A German philosopher, Immanuel Kant believed that doing one's duty is more important than being happy or making others happy. Kant also stated that though scientists may predict what man will do next, the predictions do not interfere with man's free will.
Kant authored a piece entitled Critique of Pure Reason (1781), a written response to the assertions of philosopher David Hume who belived science was too assuming. Hume stated that man as a scientist assumed too much of his own knowledge, that man did not know all of the universe, and could not, therefore, assume to categorize and explain things by his theories. Kant's writings revealed that he believed that man's knowledge did indeed have limits but man's theories were not too assuming.
Kant's ideas on ethics were influenced by such other philosophers as Aufklarer Christian Wolff who stated that nature could be discovered by logical inquiry, observing actions and their results. The French philosopher Rousseau influenced Kant as well. Rousseau believed in the innate goodness of man, that man did not acquire ethical and moral values, but rather was born with them. According to Kant, these innate ideas are the only things we have certain knowledge of, and thus are the most important and trustworthy of all.
of the Metaphysics of Morals
The Science of Right
The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics
Critique of Pure Reason