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Eassay - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Kant’s Enlightenment Philosophy Abstract Philosophers have over the years put forward different theories and concepts on ethics, morals, decision making, and life in general. They have done this to try and understand how different human beings view life differently resulting in the different choices that they make…
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Download file to see previous pages He did this in one of his great works titled “An Answer to the Question: ‘What is Enlightenment?’” which was published in the l870s. This era is referred to as the enlightenment era since it was the period in which traditional ethics were being replaced by individualism and reason This paper will focus on the enlightenment philosophy of Emanuel Kant and how it has been applied in various works. Before doing this it is crucial to understand Emanuel Kant’s philosophy on enlightenment thus the paper will carefully examine the philosophy concepts put across by Emanuel Kant on enlightenment. It will then specifically explore on individual identity and free will specifically how they are related with enlightenment. This will be done by using characters in the class material Voltaire’s Candide; Kant’s “What is Enlightenment?”. By using characters in the material, the paper will stipulate how identity and free will impact the thinking, decision making, and actions of different people by showing how they negatively or positively impact the thinking of characters in the above class material. Kant’s Enlightenment Philosophy Introduction The enlightenment period is considered to have begun in the mid 17th century to the 18th century. The major characteristic of this period was the revolutions in politics, society, philosophy and science. This is where a different approach from that of the medieval times was taken. During this time, philosophies considered to have paved way to the modern western world were put forward. For instance, the French revolution is attributed from enlightenment philosophies and concepts that stressed for the change in social orders and political set ups that were traditional which oppressed the ordinary French citizen. According to Emanuel Kant, Enlightenment is the ability of a person to emerge from a nonage that is imposed by oneself (Kant). The inability of someone to use their own thinking or understanding without influence form others is referred to as nonage. It is considered to be imposed by ourselves since it results from the lack of courage and indecision to use ones reasoning. For instance, in the past countrymen always followed orders and laws set by the monarch despite the fact that these laws and orders were oppressing to the citizens. They refused to reject or act out due to various reasons one of them being the lack of courage to speak out on the wrongs they suffered from such monarchies. Kant stipulated that the reason behind the large number of people living as minors in the society is cowardice and laziness (Kant). By this he meant that people lacked enlightenment since they felt it was more comfortable to live as minors than to stand up and fight for their rights. Kant stipulated that nonage is very dangerous since people get accustomed to it over the years resulting in it being instilled as a way of life hence the difficulty that is presented when one tries to come out of nonage or being enlightened. Emanuel Kant argued that during his time people had not yet reached the enlightened error but were simply in the enlightenment age. This meant that enlightenment was a process that would take a long time since nonage was something that was instilled so deeply in people’s minds that it had become a way of life. He pointed out religion as the most harmful and dangerous form of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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