity.
A phrase quoted by Kant, which is used to summarize the counter-utilitarian nature of his moral philosophy, is Fiat justitia, pereat mundus, ("Let justice be done, though the world perish"), which he translates loosely as "Let justice reign even if all the rascals in the world should perish from it". This appears in his 1795 Perpetual Peace. 康德引用一句话来总结他都道德哲学的反功利主义性质，这句话就是“即使世界毁灭，也要实现正义”【天可灭，义长存】，康德大致把这句话译成“人可亡，义长久。”这句话出现在他1795年的《永久和平》中。
The first formulation 第一表述
The first formulation (Formula of Universal Law) of the moral imperative "requires that the maxims be chosen as though they should hold as universal laws of nature". This formulation in principle has as its supreme law the creed "Always act according to that maxim whose universality as a law you can at the same time will" and is the "only condition under which a will can never come into conflict with itself [....]"
One interpretation of the first formulation is called the "universalisability test". An agent's maxim, according to Kant, is his "subjective principle of human actions": that is, what the agent believes is his reason to act. The universalisability test has five steps: 对第一表述的一种解释被称之为“普遍化检验”。对康德而言，行动者的格律是他的“人的行动的主体原则”：即行动者认为他行动理性的东西。普遍化检验有5个步骤：
1. Find the agent's maxim (i.e., an action paired with its motivation). Take for example the declaration "I will lie for personal benefit." Lying is the action; the motivation is to fulfil some sort of desire. Paired together, they form the maxim. 找出行动者的格律（即行动与其动机成对）。用这样一个声明为例：“为自己的利益我会撒谎。”撒谎是行动，动机是实现某种愿望。把它们成对放在一起，就形成格律。
2. Imagine a possible world in which everyone in a similar position to the real-world agent followed that maxim. 想象一个可能的世界，其中与真实世界的行动者处于类似位置的每个人都遵循这一格律。
3. Decide whether any contradictions or irrationalities arise in the possible world as a result of following the maxim. 确定由于遵循此格律这一可能世界是否会引起任何矛盾或不合理之处。
4. If a contradiction or irrationality arises, acting on that maxim is not allowed in the real world. 如果产生矛盾或不合理性，那么在真实世界中就不允许按此格律行动。
5. If there is no contradiction, then acting on that maxim is permissible, and in some instances required. 如果没有矛盾，那么，按此格律行动就是允许的，而且在某些情况下是必须的。
(For a modern parallel, see John Rawls' hypothetical situation, the original position.)
The second formulation 第二表述
The second formulation (or Formula of the End in Itself) holds that "the rational being, as by its nature an end and thus as an end in itself, must serve in every maxim as the condition restricting all merely relative and arbitrary ends." The principle dictates that you "[a]ct with reference to every rational being (whether yourself or another) so that it is an end in itself in your maxim", meaning that the rational being is "the basis of all maxims of action" and "must be treated never as a mere means but as the supreme limiting condition in the use of all means, i.e., as an end at the same time."
The third formulation 第三表述
The third formulation (Formula of Autonomy) is a synthesis of the first two and is the basis for the "complete determination of all maxims". It says "that all maxims which stem from autonomous legislation ought to harmonize with a possible realm of ends as with a realm of nature." In principle, "So act as if your maxims should serve at the same time as the universal law (of all rational beings)", meaning that we should so act that we may think of ourselves as "a member in the universal realm of ends", legislating universal laws through our maxims (Code of Conduct), in a "possible realm of ends."
Idea of God 上帝的概念
Kant stated the practical necessity for a belief in God in his Critique of Practical Reason. As an idea of pure reason, "we do not have the slightest ground to assume in an absolute manner… the object of this idea…", but adds that the idea of God cannot be separated from the relation of happiness with morality as the "ideal of the supreme good." The foundation of this connection is an intelligible moral world, and "is necessary from the practical point of view"; compare Voltaire: "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him." In the J?sche Logic (1800) he wrote "One cannot provide objective reality for any theoretical idea, or prove it, except for the idea of freedom, because this is the condition of the moral law, whose reality is an axiom. The reality of the idea of God can only be proved by means of this idea, and hence only with a practical purpose, i.e., to act as though there is a God, and hence only for this purpose”.
