Famous Kant Quotes
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Kant is famous for having said the following quotes:

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


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.

Nothing is divine but what is agreeable to reason.


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


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


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


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?


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


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.


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.

Famous Quotes from Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785) - Immanuel Kant

  • Only the descent into the hell of self-knowledge can pave the way to godliness.
  • A metaphysics of morals is therefore indispensably necessary, not merely because of a motive to speculation— for investigating the source of the practical basic principles that lie a priori in our reason— but also because morals themselves remain subject to all sorts of corruption as long as we are without that clue and supreme norm by which to appraise them correctly...
  • I ought never to act except in such a way that I could also will that my maxim should become a universal law.

    • Kant's supreme moral principle or "categorical imperative"; Variant translations: Act only on that maxim which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.
      Act as if the maxim of thy action were to become by thy will a universal law of nature.
      So act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world.
      May you live your life as if the maxim of your actions were to become universal law.
      Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.
      Do not feel forced to act, as you're only willing to act according to your own universal laws. And that's good. For only willfull acts are universal. And that's your maxim.
  • I do not, therefore, need any penetrating acuteness to see what I have to do in order that my volition be morally good. Inexperienced in the course of the world, incapable of being prepared for whatever might come to pass in it, I ask myself only: can you also will that your maxim become a universal law?
  • Even if there never have been actions arising from such pure sources, what is at issue here is not whether this or that happened; that, instead, reason by itself and independently of all appearances commands what ought to happen; that, accordingly, actions of which the world has perhaps so far given no example, and whose very practicability might be very much doubted by one who bases everything on experience, are still inflexibly commanded by reason... because ... duty ... lies, prior to all experience, in the idea of a reason determing the will by means of apriori grounds.
  • Morality is thus the relation of actions to the autonomy of the will, that is, to a possible giving of universal law through its maxims. An action that can coexist with the autonomy of the will is permitted; one that does not accord with it is forbidden. A will whose maxims necessarily harmonize with the laws of autonomy is a holy, absolutely good will. The dependence upon the principle of autonomy of a will that is not absolutely good (moral necessitation) is obligation. This, accordingly, cannot be attributed to a holy being. The objective of an action from obligation is called duty.

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