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Contemporary Civilization

"There is […] only a single categorical imperative and it is this: act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law" (Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, 1785).

Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals


Immanuel Kant

1724 CE – 1804 CE

Kant was born in 1724 into a family of artisans of modest means. The family belonged to the Protestant sect of the Pietists, and Kant went to a Pietist school. The emphasis on reason in Kant’s philosophy is sometimes interpreted as a reaction against his religious education. Biographers also stress that his parents might have influenced him less through their Pietism but through their high esteem for artisanal values, such as hard work, honesty and independence.


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