Quotes by Immanuel Kant

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

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. more...

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

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

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. more...

Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness. more...

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. more...

Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination. more...

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

To be is to do. more...

Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without the guidance of another. more...

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

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

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. more...

Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind. more...

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

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

It is not God's will merely that we should be happy, but that we should make ourselves happy. more...

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? more...

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

So act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world. more...

Nothing is divine but what is agreeable to reason. more...

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. more...

By a lie, a man... annihilates his dignity as a man. more...

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

One who makes himself a worm cannot complain afterwards if people step on him. more...

An action, to have moral worth, must be done from duty. more...

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. Morality is not properly the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness. more...

Maturity is having the courage to use one's own intelligence! more...

Look closely. The beautiful may be small. more...

Space and time are the framework within which the mind is constrained to construct its experience of reality. more...

Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. more...

Reason must approach nature in order to be taught by it. It must not, however, do so in the character of a pupil who listens to everything that the teacher chooses to say, but of an appointed judge who compels the witness to answer questions which he has himself formulated. more...

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. more...

Reason can never prove the existence of God. more...

The light dove, cleaving the air in her free flight, and feeling its resistance, might imagine that its flight would be still easier in empty space. more...

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

The light dove, in free flight cutting through the air the resistance of which it feels, could get the idea that it could do even better in airless space. Likewise, Plato abandoned the world of the senses because it posed so many hindrances for the understanding, and dared to go beyond it on the wings of the ideas, in the empty space of pure understanding. more...

Always treat people as ends in themselves, never as means to an end. more...

Have the courage to use your own reason- That is the motto of enlightenment. "Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals" (1785) more...

Rules for Happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for. more...

The busier we are, the more acutely we feel that we live, the more conscious we are of life. more...

We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without. more...

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

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

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

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. more...

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.' more...

Ingratitude is the essence of vileness. more...

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

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

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

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

What can I know? What ought I to do? What can I hope? more...

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. more...

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. more...

No-one can compel me to be happy in accordance with his conception of the welfare of others, for each may seek his happiness in whatever way he sees fit, so long as he does not infringe upon the freedom of others to pursue a similar end which can be reconciled with the freedom of everyone else within a workable general law ? i.e. he must accord to others the same right as he enjoys himself. more...

Human freedom is realised in the adoption of humanity as an end in itself, for the one thing that no-one can be compelled to do by another is to adopt a particular end. - 'Metaphysical Principles of Virtue more...

Ours is an age of criticism, to which everything must be subjected. more...

Perpetual Peace is only found in the graveyard. more...

Our intellect does not draw its laws from nature, but it imposes its laws upon nature. more...

In every department of physical science there is only so much science, properly so-called, as there is mathematics. more...

It is precisely in knowing its limits that philosophy consists. more...

[Aristotle formal logic thus far (1787)] has not been able to advance a single step, and hence is to all appearances closed and completed. more...

The sum total of all possible knowledge of God is not possible for a human being, not even through a true revelation. But it is one of the worthiest inquiries to see how far our reason can go in the knowledge of God. more...

The schematicism by which our understanding deals with the phenomenal world ... is a skill so deeply hidden in the human soul that we shall hardly guess the secret trick that Nature here employs. more...

How then is perfection to be sought? Wherein lies our hope? In education, and in nothing else. more...

Each according to his own way of seeing things, seek one goal, that is gratification. more...

Innocence is indeed a glorious thing; but, unfortunately, it does not keep very well and is easily led astray. more...

THERE ARE TWO THINGS that don't have to mean anything, one is music and the other is laughter. more...

If justice perishes, human life on Earth has lost its meaning. more...

Reason should investigate its own parameters before declaring its omniscience. more...

Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt more...

Enlightenment is man's leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without the guidance of another. Such immaturity is self-caused if it is not caused by lack of intelligence, but by lack of determination and courage to use one's intelligence without being guided by another. Sapere Aude! Have the courage to use your own intelligence! is therefore the motto of the enlightenment... more...

Do what is right, though the world may perish. more...

Physicians think they are doing something for you by labeling what you have as a disease more...

There is something splendid about innocence; but what is bad about it, in turn, is that it cannot protect itself very well and is easily seduced. more...

Law And Freedom without Violence (Anarchy) Law And Violence without Freedom (Despotism) Violence without Freedom And Law (Barbarism) Violence with Freedom And Law (Republic) more...

Dare to know! Have the courage to use your own intelligence! more...

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above and the moral law within. more...

All appearances have a determinate magnitude (the relation of which to another assignable). The infinite does not appear as such, likewise not the simple. For the appearances are included between two boundaries (points) and are thus themselves determinate magnitudes. more...

All appearances are real and negatio; sophistical: All reality must be sensation. more...

Arrogance is, as it were, a solicitation on the part of one seeking honor for followers, whom he thinks he is entitled to treat with contempt. more...

