What Is Enlightenment

1028 WordsFeb 13, 20135 Pages
A More Enlightened Contemporary Society What is Enlightenment?, an explication that was written in 1784 in Prussia by the philosopher Immanuel Kant, discusses the principles that he deems to be truths surrounding significant topics such as freedom, reason, and an individual’s and/or societal necessity to be fully mature, in terms that he described as being scholar. Here, what is most evident is the reality that while he perceived the society as being unprepared to be fully mature, he nevertheless held faith on his belief that an age is fast approaching when societies will truly exhibit advances that will benefit them not only in political terms, but more so in their spiritual beliefs. As such, the importance of this particular literary…show more content…
As such, several were of universal relevance, in that the realities of these teachings are able to withstand time. One of those is the truth in his claim that an individual who only teaches under a system that has been in existence for long periods of time, and of which he merely voices out the thoughts of his superiors, is inherently possessing a limited form of freedom. This can be proven by one of his cases, which is the priest, wherein his authority is understandably inferior to that of the entire organization, whereby the principles that he is able to preach must follow the pattern that has already been sturdily set. Another aspect that makes for a strong argument in his work can be evidenced in his prescribed motto of enlightenment, which is to “Have courage to use your own understanding” (Kant 1). As such, any individual who lacks the bravery to be independent in his decisions and who has learned the habit of relying on others to do the thinking for him will most assuredly find it difficult to attain maturity, in the intellectual and emotional aspect. Despite of the excellence and relevance of Kant’s work, I tend to perceive several arguments as weak points. One of those is his seeming generalization of religious people as being possessing of a private type of reason. In my own viewpoint, this may prove to be a fallacy, as what can be evidenced in the proliferation and the different denominations of
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