Immanuel Kant, a German metaphysician, born in Konigsberg, April 22, 1724, died there, Feb. 12, 1804. He was of Scotch descent; his grandfather probably emigrated from Scotland near the close of the 17th century, and settled at Tilsit. His father, John George Cant, came to Konigsberg in early life, and 'followed the trade of a saddler. His mother, Anna Regina Reuter, of German stock, was a woman of a refined and elevated character, and of deep religious feeling. The philosopher was the fourth of their 11 children. He tells us that when a boy he was idle and a truant; yet he also showed zeal in acquiring knowledge, and his parents gave him the best education their slender means would allow. Like Schelling and Hegel, he was first destined to the theological career. From his 8th to his 16th year he was a student in the Collegium Fredericianum of his native city, under the care of Dr. Schulz. Ruhnken the philologist was a fellow student, and they pursued together the study of the classics. Here, too, he felt the influence of pietism, then predominant in the college; and also learned the rudiments of the abstract philosophy of Wolf, which had the speculative ascendancy in philosophical and theological schools. But as yet he showed no metaphysical talent, though he was an indomitable worker.
His character was influenced by the rigid morality and independence of his father and the piety of his mother. In 1740 he entered the university as a student of theology; but his first attempts at preaching met with such poor success, that he concluded that he was destined for a different career, and applied himself with earnestness to mathematics and the physical sciences. His first essay, written in 1746, at the age of 22, was on "The True Measure of Living Forces," and contained an acute criticism of the arguments of Leibnitz and Descartes, with an attempt to mediate between the German and French schools, by distinguishing between dead and living powers. His father died in 1746; he had lost his mother 11 years before; and, that he might not be a burden upon his uncle, who had already aided him, he was compelled from that time until 1755 to become a tutor in private families. In the last of these, that of Herr von Kaiserling of Konigsberg, his great talents and acquisitions were recognized, especially by the lady of the house; and here he was introduced into cultivated society, wearing off the bashfulness and reserve of a poor student.
At length, in 1755, he was able to enter upon the career of academic instructor, for which he had been preparing himself by assiduous study and multifarious reading. His inaugural dissertations, as magister legens, were Be Igne and on the " First Principles of Metaphysical Science." In the same year he published anonymously a treatise on the theory of the heavens, dedicated to Frederick the Great, and written in a clear and animated style. Here he prophesied the discovery of new planets, and that the nebulae would be resolved into stars, besides advocating the position that a mechanical construction of nature was not adverse to the belief in a God. Lambert in 1761 advanced similar views, which led (1765-'70) to a correspondence between them. From the first Kant was a popular lecturer; several of his courses were always attended by many of the citizens of the active and thriving city of Konigsberg, which had a high commercial and political as well as literary rank. His course on physical geography was begun in 1757, and continued to the close of his academic career, receiving fresh additions at each repetition.
Kant himself never went beyond his native province, and as seldom as possible away from the city; but he was an eager student of voyages and travels, and extracted all possible information from every traveller he could come across. He also lectured on practical anthropology, the theory of teaching, natural law, the philosophy of religion, ethics, logic, and mathematics. In 1762 he published a treatise on the "False Subtlety of the four Syllogistic Figures," maintaining that only the first is "pure," the others being ratiocinia hybrida. The next year he wrote an essay for a prize proposed by the Berlin academy on the " Principles of Natural Theology and Ethics;" but Mendelssohn received the first and Kant the accessit prize. He here says that a "real system of metaphysics " had never yet been written; he was already busy with this task. In the same year appeared his work on the "Only Possible Ground of Demonstrating the Being of God," proposing a new form of the onto-logical proof, and rejecting the other three arguments. Existence, he says, is not a predicate conception, and therefore cannot be proved; but the non-existence of God contains a logical contradiction.
The new mode of proof which he advocates, says Erdmann (Ge-schichte der Philosophie, vol. iii., p. 31), reverses the positions of the schools of Descartes and Leibnitz; instead of inferring the existence of God as a consequence from the possibility, he takes the possibility as a consequence, and reasons back to the existence as the ground; if anything is possible, there is some real being, the seat and source of all that is conceivable. - The year 1770 is made by Rosenkranz (Ge-schichte der Kantischen Philosophie, 1840, vol. xii. of Kant's works) the dividing line between the earlier or tentative period of his speculations and the speculative and systematic period. In this year he became a professor in full in the university. For 15 years the subtlest and boldest thinker of Germany had been struggling along in obscurity, filling subordinate posts; for example, that of a subaltern in the royal library for $50 a year, conferred on him in 1756, as an "accomplished" and "learned" person. He was indeed offered the professorship of poetry in 1764; but this does not seem to have suited him. The professorship of logic and metaphysics was given him after he had declined invitations to Jena and Erlangen; and his salary was to be $300 per annum.
He was content with his native city and university; he wanted to labor in quiet, and work out the great problems which were stirring his mind. His inaugural dissertation, De Mundi Sensibilis atque Intelligibilis Forma et Principiis, contains germs of his metaphysical system. He protests against the position that the knowledge of sense and that gained by the understanding are to be distinguished as respectively obscure and clear. There is, he says, a knowledge of sensible phenomena which is distinct, as there may be conceptions of the understanding which are confused. We must distinguish between the matter and the form of our knowledge of sensible objects; the form is given by the ideas of space and time, which are not objectively real, but pure intuitions; and these give us the basis of the sciences of mathematics and geometry. Intellectual knowledge is made up of pure or universal conceptions; not such as are abstracted from the phenomena of sense, but principles by which the understanding is guided, as those of necessity, possibility, causality, etc. Such are some of the positions in which he already arrays himself against materialism on the one hand and dogmatism on the other.
