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English texts


Kant introduction and speech

Max Egremont

I first saw Immanuel Kant in 1992, during my first visit to Kaliningrad, a short time after the Soviet Union had come to an end. It was, alas, not the great man himself but his tomb, a miraculous survival after conflict, destruction and rebuilding – an evocation of the past alongside what was then the ruined cathedral and other reminders of the city’s fractured history.  How much had changed in the philosopher’s home city since his death in 1804.  Even the name is different.  For Kant, from his birth there in 1724, had lived in Königsberg, not Kaliningrad.  What he could not foresee was that they are now the same place. ...


Kant in China 

Prof. Han Shuifa

Kant was first introduced into China in 1866. In 1886, the British missionary Joseph A. E. mentioned Descartes, Bacon, Locke, Newton, Leibniz, Kant, Hume, and Spencer in his translation of the volume "Science" (i.e., philosophy) of the book "A Brief Description of Western Studies" in a brief introduction to the history of Western philosophy. ...


Kant’s Life

Steve Naragon

One generally learns at least three things, however brief the sketch of Kant’s life: he never married, he never traveled, and he ordered his life so rigidly that the housewives of Königsberg could set their clocks to his daily walks. Like the spare lines of a caricature, these provide some sense of the man, but one could also point out in reply that Kant was by no means the first bachelor in the history of philosophy nor the only bachelor in Königsberg; that Kant actually managed to get out of town quite often, if not very far; and that only in his later years, when it appeared that his life-ambitions were outstripping his life, did he buckle-down and fashion himself into something more like a machine. The following will add some shading to those spare lines ...


The Kant glass: the Hull connection 

David Neave

Four of the seven names engraved on the Kant glass, with the date 30 August 1763, are of men who came from the English port of Hull, or to give it its correct name, Kingston-upon-Hull. Two, Joseph Green and Robert Motherby, were permanent residents at Königsberg, and close friends of Kant, and are well known. The other two - Charles Staniforth, who had recently married Joseph Green’s sister, and John Chappell, were only visitors, but had probably known Kant for some years.

What were the origins of these four men, why were they in Königsberg, and what happened to them. ...


The Königsberg Kant Glass |  Virtual Table Talk on March 16, 2021

Prof. Simon Wain-Hobson, David Neave, Svetlana Kolbaneva


Immanuel Kant, Joseph Green, Robert Motherby and the Americans 

Gerfried Horst

The merchant Joseph Green (1727-1786), who came from Hull in England, had "already come over from England at a young age" and built up a flourishing trading business in Königsberg. He looked for a young man in his home town to help him in his business and found Robert Motherby (1736-1801), who is said to have "come to the city on the banks of the Pregel  from Hull around 1750 at the age of 14." A recent Kant biography states that he came to Königsberg at the age of 18, i.e. in 1754. ...

© Glass Society, Glass Matters 10, January 2021

The Königsberg Kant glass 

Simon Wain-Hobson

Decoration of the bowl can transform an ordinary drinking glass into something unique. Jacobite Amen glasses c1745 are the ultimate examples of diamond point engraving. While these plain stemmed and air twist glasses don’t say much per se, their inscriptions transport us to another time and place, notably the 1745 uprising led by Bonnie Prince Charlie, that has kept many a collector and researcher busy for years.1 In 1937 Arthur Churchill Ltd devoted a catalogue to decorated Georgian glass, mainly those with engraving. Its title, History in Glass, says it all. ...

© Glass Society, Glass Matters 10, January 2021


East Prussia and China: Tracing a Wondrous Relationship

Thomas Heberer

The overarching framework of this book are the issues culture of memory, collective memory, and the Chinese knowledge perception with regard to former East Prussia and its great personalities.

In detail, this publication is concerned with the following issues: Firstly, the author's East Prussian family background and his recent travels to former East Prussia, particularly the parts belonging to Russia, Poland and Lithuania.

© Jörn Pekrul

What is enlightenment in China? An essay about political (im)maturity

Magnus Obermann

In 1784, Immanuel Kant wrote these lines to address the question “What is Enlightenment?”. In his essay, Kant took a critical stance on the church and the state Prussian authorities and advocated for an intrinsically motivated process of enlightenment. Kant’s dictum of the “emergence from self-imposed immaturity” has since become an undisputed credo of the enlightenment.

So why would we need another essay on enlightenment “in China”? Initially, one should assume that Kant’s ideas are universally valid, rendering it unnecessary to formulate a separate “Chinese enlightenment”. ...

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