Yesterday just after dinner I went to visit the renowned Kant, the profound metaphysician… I did not have a letter of introduction for him, but daring seizes a city, and I was admitted into the room” with these words Nikolai M. Karamzin described his visit to the Königsberg philosopher Immanuel Kant more than 200 years ago.
We, gentle reader, also do not have any letters of introduction, but the example of the famous Russian writer, historian and traveller encourages and inspires to half-open the door and to get a glimpse of the fancy world of Kant’s thought. It is fancy, for the convoluted exterior form oftencloaks a pure miracle, one only has to unveil it.
Kant did not invent aphorisms. He is one of the most systematic thinkers in the history of philosophy. Every statement in his works has an inextricable link to the text and his system of his views in whole. Almost every phrase begins with “therefore”, “consequently”, “for”.So it is rather difficult to single out profound and complete thoughts interesting in themselves and giving an integral understanding of Kant’s philosophy. But due to their short form they offer us an insight, become sayings, worldly wisdom, a part of our world view.
And as pieces of amber washed ashore inexorably attract us by the sunshine of bygone ages, the thoughts of the critical philosopher astonish again and again by their depth, unexpectedness and refinement.
The English collection of extracts from the works of Immanuel Kant was prepared by Prof. Vladimir Bryushinkin with assistance from Dr. Vadim Chaly, Anna Bryushinkina and in collaboration with Prof. Robert Howell (State University of New York).