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An essay on immanuel kant and enlightenment

Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?

Andre B Painter Section: Vitalis, Majory, and Haris Date: November 26, 2013 What is Enlightenment? Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher who was born in Konigsberg, East Prussia in 1724 and died in 1804. From Kant's writing, one can tell that Kant was an educated man who was eager to learn. Kant was one of the most influential thinkers in western tradition and he lectured at Konigsberg for 42 years.

  • Far more does he injure his own majesty when he degrades his supreme power by supporting the ecclesiastical despotism of some tyrants in his state over his other subjects;
  • This is split into two conceptions, theoretical and practical thinking;
  • By defining doctrines and making them politically binding, the Church can control the growth of reason, therefore, publicly it is in your own self-interest not to assent to a set of beliefs that hinder the development of your reason;
  • Kant was one of the most influential thinkers in western tradition and he lectured at Konigsberg for 42 years.

Kant drew many students in Konigsberg due to his rationalist and unorthodox approach to religious texts. Unfortunately, this led to political pressure from the government of Prussia, and in 1792 Fredrick William II, the head of the throne, barred Kant from teaching or writing on religious subjects.

During the period of the publication, men ways of thinking changed and ancient ideas churches views and authoritarian rule were being questioned.

Kant argued from an enlightened point of view that men were being directed by another Tutelage rather than using their own reasoning the self.

Philosophy/ Immanuel Kant - Enlightenment term paper 19485

Kant's classified these men as Machines, Cowardice, Domestic Cattle, and Placid Creatures because they refuse to stand for themselves or fight for their civil rights. In addition, Kant also argued in his response to the post that men are not yet enlightened because they were not privately and publicly free.

That is, men have no freedom of speech, freedom to cast vote or to choose who to represent them. In a nutshell, from an age of enlightenment view, Kant supports his arguments with concrete evidence that men are not yet enlightened.

First, Kant believes that we are in the age of enlightenment rather than in an enlightened age because there were indications that put new ways of thinking over ancient ideas.

To illustrate, people start challenging church views with new ways of thinking. Secondly, Kant believes that there are also positive indications that tutelage are gradually reducing. Kant defined this phenomenon as the age of enlightenment or the century of Frederick. The main reason Kant called it the century of Fredrick, is because Fredrick was able to challenge, attack, and conquering Polish territories Silesia from Austria.

To conclude, Kant's essay is setup from two separated angles; we are not yet enlightened and we are in the age of enlightenment. According to Kant, we are not yet enlightened because men cannot reason for themselves.

On the other hand, we are in the age of enlightenment because we start disobeying those ancient rules that make us look almost like cows and robots.

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In other words, we are in the age of enlightenment because we start fighting for our own freedom, that is to say, the freedom to express our thought privately and publicly. Psychologically speaking, Kant's essay did not only help define the struggles of men at that very era, it also helps convey why today society is designed the way we structured it.

From Kant's essay, we learn that our society and political system develop on rational ideas rather than one man making the decisions for everyone. Finally, if there is one take away from this great work, it is that everyone should think for themselves instead of letting someone think for them.