Tagged: Enlightenment

Early Modern Philosophy (16th – 18th Century Europe)

The early modern period was a very innovative period in Western philosophy. New theories of mind and matter, new conceptions of God, new political philosophies and theories of civic society were proposed. The period approximately spanned from the late 1400s to the end of the 18th century (roughly 1500-1800). It is the time period where philosophers like Descartes, Locke, Hume, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Kant, published books that would shape our modern understanding of philosophy. DEFINING THE BEGINNING AND END OF THE PERIOD The roots of early modern philosophy can be traced back as far as the 1200s — to the...

Michel Foucault: “What is Enlightenment?”

What is Enlightenment? This is a question that modern philosophy has not been capable of answering, but that it has never managed to get rid of, either. And one that has been repeated in various forms for two centuries now. From Hegel through Nietzsche or Max Weber to Horkheimer or Habermas, hardly any philosophy has failed to confront this same question, directly or indirectly. What, then, is this event that is called the Aufklärung?

Genjokoan – The Actualization of Enlightenment

By Eihei Dogen Written in mid-autumn, 1233 Translated by Kosen Nishiyama and John Stevens (1975). When all things are the Buddha-dharma, there is enlightenment, illusion, practice, life, death, Buddhas, and sentient beings. When all things are seen not to have any substance, there is no illusion or enlightenment, no Buddhas or sentient beings, no birth, or destruction. Originally the Buddhist Way transcends itself and any idea of abundance or lack–still there is birth and destruction, illusion and enlightenment, sentient beings and Buddhas. Yet people hate to see flowers fall and do not like weeds to grow. It is an illusion...

Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?

This famous article by Kant gives a short definition of the Enlightenment philosophy. Published 1784. (Berlinische Monatsschrift. Dezember-Heft 1784. S. 481-494) AUFKLÄRUNG ist der Ausgang des Menschen aus seiner selbstverschuldeten Unmündigkeit. Unmündigkeit ist das Unvermögen, sich seines Verstandes ohne Leitung eines anderen zu bedienen.Selbstverschuldet ist diese Unmündigkeit, wenn die Ursache derselben nicht am Mangel des Verstandes, sondern der Entschließung und des Mutes liegt, sich seiner ohne Leitung eines andern zu bedienen. Sapere aude! Habe Mut, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen! ist also der Wahlspruch der Aufklärung. Faulheit und Feigheit sind die Ursachen, warum ein so großer Teil der Menschen, nachdem sie die Natur längst von fremder...

Immanuel Kant: What is Enlightenment? (1784)

Kant’s famous text about Enlightenment is below. You can also find the German original on this site. “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Sapere Aude! [dare to know] “Have courage to use your own understanding!”–that is the motto of enlightenment. Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a proportion of men, long after nature has released them from...