Immanuel Kant — is the central figure in modern philosophy. He synthesized early modern rationalism and empiricism, set the terms for much of nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy, and continues to exercise a significant influence today in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, and other fields. He argues that the human understanding is the source of the general laws of nature that structure all our experience; and that human reason gives itself the moral law, which is our basis for belief in God, freedom, and immortality. Therefore, scientific knowledge, morality, and religious belief are mutually consistent and secure because they all rest on the same foundation of human autonomy, which is also the final end of nature according to the teleological worldview of reflecting judgment that Kant introduces to unify the theoretical and practical parts of his philosophical system. Kant was born into an artisan family of modest means. His father was a master harness maker, and his mother was the daughter of a harness maker, though she was better educated than most women of her social class.
It is beyond the scope of this essay to consider non-Western philosophical positions concerning the environment. A feminist issue provides ways of understanding, eliminating, and creating alternatives to the oppression of women. For example, data show that women—especially poor, rural women in less developed countries LDCs who are heads of households—suffer disproportionate harms caused by such environmental problems as deforestation, water pollution, and environmental toxins. Knowing this helps one understand how the lives and status of women are connected to contemporary environmental problems. Greta Gaard and Lori Gruen Such data make deforestation, water pollution, and environmental toxins a feminist issue.