In 1772 (Erdmann, loc. cit. 37) he wrote about his scheme of a. transcendental philosophy, which he hoped to finish in three months; in 1776 it was to be completed the next summer; but not till 1781 did the Kritik der reinen Vernunft (" Criticism of the Pure Reason") make its appearance. For 11 years he had been writing and rewriting; the final draft was composed in a few months. He was already 57 years old. His system had been very slow in its growth; for a long time he was hardly conscious of what he was aiming at. He was pressed on the one hand by the abstract metaphysics of the idealism of Leibnitz as developed by Wolf; on the other hand, Hume's skepticism, as he says, "awoke him from his dogmatic slumbers." His own work was intended to give their respective rights to both idealism and realism, to metaphysics and materialism; yet, at the same time, to serve as a new basis on which the architectonics of the whole world of knowledge might be constructed. This system produced a revolution in the world of speculation. Partly from its profoundness, partly on account of its novel nomenclature, it was at first slightly noticed, and seemed in danger of lapsing into oblivion.
But Kant was now thoroughly aroused, and eager in pressing the scheme, which was the product not only of his own life, but also of the chief systems which had gone before. His philosophical productivity became as remarkable as had been his previous reserve. In 1783 appeared his " Prolegomena to every future System of Metaphysics claiming to be a Science;" a more popular exposition, and also a more complete analysis, of the questions and problems mooted in the " Criticism." He then endeavored to counteract the negative results of the system of pure reason by his Grundlegung der Metaphysik der Bitten ("Metaphysics of Ethics," 1785), and Metaphy-sische Anfangsgrunde der Naturwissenschaft (" Metaphysical Elements of Natural Science," 1786), completing the exposition of his views in these two branches of philosophy. In 1787 the second edition of the "Criticism of the Pure Reason" was published, omitting the preface to the first edition, and altering it so as to avoid the charge of idealism which had been generally preferred against his speculations, identified, or rather confounded, by some opponents with the system of Berkeley. This second edition was afterward reprinted, with only verbal alterations, though considered as somewhat compromising the logic of his speculations; but in the two later editions of Kant's works, by Hartenstein and Rosenkranz, the contents of the first edition are also inserted.
The Kritih der praktischen Vernunft (" Criticism of the Practical Reason," 1788) was intended to give the positive aspect of the new philosophy in relation to God, freedom, and immortality; it is • a further exposition and application of what was given in outline in the "Metaphysics of Ethics," and it contributed to give currency to his system among those who had been repelled by the apparently negative conclusions of the "Criticism of the Pure Reason." Such was the rigor and such the vigor of the ethical scheme propounded, that for a time it swept away the unmanly eudaemonistic ethics and the sentimental systems of morality. Even those who thought they detected an inconsistency between the principles of Kant's "Pure Reason" and of his "Practical Reason," hailed the latter work as containing solid proofs of the real being of those supersensible objects which the critical idealism seemed to have reduced to subjective ideas. Its principles were made the basis of systems of divinity by such theologians as Tieftrunk, Staudlin, Ammon, and somewhat later by Gabler and Wegscheider. The ethical element, the "categorical imperative," was held as the one fixed and saving point in the midst of the jarring and opposite principles of the different schools in philosophy and theology; and this led to that rationalism, on a moral basis, which for a long time characterized German theology, a very different form of rationalism from the one which subsequently prevailed.
To these works, in 1790, Kant added his " Criticism of the Judgment," which developed more fully the principles of the metaphysics of the natural sciences, and supplemented many positions in his other treatises, besides giving hints, and opening points of view, which were afterward used by those disposed to go beyond the principles of the critical philosophy. - With this work closed the productive metaphysical period of Kant's philosophic career. He was now 66 years old. In nine years he had put forth, in rapid succession, a series of works which revived the slumbering activity of German philosophy; combated equally the abstractions of the dogmatist and the doubts of the skeptic; set forth the transcendental grounds and elements of knowledge, and thus laid the foundation for a new metaphysics; and planted moral science upon a definite basis, giving it fixed and universal formulas, which already began to affect the construction of the science of Christian theology. His subsequent writings form, according to his own statement, the practical period of his career, applying to different special sciences the principles he had elaborated.
His philosophy was already expounded by Kiesewetter in Berlin, Schmid in Jena, Jakob in Halle, Born in Leipsic, and many others in different parts of Germany. Its more definite conflict with the orthodox theology was aroused by the publication of his essays on " Religion within the Bounds of Mere Reason," contributed to the Berlin Monatsscftrift, then prohibited by the censor (reestablished in 1788), and issued in a volume in 1793. Political influences were also concerned, for Kant was in sympathy with the French revolution. Frederick William II. sent to him a missive indicating his displeasure, and the philosopher was obliged to give a pledge that he would not lecture on religious subjects " so long as he should bo a subject of his majesty," the promise being so worded that he considered himself released from it on the death of that monarch. But he was so irritated by this governmental interference, that in 1794 he gave up all his private lectures, and after 1797 no longer read in the university. In 1797 appeared his "Metaphysics of Ethics," in two parts, viz.: the " Metaphysical Elements of Right" (law), and "of Virtue." The " Strife of the Faculties" (1798) is a review of the controversy about his religious opinions, with the documents concerning it.
