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What is Enlightenment - Essay Example

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Un-enlightenment of man is as a result of two prime factors, cowardice, and laziness. Kant states that men find it much easier to…
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What is Enlightenment
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Download file to see previous pages Kant refers to those who have taken the role of reasoning for the rest of the lazy society as “benevolent guardians”.
Kant argues that freedom is the most fundamental ingredient for enlightenment. He states further that hindrances to enlightenment were not only individual-imposed but also societal. Religion and laws were among the many ways in which society restricted free-thinking among the people. Religion and laws to some point offered threats to people to bar them from practicing free-thinking. However, there came a time when some few individuals started seeking ways to remove the societal obstacles to enlightenment. Kant calls this period “an age of enlightenment” and it occurred in the late eighteenth century. Kant believes that as the society allowed more freedom to the people, the people became more enlightened. He, therefore, defines enlightened age as the age when the people started practicing freedom of rational thinking and self-determination pursuit.
According to Kant, in as much as he did agree to some point that revolution could bring freedom, there are many other ways to freedom. He states that revolution only replaced “old prejudices ones”. He says that to experience harmony whereby the society functions optimally, individuals needed to narrow their reason to the betterment of their societal roles. He believed that this was necessary as far as harmony was required, and indeed it is required and he referred to it as the private reason. Kant elaborates this by giving an example of an office concentrating on a law instead of obedience to it. Kant further states that private reason is counterbalanced by public reason. In public reason, individuals do not have the freedom to think and act on their own. They depend on scholars who practice the private reason for ideas and thoughts. He illustrates that “private reasoning makes one pay tax whereas ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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