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Summary

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) is the most influential thinker in modern western philosophy. 

The central doctrine of Kant’s theoretical philosophy is what he calls “transcendental idealism.”  This is, roughly, the view that there is a sharp distinction between things as they appear to us and things as they really are (in themselves). It is controversial what that distinction consists in or even how to characterize it, but it is clear that Kant wants to deny that things-in-themselves have spatio-temporal features.  Thus they are things that we can think about (‘noumena’) but not things that appear (‘phenomena’). 

Kant argues that we can only explain our knowledge of non-trivial (‘synthetic’) necessary principles -- including the principle according to which all events have causes --  if transcendental idealism is true.  He also thinks that distinguishing between phenomena and noumena leaves room for incompatibilist freedom, God, and the immortality of the soul (at the noumenal level). 

Kant places the notion of autonomy at the center of his moral and political philosophy, and argues that specific moral obligations are based in a very general principle called the Categorical Imperative.  This principle is fundamental to practical rationality and requires that we respect the autonomy of rational agents and refuse to make arbitrary exceptions for ourselves. 

In his early years, Kant was trained in the German rationalist tradition of Christian Wolff (1679–1750) and G. W. Leibniz (1646–1716). But he was influenced by the British Empiricists like John Locke (1632–1704), Isaac Newton (1642–1727), and David Hume (1711–1776). Later, Kant characterizes his Critical philosophy as a synthesis of rationalism and empiricism. 

Kant’s massive influence is felt across the continental and analytic traditions. He is typically regarded as the forefather of German Idealism, and a key figure in the development of Existentialism, NeoKantianism (obviously), Phenomenology, Critical Theory, and even Post-Modernism. 

In the analytic tradition, Kant’s views were in the background of many of the debates in 20th-century epistemology and philosophy of mind. Kantian moral philosophy is one of the main positions in contemporary ethics, and Kantian political philosophy dominated most of the discussion in 20th and early 21st century political philosophy. Kant’s views about aesthetic judgment are central to many developments in the philosophy of art and art criticism. Kant is not a major figure in contemporary analytic metaphysics, however.

Key works

The three Critiques are the central texts for Kant’s “critical system”: Critique of Pure Reason (1781/1787), Critique of Practical Reason (1788), Critique of Power of Judgment (1790). His Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785) is among the most influential works in modern ethics. Other major works include Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (1783), Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (1786), Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason (1793)Metaphysics of Morals (1797), and Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View (1798)

The standard German edition of Kant’s works is Königlichen Preußischen (later Deutschen) Akademie der Wissenschaften (ed.), 1900–, Kants gesammelte Schriften, Berlin: Georg Reimer (later Walter De Gruyter). The standard English edition of Kant’s works is P. Guyer and A. Wood (eds.), 1992–, The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Introductions Good overall introductions include Wood 2004, Höffe & Farrier 1994, and Guyer 2006Buroker 2006 offers a good introductory overview of Kant’s key text in theoretical philosophy. Cleve 1999 is a more advanced introduction for analytic philosophers. Gardner 1999 is an opinionated but very accessible introduction.  A good introduction to Kant's moral philosophy is Sedgwick 2008.
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Kant: Metaphysics and Epistemology (11,267 | 3,185)