His Anthropologic in pragmatischer Hin-sicht (" Anthropology in a Pragmatic Point of View") was published the same year. After this his friends and pupils became the editors of his writings: Jasche of his " Logic " (1800); Rink of his " Physical Geography" (1802) and "Pedagogics" (1803). After his death Politz published his lectures on the philosophy of religion (1817) and on metaphysics (1831), and Starke those on the human race (1831). He was disturbed in his later years by the symptoms of a new phase of speculation in the writings of Fichte (whom he had at first warmly welcomed, and whose work on revelation had been attributed to him), and sent forth an ineffectual protest in 1799; this showed a defect which he himself acknowledged in his power of appreciating other systems. An essay on which, in the decline of his faculties, he was for a long time employed, was found to be unintelligible, or only a repetition of what he had previously said upon the relation of physics to metaphysics. Speculation was already sweeping past the monuments he had reared. - To appreciate the character and position of the critical or transcendental philosophy of Kant, we must start with his own view of what philosophy had previously accomplished, and what he expected from his new method.
In his own interpretation of the matter, it was the critical method which he instituted that formed the primary peculiarity of his scheme. All previous systems had led to dogmatism (Leibnitz and Wolf), or to skepticism (Hume). Dogmatism asserts the equal objective and subjective validity of its principles; metaphysical truths, like mathematical, hold both in reason and in fact. Skepticism, on the other hand, denies the objective validity of a priori truths; thus, for example, Hume could not find in experience anything corresponding to the principle of causality, for sense gives only succession of phenomena; and this truth of causality, says Kant, is only one of a class, to all of which Hume's criticism is equally applicable. Both the dogmatist and the skeptic examine ideas or truths directly, and can never agree. Is there no other way of approaching the matter? Yes, says Kant, there is also the critical method; instead of assuming that our knowledge is determined by the objects, let us see how far the objects are determined by our knowledge.
He compared this method, with a proud consciousness, to that of Copernicus, who, finding that he could not explain the motion of the heavenly bodies by supposing that they revolved around himself, tried whether he could not do better by supposing that he moved and the stars stood still. The true way, then, is to start with a criticism of man's power of knowing. And since man has three prime faculties, reason, will (or impulse to action), and feeling, this criticism must be divided into three main parts: the criticism of the pure reason, the criticism of the practical reason (desire and will), and the criticism of judgment (having respect to feeling, or pleasure and pain). The first of these, however, contains the regulating principles for both the others, and gives the key to the system. The " Criticism of the Pure Reason" was not originally intended to be a system of metaphysics, but rather an inquiry into the possibility of metaphysics; that is, it was critical. As against the skeptic, it was designed to show that there are in the human mind a priori or transcendental elements of knowledge, and that these are found even in the perceptions of sense and the laws of the understanding.
As against the dogmatist, it was also intended to prove that even this transcendental knowledge does not attain with absolute certainty to the nature of things; it can neither demonstrate nor disprove the reality of objects corresponding to the ideas of reason. ("Transcendental " is used by Kant, not in respect to the objects of knowledge, but to the nature of the knowledge, as a priori.) Another, and the strictest mode of stating the question and problem, is this: Are a priori synthetical judgments possible? An analytical judgment is one which simply explicates, in respect to any subject, what is contained in its very notion; it reposes on the principle of identity. But such judgments give us no new knowledge. In a synthetical judgment, on the other hand, something is contained or asserted in the predicate, which is not necessarily implied in the subject; and such judgments extend the bounds of our knowledge. All a posteriori knowledge is of this character; and the metaphysical question is: Are such synthetical judgments also possible a priori? If they are, in any sphere (e. g., mathematics), sensualism is refuted; if they are not in the highest sphere (metaphysics), dogmatism is refuted.
In conducting this inquiry Kant divides the human mind into the three functions of sense, understanding, and reason, and subjects each to a careful criticism. The general scheme, as carried out, is:
I. Doctrine of the transcendental elements of knowledge.
A. Transcendental aesthetics (i. e., perceptions of sense).
B. Transcendental logic.
a. Transcendental analytics (the understanding).
b. Transcendental dialectics (reason, metaphysics). II. The transcendental method.
1. The Transcendental AEsthetics, or the transcendental knowledge involved in the perceptions of sense. In all knowledge there are two elements, the matter and the form. The one is given by experience, the other by the mind. Sensations without ideas are blind; ideas without sensations are empty. The dogmatist ignores the former, the materialist the latter. What is given us in sensation is ordered or arranged by the mind under the two ideas of space and time, which ideas are not the product but the regulators of the sensations. That is, even in respect to the objects of sense, we find the a priori ideas of space and time controlling them; and this knowledge too gives us the possibility of a science, viz., mathematics. But yet this space and time are not forms of the objects of sensation, but the subjective framework in which we put and must put all our sensations. We cannot, then, attain objectively to the knowledge of things as they are in themselves (Dinge an sioh), because those forms by which we know them are subjective.
