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Lecture 2

BF190 Lecture 2: Kant

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Brantford Foundations
Frank Cameron

What is Enlightenment? Emmanuel Kant There are three pillars of enlightenment: 1. Universality: people should be enlightened universally 2. Rationality: With daily activities think rationally 3. Critical thinking: Thinking for one self Kant: he is a left enlightenment thinker Definition: • Enlightenment is an emerge from man’s self-incurred immaturity. It is the ability to use your understanding without the help of another; think for yourself. • Do not take things of trust, put everything on the tribunal of reason. If we are not enlightened, it is our own fault, not somebody else’s. • Once we attain the state of enlightenment, we have attained maturity. o He is sneaking in an objection. This shows that he believes there is something wrong with immaturity. • To say what is the case one cannot argue that it should be. E.g.: science has limit, it doesn’t speak about morality. Immaturity is natural process, which should change to maturity. • The fault lies within ourselves when immaturity does not pass • Why would we want to stay immature? o Laziness and cowards o This can be a dangerous and difficult step. Why? You must make all your own decisions and reasons The rulers who have so benevolently (careful since it is in response the king himself) taken over the supervision of men have carefully seen to it that the far greatest part of them (including the entire fair sex) regard taking the step to maturity as very dangerous, not to mention difficult. • Kant says, most men are not enlightened but all women aren’t. (Basically saying that women are not intelligent) • Let your subjects make mistakes, they will learn from this. “The guardians show men the danger that threatens them, should they attempt to walk alone. Now this danger is not actually so great, for after falling a few times they would in the end certainly learn to walk. • Subjects think: a ruler must have come into that position for a reason; he must be intelligent and worthy to make decisions for them. • To renounce enlightenment to others is to violate and trample man’s divine right. They use reason as their instrument to become enlightened, so this statement is surprising since he says that God has given them the gift of enlightenment. He should restrict himself to reason not religion. The king is a protestant since the reformation occurred. He himself is against the Catholic Church, which is most likely why Kant added
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