Kant, Immanuel

born April 22, 1724, Königsberg, Prussia [now Kaliningrad, Russia died February 12, 1804, Königsberg

German philosopher whose comprehensive and systematic work in the theory of knowledge, ethics, and aesthetics greatly influenced all subsequent philosophy, especially the various schools of Kantianism and Idealism.

Kant was the foremost thinker of the Enlightenment and one of the greatest philosophers of all time. In him were subsumed new trends that had begun with the Rationalism (stressing reason) of René Descartes and the Empiricism (stressing experience) of Francis Bacon. He thus inaugurated a new era in the development of philosophical thought.