Aristotle can be regarded as the father of logic. But his logic is too scholastic, full of subtleties, and fundamentally has not been of much value to the human understanding. It is a dialectic and an organon for the art of disputation. more...

Since the narrower or wider community of the peoples of the earth has developed so far that a violation of rights in one place is felt throughout the world, the idea of a cosmopolitan right is not fantastical, high-flown or exaggerated notion. It is a complement to the unwritten code of the civil and international law, necessary for the public rights of mankind in general and thus for the realization of perpetual peace. more...

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. more...

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

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. more...

Is it reasonable to assume a purposiveness in all the parts of nature and to deny it to the whole? more...

A philosophical attempt to work out a universal history according to a natural plan directed to achieving the civic union of the human race must be regarded as possible and, indeed, as contributing to this end of Nature. more...

Psychologists have hitherto failed to realize that imagination is a necessary ingredient of perception itself. more...

All our knowledge falls with the bounds of experience. more...

Philosophical knowledge is the knowledge gained by reason from concepts ; mathematical knowledge is the knowledge gained by reason from the construction of concepts. more...

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). more...

Christianity possesses the great advantage over Judaism of being represented as coming from the mouth of the first Teacher not as a statutory but as a moral religion, and as thus entering into the closest relation with reason so that, through reason, it was able of itself, without historical learning, to be spread at all times and among all peoples with the greatest trustworthiness. more...

The evil effect of science upon men is principally this, that by far the greatest number of those who wish to display a knowledge of it accomplish no improvement at all of the understanding, but only a perversity of it, not to mention that it serves most of them as a tool of vanity. more...

In the metaphysical elements of aesthetics the various nonmoral feelings are to be made use of; in the elements of moral metaphysics the various moral feelings of men, according to the differences in sex, age, education, and government, of races and climates, are to be employed. more...

In the natural state no concept of God can arise, and the false one which one makes for himself is harmful. Hence the theory of natural religion can be true only where there is no science; therefore it cannot bind all men together. more...

Aus so krummen Holze, als woraus der Mensch gemacht ist, kann nichts ganz Gerades gezimmert werden. Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing can ever be made. more...

Ich solle niemals anders verfahren, als so, dass ich auch wollen k o nne, meine Maxime solle ein allgemeines Gesetz werden. I ought never to act except in such a way that I can also will that my maxim should become a universal law. more...

Nature does nothing in vain, and in the use of means to her goals she is not prodigal. Her giving to man reason and the freedom of the will which depends upon it is clear indication of her purpose. Man accordingly was not to be guided by instinct, not nurtured and instructed with ready-made knowledge; rather, he should bring forth everything out of his own resources. more...

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. more...

Even if a civil society were to be dissolved by the consent of all its members (e.g., if a people inhabiting an island decided to separate and disperse throughout the world), the last murderer remaining in prison would first have to be executed, so that each has done to him what his deeds deserve and blood guilt does not cling to the people for not having insisted upon this punishment; for otherwise the people can be regarded as collaborators in his public violation of justice. more...

Perhaps a revolution can overthrow autocratic despotism and profiteering or power-grabbing oppression, but it can never truly reform a manner of thinking; instead, new prejudices, just like the old ones they replace, will serve as a leash for the great unthinking mass. more...

Moral Teleology supplies the deficiency in physical Teleology , and first establishes a Theology ; because the latter, if it did not borrow from the former without being observed, but were to proceed consistently, could only found a Demonology , which is incapable of any definite concept. more...

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. more...

For peace to reign on Earth, humans must evolve into new beings who have learned to see the whole first. more...

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. I do not seek or conjecture either of them as if they were veiled obscurities or extravagances beyond the horizon of my vision; I see them before me and connect them immediately with the consciousness of my existence." more...

Beneficence is a duty. He who frequently practices it, and sees his benevolent intentions realized, at length comes really to love him to whom he has done good. When, therefore, it is said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," it is not meant, thou shalt love him first and do him good in consequence of that love, but, thou shalt do good to thy neighbor; and this thy beneficence will engender in thee that love to mankind which is the fulness and consummation of the inclination to do good. more...

Freedom in the practical sense is the independence of the power of choice from necessitation by impulses of sensibility more...

cruelty to animals is contrary to man's duty to himself, because it deadens in him the feeling of sympathy for their sufferings, and thus a natural tendency that is very useful to morality in relation to other human beings is weakened. more...

If, like Hume, I had all manner of adornment in my power, I would still have reservations about using them. It is true that some readers will be scared off by dryness. But isn't it necessary to scare off some if in their case the matter would end up in bad hands? more...

[R]eason is... given to us as a practical faculty, that is, as one that influences the will.... more...

