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Unformatted text preview: CC Midterm Study Guide: Spring 2009 Immanuel Kant: What is Enlightenment?-Enlightenment is mans emergence from his self-imposed nonage (Line 1)-Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) Have the courage to use your own understanding, is therefore the motto of the enlightenment (line 4-5).-Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor. If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet, and so on then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think (Lines 6-11)-Thus it is very difficult for the individual to work himself out of the nonage which has become almost second nature to him (Lines 21-2)-A revolution may bring about the end of a personal despotism or of avaricious tyrannical oppression, but never a true reform of modes of thought (Lines 39-40) We must change ourselves first and then other changes will follow. Other authors argued the opposite. Political revolution can never cause a transformation in the individualno personal change-On the other hand, the private use of reason may frequently be narrowly restricted without especially hindering the progress of enlightenment. By public use of ones reason I mean that use which a man, as scholar , makes of it before the reading public. I call private use that use which a man makes of his reason in a civic post that has been entrusted to him. In some affairs affecting the interest of the community a certain [governmental] mechanism is necessary in which some members of the community remain passive (Lines 50-56)-A lesser degree of civic freedom, however, creates room to let that free spirit expand to the limits of its capacity (Lines 170-1) Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Discourse of the Origin of Inequality- Of al the branches of human knowledge, the most useful and the least advanced seems to me to be that of man (33)- Knowing nature so little and agreeing so poorly on the meaning of the word law, it would be quite difficult to come to some common understanding regarding a good definition of natural law. Thus all those definitions that are found in books have, over and above a lack of uniformity, the added fault of being drawn from several branches of knowledge which men do not naturally have, and from advantages the idea of which they cannot conceive until after having left the state of nature. Writers begin by seeking the rules on which, for the common utility, it would be appropriate for men to agree among themselves; and then they give the name natural law to the collection of these rules, with no other proof than the good which presumably would result from their universal observance. Surely this is a very convenient way to compose definitions and to explain the nature of things by virtually arbitrary views of what is seemly. But as long as we are definitions and to explain the nature of things by virtually arbitrary views of what is seemly....
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This note was uploaded on 04/23/2010 for the course ACLG V2029 taught by Professor Brianboyd during the Spring '10 term at Columbia.
- Spring '10