Immanuel Kant: The Existence Of True Enlightenment

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The author Immanuel Kant starts by answering the question of “What is Enlightenment?”, as the title suggests. In his essay he discusses the absence of true enlightenment and the reasons for this absence and what is needed from a person to be enlightened. According to Kant the definition of enlightenment is a person’s emergence from immaturity that he or she imposes on the self. For Kant immaturity means the person’s inability to use his or her judgment and understanding of things to make decisions, and the reliance on people’s opinions to make these decisions. Kant further explains that the reason for this immaturity is the dependence and reliance on others for help so much that thinking and acting alone becomes very difficult. He also adds…show more content…
For example, John Gray, the author of “Three mistakes about modernity”, argues that modernity is simply the process of growth of scientific knowledge and the growth of economy. Also, he states that it does not carry any kind of values or traditions. In particular it does not carry any kind of European enlightenment thoughts. Gray argues that modernity is not necessarily a good thing to everyone like most enlightenment thinkers assume. In fact it can either be very good or very bad depending on its effects and influence on the society. He also states that the European thinkers’ idea of societies when they become more modern they then become more like each other is wrong. According to him there are many different modernities and modernity is not universal because of the cultural difference between different societies. For him this is one of the errors of enlightenment thought about modernity (Gray, Page #2). In addition, according to Gray modernity is definitely not spontaneously embracing enlightenment thoughts or the enlightenment project. So for him it is not what European enlightenment thinkers always believed it is. For him this fact is wrong, the fact that modernization and accepting enlightenment values should go together. In fact there are modernities that are not related to enlightenment at all and also there are counter-enlightenment modernizations. Therefore it is a big mistake to think…show more content…
That definition indicates why it is different than the other ideas of enlightenment. Mostly in terms of accepting science as opposed to other religions like Christianity. The great Islamic civilization was shaped by big bursts of knowledge in different kind of fields like science, medicine, philosophy, sociology and mathematics. This kind of knowledge remains a central influence on Islam and the Islamic identity (Khan, 2014). Khan’s suggests that Muslims have always thought of Islam as enlightenment itself, and as the path that saved all humanity from ignorance. For him Islam helped Muslims towards rationalization to reach a harmonized community based on divine codes and ethics. Khan further uses Kant’s concept of enlightenment and relates it to our Islamic society in a way to show that the society depends on other opinions to make decisions. He then explains the idea of dependence on the other by stating that unfortunately the Islamic society follow the concept of imitation. It means following the exact actions of someone with higher authority or greater knowledge and that what Kant defined as immunity. The reliance on others to make decisions and not using own judgment or reason. The present Islamic world mainly attempts to either mimic the West or mimic the past and by past Khan meant the glorious and nebulous Islamic golden age which was from 8th till the 13th
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