Along with this idea over reason and God, Kant places thought over religion and nature, i.e. the idea of religion being natural or naturalistic. Kant saw reason as natural, and as some part of Christianity is based on reason and morality, as Kant points out this is major in the scriptures, it is inevitable that Christianity is 'natural'. However, it is not 'naturalistic' in the sense that the religion does include supernatural or transcendent belief. Aside from this, a key point is that Kant saw that the Bible should be seen as a source of natural morality no matter whether there is/was any truth behind the supernatural factor. Meaning that it is not necessary to know whether the supernatural part of Christianity has any truth to abide by and use the core Christian moral code.
Kant articulates in Book Four some of his strongest criticisms of the organization and practices of Christianity that encourage what he sees as a religion of counterfeit service to God. Among the major targets of his criticism are external ritual, superstition and a hierarchical church order. He sees all of these as efforts to make oneself pleasing to God in ways other than conscientious adherence to the principle of moral rightness in the choice of one's actions. The severity of Kant's criticisms on these matters, along with his rejection of the possibility of theoretical proofs for the existence of God and his philosophical re-interpretation of some basic Christian doctrines, have provided the basis for interpretations that see Kant as thoroughly hostile to religion in general and Christianity in particular.
Idea of freedom 自由的概念
In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant distinguishes between the transcendental idea of freedom, which as a psychological concept is "mainly empirical" and refers to "the question whether we must admit a power of spontaneously beginning a series of successive things or states" as a real ground of necessity in regard to causality, and the practical concept of freedom as the independence of our will from the "coercion" or "necessitation through sensuous impulses." Kant finds it a source of difficulty that the practical concept of freedom is founded on the transcendental idea of freedom, but for the sake of practical interests uses the practical meaning, taking "no account of… its transcendental meaning", which he feels was properly "disposed of" in the Third Antinomy, and as an element in the question of the freedom of the will is for philosophy "a real stumbling-block" that has "embarrassed speculative reason".
Kant calls practical "everything that is possible through freedom", and the pure practical laws that are never given through sensuous conditions but are held analogously with the universal law of causality are moral laws. Reason can give us only the "pragmatic laws of free action through the senses", but pure practical laws given by reason a priori dictate "what ought to be done".
Aesthetic philosophy 审美哲学
Kant discusses the subjective nature of aesthetic qualities and experiences in Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime (1764). Kant's contribution to aesthetic theory is developed in the Critique of Judgment (1790) where he investigates the possibility and logical status of "judgments of taste." In the "Critique of Aesthetic Judgment," the first major division of the Critique of Judgment, Kant used the term "aesthetic" in its modern sense. Prior to this, in the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant had, in order to note the essential differences between judgments of taste, moral judgments, and scientific judgments, abandoned the use of the term "aesthetic" as "designating the critique of taste," noting that judgments of taste could never be "directed" by "laws a priori". After A. G. Baumgarten, who wrote Aesthetica (1750–58), Kant was one of the first philosophers to develop and integrate aesthetic theory into a unified and comprehensive philosophical system, utilizing ideas that played an integral role throughout his philosophy.
In the chapter "Analytic of the Beautiful" of the Critique of Judgment, Kant states that beauty is not a property of an artwork or natural phenomenon, but is instead a consciousness of the pleasure which attends the 'free play' of the imagination and the understanding. Even though it appears that we are using reason to decide that which is beautiful, the judgment is not a cognitive judgment, "and is consequently not logical, but aesthetical". A pure judgement of taste is in fact subjective insofar as it refers to the emotional response of the subject and is based upon nothing but esteem for an object itself: it is a disinterested pleasure, and we feel that pure judgements of taste, i.e. judgements of beauty, lay claim to universal validity. It is important to note that this universal validity is not derived from a determinate concept of beauty but from common sense. Kant also believed that a judgement of taste shares characteristics engaged in a moral judgement: both are disinterested, and we hold them to be universal. In the chapter "Analytic of the Sublime" Kant identifies the sublime as an aesthetic quality which, like beauty, is subjective, but unlike beauty refers to an indeterminate relationship between the faculties of the imagination and of reason, and shares the character of moral judgments in the use of reason. The feeling of the sublime, itself comprised of two distinct modes (the mathematical sublime and the dynamical sublime), describe two subjective moments both of which concern the relationship of the faculty of the imagination to reason. The mathematical sublime is situated in the failure of the imagination to comprehend natural objects which appear boundless and formless, or which appear "absolutely great". This imaginative failure is then recuperated through the pleasure taken in reason's assertion of the concept of infinity. In this move the faculty of reason proves itself superior to our fallible sensible self. In the dynamical sublime there is the sense of annihilation of the sensible self as the imagination tries to comprehend a vast might. This power of nature threatens us but through the resistance of reason to such sensible annihilation, the subject feels a pleasure and a sense of the human moral vocation. This appreciation of moral feeling through exposure to the sublime helps to develop moral character.
