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Kant: A Biography [Hardcover]

By Manfred Kuehn (Author)
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Item description for Kant: A Biography by Manfred Kuehn...

This is the first full-length biography of Immanuel Kant, one of the most powerful and influential contemporary philosophers. Kuehn allows readers to follow the same journey Kant himself took in emerging as a central figure in modern philosophy. 13 illustrations.

Publishers Description
This is the first full-length biography in more than fifty years of Immanuel Kant, one of the giants among the pantheon of Western philosophers, and one of the most powerful and influential in contemporary philosophy. Taking account of the most recent scholarship, Manfred Kuehn allows the reader to follow the same journey that Kant himself took in emerging as a central figure in modern philosophy. Manfred Kuehn was formerly Professor of Philosophy at Purdue University. A specialist on German philosophy of the period, he is the author of numerous articles and papers on Immanuel Kant.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Kant: A Biography by Manfred Kuehn has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2002 page 463
  • Kirkus Reviews - 01/15/2001 page 95
  • Booklist - 01/01/2001 page 879
  • Publishers Weekly - 01/29/2001 page 73
  • Library Journal - 01/01/2001 page 111
  • Choice - 09/01/2001 page 132

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Cambridge University Press
Pages   576
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.3" Width: 6.34" Height: 1.66"
Weight:   1.98 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 3, 2010
Publisher   Cambridge University Press
Edition  New  
ISBN  0521497043  
ISBN13  9780521497046  

Availability  145 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 01:42.
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More About Manfred Kuehn

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Manfred Kuehn is Professor of Philosophy at Boston University.

Manfred Kuehn has an academic affiliation as follows - Boston University Philipps-Universitat Marburg, Germany Philipps-Unive.

Manfred Kuehn has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Biography

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Philosophers
3Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Germany > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Germany
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > History & Surveys
7Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > History, 17th & 18th Century
8Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Modern

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Reviews - What do customers think about Kant: A Biography?

Explore the life of a Prussian Genius  Jan 24, 2008
I found this book engaging. It was recommended to me by a former philosophy professor. For anyone looking for a solid, accesible introduction to the life and mind of a great thinker, this is the place to start. Kuehn delves into Kant's family background, the society, his ideas, his relationships with women and the Prussian upper-classes. We learn about Kant's health, his weak digestion and the strained relationships he had with his siblings. He lived a quiet life but Kuehn illustrates how rich and human his daily life truly was.

Of all the biographies I have read over the past few years, this remains my favourite and the most memorable. Ideal for those interested in philosophy or the social history of Prussia in the 18th century.
indispensable  May 12, 2007
Kuehn begins his comprehensive and engaging volume, adjectives not generally associated with Kant studies, with a clever Dickensian inversion: "The year 1724 was not one of the most significant years in the history of the human race, but it was not wholly insignificant either." He goes on to offer a most compelling look at the life and thought of one of the modern era's most important contributors respectfully, yet without a trace of the schmoozing so tempting in Kant scholarship. A look not only at the minutae of a man's private life, but also a convincing examination of many well-worn historical interpretations, sometimes lending credence, often challenging some of our most basic assumptions about the influences at play for Kant and his broader philosophical project.
A clear view on one of the greatest masters  Jul 8, 2003
Superb, biography !!! In which the writer seems to heading for a definitive biography on one of the greatest masters that ever touched a Philosophical matter. Kant has earned the reputation as a very complicated thinker. I have read a few of his works and I can do nothing else than agree in this.

After I read this book I really seemed to understand his philosophy much beter. I feel I have a good idea about what were his major concerns and what was it that he tried to solve and prove. I have a good idea now about what the Critique Of Pure Reason is, such as other works as the other 2 Critiques & Groundworks.

If you want to read the works of Kant himself, make sure you pick this one up first and learn it by heart. Its as best as any introduction can get on his work, A truly homage to a great master.

There are besides that plenty of details about his personal life. His love for Frederik The Great, plenty of stuff from his students, how they thought about him, and what kept him occupied in his free hours. And there we get a very different Kant than the one that went into history for so far.