[S]uppose the mind of [a] friend of humanity were clouded over with his own grief, extinguishing all sympathetic participation in the fate of others; he still has the resources to be beneficent to those suffering distress, but the distress of others does not touch him because he is sufficiently busy with his own; and now, where no inclination any longer stimulates him to it, he tears himself out of his deadly insensibility and does the action without any inclination, solely from duty. more...

The greatest human quest is to know what one must do in order to become a human being. more...

Ours is an age of criticism, to which everything must be subjected. The sacredness of religion, and the authority of legislation, are by many regarded as grounds for exemption from the examination by this tribunal, But, if they are exempted, and cannot lay claim to sincere respect, which reason accords only to that which has stood the test of a free and public examination. more...

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe... more...

If you punish a child for being naughty, and reward him for being good, he will do right merely for the sake of the reward; and when he goes out into the world and finds that goodness is not always rewarded, nor wickedness always punished, he will grow into a man who only thinks about how he may get on in the world, and does right or wrong according as he finds advantage to himself. more...

The death of dogma is the birth of morality. more...

It is through education that all the good in the world arises. more...

Democracy is necessarily despotism, as it establishes an executive power contrary to the general will; all being able to decide against one whose opinion may differ, the will of all is therefore not that of all: which is contradictory and opposite to liberty. more...

The ultimate destiny of the human race is the greatest moral perfection, provided that it is achieved through human freedom, whereby alone man is capable of the greatest happiness. more...

Give me matter, and I will construct a world out of it! more...

We find that the more a cultivated reason devotes itself to the aim of enjoying life and happiness, the further does man get away from true contentment. more...

The inscrutable wisdom through which we exist is not less worthy of veneration in respect to what it denies us than in respect to what it has granted. more...

Why were a few, or a single one, made at all, if only to exist in order to be made eternally miserable, which is infinitely worse than non-existence? more...

I am an investigator by inclination. I feel a great thirst for knowledge. more...

The bad thing of war is, that it makes more evil people than it can take away. more...

Often war is waged only in order to show valor; thus an inner dignity is ascribed to war itself, and even some philosophers have praised it as an ennoblement of humanity, forgetting the pronouncement of the Greek who said, 'War is an evil in as much as it produces more wicked men than it takes away.' more...

One cannot avoid a certain feeling of disgust, when one observes the actions of man displayed on the great stage of the world. Wisdom is manifested by individuals here and there; but the web of human history as a whole appears to be woven from folly and childish vanity, often, too, from puerile wickedness and love of destruction: with the result that at the end one is puzzled to know what idea to form of our species which prides itself so much on its advantages. more...

To be beneficent when we can is a duty; and besides this, there are many minds so sympathetically constituted that, without any other motive of vanity or self-interest, they find a pleasure in spreading joy around them, and can take delight in the satisfaction of others so far as it is their own work. But I maintain that in such a case an action of this kind, however proper, however amiable it may be, has nevertheless no true moral worth, but is on a level with other inclinations. . . . For the maxim lacks the moral import, namely, that such actions be done from duty, not from inclination. more...

Deaths, births, and marriages, considering how much they are separately dependent on the freedom of the human will, should seem to be subject to no law according to which any calculation could be made beforehand of their amount; and yet the yearly registers of these events in great countries prove that they go on with as much conformity to the laws of nature as the oscillations of the weather. more...

The desire of a man for a woman is not directed at her because she is a human being, but because she is a woman. That she is a human being is of no concern to him. more...

But where only a free play of our presentational powers is to be sustained as in the case of pleasure gardens, room decoration, all sorts of useful utensils, and so on, any regularity that has an air of constraint is to be avoided as much as possible. That is why the English taste in gardens, or the baroque taste in furniture, carries the imagination's freedom very far, even to the verge of the grotesque, because it is precisely this divorce from any constraint of a rule that the case is posited where taste can show its greatest perfection in designs made by the imagination. more...

Even the song of birds, which we can bring under no musical rule, seems to have more freedom, and therefore more for taste, than a song of a human being which is produced in accordance with all the rules of music; for we very much sooner weary of the latter, if it is repeated often and at length. Here, however, we probably confuse our participation in the mirth of a little creature that we love, with the beauty of its song; for if this were exactly imitated by man (as sometimes the notes of the nightingale are) it would seem to our ear quite devoid of taste. more...

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. more...

Religion is too important a matter to its devotees to be a subject of ridicule. If they indulge in absurdities, they are to be pitied rather than ridiculed. more...

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. more...

The wish to talk to God is absurd. We cannot talk to one we cannot comprehend - and we cannot comprehend God; we can only believe in Him. more...

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. more...

Every man is to be respected as an absolute end in himself; and it is a crime against the dignity that belongs to him as a human being, to use him as a mere means for some external purpose. more...

Prudence reproaches; conscience accuses. more...

So act that anything you do may become universal law. more...