Kant had developed the distinction between an object of art as a material value subject to the conventions of society and the transcendental condition of the judgment of taste as a "refined" value in the propositions of his Idea of A Universal History (1784). In the Fourth and Fifth Theses of that work he identified all art as the "fruits of unsociableness" due to men's "antagonism in society", and in the Seventh Thesis asserted that while such material property is indicative of a civilized state, only the ideal of morality and the universalization of refined value through the improvement of the mind of man "belongs to culture".
Political philosophy 政治哲学
In Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (1795) Kant listed several conditions that he thought necessary for ending wars and creating a lasting peace. They included a world of constitutional republics. This was the first version of the democratic peace theory.
He opposed "democracy," which at his time meant direct democracy, believing that majority rule posed a threat to individual liberty. He stated, "…democracy is, properly speaking, necessarily a despotism, because it establishes an executive power in which 'all' decide for or even against one who does not agree; that is, 'all,' who are not quite all, decide, and this is a contradiction of the general will with itself and with freedom."
Kant lectured on anthropology for over 25 years. His Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View was published in 1798. (This was the subject of Michel Foucault's doctoral dissertation.) Kant's Lectures on Anthropology were published for the first time in 1997 in German. They were translated into English and published by the Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy series in 2006.
The vastness of Kant's influence on Western thought is immeasurable. Over and above his specific influence on specific thinkers, Kant changed the framework within which philosophical inquiry has been carried out from his day through the present in ways that have been irreversible. In other words, he accomplished a paradigm shift: very little philosophy since Kant has been carried out as an extension of pre-Kantian philosophy or in the mode of thought and discourse of pre-Kantian philosophy. This shift consists in several closely related innovations that have become axiomatic to post-Kantian thought, both in philosophy itself and in the social sciences and humanities generally:
? Kant's "Copernican revolution", that placed the role of the human subject or knower at the center of inquiry into our knowledge, such that it is impossible to philosophize about things as they are independently of us or of how they are for us; 康德的“哥白尼革命”。这场革命把人类主题或认识者的地位置于知识探究的核心位置，以至于离开我们讨论事情或离开这些事情对我们怎样进行哲学讨论是不可能的；
? his invention of critical philosophy, that is of the notion of being able to discover and systematically explore possible inherent limits to our ability to know through philosophical reasoning; 他的批评哲学的发明。批判哲学是可以发现并系统地研究我们通过哲学论证获得知识的可能的固有局限性的思想；
? his creation of the concept of "conditions of possibility" – that is that things, knowledge, and forms of consciousness rest on prior conditions that make them possible, so that to understand or know them we have to first understand these conditions; “可能性条件”概念的创造。事物、知识以及意识形式都以使它们可能的预先条件为基础，以便于为了理解或了解它们我们必须首先理解这些条件；
? his theory that objective experience is actively constituted or constructed by the functioning of the human mind; 他的客观经验是由人的思想机能主动构成或形成的理论；
? his notion of moral autonomy as central to humanity; 他的道德自律作为人性核心的思想；
? his assertion of the principle that human beings should be treated as ends rather than as means. 他的人类应该被视为目的而非手段的原则主张。
Some or all of these Kantian ideas can be seen in schools of thought as different from one another as German Idealism, Marxism, positivism, phenomenology, existentialism, critical theory, linguistic philosophy, structuralism, post-structuralism, and deconstructionism. Kant's influence also has extended to the social and behavioral sciences, as in the sociology of Max Weber, the psychology of Jean Piaget, and the linguistics of Noam Chomsky. Because of the thoroughness of the Kantian paradigm shift, his influence extends even to thinkers who do not specifically refer to his work or use his terminology.
During his own life, there was a considerable amount of attention paid to his thought, much of it critical, though he did have a positive influence on Reinhold, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, and Novalis during the 1780s and 1790s. The philosophical movement known as German Idealism developed from Kant's theoretical and practical writings. The German Idealists Fichte and Schelling, for example, attempted to bring traditionally "metaphysically" laden notions like "the Absolute," "God," or "Being" into the scope of Kant's critical philosophy. In so doing, the German Idealists attempted to reverse Kant's establishment of the unknowableness of unexperiencable ideas.