This is modern, but it doesn't rock.  Oct 12, 2002
This book is an interesting guide to what we now know about Kant's life, and a scholarly summary of what he might have meant in his own time and place. Kant was the philosopher selected by Nietzsche for section 193 of THE GAY SCIENCE: "Kant's joke. Kant wanted to prove in a way that would dumfound the common man that the common man was right: that was the secret joke of this soul. He wrote against the scholars in favor of the popular prejudice, but for scholars and not for popularity." (THE PORTABLE NIETZSCHE, p. 96). In TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS, Nietzsche named Kant in his explanation of "How the `true world' finally became a fable:" (THE PORTABLE NIETZSCHE, pp. 485-6). "Any distinction between a `true' and an `apparent' world ~ whether in the Christian manner or in the manner of Kant (in the end, an underhanded Christian) ~ is only a suggestion of decadence, a symptom of the decline of life." (THE PORTABLE NIETZSCHE, p. 484). What set Nietzsche apart from the scholars of his own day, at least as long as he was considered sane, was his willingness to display a sly contempt for the kind of clarity which any functioning society demands, which suggests that Nietzsche had some different ideas. If anyone who wrote philosophically at the level of Kant could still be understood well enough to be called "an underhanded Christian," it is ironic that a more modern philosopher would consider Kant "an embodiment on a large scale of what is wrong with philosophy" for the opposite reason: "Suppose he had not insisted on certainty, necessity, and completeness!" (Walter Kaufmann, DISCOVERING THE MIND, VOLUME ONE, GOETHE, KANT, AND HEGEL, p. 195).

One of the things that makes philosophy interesting is the range of ideas which it offers to anyone who is trying to think of something to say about his enemies. Fichte was a contemporary of Kant, in trouble with the authorities from 1997 to 1800 when he was suspected of being an atheist because he thought a moral world order provided a more godly deity than the underhanded Christians of his day were used to. This was very close to the end of Kant's life, and Kant's circle of friends consoled themselves with ideas like: "The name `Fichte' means pine, and bad proofs were sometimes called `proofs of pine.' Furthermore, to `lead someone behind the pines' could mean to be deceptive. Some of Kant's acquaintances agreed." (Manfred Kuehn, KANT, A BIOGRAPHY, p. 391).

I was most interested in examining this book because it considers an early work, included in Kant's THEORETICAL PHILOSOPHY, 1755-1770, on Emanuel Swedenborg, DREAMS OF A SPIRIT-SEER ILLUSTRATED BY DREAMS OF METAPHYSICS. The existence of the work itself, like Freud's summary ON DREAMS (1901), drawn from Freud's on INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS (1900), shows a strong affinity for the kind of thinking about Christianity which is much closer to a modern understanding than most people would expect from the contemporaries of Kant and Swedenborg. Kant might be much more modern than Swedenborg because he willingly states a conclusion, as "a matter of policy, in this as in other cases, to fit the pattern of one's plans to one's powers, and if one cannot obtain the great, to restrict oneself to the mediocre." (p. 174). Anyone who would consider this book mediocre ought to reflect on the scholarly norms that preclude this kind of writing from exhibiting the outrageous emotional tricks which are usually displayed in rock 'n' roll, movies, state lotteries, election campaigns, or exciting books. It is the scholars who live in a separate world, and Kant will always be a great example of how it can be done.

An Excellent Biography  Oct 6, 2002
Kuehn has taken on a handful with this project, yet the outcome is superb. This is a careful and scholarly text. Contrary to what one of the reviewers commented here, I think the book was an interesting and entertaining read. I highly recommend this biography to anyone with even the slightest interest in Kant (or his contribution to Enlightenment Philosophy). And it would make a great text for an Introduction to Kant course (just as Monk's bio on Wittgenstein is often used in intro courses).

We sometimes think of Kant as having lived a boring and dull life--that he was in fact as mundane and interesting a person as the schedule he kept (shop owners in the marketplace would often set their clocks to his daily walks). But the picture of Kant that Kuehn provides us with here is radically different. Sure, Kant lead a regular and ordered life, but Kuehn breathes accurate life into pedestrian images of Kant that we may have learned in school (or in textbooks).


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