I shall never forget my mother, for it was she who planted and nurtured the first seeds of good within me. She opened my heart to the lasting impressions of nature; she awakened my understanding and extended my horizon and her percepts exerted an everlasting influence upon the course of my life. more...

Prudence approaches, conscience accuses. more...

The existence of the Bible, as a book for the people, is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity. more...

Laws always lose in energy what the government gains in extent. more...

Suicide is not abominable because God prohibits it; God prohibits it because it is abominable. more...

...as soon as we examine suicide from the standpoint of religion we immediately see it in its true light. We have been placed in this world under certain conditions and for specific purposes. But a suicide opposes the purpose of his creator; he arrives in the other world as one who has deserted his post; he must be looked upon as a rebel against God. God is our owner; we are his property; his providence works for our good. more...

All human knowledge thus begins with intuitions, proceeds thence to concepts, and ends with ideas. more...

What are the aims which are at the same time duties? They are perfecting of ourselves, the happiness of others. more...

Reason must approach nature with the view, indeed, of receiving information from it, not, however, in the character of a pupil, who listens to all that his master chooses to tell him, but in that of a judge, who compels the witnesses to reply to those questions which he himself thinks fit to propose. To this single idea must the revolution be ascribed, by which, after groping in the dark for so many centuries, natural science was at length conducted into the path of certain progress. more...

Honesty is better than any policy. more...

The function of the true state is to impose the minimum restrictions and safeguard the maximum liberties of the people, and it never regards the person as a thing. more...

Man desired concord; but nature knows better what is good for his species; she desires discord. Man wants to live easy and content; but nature compels him to leave ease... and throw himself into roils and labors. more...

The ideal of the supreme being is nothing but a regulative principle of reason which directs us to look upon all connection in the world as if it originated from an all-sufficient necessary cause. more...

We come no nearer the infinitude of the creative power of God, if we enclose the space of its revelation within a sphere described with the radius of the Milky Way, than if we were to limit it to a ball an inch in diameter. All that is finite, whatever has limits and a definite relation to unity, is equally far removed from the infinite... Eternity is not sufficient to embrace the manifestations of the Supreme Being, if it is not combined with the infinitude of space. more...

Our knowledge springs from two fundamental sources of the mind; the first is the capacity of receiving representations (receptivity for impressions), the second is the power of knowing an object through these representations (spontaneity [in the production] of concepts). more...

Philosophy stands in need of a science which shall determine the possibility, principles, and extent of human knowledge a priori. more...

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

God put a secret art into the forces of Nature so as to enable it to fashion itself out of chaos into a perfect world system. more...

It is presumed that there exists a great unity in nature, in respect of the adequacy of a single cause to account for many different kinds of consequences. more...

Nature even in chaos cannot proceed otherwise than regularly and according to order. more...

Nature, when left to universal laws, tends to produce regularity out of chaos. more...

The science of mathematics presents the most brilliant example of how pure reason may successfully enlarge its domain without the aid of experience more...

There is a limit where the intellect fails and breaks down, and this limit is where the questions concerning God and freewill and immortality arise. more...

One is not rich by what one owns, but more by what one is able to do without with dignity. more...

Two things strike me dumb: the infinite starry heavens, and the sense of right and wrong in man. more...

No state at war with another state should engage in hostilities of such a kind as to render mutual confidence impossible when peace will have been made. more...

The history of the human race, viewed as a whole, may be regarded as the realization of a hidden plan of nature to bring about a political constitution, internally, and for this purpose, also externally perfect, as the only state in which all the capacities implanted by her in mankind can be fully developed. more...

The human heart refuses To believe in a universe Without a purpose. more...

The enjoyment of power inevitably corrupts the judgment of reason, and perverts its liberty. more...

Man must be disciplined, for he is by nature raw and wild. more...

When I could have used a wife, I could not support one; and when I could support one, I no longer needed any more...

Imagination is a powerful agent for creating, as it were, a second nature out of the material supplied to it by actual nature. more...

Humanity is at its greatest perfection in the race of the whites. more...

The yellow Indians do have a meagre talent. The Negroes are far below them, and at the lowest point are a part of the American people. more...

Physicians think they do a lot for a patient when they give his disease a name. more...

We ourselves introduce that order and regularity in the appearance which we entitle "nature". We could never find them in appearances had we not ourselves, by the nature of our own mind, originally set them there. more...

Things which we see are not by themselves what we see ... It remains completely unknown to us what the objects may be by themselves and apart from the receptivity of our senses. We know nothing but our manner of perceiving them. more...

He who has made great moral progress ceases to pray more...

An organized product of nature is that in which all the parts are mutually ends and means. more...

If it were possible for us to have so deep an insight into a man's character as shown both in inner and in outer actions, that every, even the least, incentive to these actions and all external occasions which affect them were so known to us that his future conduct could be predicted with as great a certainty as the occurrence of a solar or lunar eclipse, we could nevertheless still assert that the man is free. more...

