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Quotes About Kant

Quotes tagged as "kant" (showing 1-17 of 17)
W. Somerset Maugham
“Kant thought things, not because they were true, but because he was Kant.”
W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage

Walter Kaufmann
“What Pascal overlooked was the hair-raising possibility that God might out-Luther Luther. A special area in hell might be reserved for those who go to mass. Or God might punish those whose faith is prompted by prudence. Perhaps God prefers the abstinent to those who whore around with some denomination he despises. Perhaps he reserves special rewards for those who deny themselves the comfort of belief. Perhaps the intellectual ascetic will win all while those who compromised their intellectual integrity lose everything.

There are many other possibilities. There might be many gods, including one who favors people like Pascal; but the other gods might overpower or outvote him, à la Homer. Nietzsche might well have applied to Pascal his cutting remark about Kant: when he wagered on God, the great mathematician 'became an idiot.”
Walter Kaufmann, Critique of Religion and Philosophy

Mitch Stokes
“To question reason is to trust it.”
Mitch Stokes

Friedrich Max Müller
“If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered over the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant, I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of the Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw the corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human a life... again I should point to India.”
Friedrich Max Müller, India: What it Can Teach Us

Immanuel Kant
“The whole interest of my reason, whether speculative or practical, is concentrated in the three following questions: What can I know? What should I do? What may I hope? (Critique of Pure Reason”
Immanuel Kant

Jennifer Michael Hecht
“We are humanity, Kant says. Humanity needs us because we are it. Kant believes in duty and considers remaining alive a primary human duty. For him one is not permitted to “renounce his personality,” and while he states living as a duty, it also conveys a kind of freedom: we are not burdened with the obligation of judging whether our personality is worth maintaining, whether our life is worth living. Because living it is a duty, we are performing a good moral act just by persevering.”
Jennifer Michael Hecht, Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It

Novalis
“The more narrow-minded a system is the more it will please worldly-wise people. Thus the system of the materialists, the doctrine of Helvetius and also Locke has recieved the most acclaim amongst his class. Thus Kant even now will find more followers than Fichte.”
Novalis, Novalis: Philosophical Writings

“Kant is sometimes considered to be an advocate of reason. Kant was in favor of science, it is argued. He emphasized the importance of rational consistency in ethics. He posited regulative principles of reason to guide our thinking, even our thinking about religion. And he resisted the ravings of Johann Hamann and the relativism of Johann Herder. Thus, the argument runs, Kant should be placed in the pantheon of Enlightenment greats. That is a mistake. The fundamental question of reason is its relationship to reality. Is reason capable of knowing reality - or is it not? Is our rational faculty a cognitive function, taking its material form reality, understanding the significance of that material, and using that understanding to guide our actions in reality - or is it not? This is the question that divides philosophers into pro- and anti-reason camps, this is the question that divides the rational gnostics and the skeptics, and this was Kant’s question in his Critique of Pure Reason. Kant was crystal clear about his answer. Reality - real, noumenal reality - is forever closed off to reason, and reason is limited to awareness and understanding of its own subjective products… Kant was the decisive break with the Enlightenment and the first major step toward postmodernism. Contrary to the Enlightenment account of reason, Kant held that the mind is not a response mechanism but a constitute mechanism. He held that the mind - and not reality - sets the terms for knowledge. And he held that reality conforms to reason, not vice versa. In the history of philosphy, Kant marks a fundamental shift from objectivity as the standard to subjectivity as the standard. What a minute, a defender of Kant may reply. Kant was hardly opposed to reason. After all, he favored rational consistency and he believed in universal principles. So what is anti-reason about it? The answer is that more fundamental to reason than consistency and universality is a connection to reality. Any thinker who concludes that in principle reason cannot know reality is not fundamentally an advocate of reason… Suppose a thinker argued the following: “I am an advocate of freedom for women. Options and the power to choose among them are crucial to our human dignity. And I am wholeheartedly an advocate of women’s human dignity. But we must understand that a scope of a women’s choice is confined to the kitchen. Beyond the kitchen’s door she must not attempt to exercise choice. Within the kitchen, however, she has a whole feast of choices[…]”. No one would mistake such a thinker for an advocate of women’s freedom. Anyone would point out that there is a whole world beyond the kitchen and that freedom is essentially about exercising choice about defining and creating one’s place in the world as a whole. The key point about Kant, to draw the analogy crudely, is that he prohibits knowledge of anything outside our skulls. The gives reasons lots to do withing the skull, and he does advocate a well-organized and tidy mind, but this hardly makes him a champion of reason… Kant did not take all of the steps down to postmodernism, but he did take the decisive one. Of the five major features of Enlightenment reason - objectivity, competence, autonomy, universality, and being an individual faculty - Kant rejected objectivity.”
Stephen R.C. Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault

Étienne Gilson
“Modern man, brought up on Kantian idealism, regards nature as being no more than an outcome of the laws of the mind. Losing all their independence as divine works, things gravitate henceforth round human thought, whence their laws are derived. What wonder, after that, is if criticism had resulted in the virtual disappearance of all metaphysics? [...] As soon as the universe is reduced to the laws of mind, man, now become creator, has no longer any means of rising above himself. Legislator of a world to which his own mind has given birth, he is henceforth the prisoner of his own work, and he will never escape from it anymore. [...] if my thought is the condition of being, never by thought shall I be able to transcend the limits of my being and my capacity for the infinite will never be satisfied.”
Étienne Gilson

