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50 Immanuel Kant Quotes About Ethics, Freedom & Art

Published on July 22, 2016 12:00 AM EST

Looking for inspirational Immanuel Kant quotes? Enjoy!

Photo Credit via Pinterest: Kristy Cole

Immanuel Kant Quotes About Freedom

1. 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. – Immanuel Kant

2. Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. – Immanuel Kant

3. From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. – Immanuel Kant

4. By a lie, a man…annihilates his dignity as a man. – Immanuel Kant

5. It is not God’s will merely that we should be happy, but that we should make ourselves happy – Immanuel Kant

6. A person is only a person when it has the power to make sense of its surrounding. – Immanuel Kant

7. So act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world. – Immanuel Kant

8. Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness. – Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant Quotes About Ethics

9. Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made nothing entirely straight can be carved. – Immanuel Kant

10. 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? – Immanuel Kant

11. 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. – Immanuel Kant

12. Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a be general natural law. – Immanuel Kant

13. Nothing is divine but what is agreeable to reason. – Immanuel Kant

14. 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. – Immanuel Kant

15. 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. – Immanuel Kant

16. Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding!  – Immanuel Kant

17. All human knowledge begins with intuitions, proceeds from thence to concepts, and ends with ideas.  – Immanuel Kant

18. An organized product of nature is that in which all the parts are mutually ends and means.  – Immanuel Kant

19. Give me matter, and I will construct a world out of it!  – Immanuel Kant

20. 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. – Immanuel Kant

21. “In scientific matters … the greatest discoverer differs from the most arduous imitator and apprentice only in degree, whereas he differs in kind from someone whom nature has endowed for fine art. But saying this does not disparage those great men to whom the human race owes so much in contrast to those whom nature has endowed for fine art.

For the scientists’ talent lies in continuing to increase the perfection of our cognitions and on all the dependent benefits, as well as in imparting that same knowledge to others; and in these respects they are far superior to those who merit the honour of being called geniuses. For the latter’s art stops at some point, because a boundary is set for it beyond which it cannot go and which has probably long since been reached and cannot be extended further.” – Immanuel Kant

22. Nature even in chaos cannot proceed otherwise than regularly and according to order.  – Immanuel Kant

23. Notion without intuition is empty, intuition without notion is blind.  – Immanuel Kant

24. 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).  – Immanuel Kant

25. 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.  – Immanuel Kant

26. 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. – Immanuel Kant

27. Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily they are reflected on: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.  – Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant Quotes About Freedom

28. Without the sensuous faculty no object would be given to us, without understanding no object would be thought. Thoughts without content are void, intuitions without conceptions, blind.  – Immanuel Kant

29. Historically the most striking result of Kant’s labors was the rapid separation of the thinkers of his own nation and, though less completely, of the world, into two parties;—the philosophers and the scientists.  – Immanuel Kant

30. “We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.”  – Immanuel Kant

31. “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.”  – Immanuel Kant

32. “Dare to think!”  – Immanuel Kant

33. “Look closely. The beautiful may be small. – Immanuel Kant

34. “For peace to reign on Earth, humans must evolve into new beings who have learned to see the whole first.”  – Immanuel Kant

35. “The busier we are, the more acutely we feel that we live, the more conscious we are of life.” – Immanuel Kant

36. “Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a portion of mankind, after nature has long since discharged them from external direction (naturaliter maiorennes), nevertheless remains under lifelong tutelage, and why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as their guardians. It is so easy not to be of age. If I have a book which understands for me, a pastor who has a conscience for me, a physician who decides my diet, and so forth, I need not trouble myself. I need not think, if I can only pay – others will easily undertake the irksome work for me. – Immanuel Kant

37. “The death of dogma is the birth of morality.”  – Immanuel Kant

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

39. “An age cannot bind itself and ordain to put the succeeding one into such a condition that it cannot extend its (at best very occasional) knowledge , purify itself of errors, and progress in general enlightenment. That would be a crime against human nature, the proper destination of which lies precisely in this progress and the descendants would be fully justified in rejecting those decrees as having been made in an unwarranted and malicious manner. – Immanuel Kant

40. “How then is perfection to be sought? Wherein lies our hope? In education, and in nothing else.”  – Immanuel Kant

41. “Genius is the ability to independently arrive at and understand concepts that would normally have to be taught by another person.”  – Immanuel Kant

42. “Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.”  – Immanuel Kant

 Immanuel Kant Quotes About Art

43. “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.”  – Immanuel Kant

44. “What might be said of things in themselves, separated from all relationship to our senses, remains for us absolutely unknown”  – Immanuel Kant

45. “Better the whole people perish than that injustice be done”  – Immanuel Kant

46. “Dignity is a value that creates irreplaceability.” – Immanuel Kant

47. “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and reverence the more often and more steadily one reflects on them, the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.”  – Immanuel Kant

48. “Simply to acquiesce in skepticism can never suffice to overcome the restlessness of reason.”  – Immanuel Kant

49. “The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.”  – Immanuel Kant

50. “Settle, for sure and universally, what conduct will promote the happiness of a rational being.”  – Immanuel Kant

What other Immanuel Kant quotes would you add to the list? Which quotes by Immanuel Kant were your favorite?

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