The hand is the visible part of the brain. more...

Art is purposiveness without purpose. more...

Genius is the ability to independently arrive at and understand concepts that would normally have to be taught by another person. more...

Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end. more...

There is nothing higher than reason. more...

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

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. more...

There can be no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience. more...

Reason in a creature is a faculty of widening the rules and purposes of the use of all its powers far beyond natural instinct; it acknowledges no limits to its projects. Reason itself does not work instinctively, but requires trial, practice, and instruction in order gradually to progress from one level of insight to another. more...

I have no knowledge of myself as I am, but merely as I appear to myself. more...

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. more...

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! more...

Duty is the necessity to act out of reverence for the law. more...

Standing armies shall in time be totally abolished. more...

A society that is not willing to demand a life of somebody who has taken somebody else's life is simply immoral. more...

All our knowledge begins with the senses, more...

If an offender has committed murder, he must die. In this case, no possible substitute can satisfy justice. For there is no parallel between death and even the most miserable life, so that there is no equality of crime and retribution unless the perpetrator is judicially put to death. more...

Animals... are there merely as a means to an end. That end is man. more...

The possession of power inevitably spoils the free use of reason. more...

Beneficence is a duty; and he who frequently practices it, and sees his benevolent intentions realized comes, at length, really to love him to whom he has done good. more...

Riches ennoble a man's circumstances, but not himself. more...

There will always be some people who think for themselves, even among the self-appointed guardians of the great mass who, after having thrown off the yoke of immaturity themselves, will spread about them the spirit of a reasonable estimate of their own value and of the need for every man to think for himself. more...

The question is not so much whether there is life on Mars as whether it will continue to be possible to live on Earth more...

That Logic has advanced in this sure course, even from the earliest times, is apparent from the fact that, since Aristotle, it has been unable to advance a step, and thus to all appearance has reached its completion. more...

Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one's own 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 own mind without another's guidance. Dare to know! more...

Human reason has the peculiar fate ... that it is burdened with questions that it cannot dismiss ... but which it also cannot answer. more...

Everything in nature acts in conformity with law. more...

Man's duty is to improve himself; to cultivate his mind; and, when he finds himself going astray, to bring the moral law to bear upon himself. more...

Both love of mankind, and respect for their rights are duties; the former however is only a conditional, the latter an unconditional, purely imperative duty, which he must be perfectly certain not to have transgressed who would give himself up to the secret emotions arising from benevolence. more...

Enthusiasm is always connected with the senses, whatever be the object that excites it. The true strength of virtue is serenity of mind, combined with a deliberate and steadfast determination to execute her laws. That is the healthful condition of the moral life; on the other hand, enthusiasm, even when excited by representations of goodness, is a brilliant but feverish glow which leaves only exhaustion and languor behind. more...

Even a man's exact imitation of the song of the nightingale displeases us when we discover that it is a mimicry, and not the nightingale. more...

Procrastination is hardly more evil than grasping impatience. more...

Thinking in pictures precedes thinking in words. more...

Sincerity is the indispensable ground of all conscientiousness, and by consequence of all heartfelt religion. more...

A lie is the abandonment and, as it were, the annihilation of the dignity by man. more...

A man who has tasted with profound enjoyment the pleasure of agreeable society will eat with a greater appetite than he who rode horseback for two hours. An amusing lecture is as useful for health as the exercise of the body. more...

Marriage...is the union of two people of different sexes with a view to the mutual possession of each other's sexual attributes for the duration of their lives. more...

Melancholy characterizes those with a superb sense of the sublime. more...

Give a man everything he wants and at that moment everything is not everything more...

But only he who, himself enlightened, is not afraid of shadows. more...

The two great dividers are religion and LANGUAGE more...

It is never too late to become reasonable and wise. more...

If the truth shall kill them, let them die. more...

Of all the arts poetry (which owes its origin almost entirely to genius and will least be guided by precept or example) maintains the first rank. more...

Life is the faculty of spontaneous activity, the awareness that we have powers. more...

Act so that the maxim of your act could be made the principle of a universal law. more...

An action is essentially good if the motive of the agent be good, regardless of the consequences. more...

Thrift is care and scruple in the spending of one's means. It is not a virtue and it requires neither skill nor talent. more...

The arts of speech are rhetoric and poetry. Rhetoric is the art of transacting a serious business of the understanding as if it were a free play of the imagination; poetry that of conducting a free play of the imagination as if it were a serious business of the understanding. more...

We assume a common sense as the necessary condition of the universal communicability of our knowledge, which is presupposed in every logic and every principle of knowledge that is not one of skepticism. more...

Enlightenment is the liberation of man from his self-caused state of minority... Supere aude! Dare to use your own understanding!is thus the motto of the Enlightenment. more...

