Enlightenment Emphasized Reasoning over Tradition

1266 Words Jan 29th, 2018 5 Pages
It emphasized individual reason over tradition. In other words, enlightenment is illustrated by a belief in the authority of and need for human reason, particularly in regards to politics, education, and religion. The ideas of enlightenment were explored predominately by philosophers like Kant, Goethe, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Adam Smith. Living towards the end of the age of Enlightenment, Emmanuel Kant wrote about his experiences and understandings in regards to enlightenment, the threads of these ideas can be seen through the writings of other philosophers like Hume, Schleiermacher, and Herbert of Cherbury.
In the beginning of Emmanuel Kant’s What is Enlightenment, he stays true to his title and gives his definition of enlightenment. By his understanding, enlightenment is ones "release from self-incurred tutelage." By this he is implying for one to reach enlightenment they must be able to free themselves from the superintendence of others and their reason, while harnessing the ability to successfully use their own reason. In other words, it is movement towards a reliance on self-reason. According to Kant an enlightened person comes to his ideas on his own.
He is suggesting that the majority of the population choose not to think for themselves, but simply use the ideas and reasoning given to them by leaders and those in power; for him one of these powers is the church.…
Open Document