Posts Tagged ‘Age of Enlightenment’

Was ist Aufklärung?

July 8, 2014


Immanuel Kant Drawing/Collage

Immanuel Kant Drawing/Collage

Aufklärung ist der Ausgang des Menschen aus seiner selbstverschuldeten Unmündigkeit.

Immanuel Kant, “Was ist Aufklärung?” 1784

My German is extremely weak and clumsy, but my attempt to translate the above quote would be: “Enlightenment is one’s starting point from self-imposed dependence.”  Today was the last day of the first summer school term, and my Senior English class was in the 18th-century Age of Enlightenment.  I always come back to Kant’s published article of 1784 “What is Enlightenment” and try to point out to students that this was the amazing European century when citizens came of age, realizing that most of them were more intelligent than the king who ruled by “divine right”, and more moral than the ecclesiastical leaders of their day.  The European mind shed its dependence on the authority figures of the day and dared to think for themselves–sapere aude!  The philosophes took advantage of an available printing press to distribute their ideas, much the way we are able to do in our day of social networking and blogging.  Above is a quick drawing/collage that I whipped out during the course of our morning study.  I’m glad to see this first term draw to a close.  After finals tomorrow, I am free until the following Monday when we begin the second term.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not actually alone.