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Kant: A Biography


  • Date Published: October 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521524063

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About the Authors
  • This is the first full-length biography in more than fifty years of Immanuel Kant, one of the giants amongst the pantheon of Western philosophers as well as the one with the most powerful and broad influence on contemporary philosophy. It is well known that Kant spent his entire life in an isolated part of Prussia living the life of a typical university professor. This has given rise to the view that Kant was a pure thinker with no life of his own, or at least none worth considering seriously. In this biography, Manfred Kuehn debunks that myth once and for all. Taking account of the most recent scholarship Professor Kuehn allows the reader (whether interested in philosophy, history, politics, German culture, or religion) to follow the same journey that Kant himself took in emerging as a central figure in modern philosophy.

    •   No competition in English; first full-length biography in more than fifty years
    •   Kant is considered the most important of modern philosophers
    •   Will compliment existing Cambridge works on Hobbes and Spinoza
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Kuehn's fine and rather touching biography reveals a philosophical life lived with pathos, courage and good humour, as well as a terrible and merciless intelligence.' Lingua Franca

    '… a timely and impressive achievement, a detailed, often subtle reading of a great thinker …'. Toronto Globe and Mail

    'Dispels the idea of Kant as colorless. Gives us a Kant we have never known before.' Washington Post Book World

    '… exhaustive and fascinating …'. The New Republic

    'Kuehns Werk is ausgezeichnet durch Vielseitigkeit der Interessen, Ausgewohnheit des Urteils und schriftstellerische Klarheit.' Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

    'The first full biography in the proper sense of the term and therefore very welcome.' Literary Review

    'An excellent new life … a substantial biography.' The Economist

    'Manfred Kuehn's book on Immanuel Kant is a fascinating and monumental treatment of one of the central figures of Western thought. This book fills a need, since it is the first full-length biography of Kant in fifty years; many of the earlier bibliographies were full of distortions and false stereotypes … Kuehn's book … is accessible to the general reader …'. The Times Higher Education Supplement

    'Manfred Kuehn's book is a fascinating treatment of one of the central figures of western thought.' Harry Gensler, The Times Higher Education Supplement

    'The detail on his teaching is particularly good … Kuehn is surprisingly good when summarizing the import of Kant's work … the presentation of the ideas is impressive, clear and useful. This makes this a good introduction to Kant's work as well as an exemplary life … it is both thoughtful and thought-provoking, and for such an unpromising story it is surprisingly interesting. There really is nothing comparable in this field. It should be on the shelves of anyone interested in Kant.' The Heythrop Journal

    'Kuehn's study of Immanuel Kant's life and works combines the virtues of historical scholarship and philosophical analysis. It is written in a clear and sometimes entertaining style, and contains a lot of new and valuable information. It will replace Karl Vorgander's Immanuel Kant: der Mann und das Werk as the standard reference work, despite the fact that other biographies have been written in the meantime … This excellent study can be highly recommended to many readers: to Kant scholars, of course, but also to other philosophers interested in reliable information on Kant's personal and philosophical development, and even to historians of science and society as well.' Philosophical Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521524063
    • length: 576 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 33 mm
    • weight: 0.78kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Chronology of Kant's life and work
    Prologue and epilogue, 'As You Like It'
    1. Childhood and early youth (1724–1740)
    2. Student and private teacher (1740–1755)
    3. The elegant magister (1755–1764)
    4. Palingenesis and its consequences (1764–1769)
    5. Silent years (1770–1780)
    6. 'All-crushing' critic of metaphysics (1780–1784)
    7. Founder of a metaphysics of morals (1784–1787)
    8. Problems with religion and politics (1788–1795)
    9. The old man (1796–1804)

  • Author

    Manfred Kuehn, Boston University

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