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Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment? by Immanuel Kant

Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?

by Immanuel Kant

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Download this essay by German philosopher Immanuel Kant. One of the last Enlightenment philosophers, Kant puts forth his definition of Enlightenment, in reference to the question about what had occurred during the Age of Enlightenment in 18th century Europe and America. Kant feels that it was not a social movement adopted by the masses, but rather an individual movement where certain persons gained the courage to think for themselves and to argue against the paternalism of institutions which were heretofore unquestioned. Kant sees the freedom of reasoning and argumentation as central to the Age of Enlightenment, but this revolution of independent thought can only be achieved through an individual's striving for intellectual maturity. Download this free essay on MP3 exclusively through LearnOutLoud.com.


Written in 1784, "Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?" is one of philosopher Immanuel Kant's most influential and famous essays. Here Kant addresses the causes for a lack of Enlightenment in society, and the preconditions a person must meet in order to gain it. Controversial for its critique of church and state with regard to how it tells citizens to think, he argues that any lack of Enlightenment is really due to lack of courage on the thinker's part. This essay is a great start to anyone interested in Kant, who is considered to be one of the last great Enlightenment philosophers.

About The Author:

Immanuel Kant (22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher from Königsberg in East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). He is regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of modern Europe and the last major philosopher of the Enlightenment.

For more great philosophical excerpts check out: Classics of Western Philosophy: Volume 1 and Volume 2.

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very good
Reviewer wallababalanga
 February 22, 2011
Every one should read this very good.

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  • Published: 1784
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: A022917
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