Answering the Question: “What Is Enlightenment?”
Kant answers the question quite succinctly in the first sentence of the essay:
“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity.”
He argues that the immaturity is self-inflicted not from a lack of understanding, but from the lack of courage to use one’s reason, intellect, and wisdom without the guidance of another. Our fear of thinking for ourselves.
He exclaims that the motto of enlightenment is “Sapere aude”! – Dare to be wise!"
Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung? Answering the question, ‘What is the enlightement?’ is the title of a 1784 essay by the philosopher Immanuel Kant. (via stephen-fry-me)
Set me thinking about Soviet schools which always lack freedom and self-opinions. Teachers would normally say: “Stop arguing, just do it. Or are you trying to show off, to show that you are somehow BETTER than the rest?!”
I recall especially Russian literature lessons and how every single character had its “meaning” - good or bad. No other colours. Just good or bad one. And don’t you bloody dare questioning that!
A. Ostrovsky’s “The Storm” immediately comes into my mind as an example of such approach. The main character in the play, married woman Katerina, who falls in love with another man chooses to kill herself rather than being happy. She thinks unfaithfulness is a huge sin. The teacher’s statement was always the same - she committed suicide thus she is a weak person. Go and write that down.
I remember sitting and thinking about such an outragious, one-sided point of view, I thought she was, on the contrary, - brave! However, no one dared speaking out, even I …
Teachers should inspire, not threaten their students.