This denial of the objective validity of space and time is the starting point in the negative results of the "Criticism of the Pure Reason." In the first edition Kant threw out an intimation, withdrawn in the second, that the subject (ego) and things-in-themselves are possibly one and the same substance; this led to the subjective idealism of Fichte. 2. Transcendental Analytics. We pass here from the sense to the understanding, or the power of forming general notions. It is by such notions that we combine and connect what is given in experience. So that the fundamental question here is this: Is a pure science of nature possible? In order to show the possibility of experience, so far as it rests upon pure conceptions of the understanding a priori, we must first represent what belongs to judging generally, and the various states of understanding in the act of judging, in a complete table. For the pure conceptions of the understanding must necessarily run parallel to these states; because such conceptions are nothing more than pure conceptions of intuitions in general, so far as intuitions are determined by one or other of these ways of judging (states of understanding) in themselves (that is, necessarily and universally). Hereby also the a priori principles of the possibility of all experience, as of an objectively valid empirical cognition, will be precisely determined.
These a priori principles Kant called categories of the understanding (applying Aristotle's term in a different sense). These categories, which he brought into connection with (or rather transferred and transformed from) the purely logical categories, are as follows:
Under these 12 categories, or a priori notions of the understanding, we are compelled to bring all our sensible experience. Empty in themselves, they are filled up by phenomena; and they reduce the "rhapsody" of phenomena into order. But what warrants us in pursuing this process - in bringing together such different things as the obscure experience of sensible phenomena and the clear dicta of the understanding? We derive this warrant, says Kant, from the pure intuitions of space and time, in which there is an element common to both. All objective phenomena, and all subjective notions, equally fall under the dominion of these two intuitions, which thus become the schemata by and through which the mind interprets nature. Thus, the world does not give laws to the mind, but the mind rules the world. We cannot even know the external world excepting by and through these a priori conceptions (e. g., substance and time). But at the same time Kant holds with equal tenacity to the position that these judgments of the understanding do not, and cannot, disclose to us the supersensible world; we cannot through them come to the knowledge of things as they are in themselves. He does not deny their real objective being, but says that all we can know about them is through our subjective notions.
He even attributes to them activity and efficiency; they force the mind to distinguish and divine; but still, these objects and what the mind says about them are totally diverse. (This is one of the chief points in which subsequent criticism and speculation have modified the position of the Kantian theory of knowledge, making a more close and vital correspondence between the laws of thought and being in order to avoid the irresistible negative results of this theory.) The general result then of the analytics, as of the aesthetics, is, that what is not in time and space cannot be known by or through the categories; that is, it leads to that form of transcendental idealism which maintains that things-in-theni-selves cannot be known, that only phenomena are known (i. e., known through and by the categories). At the same time Kant is careful to assert that those things-in-themselves have a real existence; and he distinguishes clearly between his system and the idealism of Berkeley on the one hand and that of Leibnitz on the other. Berkeley asserted that we have a knowledge merely of "ideas;" Kant asserts that we have not merely ideas, but ideas of something which is real and independent.
Berkeley said that ideas were connected empirically; Kant says, by a necessity, by law (and hence there can be a science of nature). Kant made, as Berkeley did not, a thorough distinction between the noumena and the phenomena. 3. Transcendental Dialectics. Here we enter upon the proper criticism of the pure or theoretical reason; and here come up the real metaphysical questions. The understanding gives us general notions; the reason, ideas. The three grand ideas with which metaphysics has to do are those of the soul, of the world, and of God, which respectively form the basis of the three sciences, rational psychology, rational cosmology, and theology. By an unnatural method, Kant makes these three ideas correspond respectively with the categorical, hypothetical, and disjunctive syllogisms. He takes a similar course, as we have seen, with the categories of the understanding. The question of the identity of logic and metaphysics is inevitably suggested. The general conclusion of this part of the system is, that these sciences, in the sense of the older dogmatism, are impracticable to reason; but there is still for man a supersensible sphere to be reached and explored in other ways.
In respect to rational psychology, it is the aim of Kant to show that we are not warranted in transferring to the soul, as an objective and immortal existence, those predicates which we apply to it as a matter of subjective consciousness; or, that the abstract demonstration of immortality, from the nature of the soul, involves paralogisms. Rational cosmology (or the sum total of the phenomena of the world, reduced to unity) leaves us in kindred contradiction as to the external world. On purely rational grounds (applying the four categories), we land in absolute antinomies, or contradictions: 1, as to quantity, we can equally prove that the world is limited and unlimited; 2, as to quality, that its elements are both simple and infinitely divisible; 3, as to relation, that it is caused by a free act, or by an infinite series of mechanical causes; 4, as to modality, that it has an independent cause, and that its parts are only mutually dependent. These antinomies, as thus developed by Kant, bring out distinctly the contrast between the infinite and the finite, between the absolute and the relative. The force of them consists in viewing the world, on the one hand, as related to the infinite and absolute; on the other hand, as related to the finite and relative.
Kant's solution of them is found in his position, that the categories have subjective but not objective validity. But the antinomy in each case results from applying to one and the same subject (viz., the world) at the same time both infinite and finite properties, making it both absolute and relative, which of course involves us in contradictions. These antinomies show us that reason is weak in constructing the relation between the infinite and finite, between the absolute and relative; but not that reason may not know the real being of both. In the same manner, in his "Rational Theology," the various proofs of the being of God are discussed, and shown to be invalid, viz., the onto-logical, the cosmological, and the physico-theo-logical. The ontological argument confounds an analytic with a synthetic judgment; the cosmological is only another form of the ontological; and the physico-theological does not prove the perfection or infinitude of the Deity. Thus on grounds of pure reason, in relation to our highest ideas, we are left in the position of being unable to demonstrate their objective validity. Yet still they are "postulates," "necessary illusions;" we are obliged to take them as " regulative " principles.
