Chapter Two: Immanuel Kant¶s Theory of Knowledge
After a thorough study of the works of Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza (Continentalrationalists) on one hand, and Locke, Berkeley and Hume (British empiricists) on the other handas well as other philosophers before him, Kant¶s study of philosophy and metaphysics eventuallyled him to ask one question: ³How do we know that metaphysics, as a pure science, is valid?´.This question, and his search for the ability to do logically valid philosophy, led Kant to publishone of his two most famous works, ³The Critique of Pure Reason´. In this volume where hisepistemology lies, Kant deals with questions about how science is possible, what makesmathematics work, and whether the same reasoning can be applied successfully to philosophy,specifically metaphysics. His answers to these questions led a new groundwork for philosophyand gave startling insights into how we perceive the world around us and how nature works.
Immanuel Kant¶s Life and Works
Immanuel Kant was born on April 22, 1724, in Konigsberg, East Prussia, Germany. Hewas the second son, and the sixth of nine children, born to Johann Georg Kant, a humble saddler (or leather-worker) of very modest means, and Anna Regina Reuter, daughter of a member of thesame saddler's guild.
He was the child of poor but devout followers of Pietism, a Lutheranrevival movement stressing love and good works, simplicity of worship, and individual access toGod. Kant's promise was recognized by the Pietist minister Franz Albert Schultz, and hereceived a free education at the Pietist gymnasium. At sixteen, Kant entered the University of Königsberg, where he studied mathematics, physics, philosophy, theology, and classical Latinliterature. His leading teacher was Martin Knutzen (1713-51), who introduced him to bothWolffian philosophy and Newtonian physics, and who inspired some of Kant's own later views
Graham Bird, p. 10.