Kant SelfDetermination in the Age of Reason

Some types of ethical considerations come from various religions and people are supposed to measure their actions based on what a particular faith sees as right or wrong. Another type of ethical consideration says that something is "right" if it brings about pleasure to the individual or to a collective society (Hull 2). In individualistic theories, the individual only seeks their own good and does not think about anyone else (Hull 3). There are many different ways that people think about life and everyone has an opinion about what to do in any situation.

The study of ethics is important because it helps to make meaning out of life. Everyone wants to know why they are on this planet and what they are supposed to do. Rick Garlikov suggests that the study of ethics teaches an individual the various things they need to think about when deciding what is "right" or "wrong." When a student enters an ethics course they will be exposed to ideas about personal responsibility, about cultural customs and about the rules or organization. This will allow students to have a broader base to see the difference between "good intentions and right acts" (Garlikov). This researcher will examine the life and philosophy of Immanuel Kant because he is credited with creating, "the greatest metaphysical system of them all (Strathern 7).

Immanuel Kant was born in Königsberg which was in the province of East Prussia. He grew up at a time when Prussia was in turmoil because it had been devastated by war. In addition, the plague had destroyed half of their population (Strathern 10). He was the fourth child born in his family and although his mother had nine children, only five children survived their infancy. he was the first of two boys.