Immanuel Kant- General Concepts

The major concept of Immanuel Kant is the idea of what is enlightenment. He believes that enlightenment is when a person leaves their self-caused immaturity. He defines immaturity as the mental inability for one to use their intelligence, without the guidance of another, in other words depending on others. He believes it is self-caused because it is not a result of a lack of intelligence, but rather the lack of determination or courage to use their intelligence without the guidance of another. He believes that the reason why humans choose to remain immature is because of laziness and cowardice, laziness and cowardice as it is easy for one to give into another illegally taking the role of leader. That type of behaviour is comparable to a child because they seek refuge and find comfort in figures of authority, like their parents, and as a result, they believe everything that their parents say. Kant says that if there is a book that provides information for him, a pastor who acts as a conscience for him, and a doctor who will decide his diet for him, and so on, he does not need to do these things for himself. He does not have any need to think, for as long as he has money to pay, those others will do those tedious jobs for him. He says that all that is needed for enlightenment is freedom, freedom for a person to make use of their own reason in all matters. Basically what Kant is saying is that everyone has the ability to be enlightened, but it is much too tedious for one to actually go out and do research for themselves, than to just believe whatever people tell one. His ideas come from epistemology, which is the theory of knowledge, or the science of knowing, which also applies to Kant’s beliefs on knowledge. Kant believes that knowledge is the result of reason and experience. Think about it like this, your experiences are papers in a binder and your reason is the binder itself and and this organization, or unification is what we know of as knowledge. So if the binder falls and papers fly out, there is no more organization, and therefore, no knowledge. As the binder cannot hold the papers if they are not in the binder, in order. To give order to reality, we have the categories of space and time. The space mentioned is not a real and objective thing, instead, it is an idea that is subjective, which comes from the mind’s description of experiences.

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