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  1. Once Again From the Beginning: On the Relationship of Skepticism and Philosophy in Hegel's System.Miles Hentrup - 2016 - Dissertation, Stony Brook University
    This dissertation examines the relationship of skepticism and philosophy in the work of G.W.F. Hegel. Whereas other commentators have come to recognize the epistemological significance of Hegel's encounter with skepticism, emphasizing the strength of his system against skeptical challenges to the possibility of knowledge, I argue that Hegel develops his metaphysics in part through his ongoing engagement with the skeptical tradition. As such, I argue that Hegel's interest is not in refuting skepticism, but in defining its legitimate role within the (...)
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  2. The Highest Good, The Social Character of Reason, and the Anthropological Enterprise of Kant’s “Critique”: A Response to the Symposium on The Ethical Commonwealth in History.Philip J. Rossi - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (5):1917-1942.
    In response to the five essays commenting on The Ethical Commonwealth in History, I provide an exploration of three themes—the character of the highest good, the possibility of attainment of the highest good, and the agency for its attainment—as a basis for dealing with the concerns these essays raise about my interpretation of Kant’s critical project. On my interpretation, Kant’s project of “critique” is primarily an anthropological one, with its central focus on the moral vocation to which finite reason calls (...)
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  3. Variation zwischen Aufklärung und Revolution: Kant oder Marx?Bo Fang - 2020 - In Michael Jaeger, Mingchao Mao & Benjamin Langer (eds.), Ost-westliche Erfahrungen der Modernität: Der chinesisch-deutsche Ideenaustausch und die Bewegung des 4. Mai 1919. Berlin, Germany: pp. 115-132.
    In dieser Arbeitmöchte ich versuchen, zunächst die Position von Li Zehou aus der Perspektivevon Kants Philosophie zu erläutern und dann auf dieser Grundlage zu analysie-ren, weshalb die marxistischen Gelehrten normalerweise zur Kritik dieser Positionneigen. Während Kant glaubt, dass die politische Revolution nicht die Reform derDenkungsart des Menschen fördern kann, neigt Marx eher zu der Ansicht, dassdie Aufklärung des Menschen im Sinne der Selbstverwirklichung unmöglich ist,wenn nicht zuvor die sozialen Verhältnisseoder die sozialen Strukturen, in denendie Menschen leben, durch Revolution verändert worden (...)
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  4. Universality and Accommodating Differences: Religious, Racial, Sexual, Gendered.Helga Varden - forthcoming - In The Kantian Mind.
    An enduring source of skepticism towards Kant’s practical philosophy is his deep conviction that morality must be understood in terms of universality. Whether we look to Kant’s fundamental moral principle (the Categorical Imperative) or to his fundamental principle of right (the Universal Principle of Right), universality lies at the core of the analyses. A central worry of his critics is that by making universality the bedrock of morality in these ways, Kant fails to appreciate the importance of difference in individual (...)
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  5. Batteux, Kant and Schiller on Fine Art and Moral Education.Aviv Reiter & Ido Geiger - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy of Education.
    Journal of Philosophy of Education, EarlyView.
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  6. Kant's Doctrine of Education and the Problem of Artificial Intelligence.Leonid Kornilaev - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy of Education.
    Journal of Philosophy of Education, EarlyView.
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  7. Sociability and Education in Kant and Hessen.Mikhail Zagirnyak - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy of Education.
    Journal of Philosophy of Education, EarlyView.
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  8. Kant on Thinking for Oneself and with Others—the Ethical a Priori, Openness and Diversity.Martin Sticker - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy of Education.
    Journal of Philosophy of Education, EarlyView.
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  9. The Kant-Eberhard Polemic: The Deduction of the Principle of Sufficient Reason From the Principle of Non-Contradiction.Esma Kayar - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 743-754.
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  10. Kant’s “I Think” and the Subjective Deduction.Terence Hua Tai - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 813-822.
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  11. Kant and the Problem of the Criterion of Truth: A Dissolution of the Pyrrhonian Problematic.Dimitri Cunty - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 697-706.
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  12. The Normativity of Aesthetic Judgments: Kant’s Development.Robert R. Clewis - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1017-1026.
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  13. Causa Efficiens, Causa Finalis: Two Unequal Principles of Science in Kant.Violetta L. Waibel - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 995-1006.
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  14. Kant on Real Grounds and Grounds of Being.Michael Oberst - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 591-598.
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  15. Kant on Vital Forces and the Analogy with Life.Tyke Nunez - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 961-972.
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  16. Kant on Epistemic Autonomy.Alix Cohen - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 687-696.
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  17. The Rightful Claims of Reason: A Priori Cognition, Metaphysics, and Kant’s Critique.J. Colin McQuillan - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 583-590.
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  18. Kant on Perceptions, Synthesis, and Intentionality in the Second Analogy of Experience.Ansgar Seide - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 785-794.
