ENGLIGHMENT MEANS FREEDOM. It is the freedom to make public use of ones reason at every point. To understand that Philosophy of thought we have to discuss several of the noted luminaries that elegantly discussed Enlightenment.
Immanuel Kant’s motto is Sapere aude! Dare to know. Always look beyond your normal boundaries of life, thought, Society, Science, Dare to know , Dare to Explore, Dare to act and discover, go beyond your own limitation’s and the limitations of others. Kant describes and I quote,
“Enlightenment is a man’s release from his self incurred tutelage. Tutelage is a man’s ability to make use of his understanding without direction from another. An issue with the tutelage lies not in the lack of reason but in a lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another. Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own reason! That is the motto of enlightenment.”
I ask myself do I have the courage and strength of Focus to go my own way, carve my own thought. I suspect that as Kant continues, I may be Lazy and some what scared to go it alone.
“Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so many men remain under lifelong tutelage. It s easy not to be of age.( Enlightenment ) You have a book to tell you what to do, a Dr. who tells you what to take, a Priest who tells you not to think. Or how to think. Tutelage means you need not think you just pay others to do the work for you.”
At this time I look at the issue of FREEDOM as discussed through Kant as a double edged sword. I need the rules and the directions to Guide me in My life, yet I am Free to dream and to think of how I can use my knowledge for myself and others.
Kant stresses that “Even if you throw of the mantle of tutelage, and be an independent thinker you will disseminate the spirit of rational thought as you wil impose your own thoughts upon others. A self replicating cycle of Tutelage. You may never be free . Rather new prejudices will serve as well as the old ones to harness the great unthinking masses.”
So apparently there are limits to everything, but we are Free within those limits. The Benefit is that I am free as I choose to be. Others may not think so and the reality may be that I am not, but I think I am. Everywhere there is restriction on Freedom. Again Kant reinforces this, “Which Restriction is an Obstacle to enlightenment and which a promoter is? The public use of ones reason must be free, the private use, often is narrow and hinders this progress of Englightement.” Suggesting that we as scholars before the reading public explore the boundaries, privately we just function within our societal Roles.
I love this quote from Kant,” Only one prince in the world says, argue as much as you will and about what you will but Obey.”
Descartes asserted that experience cannot provide valid knowledge without the aid of understanding which cannot in principle be attained through reliance on sense perception. To establish that foundation of certainty upon which knowledge could begin to be built, Descartes asked himself what he knew for certain. From this inquiry he was led to his famous maxim “I think, therefore I am
By- Cristoph De Caermichael