Immanuel Kant Enlightenment

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An Answer to The Question “What is Enlightenment?” is written by Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, in 1784. It is a primary source, and its text type is an essay. The intended audiences were Johann Friedrich Zöllner as it was to reply the question from ‘What is Enlightenment.’, people who were in the Enlightenment, and Frederick the Great. The purposes of this essay were to reply the question ‘What is Enlightenment.’, to encourage people to break their immaturity away and to think by themselves, and to praise to Frederick the Great.

This essay can be separated into four parts: The meaning of enlightenment, private and public use of reasoning, religion, and Frederick the Great.

At first, Kant stated that Enlightenment was people’s emergence
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He pointed out a monarch should allow his subjects to do what they found necessary for their spiritual well-being and salvation as long as the improvement was consonant with civil order. He should also avoid those who wanted to interfere others’ works for promoting their well-being. Besides, he a should not interfere the people and should not support the spiritual despotism over his subjects. Later, he praised Frederick that he was enlightened as he allowed people to have complete freedom of religion and thought he should not prescribe anything to his subjects. Thus, he could release his people from their immaturity and let them use their reasons in the matter of conscience. By the efforts from Frederick, his subjects were living in an age of enlightenment instead of an enlightened age as the obstacles to release people from their immaturity were diminishing.

The essay was written in the era of Enlightenment in the late 18th century , which started from France and later spread to other parts of Europe as well as America. The purpose of Enlightenment was to apply reason to the reshaping of society, government, morality and theology.
It indicated serval things. First, the policies of one of the enlightened rulers, Frederick the Great, the monarch of Prussia. During his time, he established religious freedom that allowed the Jews to seek refuge in Lutheran Prussia when they were expelled from Catholic states. All faiths and religions were tolerated in Prussia as well at that
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