We cannot prove them, nor yet can the materialist or skeptic disprove them; that is, theoretically, we can neither admit nor deny them. This criticism does not lead, he claims, to skepticism; it only shows us the bounds of reason; in fact, it carries us over into that sphere where reason has an authentic and decisive voice, that is, the sphere of the practical reason-, the sphere of final causes or ends. Thus may be solved, for practical purposes, the problems which to the pure reason are simply insoluble. The methodology, which forms the second chief part of this " Criticism of the Pure Reason," gives the rule by which reason may and ought to be guided, so that it shall not, for example, apply mathematics to incongruous subjects, nor confound the theoretical and the practical. - In the second of Kant's criticisms, that of the "Practical Reason," the unsolved problems are taken up under a different and positive point of view. His works on the "Metaphysics of Morals" and the "Metaphysical Elements of Law and of Virtue" are devoted to the same general theme.
His general position is this: theoretical or pure reason gives us certain postulates, which on merely theoretical grounds cannot be proved to have a valid being; or, in other words, it gives certain problems as to the soul and its immortality, as to the unity of the cosmos, and as to the being of God, which it cannot itself resolve. But where theoretical reason is silent, practical reason speaks with authority. The sphere of this practical reason is the will; and here is where reason unfolds its whole power and signifi-cancy. The practical reason is thus the highest spiritual power in man; it has the "primacy " over all the others, even over the pure reason. This practical reason or will now acts, and must act, according to certain laws or principles. Some of these principles are merely subjective, or "maxims;" others have an imperative character or universal validity. These make the " categorical imperative," which is the decisive word in Kant's ethical theory. The moral law is such a categorical imperative; and this is a dictate of reason itself; the so-called moral sense is not the source, but the product, of this superior moral law.
The formula of this moral law is: "Act only on such a maxim as may also be a universal law;" or, "Act in reference to rational beings (thyself and others) as if they were ends in and for themselves, and not as if they were mere means to an end." If, now, we know and are under such an absolute law, then we must be free; such a law is possible for us only as we are free in the strictest or transcendental sense. This is the " autonomy " of the will; it is a law unto itself; what I ought to do I must be able to do. If the moral law be real, freedom must be real; and that freedom which the pure reason left as a problem is thus proved to be a reality. Still further: if there be such a moral law, there must be a moral world, and in that world the highest good must be brought about by means of the moral law. But as a matter of fact, we find that each individual is still imperfect, under the dominion of sense; that virtue is never fully realized here. But it ought to be, it must be realized; and this realization can only be effected in an endless duration of the soul; the soul, then, must be immortal. Yet again, perfect happiness is essential to the highest good; but this happiness can only be realized when nature and morality are in entire harmony and unison.
As a matter of fact they are not so; but yet they ought to be, and they must be. There must then be some power above both nature and moral agents, to connect the two together, to make virtue and happiness coincide. That is, there must be a God. Whatever may be thought of the validity of these arguments, the results contributed to give currency to the Kantian system among those who were repelled by the negative character of the deductions on the grounds of pure reason. A basis seemed to be laid for a practical and living faith in God, freedom, and immortality. The moral element attained such supremacy as in no antecedent system. But we must pass to another work of Kant's to see the use which he makes of these positions in relation to the highest objects of belief; that is, his "Religion within the Bounds of Mere Reason." Morality leads to religion. The three "Criticisms" of Kant all end with the idea of God. But religion as given in history contains elements which cannot be directly deduced from ethics. How much, now, of revelation (which he grants to be possible) can be confirmed by reason? 1. There is a "radical evil" in human nature; and this is not physical but moral. This precedes all actual sin.
How can this be explained? All sin must be one's own act; and yet this moral evil is before act. The difficulty can be solved only by assuming a " timeless and intelligible act." This is the inborn, radical, yet still self-produced and guilty corruption of man. (Here is the basis for the subsequent speculations of Schelling on freedom, and of Julius Muller and others on the origin of sin.) As there is this evil in us, so in order to have virtue there must also be " a total revolution," which "may be called a new birth or a new creation;" though that this must strictly be of grace cannot be shown. 2. A reconciliation of man with God can be effected only through such a change of heart; this reconciliation is symbolized in the person and work of Christ. In Scripture, Christ represents the agony of repentance; to put on Christ is equivalent to the new life; justification means that God accepts this change of heart in view of its future fruits. 3. The victory of the good over the evil principle is seen in.the kingdom of God; in the church as a visible institution. This church has the four characteristics of unity, purity, freedom, and immutability. The positive rites of this church are valuable as aids to human weakness.
But in the progress of the race the faith of the church will be supplanted by a purely rational faith. The essence of the Christian revelation is found in its moral precepts; all else has only a partial and transient worth. The mysteries of religion are valuable so far as they help the life; but they make no real addition to knowledge. The Trinity means that God should be worshipped in view of his threefold moral qualities, holiness, goodness, and justice, which are specifically different from each other. Thus, in this allegorizing method, Christianity as a rational religion is reduced to a mere theory of morals. Kant first began that construction of the truths of religion which in the later transcendentalism produced so many philosophies of religion of a much more comprehensive character. Schlei-ermacher disentangled the proper religious from the merely moral element; and Hegel, even in the mysteries of Christianity, found the same truths in the form of faith which his speculative system expounded in the form of philosophy. - In the third of Kant's " Criticisms," that on the " Power of Judgment," he attempts an investigation of the feelings, corresponding to that of the reason in his " Criticism of the Pure Reason," and to that of the desires (or will) in the "Practical Reason." Here, too, he advances beyond the limits of transcendental idealism, and hence this treatise became a starting point for subsequent explorers.
