Immanual Kant is still surprisingly modern in his thoughts on freedom, rationality, peace and his critique of religion. Arnulf Zitelmann conjures an enthralling image of Kant’s diverse personality and at the same time introduces his most significant works.
Born in Königsberg as one of nine children, Kant was fascinated by astronomy and mathematics and studied physics and philosophy. His friends expected him to do great things. Yet he preferred to amuse himself. Someone suggested that he write a critique of cuisine, being a gourmet. Instead he wrote The Critique of Pure Reason. The alleged amateur turned out to be a genius of philosophy at the age of 57. “1. What can I know? 2. What should I do? 3. What hopes may I have?” These were the questions that intrigued Kant during his life. And the professor from Königsberg chose simple answers. “Be courageous and use your own wits!” he wrote in an essay.