Living a quiet and exceedingly orderly life of a professorial bachelor in the Prussian city of Konigsberg, Kant methodically created a philosophical system which revolutionized man’s view of himself and his world.
His writings for the basis of modern philosophy, and his work vividly illustrated the limitations of man’s intellect. Kant set up logical antimonies demonstrating that certain problems cannot be solved, that the essence of things cannot be grasped, and postulated faith and individual responsibility as the ultimate source and supreme guide for man’s knowledge and morality.
Kant never really desired marriage preferring the company of his devoted servant Lampe and his beloved books. His attitude toward women was ambivalent. While denying them “certain high insights,” he viewed woman as the very embodiment of the beautiful and even the sublime.
Kant (1724 – 1804)
has a superior feeling for the beautiful, so far as it pertains to herself.
have a strong inborn feeling for all that is beautiful, elegant, and decorated. . . . Very early
they have a modest manner about themselves, know how to give themselves a fine
demeanor and be self-possessed--and this at an age when our wellbred male youth
is still unruly, clumsy, and confused.
virtue of a woman is a beautiful virtue. . . . Women will avoid the wicked not
because it is unright, but because it is ugly; and virtuous actions mean to
them such as are morally beautiful. Nothing of duty, nothing of compulsion,
nothing of obligation! Woman is intolerant of all commands and all morose
constraint. They do something only because it pleases them, and the art
consists in making only that please them, which is good.
philosophy is not to reason, but to sense.
woman is embarrassed little that she does not possess certain high insights;
that she is timid, and not fit for serious employment . . . . She is beautiful and captivates,
and that is enough.
if a woman excels in arduous learning and painstaking thinking they will
exterminate the merits of her sex.
are more inclined to be miserly than men. This is in keeping with the nature of
woman, for the women have to be more sparing since they are spending money
which they do not earn themselves.
Jews, and priests do not usually get drunk, because they are bourgeoisly weak
and find restraint necessary; for their worth rests entirely upon the belief of
others in their chastity, piety, and lawabidingness.
she [a woman] is weak, she is clever.
wants control, man self-control . .
must be manly and woman womanly; effeminacy in man pleases as little as does
masculinity in woman.
should become more perfect as a man, and the woman as a wife . .
has put in their [women’s] breast kind and benevolent sensations, a fine
feeling for propriety and a complaisant soul. One should not at all demand
sacrifices and generous self-restraint [from women].