The object of the work is to span the chasm between metaphysics (theoretical reason) and ethics (practical reason). Just as feeling (or pleasure and pain) stands between, mediates between reason and the will, so the faculty of judgment, which relates to the feelings, is to mediate between the theoretical and practical reason. This reconciliation is effected by means of the idea of a final cause or design. This idea is found equally in the two spheres subjected to the faculty of judgment, viz.: that of aesthetics, and that of teleology, or final causes in nature. 1. Aesthetics has to do with the beautiful and the sublime. The beautiful has no real existence in nature; it is the harmony between the imagination and the understanding. The sublime is an attempt to lay hold of the vast in nature; it does not exist in nature, but in the soul, struggling toward the infinite. The highest aspect of aesthetics is as a symbol of moral good. 2. Teleology. The objects of nature are all shaped for some design or end. Such instances of design are of two kinds, external and internal. Mere external adaptations might be the result of mechanism; not so the adaptations or designs which we find in organized beings.
Here all the parts are both means and ends; no mechanical law, but only a rational designer, can explain this. Nature cannot be understood excepting on this principle. By this principle of a design immanent in nature, Kant passed the boundaries of a merely subjective idealism, to which other parts of his system were always tending. Fichte developed it on the subjective side; Schelling restored nature, or the objective, to its rights. The latter (Philosophische Schrif-ten, i. 114) says that " there were perhaps never so many deep thoughts compressed in so few leaves as in § 76 of the ' Criticism of the Judgment.' " - Besides his larger works and essays, Kant also wrote many minor treatises, sufficient to have made a literary reputation for most men. In 1784 he published an essay entitled "Ideas about Universal History in a Cosmopolitan Point of View;" and in 1795 a "Project of Perpetual Peace." A severe review in 1785 of Herder's "Philosophy of History," called out the Metakritih of that philosopher; Herder was too cautious, courtly, and vague to suit the views of the rigid moralist and metaphysician. The end of the history" of the world, according to Kant, is the formation of the most perfect state constitution. Man, though free, is still bound to nature, and exists as a race.
Every generation is a means of educating and developing the next generation; and man in the use of his freedom makes the powers of nature subservient to humanity. Perpetual peace among the nations can be insured only by a federation of free states. Publicity is necessary to political life and the highest good and progress of the state. The human race, as a whole, he contends, is in a constant progress to a better state. In later times this is proved by the general sympathy in the French revolution. (This is contained in his work on the "Strife of the Faculties.") Morals will penetrate more and more into political life, and shape the destiny of the race. - This rapid and condensed outline of the works of Immanuel Kant, though necessarily imperfect, may be sufficient to show the comprehensiveness and subtlety with which he penetrated into the most abstruse regions of thought. The influence of his speculations began to be felt at the same time that the French revolution was changing the face of Europe, and when old chaos seemed to have again revisited the earth. Materialism was predominant in France; in Scotland, Reid was combating skepticism on the principles of common sense; and an abstract dogmatism ruled the German mind.
Here was a philosopher who, with unmatched analytic and synthetic powers, came forward to show to each previous and prevalent system its metes and bounds. Against the materialist and the skeptic, he proved that the mind had its a priori principles of knowledge; against the dogmatist, he maintained that the sphere of the supersensible, though a reality, is not disclosed to positive thought. He proved that empiricism is right so far as it asserts that the matter of our ideas is drawn from without, but wrong so far as it implies that their form can also there be found. And he is allied with the principle of the common-sense philosophy in ascribing an absolute validity to those moral ideas by which life is and must be guided. The utterances of this practical reason are true and valid, whatever may be the difficulties of the theoretical reason. We must live and act in view of God, freedom, and immortality. His philosophy became the starting point for the most remarkable development of speculation since the days of the Greeks. German speculation was thoroughly quickened. Those who opposed Kant and those who espoused his views equally acknowledged his greatness. Reinhold at first defended, and then modified his system. Schulze, Beck, and Bardili tried to bring it into more popular forms.
Krug wrote a new "Organon," and Fries a new "Criticism of the Reason." Hamann, Herder, and Jacobi developed their systems, which made faith the basis of philosophy, with constant reference to the principles of Kant. Herbart's positive philosophy claimed to have the true key to the Kantian metaphysics. Fichte unfolded his subjective idealism as the only logical result of the critical philosophy. And even in some of the latest products of German speculation there are not wanting attempts to show that Kant has not been superseded by any of his successors. - As a teacher of philosophy in the university, the object of Kant was, as he himself declares, not so much to give a system as to habituate his pupils to self-reflection. The teacher should not give thoughts, but lead to thought; he should not carry, but guide, his hearers; and hence the profounder parts of his system were rarely expounded to his classes. He was very simple in his whole style of lecturing. His voice was feeble, and only gradually rose with his subject. A few notes on bits of paper, or text books marked in the margin, were his materials.
