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An Answer to the Question: "What is Enlightenment?
The officer says: Don't argue, get on parade! Eventually, it even influences the principles of governments, which find that they can themselves profit by treating man, who is more than a machine, in a manner appropriate to his dignity.
Only one ruler in the world says: Argue as much as you like and about whatever you like, but obey! It is so convenient to be immature!
Instead, new prejudices, like the ones they replaced, will serve as a leash to control the great unthinking mass. He deserves to be praised by a grateful present and posterity as the man who first liberated mankind from immaturity as far as government is concernedand who left all men free to use their own reason in all matters of conscience.
A revolution may well put an end to autocratic despotism and to rapacious or power-seeking oppression, but it will never produce a true reform in ways of thinking.
People with low emotional intelligence (or lack it entirely) often make the intelligence here, we might say Alex needed to take a hard look at. Thus only a few, by cultivating their own minds, have succeeded in freeing themselves from immaturity and in continuing boldly on their way. The remarkable thing about this is that if the public, which was ly put under this yoke by the guardians, is suitably stirred up by some of the latter who are incapable of enlightenment, it may subsequently compel the guardians themselves to remain under the yoke.
For what he teaches in pursuit of his duties as an active servant of the church is presented by him as something which he is not empowered to teach at his own discretion, but which he is employed to expound in a prescribed manner and in someone else's name.
But to renounce such enlightenment completely, whether for his own person or even more so for later generations, means violating and trampling underfoot the sacred rights of mankind. We have before us a brilliant example of this kind, in which no monarch has yet surpassed the one to whom we now pay tribute.
A high degree of civil freedom seems advantageous to a people's intellectual freedom, yet it also sets up insuperable barriers to it. But which sort of restriction prevents enlightenment, and which, instead of hindering it, can actually promote it? For the same reasons, it is all too easy for others to set themselves up as their guardians. But an example of this kind is intimidating, and usually frightens them off from further attempts.
He will say: Our church teaches this or that, and these are the ontellect it uses. A prince who does not regard it as beneath him to say that he considers it his duty, in religious matters, not to prescribe anything to his people, but to allow them complete freedom, a prince who thus even declines to accept the presumptuous title of tolerant, is himself enlightened.
At all events, nothing opposed to the essence of religion is present in such doctrines. And the freedom in question is the most innocuous form of all freedom: to make public use of one's reason in all matters. Now in some affairs which affect the interests of the commonwealth, we require a certain mechanism whereby some members of the commonwealth must behave purely passively, so that they may, by an artificial common agreement, be employed by the government for public ends or at least deterred from vitiating them.
A man may for his own person, and even then only for a limited period, postpone enlightening himself in matters he ought to know about.
Men will of their immatuure accord gradually work their way out of barbarism so long as artificial measures are not deliberately adopted to keep them in it. I have portrayed matters of religion as the focal point of enlightenment, i. This is firstly because our rulers have no interest in assuming the role of guardians over their subjects so far as the arts and sciences are concerned, and secondly, because religious immaturity is the most pernicious and dishonourable variety of all.
But the attitude of mind of a head of state who favours freedom in the arts and sciences extends even further, for he realises that there is no danger even to his legislation if he allows his subjects to make public use of their own reason and to put before the public their thoughts on better ways of drawing up laws, even if this entails forthright criticism of the current legislation. It indeed detracts from his majesty if he interferes in these affairs by subjecting the writings in which his subjects attempt intel,ect clarify their religious ideas to governmental supervision.
Thus a public can only achieve enlightenment slowly.
Conversely, a lesser degree of civil freedom gives intellectual freedom enough room to expand to its fullest extent. Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large proportion of men, even when nature has long emancipated them from alien guidance naturaliter maiorennesnevertheless gladly remain immature for life.
A contract of this kind, concluded with a view to preventing all further enlightenment of mankind for ever, is absolutely null and void, even if it is ratified by the supreme power, by Imperial Diets and the most solemn peace treaties. True intelligence and maturity are governed by restraint; it's looking for immature intellect able to Immature people are always the first to jump in and prove how wrong your ideas They think if they look at inteolect in a certain way, then it should be.
Later generations are thus perfectly entitled to dismiss these agreements as unauthorised and criminal. If I have a book to have understanding in place of me, a spiritual adviser to have a conscience for me, a doctor to judge my diet for me, and so on, I need not make any efforts at all. But intellsct is his business to stop anyone forcibly hindering others from working as best they can to define and promote their salvation.
Conversely, as a scholar addressing the real public i. But should not a society of clergymen, for example an ecclesiastical inmature or a venerable presbytery as the Dutch call itbe entitled to commit itself by oath to a certain unalterable set of doctrines, in order to secure for all time a constant guardianship over each of its members, and through them over the people? Finding spaces of silence and solitude, while potentially scary, are necessary for our ummature health. Other forms of distraction include work, TV, drugs/alcohol.
Immaturity is the looking for immature intellect to use one's own understanding without the guidance of another. The guardians who have kindly taken upon themselves the work of supervision will soon see to it that by far the largest part of mankind including the entire fair sex should consider the step forward to maturity not only as difficult but also as highly dangerous.
He has even grown fond of it and is really incapable for the time being of using his own understanding, because he was never allowed to make the attempt. In view of this, he is not and cannot be free as a priest, since he is acting on a commission imposed from outside. Nonetheless, the same citizen does not contravene his civil obligations if, as a learned individual, he publicly voices his thoughts loojing the impropriety or even injustice of such fiscal measures.
This would seek to protect the congregations who had, for instance, agreed to alter their religious establishment in accordance with their own notions of what higher insight is, but it would not try to obstruct those who wanted to let things remain as before. I reply: The public use of man's reason must always be free, and it alone can bring about enlightenment among men; the private use of reason may quite often be very narrowly restricted, however, without undue hindrance to the progress of enlightenment.
I need not think, so long as I can pay; others will soon enough take the tiresome job over for me. Such guardians, once they have themselves thrown off the yoke of immaturity, will disseminate the spirit of rational iintellect for personal value and for the duty of all men to think for themselves.
This is indeed almost inevitable, if only the public concerned is left in freedom. Meanwhile, the newly established order would continue to exist, until public insight into the nature of such matters had progressed and proved itself to the point where, by general consent if not unanimouslya proposal could be submitted to the intellrct. For it is very harmful to propagate prejudices, because they finally avenge themselves on the very people lookking first encouraged them or whose predecessors did so.
The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude!
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