Immanuel’s early childhood seems to have been idyllic. The family was rather well off. The parents got along and loved their son. Father appears to have been a gentle and hardworking man, while mother, who took care of the family’s paperwork, was well educated. Little Immanuel was her constant company, and her influence on him was considerable.
After “Manelchen” could walk, Anna Kant took him out for walks in the meadows and fields. She taught him what she could, of the seasons, the plants and animals, and the sky. Her little son responded eagerly with questions; and the mother encouraged his outdoor curiosity with praise, patience, and more information.
For learning about the details of nature, the child grew up in a good environment. Konigsberg enjoys a cool and gentle climate; typical of high latitudes, the flat Baltic terrain has not much biological diversity, and its biomes — meadows, moors, deciduous and conifer forests — are not hostile. At Kant’s time, bears and wolves were common, but neither of which are in the habit of attacking humans (despite legends to the contrary). Walks as the ones he enjoyed, at the edge of town, were funny and perfectly safe. Excursions into nature also have a spiritual subtext. German tradition invests natural places with meaning.
As for his parents, Kant later described that, “My two parents were perfectly honest, morally decent, and orderly. They did not leave me a fortune (but neither did they leave me any debts). Moreover, they gave me an education that could not have been better when considered from the moral point of view. Every time I think of this I am touched by feelings of the highest gratitude. I will never forget my mother, for she implanted and nurtured in me the first germ of goodness; she opened my heart to the impressions of nature; she awakened and furthered my concepts, and her doctrines have had a continual and beneficial influence in my life.”