He always began on a subject as if thinking it out for himself; announced his topic, gave provisional explanations, illustrated it in a great variety of aspects, and thus led his hearers along with him. He despised all the arts of the rhetorician. In developing his ethical theory he often rose to the highest degree of moral earnestness, speaking to the soul against all selfishness and in favor of liberty; and then he seemed, says one of his hearers, "as if inspired by a divine flame." To aid his thoughts he would fix his attention closely on some one auditor, and judge by him whether he was understood. Once a button on a student's coat, which he had made his fixed point of vision, being lost, disconcerted the philosopher and interrupted the lecture. A tower on which he used to gaze in his reveries at home having become hidden by the growth of trees, he could not rest until the foliage was cut away. He was always kind to the students, but from principle would not remit their fees, lest they might lose their sense of independence. Tempting offers were made to him to quit Konigsberg (a double salary at Halle in 1778 by his friend the minister Von Zedlitz), but he did not care for the money, and disliked all change. In fact, he never went more than 40 miles from his native city.
In his person he was slightly built, not much over five feet in height; his chest was hollow, and his right shoulder, like that of Schleiermacher, projected much above the other. His features were fine and delicate; his complexion was light; his blue eyes expressed animation and kindness; a high and broad forehead indicated his thoughtful and speculative turn; and the lower part of the countenance showed a tenacious vitality. - The external life of the philosopher, who was thus probing the depths of human consciousness, was one of the utmost regularity and simplicity. The "sage of Konigsberg" pursued his daily avocations in as fixed a routine as that of the humblest artisan or workman. In fact, it almost seems as if his definite theory of morals shaped his whole career. He was never married; metaphysics was the passion of his soul. Summer and winter he rose at 5 o'clock in the morning, not once failing to do so for 30 years. Two hours were spent in study, and two in lectures; and then he studied and wrote till his early dinner at 1 o'clock. This meal was the great event of the day; and he ate it leisurely, almost always in the society of friends.
After dinner he would walk for an hour or two, spend the evening in society or lighter reading, revise his lectures for the next day, and be in bed before 10 o'clock. In general society in his earlier life he was sometimes odd, but also genial and animated. He was a capital listener, and dexterous in drawing out the knowledge of others; but he could tell a good story, and commented on all matters of literary, philosophical, or political interest, with freedom and thoughtfulness. Often a curt phrase, a satirical remark, or a sally of wit would prevent or close a long discussion. In general literature his reading was very large; the English and French classics were familiar to him; and of all writers perhaps he was most fond of Rousseau, whose portrait was the only one that adorned his plain mansion. Of poetry he was never enamored, though a great admirer of Milton's "Paradise Lost." In the history of philosophy he was less versed than in many other parts of literature; considering, in fact, dogmatism, skepticism, and his own system to contain about all that could be well said on speculative matters. Kant was warmly enlisted in all that concerned the general interests of humanity and of justice.
In his political views he sympathized with the most thoughtful spirits of the age. "Liberty, law, and public power are the elements of all social life. Law and liberty without power are anarchy; law and force without liberty make a despotism; force alone is barbarism; liberty and law, joined with force, make the republic, the only good civil constitution, which is not necessarily a democracy." He was opposed to involuntary servitude, and to a hereditary nobility. Man, he says, is born free. His great political idea was that there must be a separation of the powers in the state in order to a true social order. Princes he held to be for the people, and not the people for princes. He was also a zealous advocate of the freedom of opinion and the freedom of the press. "Liberty of thought is nothing without the liberty of speech and of writing. ... To take away the power of freely expressing opinions is to deprive us of the only remedy for the evils which afflict humanity. . . . The prohibition of books of science and of pure theory is an offence against mankind." In his religious views, the feeling of pure obligation, of an inexorable duty, was paramount; in fact, the sense of duty was so strong as to leave little room for the religious sentiments.
His ethical theory made obligation supreme, and left to the affections a subordinate place. His moral formulas are abstract; love was not to him the chief of the virtues. He was the stoic of the 18th century. His general theory of religion, too, was abstract; nor did the positive truths of Christianity as a redemptive system modify either his metaphysical or ethical theories. He gave to German rationalism a strong impulse, in making the merely moral element supreme. So far as he could, he modelled his own life upon the principles of a rigid code of ethics. He abhorred all deceit and lying; he was upright and honest in the minutest matters; every day, every hour had its appointed work. "Whoever will tell me of a good action left undone, him will I thank, though it be in the last hour of life." And in the last hour of his life he could say: "My friends, I do not fear death; I assure you before God, that if I was sure of being called away this night, I could raise my hands to heaven, and say, God be praised! " No one who has lived long in the world, he used to say, would be willing on any account to begin and live his life over again. He was benevolent from principle, often giving away nearly as much as the sum required by his own frugal household.
Strict economy enabled him to lay up enough for a comfortable old age. Though a warm friend, he did not like to visit those who were sick, nor to talk about the dead. He was most careful of his own life and health; by rigid rules he kept his frail body in tolerable health, never having had a severe illness till worn out by advanced age. In 1802 his powers began to fail rapidly, and he permitted a physician to be summoned. He had frequent falling fits; his sight gradually became dim; his conversation was often incoherent. A few days before his death, he thanked his medical adviser, adding, "I have not yet lost my feeling for humanity." - The best editions of Kant's works are that of Hartenstein (10 vols., Leipsic, 1838-'9), of which a second improved edition in 8 vols, appeared in 1867-'9; that of Schubert and Ro-senkranz (11 vols., Leipsic, 1840-'42); and that of J. H. von Kirchmann, forming part of the Philosophische Biblioihek (Berlin, 1868-'74). The second contains a full biography by Schubert, and a " History of the Kantian Philosophy" by Rosenkranz. Kirchmann's edition also contains a biography, and an able analysis of the whole Kantian system, with introductory dissertations on each of Kant's works.
