Anecdote Immanuel Kant – German philosopher (1724 – 1804)

Kant believed in the supremacy of rational order: The more rational the being, the more a person is that being. This led to some peculiar behavior on Kant's part. He awoke every day at the same time. He insisted on having no fewer than two and no more than five guests for dinner every day at exactly one in the afternoon. After dinner he would go for a walk, back and forth exactly eight times on one street. His walk time was so regulated that it was reported townsfolk could set their clocks by him.

The University of Koenigsberg, where Kant taught philosophy, was chronically understaffed. Lacking professors, Kant was frequently asked to teach subjects he was not qualified to teach. How did Kant teach the subjects? He made it up.

Kant once received a letter from a young lady who had read his works on ethics. Prizing Kant's genius, she sought advice on what she should do about a certain problem of hers. She was engaged to marry a gentleman whom she loved, but she was not a virgin. She wanted to know whether she should tell the man or keep quiet. Kant advised her that she must tell her fiancée. The fiancée broke off the marriage. Distraught, the woman wrote to Kant again, deeply troubled over the result of her decision and admitting she was having doubts over Kant's system of ethics. She asked if she might come to Koenigsberg to meet with Kant and discuss her doubts. Although he received the letter in a timely fashion, he chose never to reply. The woman committed suicide after some time.

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