Immanuel Kant and the Foundations of Critique

  • Ian Ward
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 31)


Like any philosopher, Immanuel Kant spent his intellectual life picking and choosing certain things with which he had sympathy and certain things with which he had not. He was brought up and educated in an uncompromisingly Pietist protestant environment. As an extreme Lutheran theology, Pietism stressed the practice of religion, and a practical religion. It was a populist Protestantism, which emphasised the individuality and the ‘dignity’ of the ordinary person. Equally importantly, Pietism also stressed the destiny of the individual to strive for a highest good of moral perfection. It was an active ‘lived’ theology, and Kant’s subsequent religious writings were to reveal a deep distrust of dogmatic theology. The impulse towards moral virtue came from within, and this was to become the central assertion of Kant’s theory of duty and obligation, around which he built his critique of practical reason.


Practical Reason Pure Reason Categorical Imperative High Good Critical Philosophy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Ward
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LawUniversity of DundeeUK

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