Joseph B.H. McMillan
“When Friedrich Nietzsche mocked Immanuel Kant for having "discovered a moral faculty in man", he inadvertently resolved Kant's dilemma of being unable to identify what exactly constituted his "moral law" for fear of offending against a charge of empiricism from the likes of David Hume.”
Joseph B.H. McMillan, A 'Final Theory' of God

“Había abandonado el esfuerzo por alcanzar por sí misma la virtud perfecta. Había descubierto qué agotador puede ser ese esfuerzo, qué inhumano y erróneo resultaba vivir esclavizada por aquel esfuerzo. Ahora que conocía su abrumadora imperfección, ahora que era consciente de su fragilidad y de su contingencia, ya no llevaba sobre los hombros el pesado lastre del martillo y cincel. No es que se hubiese rendido a la imperfección ni que se hubiese acostumbrado a ella, pero ya no soportaba la carga en soledad, ya no arrastraba el yugo con sus fuerzas, ya no se sorprendía al descubrirse a sí misma en un mal paso.”
Natalia Sanmartín Fenollera, El despertar de la señorita Prim

Thomas de Quincey
“It is remarkable, however, that at the very lowest point of Kant's depression, when he became perfectly incapable of conversing with any rational meaning on the ordinary affairs of life, he was still able to answer correctly and distinctly, in a degree that was perfectly astonishing, upon any question of philosophy or of science, especially of physical geography, [Footnote: Physical Geography, in opposition to Political.] chemistry, or natural history. He talked satisfactorily, in his very worst state, of the gases, and stated very accurately different propositions of Kepler’s, especially the law of the planetary motions. And I remember in particular, that upon the very last Monday of his life, when the extremity of his weakness moved a circle of his friends to tears, and he sat amongst us insensible to all we could say to him, cowering down, or rather I might say collapsing into a shapeless heap upon his chair, deaf, blind, torpid, motionless,—even then I whispered to the others that I would engage that Kant should take his part in conversation with propriety and animation. This they found it difficult to believe. Upon which I drew close to his ear, and put a question to him about the Moors of Barbary. To the surprise of everybody but myself, he immediately gave us a summary account of their habits and customs; and told us by the way, that in the word Algiers, the g ought to be pronounced hard (as in the English word gear).”
Thomas de Quincey, Biographies and Biographic Sketches
tags: kant

Thomas de Quincey
“To suppose a reader thoroughly indifferent to Kant, is to suppose him thoroughly unintellectual; and, therefore, though in reality he should happen not to regard him with interest, it is one of the fictions of courtesy to presume that he does.”
Thomas de Quincey, Last days of Immanuel Kant and other writings
tags: kant

Thomas de Quincey
“Kant ate but once a day, and drank no beer. Of this liquor, (I mean the strong black beer,) he was, indeed, the most determined enemy. If ever a man died prematurely, Kant would say—’He has been drinking beer, I presume.”
Thomas de Quincey, Biographies and Biographic Sketches
tags: kant

Thomas de Quincey
“In particular, I have been told by Kant’s old friends, that for the space of more than thirty years, during which he had been in the habit of reading the newspaper published by Hartung, Lampe delivered it with the same identical blunder on every day of publication.—’Mr. Professor, here is Hart_mann’s_ journal.’ Upon which Kant would reply—’Eh! what?—What’s that you say? Hartmann’s journal? I tell you, it is not Hartmann, but Hartung: now, repeat it after me—not Hartmann, but Hartung.’ Then Lampe, looking sulky, and drawing himself up with the stiff air of a soldier on guard, and in the very same monotonous tone with which he had been used to sing out his challenge of—Who goes there? would roar—’not Hartmann, but Hartung.’ ‘Now again!’ Kant would say: on which again Lampe roared—’not Hartmann, but Hartung.’ ‘Now a third time,’ cried Kant: on which for a third time the unhappy Lampe would howl out—’not Hartmann, but Hartung.’ And this whimsical scene of parade duty was continually repeated: duly as the day of publication came, the irreclaimable old dunce was put through the same manoeuvres, which were as invariably followed by the same blunder on the next.”
Thomas de Quincey, Last days of Immanuel Kant and other writings
tags: kant

“Tan sólo por la educación puede el hombre llegar a ser hombre. El hombre no es más que lo que la educación hace de él.”
Emmanuel Kant

Iris Murdoch
“—Hasta cierto punto estoy de acuerdo contigo —dijo Rupert— pero...

—No hay “peros”, querido amigo, Kant nos mostró de modo concluyente que no podemos conocer la realidad. Sin embargo, seguimos creyendo obstinadamente que sí podemos.

—¡Kant creía que tenemos atisbos de ella! ¡Eso era precisamente en lo que insistía!

—Kant era estúpidamente cristiano. Y también nosotros lo somos, aunque lo neguemos. El cristianismo es una de las más grandiosas y brillantes fuentes de ilusión que la raza humana ha inventado.”
Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

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