His life was written in 1804 by Borowsky, and by Jachmann in letters; his last years were described by Wasiansky (1804). G. S. A. Mellin published an "Encycloptedic Dictionary of the Kantian Philosophy " (6 vols., 1797). His philosophy was introduced into Holland in 1792 by Paulus van Hemert, and there elucidated by Van Bosch in 1798, and Kirker in 1800. Schmid and Phiseldek published an exposition of it at Copenhagen, 1796-'8. It was also taught in Hungary and Poland. In Italy it was criticised by Galuppi in 1819, and later by both Rosmini and Gioberti. Montovani published in 1822 a Traduzione della Critica della ragionepura diKant; Testa, in 1843-9, an Esame e discussione of the same; Eoggero, an analysis in his Storia della filosojia da Car-tesio a Kant (1869); and Villa another, in his Kant e Rosmini (1869). Spaventa's Filosojia di Kant e sua relazione colla filosofia italia-na (1860) is also an able work. Charles Vil-lers published a valuable essay on Kant in French in 1801; Destutt de Tracy commented on his metaphysics before the academy; De Gerando in his " Comparative History " (1804), and Mme, de Stael in her "Germany" (1813), gave a fuller account of it.
The best French account is in J. Willm's "History of German Philosophy" (4 vols., 1846-9), a work crowned by the French academy; the first volume and half of the second are taken up with the critical philosophy. Charles de Remusat in 1847 wrote a valuable report on this " History" for the academy of moral and political sciences. Victor Cousin's analysis, which appeared in 1842 under the title Lecons de philosophic sur Kant, and since the fourth edition (1863) as Philosophie de Kant, has been translated into English by Henderson (London, 1853; new ed., 1871). J. Tissot has translated into French the "Pure Reason" (2d ed., 1845), "Logic" (1840), "Metaphysics of Law" (2d ed., 1853) and "of Morals" (3d ed., 1854), the " Metaphysics," edited by Politz (1843), and "Anthropology" (1854). Trullard in 1841 gave a French version of " Religion within the Bounds of Reason;" Barni in 1846 of the "Criticism of the Judgment," and in 1848 of that of the "Practical Reason," besides a critical examination of these works (1850 and 1851), and the "Metaphysical Elements of Law," with the " Project on Perpetual Peace " (1855). Born published in Latin Kantii Opera (3 vols., Leipsic, 1796); Kunhardt, a Latin version of the " Prolegomena to every future System of Metaphysics" (Ilelmstedt, 1797); and G. L. Konig, Elementa Ethica (Gotha, 1800). The first English work on Kant was a " General and Introductory View," by Nitzsch (London, 1796). Others are: J. S. Beck (translated by an auditor), " Principles of the Critical Philosophy" (London, 1798); Willich's " Elements of the Critical Philosophy " (London, 1798); "Kant's Essays and Treatises" (2 vols., 1798); Wirgman's "Principles of the Kantesian Philosophy " (1824); J. W. Semple, " Kant's Metaphysics of Ethics " (1837); John Richardson, "Metaphysical Works of Kant" (" Logic," " Prolegomena to Metaphysics," "Proofs of God's Existence," and "Theodicy," 8vo, London, 1836; printed in 1819); an "Analysis of Kant's Critick of Pure Reason," by the translator of that work (8vo, London, 1844; the translation appeared in 1841). Another and better version of the " Critique of the Pure Reason," by M. D. Meiklejohn, was published in Bohn's " Philosophical Library " (1855). An account of his system is given in J. D. Morell's " Historical and Critical View of the Speculative Philosophy of the Nineteenth Century " (last ed., 1856), with which may be compared Wirgman in the " Encyclopaedia Londinensis," and the article in the " Encyclopaedia Britannica." Among recent German works may be mentioned Kuno Fischer's 1m-manuel Kant: Entwichelungsgeschichte and System der kritischen Philosophie (Mannheim, 1860); Paul, Kant's Lehre torn idealen Chris-tus (Kiel, 1869); Grapengiesser, Kants Lehre von Raum und Zeit (Jena, 1870); Wolf, Die Metaphysische Grundanschauung Kant's (Leipsic, 1870); Zimmermann, Ueber Kant's mathe-matisches Vorurtheil (Vienna, 1871); Witte, Beitrdge zur Verstandniss Kants (Berlin, 1874); and H6lder, Darstellung der Kanti-schen Erkenntnisstheorie, mit besonderer Be-riicksichtigung der verschiedenen Fassungen der transscendentalen Deduction der Katego-rien (Tubingen, 1874). An excellent collection of the most striking passages in Kant's works, designed for general readers, is Frauenstedt's Immanuel Kant: Lichtstrahlen aus seinen Wer-Tcen, mit einer Biographie und Gharahteristik Kants (Leipsic, 1872). Among general histories of philosophy containing adequate accounts are those by Mirbt, Rosenkranz, Chalybaus, Ritter, Erdmann, and the more recent ones, Ueberweg's Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie (Berlin, 1862-6; Eng. translation, New York, 1871-'3), and Kirchner and Dtih-ring's Kritische Geschichte der Philosophie (Berlin, 1869). The most recent works of special value to English students are Mahaffy's " Kant's Critical Philosophy for English Readers " (London, 1871 et seq.), Abbott's " Kant's Theory of Ethics, or Practical Philosophy" (London, 1873), and Monck's " Introduction to the Critical Philosophy" (Dublin, 1874).