• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Title: What did Immanuel Kant think Enlightenment was? Was he right to think this?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Assignment 2 Social and Political Theory Assignment 2 ? Essay 1 Student Number: 100043476 Title: What did Kant think Enlightenment was? Was he right to think this? Immanuel Kant was a German Philosopher who was a key figure central to modern philosophy, he argued that mankind?s perceptions, classifications and concepts shape our outlook of the world, and that rationale is the source of morality. In Germany in the late 1700?s there was a newspaper called the ?Berlinische Monatsschrift?, this newspaper put out an invitation to intellectuals around this time to answer the question,: what is enlightenment? Immanuel Kant responded by writing an essay stating what he thought enlightenment was. This piece of work was called ?Was ist Aufklarung?. Immanuel Kant thought that enlightenment was ?man?s release from his self incurred tutelage? (Kant 1784, p.1-4) what Kant means by this is that enlightenment allows people to break free from the cowardice and laziness that they have imposed on themselves, which has resulted in them to be apathetic about using their own rational minds but follow the instruction (tutelage) of others. In this essay I will explain in detail exactly what Immanuel Kant thought Enlightenment was and provide evidence and theoretical arguments that validate that he was wrong to think this. ...read more.

Middle

Kant believes that to be mature and enlightened it requires energy and effort so it may be that we have very good reasons to be wanting to pass on the job of thinking for ourselves to others. However, I disagree with Kant because I don?t believe it is just an act of will to become enlightened, and that it is much harder for an individual to decide that they?re going to think for themselves now, instead of relying upon authority figures and others to do the thinking for them. Kant refers to a term in his essay; ?chained to dogma?s? which means stuck in a system of belief which is familiar and in the context of enlightenment. What he means by this is that it is hard for individuals to be courageous to use their own reason and understanding because if these ?chains? were to be broken the individual themselves would be unfamiliar to the new way of thinking and of the ability to be able to think freely and may accidently fall in to the trap of following other new narrow-minded ways of thinking to easily. As well as there being factors that involve the individual for there to be an enlightenment in a community or just for them to be enlightened themselves, there also has to be several conditions that help to spread enlightenment in area of society, they being freedom; freedom of speech is necessary for there to be freedom of thinking. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, Kant has been criticised in this area by ?Friedrich Hegel?, who alleged that ?the enlightenment failed to produce any set of beliefs which could possibly replace religious faith? (Outram 2005, p.112-113). In conclusion Immanuel Kant does put forward several explanations as to what The Enlightenment is and argues compellingly why it is the case. However, bearing in mind that no philosophers can collectively agree on what enlightenment is, even those who consider themselves inspired by Kantian thinking don?t entirely agree with Kant. ?Kant and his fellow contributors to the discussion in Berlin in the early 1780?s could reach no agreement regarding the bounds of Aufklarung? (Munck 2000, p.7) This makes his views seem somewhat abstruse and unperceivable , Kant does make some compelling arguments about enlightenment and I do agree with a small minority of them but overall I believe his way of thinking and his larger explanations of what enlightenment is are incorrect and there is much more to it than how someone is able to break free from their ?self incurred tutelage? (Kant 1784, p1-4) I believe we need to look deeper at how relevant or irrelevant to us the enlightenment is because we have transitioned into a new epoch of history which is entirely diverse from the era of rationale.? The Enlightenment?s social setting is no longer ours. Its values are not our own. What period does it belong to?? (Marsak 1972, p. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Philosophy and Theology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Philosophy and Theology essays

  1. Compare and contrast Foucault's understanding of the Enlightenment with that of Horkheimer and ...

    Foucault's analysis of the post-medieval or classical age - for our purposes synonymous with what is commonly referred to as the 'Enlightenment' - figures the period as one which was contingent with a movement away from punishment and towards discipline, a product of Enlightenment thinking which sought to apportion, categorize and control society.

  2. According to Rousseau, what was more important: the society/state or the individual?

    Historically, Brutus ordered the death of his sons, as they were found to be part of an organisation that was trying to restore the monarchy to Rome. Their death was ordered in order to maintain the Republic. This is an example of Brutus acting for the good of society rather

  1. Explain Paul Churchlands theory of eliminative materialism. Do you think that it is possible ...

    Reductive materialism is the view that all mental phenomena can be reduced to and identified with material processes. That is, each type of mental state or process is one and the same thing as some type of physical state or process in the brain or central nervous system.

  2. Post-Atheism: from Apophatic Theology to "Minimal Religion"

    The negation of the positive attributes of Nothing is a religious extension into that Nothing. The negation of the positive attributes of God, who appeared in the flesh and who continues to nurture the faithful with his flesh, is already atheism.

  1. Immanuel Kant proposes a new science by which we would be able to examine ...

    When this is done those forms are found to be Space and Time. Forms do not exist in themselves (there are no noumena which relate directly to either), nor are they particular relations between appearances (merely contingent properties of an appearance), but Space and Time are instead the outer and inner senses, respectively.

  2. Today, we think the best way of representing our religious beliefs is by going ...

    Douglas even went so far as to collect pages from the bible that he found in the street in hope to get a thoughtful word out of them (Douglass, 1892, 90). In his quest to learn more about religion, Douglass became acquainted with a colored man named Charles Lawson.

  1. Why do many scholars think that the epistle to the Ephesians was likely written ...

    Close parallels between Ephesians and Colossians can be found at Eph. 1:4=Col 1.22, Eph. 1.7=Col 1:14 and Eph. 2.5=Col 2.13. Ephesians also has close parallels with other Pauline letters and often ideas from various letters are used in a single teaching, for example ?Of this gospel I have become a

  2. In both Immanuel Kants Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and John Stuart Mills ...

    If you choose to lie to the officer, you are not acting upon the categorical imperative because you are taking conditions into account before deciding which action is the worthier of the two. However, both choices clearly have moral worth: one is doing the right thing by not lying, whereas

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work