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Lecture 3

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University of Toronto St. George
Sol Goldberg

THPHL217 LECTURE 3 SEPT 19 2011KANT WHAT IS ENLIGHTENMENTSome background considerations1An historically important text but a minor text in Kants corpusCf Critique of Pure Reason A738fB766fMany Kant scholars regard this text as separate from Kants critical philosophy the project Kant works out in his three critiques of pure reason practical reason and judgement in which he is concerned to show that there are limits to reason and what it may rightfully claim to know If thats the project very little of this project seems to make its way into What is Enlightenment You can make the case that Kant must have somehow given in a publicly accessible form a piece on enlightenment Reason must subject itself to critique in all its undertakings and cannot restrict the freedom of critique from any prohibition on this freedom rests the very existence of reason In other words reason does not exist without this freedom of critique Reason has authority but not of a dictatorial kind What makes reason authoritative without being dictatorial is the agreement of free citizens without coercion ie by use of exclusively reason itself Therefore even if its a minor text that is relatively separate from the critical projects what you do have is a fulfillment of a basic criteria of that philosophy in a submissio
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