November 30, 2016

Immanuel Kant Quotes

“A categorical imperative would be one which represented an action as objectively necessary in itself, without reference to any other purpose.”

“Act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world.”

“All natural capacities of a creature are destined to evolve completely to their natural end.”

“All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.”

“All the interests of my reason, speculative as well as practical, combine in the three following questions: 1. What can I know? 2. What ought I to do? 3. What may I hope?”

“All thought must, directly or indirectly, by way of certain characters, relate ultimately to intuitions, and therefore, with us, to sensibility, because in no other way can an object be given to us.”

“Always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as means to your end.”

“But although all our knowledge begins with experience, it does not follow that it arises from experience.”

“By a lie a man throws away and, as it were, annihilates his dignity as a man. A man who himself does not believe what he tells another… has even less worth than if he were a mere thing…. makes himself a mere deceptive appearance of man, not man himself.”

“Criticism alone can sever the root of materialism, fatalism, atheism, free-thinking, fanaticism, and superstition, which can be injurious universally; as well as of idealism and skepticism, which are dangerous chiefly to the Schools, and hardly allow of being handed on to the public.”

“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one’s understanding without another’s guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s mind without another’s guidance. Sapere Aude! Dare to Know! Have the courage to use your own understanding is therefore the motto of the Enlightenment.”

“Even philosophers will praise war as ennobling mankind, forgetting the Greek who said: “War is bad in that it begets more evil than it kills.””

“Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play.”

“Fallacious and misleading arguments are most easily detected if set out in correct syllogistic form.”

“From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned.”

“Give me matter, and I will construct a world out of it!”

“Good and strong will. Mechanism must precede science (learning). Also in morals and religion? Too much discipline makes one narrow and kills proficiency. Politeness belongs, not to discipline, but to polish, and thus comes last.”

“Happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination.”

“Have patience awhile; slanders are not long-lived. Truth is the child of time; ere long she shall appear to vindicate thee.”

“Have patience awhile; slanders are not long-lived. Truth is the child of time; erelong she shall appear to vindicate thee.”

“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”

“I freely admit that the remembrance of David Hume was the very thing that many years ago first interrupted my dogmatic slumber and gave a completely different direction to my researches in the field of speculative philosophy.”

“I had therefore to remove knowledge, in order to make room for belief.”

“If man makes himself a worm he must not complain when he is trodden on.”

“Immaturity is the incapacity to use one’s intelligence without the guidance of another.”

“In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.”

“In man (as the only rational creature on earth) those natural capacities which are directed to the use of his reason are to be fully developed only in the race, not in the individual.”

“Ingratitude is the essence of vileness.”

“Intuition and concepts constitute… the elements of all our knowledge, so that neither concepts without an intuition in some way corresponding to them, nor intuition without concepts, can yield knowledge.”

“It is beyond a doubt that all our knowledge that begins with experience.”

“It is not God’s will merely that we should be happy, but that we should make ourselves happy.”

“It is not necessary that whilst I live I live happily; but it is necessary that so long as I live I should live honourably.”

“It is therefore correct to say that the senses do not err — not because they always judge rightly, but because they do not judge at all.”

“Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.”

“Man’s greatest concern is to know how he shall properly fill his place in the universe and correctly understand what he must be in order to be a man.”

“May you live your life as if the maxim of your actions were to become universal law.”

“Men will not understand … that when they fulfil their duties to men, they fulfil thereby God’s commandments; that they are consequently always in the service of God, as long as their actions are moral, and that it is absolutely impossible to serve God otherwise.”

“Metaphysics is a dark ocean without shores or lighthouse, strewn with many a philosophic wreck.”

“Nature has willed that man should, by himself, produce everything that goes beyond the mechanical ordering of his animal existence, and that he should partake of no other happiness or perfection than that which he himself, independently of instinct, has created by his own reason.”

“Nothing is divine but what is agreeable to reason.”

“Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.”

“Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made nothing entirely straight can be carved.”

“Religion is the recognition of all our duties as divine commands.”

“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.”

“Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them.”

“The death of dogma is the birth of morality.”

“The greatest problem for the human race, to the solution of which Nature drives man, is the achievement of a universal civic society which administers law among men.”

“The means employed by Nature to bring about the development of all the capacities of men is their antagonism in society, so far as this is, in the end, the cause of a lawful order among men.”

“The only objects of practical reason are therefore those of good and evil. For by the former is meant an object necessarily desired according to a principle of reason; by the latter one necessarily shunned, also according to a principle of reason.”

“The problem of establishing a perfect civic constitution is dependent upon the problem of a lawful external relation among states and cannot be solved without a solution of the latter problem.”

“The public use of a man’s reason must be free at all times, and this alone can bring enlightenment among men…”

“There is needed, no doubt, a body of servants (ministerium) of the invisible church, but not officials (officiales), in other words, teachers but not dignitaries, because in the rational religion of every individual there does not yet exist a church as a universal union (omnitudo collectiva).”

“This problem is the most difficult and the last to be solved by mankind.”

“Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind. The understanding can intuit nothing, the senses can think nothing. Only through their unison can knowledge arise.”

“Through laziness and cowardice a large part of mankind, even after nature has freed them from alien guidance, gladly remain immature. It is because of laziness and cowardice that it is so easy for others to usurp the role of guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor!”

“Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.”

“Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.”

“What can I know? What ought I to do? What can I hope?”