Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces

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Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces
Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces (German edition).jpg
The German edition
Author Immanuel Kant
Original titleGedanken von der wahren Schätzung der lebendigen Kräfte
Media typePrint

Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces (German : Gedanken von der wahren Schätzung der lebendigen Kräfte) is Immanuel Kant's first published work.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Immanuel Kant Prussian philosopher

Immanuel Kant was an influential German philosopher. In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, he argued that space, time and causation are mere sensibilities; "things-in-themselves" exist, but their nature is unknowable. In his view, the mind shapes and structures experience, with all human experience sharing certain structural features. He drew a parallel to the Copernican revolution in his proposition that worldly objects can be intuited a priori ('beforehand'), and that intuition is therefore independent from objective reality. Kant believed that reason is the source of morality, and that aesthetics arise from a faculty of disinterested judgment. Kant's views continue to have a major influence on contemporary philosophy, especially the fields of epistemology, ethics, political theory, and post-modern aesthetics.


Written in 1744–46 [1] and published in 1749, it reflected Kant's position as a metaphysical dualist at the time. In it he argues against the vis motrix ("moving force") view supported by Wolff and other post-Leibnizian German rationalists that proposed that bodies have no essential force, and claimed that, instead, the existence of an essential force can be proven by metaphysical arguments. Kant criticized Leibniz's followers for looking "no further than the senses teach," and stayed close to Leibniz's original vis activa ("active force"; also known as vis viva, "living force") point of view.

Metaphysics Branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of reality

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between possibility and actuality. The word "metaphysics" comes from two Greek words that, together, literally mean "after or behind or among [the study of] the natural". It has been suggested that the term might have been coined by a first century CE editor who assembled various small selections of Aristotle’s works into the treatise we now know by the name Metaphysics.

Christian Wolff (philosopher) German philosopher

Christian Wolff was a German philosopher. Wolff was the most eminent German philosopher between Leibniz and Kant. His main achievement was a complete oeuvre on almost every scholarly subject of his time, displayed and unfolded according to his demonstrative-deductive, mathematical method, which perhaps represents the peak of Enlightenment rationality in Germany.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz German mathematician and philosopher

Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz was a prominent German polymath and philosopher in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy. His most notable accomplishment was conceiving the ideas of differential and integral calculus, independently of Isaac Newton's contemporaneous developments. Mathematical works have always favored Leibniz's notation as the conventional expression of calculus, while Newton's notation became unused. It was only in the 20th century that Leibniz's law of continuity and transcendental law of homogeneity found mathematical implementation. He became one of the most prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators. While working on adding automatic multiplication and division to Pascal's calculator, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685 and invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the arithmometer, the first mass-produced mechanical calculator. He also refined the binary number system, which is the foundation of all digital computers.


  1. Eric Watkins (ed.), Immanuel Kant: Natural Science, Cambridge University Press, 2012: "Thoughts on the true estimation...".

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German philosophy, here taken to mean either (1) philosophy in the German language or (2) philosophy by Germans, has been extremely diverse, and central to both the analytic and continental traditions in philosophy for centuries, from Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz through Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein to contemporary philosophers. Søren Kierkegaard is frequently included in surveys of German philosophy due to his extensive engagement with German thinkers.

17th-century philosophy philosophy during the 17th century

17th century philosophy is generally regarded as seeing the start of modern philosophy, and the shaking off of the medieval approach, especially scholasticism. It succeeded the Renaissance and preceded the Age of Enlightenment. It is often considered to be part of early modern philosophy.

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Transcendental idealism Epistemology of the 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Space and time are merely formal features of how we perceive objects, not things in themselves that exist independently of us.

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Prussian Academy of Sciences A college in Berlin from 1700–1946

The Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences was an academy established in Berlin, Germany on 11 July 1700, four years after the Akademie der Künste, or "Arts Academy," to which "Berlin Academy" may also refer. In the 18th century, it was a French-language institution, and its most active members were Huguenots who had fled religious persecution in France.

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Dietrich Tiedemann German philosopher

Dietrich Tiedemann was a German philosopher and historian of philosophy born in Bremervörde. He was father to physiologist Friedrich Tiedemann (1781–1861).

Christian Garve German Enlightenment philosopher

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Dynamism is a general name for a group of philosophical views concerning the nature of matter. However different they may be in other respects, all these views agree in making matter consist essentially of simple and indivisible units, substances, or forces. Dynamism is sometimes used to denote systems that admit not only matter and extension, but also determinations, tendencies, and forces intrinsic and essential to matter. More properly, however, it means exclusive systems that do away with the dualism of matter and force by reducing the former to the latter.

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Introduction to Kant's Anthropology is an introductory essay to Michel Foucault's translation of Immanuel Kant's 1798 book Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View — a textbook deriving from lectures he delivered annually between 1772/73 and 1795/96. Both works together served as his secondary thesis, although Foucault's translation of the Anthropology was published separately by Vrin in 1964. The introduction was published in an English translation by Arianna Bove on in 2003.

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