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  19. Kant’s Path From Systematicity to Purposiveness.Thomas Moore - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 891-902.
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  20. Mere Subjectivism? Kant’s Deduction and the Hegelian Criticism.Justin Shaddock & Anhui Huang - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 651-658.
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  21. Making an Appearance as Itself: Kant Vs. Leibniz on Grounding Appearances.Kristina Engelhard - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 863-872.
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  22. Eine vielsagende Asymmetrie bei Kant: Existenz und durchgängige Bestimmung.Gualtiero Lorini - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 765-774.
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  23. How Kant Thought He Could Reach Hume.Charles Goldhaber - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 717-726.
  24. Reason, Reflection, and Reliabilism: Kant and the Grounds of Rational and Empirical Knowledge.James Hebbeler - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 735-742.
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  25. Kant on Observation.Andrew Cooper - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 941-950.
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  26. Kant’s Modal Theory of Assent.Lorenzo Mileti Nardo - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 775-784.
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  27. On Kant’s Conception of the Contradiction: A Clear Differentiation From Baumgarten.Ayumu Shigeta - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 795-804.
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  28. Kant Against the Cult of Genius: Epistemic and Moral Considerations.Jessica J. Williams - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 921-928.
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  29. Technik als Form der Freiheit. Kant über Handlungsrationalität in Kultur und Natur.Birgit Recki - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 985-994.
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  30. Kant’s Third Analogy of Experience, Space-Time, and Mutual Interaction.Lara Spencer - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 913-920.
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  31. Kant und die Weltmaschinenmetapher.Giovanni Pietro Basile - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 853-862.
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  32. On the Difference Between Kant’s Intellectual Intuition and Intuitive Understanding in the First Critique.Manja Kisner - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 555-564.
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  33. Symbolization and Formal Competence with a Concept in Kant.S. Matthew Stolte - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 805-812.
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  34. Transcendental Reflection and Kant’s Division of Logic.Lars Lodberg - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 755-764.
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  35. Kant and the Radical Critique of Religion.Anna Tomaszewska - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 2031-2040.
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  36. Wofür eine „Religionsschrift“? Kant über die Menschen und ihre moralische Kultur durch Religion.Stefan Klingner - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1985-1994.
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  37. Kant’s Post-Critical Theology.Bryan Hall - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1977-1984.
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  38. Kant’s Herder Review: Analogical Inference, Indirect Cognition, and Philosophical Style.Pavel Reichl - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 2015-2022.
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  39. Tugendlehre § 13. Kant über das Bewusstsein eines inneren Gerichtshofes im Menschen.Giuseppe Motta - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1181-1190.
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  40. The Reception and Development of Kant’s Philosophy in South Korea.Chong-Hyon Paek & Ji-Young Kang - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1345-1352.
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  41. Kant über Zufriedenheit.Nora Kassan - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1143-1150.
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  42. Kant on Intoxication.Sarah Hoffman - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1135-1142.
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  43. Kant on the Unity of the Human Species.Ansgar Lyssy - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1171-1180.
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  44. Kant in Early Russian Neo-Kantianism: The Case of Vvedensky.Nina A. Dmitrieva - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1247-1254.
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  45. Kant on the Rationality of Morality.Paul Guyer - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1439-1446.
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  46. Kant’s Copernican Turn: Emil Lask’s Interpretation and Its Criticism in Russia.Leonid Kornilaev - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1265-1274.
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  47. Was ist eine transzendentale Apperzeption in phänomenologischer Sicht? Husserl über Kant.Inga Römer - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1305-1314.
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  48. Kant über das sich selbst affizierende Subjekt. Zur Funktion der Selbstaffektion in Kants Kritik der reinen Vernunft.Martin Bondeli - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1115-1124.
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  49. The Philosopher and the Map. Reflections on the Carticity of Kant’s Philosophical Writing.Tommaso Morawski - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1075-1084.
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  50. Kant on the Freedom of Instrumental Actions.Peter McLaughlin - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. De Gruyter. pp. 1475-1482.
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