Hegel was one of the first major critics of Kant's philosophy. Hegel thought Kant's moral philosophy was too formal, abstract and ahistorical. In response to Kant's abstract and formal account of morality, Hegel developed an ethics that considered the "ethical life" of the community. But Hegel's notion of "ethical life" is meant to subsume, rather than replace, Kantian "morality." And Hegel's philosophical work as a whole can be understood as attempting to defend Kant's conception of freedom by means of reason. Thus, in contrast to later critics like Friedrich Nietzsche or Bertrand Russell, Hegel shares some of Kant's most basic concerns.
Many British Roman Catholic writers, notably G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, seized on Kant and promoted his work, with a view to restoring the philosophical legitimacy of a belief in God. Reaction against this, and an attack on Kant's use of language, is found in Ronald Englefield's article, Kant as Defender of the Faith in Nineteenth-century England. These criticisms of Kant were common in the anti-idealistic arguments of the logical positivism school and its admirers.
Arthur Schopenhauer was strongly influenced by Kant's transcendental idealism. He, like G. E. Schulze, Jacobi and Fichte before him, was critical of Kant's theory of the thing in itself. Things in themselves, they argued, are neither the cause of our representations nor are they something completely beyond our access. For Schopenhauer things in themselves do not exist independently of the non-rational will. The world, as Schopenhauer would have it, is the striving and largely unconscious will.
With the success and wide influence of Hegel's writings, Kant's influence began to wane, though there was in Germany a brief movement that hailed a return to Kant in the 1860s, beginning with the publication of Kant und die Epigonen in 1865 by Otto Liebmann, whose motto was "Back to Kant". During the turn of the 20th century there was an important revival of Kant's theoretical philosophy, known as Marburg Neo-Kantianism, represented in the work of Hermann Cohen, Paul Natorp, Ernst Cassirer, and anti-Neo-Kantian Nicolai Hartmann.
Jurgen Habermas and John Rawls are two significant political and moral philosophers whose work is strongly influenced by Kant's moral philosophy. They both, regardless of recent relativist trends in philosophy, have argued that universality is essential to any viable moral philosophy.
With his Perpetual Peace, Kant is considered to have foreshadowed many of the ideas that have come to form the democratic peace theory, one of the main controversies in political science.
Kant's notion of "Critique" or criticism has been quite influential. The Early German Romantics, especially Friedrich Schlegel in his "Athenaeum Fragments", used Kant's self-reflexive conception of criticism in their Romantic theory of poetry. Also in Aesthetics, Clement Greenberg, in his classic essay "Modernist Painting", uses Kantian criticism, what Greenberg refers to as "immanent criticism", to justify the aims of Abstract painting, a movement Greenberg saw as aware of the key limitation—flatness—that makes up the medium of painting.
Kant believed that mathematical truths were forms of synthetic a priori knowledge, which means they are necessary and universal, yet known through intuition. Kant’s often brief remarks about mathematics influenced the mathematical school known as intuitionism, a movement in philosophy of mathematics opposed to Hilbert’s formalism, and the logicism of Frege and Bertrand Russell. 康德认为，数学真理是先验综合知识，意思是它们是必然的和普遍的，更是通过直觉获得的。康德对数学的简要评论影响了直觉主义的数学学派，直觉主义是一场反对希尔伯特的形式主义、弗雷格和贝特兰?罗素的逻辑主义的数学哲学运动。
Kant's work on mathematics and synthetic a priori knowledge is also cited by theoretical physicist Albert Einstein as an early influence on his intellectual development.
Post-Kantian philosophy has yet to return to the style of thinking and arguing that characterized much of philosophy and metaphysics before Kant, although many British and American philosophers have preferred to trace their intellectual origins to Hume, thus bypassing Kant. The British philosopher P. F. Strawson is a notable exception, as is the American philosopher Wilfrid Sellars.
Due in part to the influence of Strawson and Sellars, among others, there has been a renewed interest in Kant's view of the mind. Central to many debates in philosophy of psychology and cognitive science is Kant's conception of the unity of consciousness.
The Emmanuel Kants, a drinking society at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, take their name from this eminent figure in Western philosophy.