PHL217H1 Lecture Notes - Public Reason

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17 Nov 2011
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An historically important text, but a minor in kant"s corpus. Reason has no dictatorial authority; reason has authority but not of a dictatorial kind. Its claim is never more than the agreement of free citizens. Each of these free citizens must be able to express his/her reservations without holding back. Distinction between a broader form of philosophy and a specialized philosophy. It relates to kant"s idea of the public use of reason. Freedom of belief (conscience) & freedom of expression. It is seen as wrong to persecute those who want to challenge an opinion. Freedom of belief also requires freedom of expression; something which is not obvious. There is no view that enlightenment ends with leading to a revelation. Enlightenment is found in the individual; we often lack the courage to reason for ourselves. The vices of truth are cowardice and laziness. From the private to the public pursuit of enlightenment.

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