Immanuel Kant's Response To Enlightenment

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To Immanuel Kant, enlightenment is the process by which humans cure themselves of their self-imposed nonage through their own non-institutionalized volition. A metaphor for his vision of humans is as creatures who are sleeping, and are either unaware of their slumber, or content with it. To Kant, most humans are too lazy to acquire enlightenment because the society in which we live encourages dependence on others. Furthermore, he highlights systems which are in place to castrate free thinking and Enlightenment, such as religious institutions and the government. However, he presents a reason for the existence of these institutions: our laziness and cowardice. Our resistance to Enlightenment and attraction to dependence allows individuals to guard over and guide us – i.e. the government. This is precisely why it’s important for people to seek enlightenment, it’s overwhelmingly easy to subscribe…show more content…
These calls for reform are a prime example of our progress towards Enlightenment today. Instead of passively accepting the terms and conditions prescribed to the population by society and the government, people are utilizing reason and protesting conditions they deem to be unfair and irrational. In this regard, I challenge Kant’s general attitude towards human collective dormancy and apathy towards Enlightenment. Historically, humans have sought Enlightenment, and they still do to this day, with some difficulty, but effort, nonetheless. A simple survey of our political environment today suggests that people aren’t dormant in matters of politics and the beliefs in which they hold, regardless of their accordance with our governmental affairs. In this respect, I also believe Kant aggrandizes our dependence on institutional rulings and overemphasizes our lack of personality and
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