Kant was born, lived and died in Königsberg, Prussia (now called Kalingrad in Russia). He came from a modest background, as his father was a harness maker. Kant’s parents emphasized discipline, hard work, and education. Kant attended the Collegium Fridericianum, a Pietist school in Königsberg. There he received a solid education in mathematics, science, and the classics. During his time here, he developed a strong interest in philosophy and began studying the works of philosophers such as Descartes and Leibniz. After completing his secondary education, Kant enrolled at the University of Königsberg in 1740. He initially studied theology, but he soon shifted his focus to philosophy, physics, and mathematics.|
Kant was deeply influenced by the ideas of Christian Wolff, a prominent German philosopher of the time who sought to reconcile rationalism and empiricism. Although Kant’s academic career wasn’t seamless – he had to spend some period of time as a private tutor to make ends meet – Kant was a well-respected academic by the 1760s, well before any of Kant’s mature philosophical work was written. It is important to stress here that Kant’s posthumous reputation, more than for many philosophers, depends for the most part on his latest works: especially his Critiques (of Pure Reason, Practical Reason and Pure Judgment) and his major ethical works The Metaphysics of Morals, and the Groundwork to the Metaphysics of Morals.