The sceptics, a kind of nomads, despising all settled culture of the land, broke up from time to time all civil society. Fortunately their number was small, and they could not prevent the old settlers from returning to cultivate the ground afresh, though without any fixed plan or agreement. more...

Notion without intuition is empty, intuition without notion is blind. more...

. . . as to moral feeling, this supposed special sense, the appeal to it is indeed superficial when those who cannot think believe that feeling will help them out, even in what concerns general laws: and besides, feelings which naturally differ infinitely in degree cannot furnish a uniform standard of good and evil, nor has any one a right to form judgments for others by his own feelings. . . . more...

Natural science physics contains in itself synthetical judgments a priori, as principles. ... Space then is a necessary representation a priori, which serves for the foundation of all external intuitions. more...

Time is not an empirical concept. For neither co-existence nor succession would be perceived by us, if the representation of time did not exist as a foundation a priori. more...

Here I shall add that the concept of change, and with it the concept of motion, as change of place, is possible only through and in the representation of time. & Motion, for example, presupposes the perception of something movable. But space considered in itself contains nothing movable; consequently motion must be something which is found in space only through experience -in other words, is an empirical datum. more...

Upon the solution of this problem, or upon sufficient proof of the impossibility of synthetical knowledge a priori, depends the existence or downfall of metaphysics. more...

This can never become popular, and, indeed, has no occasion to be so; for fine-spun arguments in favour of useful truths make just as little impression on the public mind as the equally subtle objections brought against these truths. On the other hand, since both inevitably force themselves on every man who rises to the height of speculation, it becomes the manifest duty of the schools to enter upon a thorough investigation of the rights of speculative reason, and thus to prevent the scandal which metaphysical controversies are sure, sooner or later, to cause even to the masses. more...

The more we come in contact with animals and observe their behaviour, the more we love them, for we see how great is their care of the young. more...

The business of philosophy is not to give rules, but to analyze the private judgments of common reason. more...

After death the soul possesses self-consciousness, otherwise, it would be the subject of spiritual death, which has already been disproved. With this self-consciousness necessarily remains personality and the consciousness of personal identity. more...

For how is it possible, says that acute man, that when a concept is given me, I can go beyond it and connect with it another which is not contained in it, in such a manner as if that latter necessarily belonged to the former? more...

A single line in the Bible has consoled me more than all the books I ever read besides. more...

Parents usually educate their children merely in such a manner than however bad the world may be, they may adapt themselves to its present conditions. But they ought to give them an education so much better than this, that a better condition of things may thereby be brought about by the future. more...

If a man is often the subject of conversation he soon becomes the subject of criticism. more...

If I am to constrain you by any law, it must be one by which I am also bound. more...

[A ruler is merely] the trustee of the rights of other men and he must always stand in dread of having in some way violated these rights. more...

A science of all these possible kinds of space [the higher dimensional ones] would undoubtedly be the highest enterprise which a finite understanding could undertake in the field of geometry... If it is possible that there could be regions with other dimensions, it is very likely that God has somewhere brought them into being. more...

All false art, all vain wisdom, lasts its time but finally destroys itself, and its highest culture is also the epoch of its decay. more...

Human beings are never to be treated as a means but always as ends. more...

Freedom is that faculty that enlarges the usefulness of all other faculties. more...

Better the whole people perish than that injustice be done more...

Freedom is independence of the compulsory will of another, and in so far as it tends to exist with the freedom of all according to a universal law, it is the one sole original inborn right belonging to every man in virtue of his humanity. more...

Freedom is the alone unoriginated birthright of man, and belongs to him by force of his humanity; and is independence on the will and co-action of every other in so far as this consists with every other person's freedom. more...

Three things tell a man: his eyes, his friends and his favorite quotes more...

When a thoughtful human being has overcome incentives to vice and is aware of having done his bitter duty, he finds himself in a state that could be called happiness, a state of contentment and peace of mind in which virtue is its own reward. more...

The nice thing about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you're doing, someone else does. more...

Beneficence is a duty. more...

It is difficult for the isolated individual to work himself out of the immaturity which has become almost natural for him. more...

Nature does nothing in vain, and in the use of means to her goals she is not prodigal. more...

To a high degree we are, through art and science, cultured. We are civilized - perhaps too much for our own good - in all sorts of social grace and decorum. But to consider ourselves as having reached morality - for that, much is lacking. more...

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." more...

Happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination. more...

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

Morality is not properly the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness. more...

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. more...

I had to set limits to knowledge in order to make place for faith. more...

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

There is, therefore, only one categorical imperative. It is: Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. more...

Two things fill me with constantly increasing admiration and awe, the longer and more earnestly I reflect on them: the starry heavens without and the moral law within. more...

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. more...

