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Emmanuel Kant
1724 - 1804

Influential German philosopher who investigated the theories of knowledge, ethics, aesthetics, and idealism.


An age cannot bind itself and ordain to put the succeeding one into such a condition that it cannot extend its (at best very occasional) knowledge, purify itself of errors, and progress in general enlightenment. That would be a crime against human nature, the proper destination of which lies precisely in this progress; and the descendants would be fully justified in rejecting those decrees as having been made in an unwarranted and malicious manner.

1784 - from "What is Enlightenment?", published in Berlinische Monatsschrift, quoted in The Liberal Tradition in European Thought (1970), David Sidorsky, New York
Human reason has this peculiar fate that in one species of its knowledge it is burdened by questions which, as prescribed by the very nature of reason itself, it is not able to ignore, but which, as transcending all its powers, it is also not able to answer.

from Critique of Pure Reason
Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.

from Critique of Pure Reason