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Immanuel Kant - Enlightenment What is enlightenment Immanuel Kant attempts to clarify the meaning of enlightenment while composing the essay What is Enlightenment This document was written in response to political and social changes brought about by King Frederick of Prussia The goal of Kants essay was to discuss what the nature of enlightenment was It also taught one how enlightenment can be brought about in the general public Kant explains that enlightenment is mans release from his self-incurred tutelage Kant 85 Tutelage is mans incompetence to have direction for oneself In other words enlightenment is the progress of a society through the free activity of rational thought and scholarly critique Kant feels that if we are going to liberate ourselves from tutelage then we must be able to use our freedom whenever we want One can try to revolt but its most definitely going to fail One can try to over-throw and then become the tutor themselves This revolution will not lead to enlightenment but rather lead to ongoing tutelage One prince said that the coming about of enlightenment will only arrive if you Argue as much as you will and about what you will but obey Kant 87 In short this means you can argue but you cant revolt Kant seemed to take this into account when qualifying what will bring about enlightenment Kant states the public use of ones reason must always be free and it alone can bring about enlightenment among men The private use of reason on the other hand may often be very narrowly restricted without particularly hindering the progress of enlightenment By the public use of ones reason I understand the use of which a person makes of it as a scholar before the reading public Private use I call that which may make of it in a particular civil post or office which is entrusted to him Kant 87 In other words there are two types
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