Two things fill the heart with renewed and increasing awe and reverence the more often and the more steadily that they are meditated on: the starry skies above me and the moral law inside me. more...

Reason does not work instinctively, but requires trial, practice, and instruction in order to gradually progress from one level of insight to another. more...

Enlightenment is man's leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without the guidance of another. Such immaturity is self-caused if it is not caused by lack of intelligence, but by lack of determination and courage to use one's intelligence without being guided by another. Sapere Aude! Have the courage to use your own intelligence! is therefore the motto of the enlightenment... more...

Freedom is alone the unoriginated birthright of man; it belongs to him by force of his humanity, and is in dependence on the will and coaction of every other, in so far as this consists with every other person's freedom. more...

Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made nothing entirely straight can be built. more...

Morality is not really the doctrine of how to make ourselves happy but of how we are to be worthy of happiness. more...

The greatest problem for the human species, the solution of which nature compels him to seek, is that of attaining a civil society which can administer justice universally. more...

Laziness and cowardice explain why so many men. . . remain under a life-long tutelage and why it is so easy for some men to set themselves up as the guardians of all the rest. . . If I have a book which understands for me, a pastor who has a conscience for me, a doctor who decides my diet, I need not trouble myself. If I am willing to pay, I need not think. Others will do it for me. more...

In all judgements by which we describe anything as beautiful, we allow no one to be of another opinion. more...

Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. more...

Without man and his potential for moral progress, the whole of reality would be a mere wilderness, a thing in vain, and have no final purpose. more...

Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity...No thing is required for this enlightenment.. .except freedom; and the freedom in question is the least harmful of all, namely, the freedom to use reason publicly in all matters. more...

Freedom is the alone unoriginated birthright of man, and belongs to him by force of his humanity. more...

Human reason is by nature architectonic. more...

Human reason has this peculiar fate that in one species of its knowledge it is burdened by questions which, as prescribed by the very nature of reason itself, it is not able to ignore, but which, as transcending all its powers, it is also not able to answer. more...

Beauty presents an indeterminate concept of Understanding, the sublime an indeterminate concept of Reason. more...

Feminine traits are called weaknesses. People joke about them; fools ridicule them; but reasonable persons see very well that those traits are just the tools for the management of men, and for the use of men for female designs. more...

If we could see ourselves... as we really are, we should see ourselves in a world of spiritual natures, our community which neither began at birth nor will end with the death of the body. more...

Manners or etiquette ('accessibility, affability, politeness, refinement, propriety, courtesy, and ingratiating and captivating behavior') call for no large measure of moral determination and cannot, therefore, be reckoned as virtues. Even though manners are no virtues, they are a means of developing virtue.... The more we refine the crude elements in our nature, the more we improve our humanity and the more capable it grows of feeling the driving force of virtuous principles. more...

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. more...

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. more...

The public use of a man's reason must be free at all times, and this alone can bring enlightenment among men... more...

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. more...

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

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. more...

I ought never to act except in such a way that I could also will that my maxim should become a universal law. more...

Abbot Terrasson tells us that if the size of a book were measured not by the number of its pages but by the time required to understand it, then we could say about many books that they would be much shorter were they not so short. more...

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. more...

Philosophical knowledge is the knowledge gained by reason from concepts; mathematical knowledge it the knowledge gained by reason from the construction of concepts. more...

Metaphysics has as the proper object of its enquiries three ideas only: God, freedom, and immortality. more...

All human knowledge begins with intuitions, proceeds from thence to concepts, and ends with ideas. more...

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. more...

The universal and lasting establishment of peace constitutes not merely a part, but the whole final purpose and end of the science of right as viewed within the limits of reason. more...

There is... only a single categorical imperative and it is this: Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. more...

Human freedom is realised in the adoption of humanity as an end in itself, for the one thing that no-one can be compelled to do by another is to adopt a particular end. more...

Only the descent into the hell of self-knowledge can pave the way to godliness. more...

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. more...

It is the Land of Truth (enchanted name!), surrounded by a wide and stormy ocean, the true home of illusion, where many a fog bank and ice, that soon melts away, tempt us to believe in new lands, while constantly deceiving the adventurous mariner with vain hopes, and involving him in adventures which he can never leave, yet never bring to an end. more...

The infinitude of creation is great enough to make a world, or a Milky Way of worlds, look in comparison with it what a flower or an insect does in comparison with the Earth. more...

God, freedom, and immortality are untenable in the light of pure reason. more...

With men, the state of nature is not a state of peace, but war. more...

We can never, even by the strictest examination, get completely behind the secret springs of action. more...

***Three Conditions of Happiness*** If you have work to do If you have someone you love If You have hope Then You are Happy now! more...

The history of the human race, viewed as a whole may be regarded as the realization of a hidden plan of nature to bring about a political constitution, internally, and for this purpose, also externally perfect, as the only state in which all the capacities implanted by her in mankind can be fully developed. more...

