Part Four Of “The German View of Judaism” Series
Immanuel Kant was born in 1724 in Königsberg, Prussia (Germany).
He became one of the most important philosophers of all time.
In 1798, Kant wrote Anthropology From A Pragmatic Point of View.
In the book, he examined the Jews and their tendencies:
“The Palestinians (Jews) among us have earned the not unfounded reputation of being cheaters, on account of the spirit of usury. Admittedly it seems strange to think of a nation of cheaters; but it is just as strange to think of a nation of nothing but merchants”
He claims that “in place of the futile project of moralizing to this people in regard to the matter of cheating and honesty, I prefer rather to give me conjecture of the origin of this particular condition (that is, of a people consisting of nothing but merchants)”
Kant believes that ancient trade routes between Asia and Europe brought many goods through Jerusalem. Therefore, he claims that Jews gradually learned how to exploit international trade for profit.
In fact, he argues that this is the Jews true advantage.
“So their dispersion throughout the world, with their unity of religion and language, must not be attributed to a curse inflicted upon this people, but rather to a blessing; especially since their wealth, estimated per capita, probably now exceeds that of any other people of the same number”
These facts are documented in his book, which was translated from German and published by Cambridge University Press:
Immanuel Kant, Anthropology From a Pragmatic Point of View. (Cambridge, University Press, 2006), 100.
This source can be viewed for free on Google Books:
Kant is recognized as the father of German Idealism, the philosophical theory that ideas are more important than physical objects.
In other words, spiritual ideas like “God”, “marriage”, and “family” are more important than wealth and material posessions.
His theories influenced Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, and many future Germans.
This article is part four of “The German View of Judaism” series:
Introduction: Jett & Jahn Media Presents “The German View of Judaism”
Charlemagne: Capitulary for the Jews
The German Crusade of 1096
Martin Luther: On the Jews and Their Lies
Immanuel Kant: Anthropology From A Pragmatic Point of View
Johann Gottlieb Fichte: A State Within A State
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: The Spirit of Christianity
Arthur Schopenhauer: Parerga and Paralipomena
Johann Sebastian Bach: St. John’s Passion
Ludwig Von Beethoven: The Beethoven I Knew
Richard Wagner: Judaism & Music
Conclusion: Modern Germans & Judaism