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What Is Enlightenment

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By chrisigneri33
Words 1043
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A More Enlightened Contemporary Society What is Enlightenment?, an explication that was written in 1784 in Prussia by the philosopher Immanuel Kant, discusses the principles that he deems to be truths surrounding significant topics such as freedom, reason, and an individual’s and/or societal necessity to be fully mature, in terms that he described as being scholar. Here, what is most evident is the reality that while he perceived the society as being unprepared to be fully mature, he nevertheless held faith on his belief that an age is fast approaching when societies will truly exhibit advances that will benefit them not only in political terms, but more so in their spiritual beliefs. As such, the importance of this particular literary work of Kant can be based on the fact that he is able to detail the most important factors that needed to be discovered by the society before they can be truly regarded as being free; where their liberties are safeguarded by their own appreciation of their individual and communal enlightenment. Keeping in mind Kant’s definition of enlightenment as being “released from their own self-imposed immaturity” (Kant 1), he furthers his discussion by expressing his belief that his generation is yet to attain maturity, which he correlates with enlightenment. As such, he offers a clear description between an enlightened age from that of an age of enlightenment, wherein an enlightened age is exhibiting a society of mature individuals—those who do not find any need to be instructed on what characteristics are socially appropriate and what are not; and possesses the astuteness to decide without any significant external influence. On the other hand, Kant defines age of enlightenment as being a process wherein the society starts to awaken to what liberties are justly theirs, and on how to arrive at a decision based on one’s own prudent...

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