Patience is the strength of the weak, impatience is the weakness of the strong. more...

In the mere concept of one thing it cannot be found any character of its existence. more...

The wise man can change his mind; the stubborn one, never. more...

If we knew that god exists, such knowledge would make morality impossible. For, if we acted morally from fear or fright, or confident of a reward, then this would not be moral. It would be enlightened selfishness. more...

You only know me as you see me, not as I actually am more...

Ghost stories are always listened to and well received in private, but pitilessly disavowed in public. For my own part, ignorant as I am of the way in which the human spirit enters the world and the way in which he goes out of it, I dare not deny the truth of many such narratives. more...

At some future day it will be proved, I cannot say when and where, that the human soul is, while in earth life, already in an uninterrupted communication with those living in another world. more...

But a lie is a lie, and in itself intrinsically evil, whether it be told with good or bad intents. more...

This spirit of freedom is expanding even where it must struggle against the external obstacles of governments that misunderstand their own function. Such governments are illuminated by the example that the existence of freedom need not give cause for the least concern regarding public order and harmony in the commonwealth. If only they refrain from inventing artifices to keep themselves in it, men will gradually raise themselves from barbarism. more...

A society that is not willing to demand a life of somebody who has taken somebody else's life is simply immoral. more...

It is often necessary to make a decision on the basis of knowledge sufficient for action but insufficient to satisfy the intellect. more...

Every human being should always be treated as an end and never as a mere instrument. more...

Most men use their knowledge only under guidance from others because they lack the courage to think independently using their own reasoning abilities. It takes intellectual daring to discover the truth. more...

Man relates to material things through direct insight rather than reason. more...

Heaven has given human beings three things to balance the odds of life: hope, sleep, and laughter. more...

Among all nations, through the darkest polytheism glimmer some faint sparks of monotheism. more...

The only thing that is good without qualification is a good will. more...

The only thing permanent is change. more...

Maximum individuality within maximum community more...

It is by his activities and not by enjoyment that man feels he is alive. In idleness we not only feel that life is fleeting, but we also feel lifeless. more...

The instruction of children should aim gradually to combine knowing and doing. Among all sciences mathematics seems to be the only one of a kind to satisfy this aim most completely. more...

All trades, arts, and handiworks have gained by division of labor... Where the different kinds of work are not distinguished and divided, where everyone is a jack-of-all-trades, there manufactures remain still in the greatest barbarism. more...

If education is to develop human nature so that it may attain the object of its being, it must involve the exercise of judgment. more...

There is no virtue in penance and fasting which waste the body; they are only fanatical and monkish. more...

Do the right thing because it is right. more...

I assert that, in any particular natural science, one encounters genuine scientific substance only to the extent that mathematics is present. more...

Act so as to use humanity, yourself and others, always as an end and never as a means to an end. more...

Art does not want the representation of a beautiful thing, but the representation of something beautiful. more...

All perception is colored by emotion. more...

The existence of the Bible is the greatest blessing which humanity ever experienced. more...

Freedom can never be comprehended, nor even can insight into it be gained. more...

I am myself by inclination an investigator. more...

I feel a complete thirst for knowledge and an eager unrest to go further in it as well as satisfaction at every acquisition. There was a time when I believed that this alone could constitute the honor of mankind, and I had contempt for the ignorant rabble who know nothing. more...

I learned to honor human beings, and I would find myself far more useless than the common laborer if I did not believe that this consideration could impart to all others a value establishing the rights of humanity. more...

Man desired concord; but nature knows better what is good for his species; she desires discord. Man wants to live easy and content; but nature compels him to leave ease... and throw himself into roils and labors. more...

Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing can ever be made. more...

There is nothing it is possible to think of anywhere in the world, or indeed anything at all outside it, that can be held to be good without limitation, excepting only a good will. more...

I ought never to conduct myself except so that I could also will that my maxim become a universal law. more...

Finally, there is one imperative that, without being grounded on any other aim to be achieved through a certain course of conduct as its condition, commands this conduct immediately. This imperative is categorical.... This imperative may be called that of morality. more...

Act so that you use humanity, as much in your own person as in the person of every other, always at the same time as end and never merely as means. more...

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. more...

Act only on that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. more...

In the kingdom of ends everything has either a price or a dignity. Whatever has a price can be replaced by something else as its equivalent; on the other hand, whatever is above all price, and therefore admits of no equivalent, has a dignity. But that which constitutes the condition under which alone something can be an end in itself does not have mere relative worth, i.e., price, but an intrinsic worth, i.e., a dignity. more...

It is not God's will merely that we should be happy, but that we should make ourselves happy more...

Act in such a way that you will be worthy of being happy. more...

Happiness, though an indefinite concept, is the goal of all rational beings more...

Great minds think for themselves. more...


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