Belatedly, I'd just like to say that I really enjoyed this book group; I've shuffled some Kant further up my reading list as a result of this.
What was really interesting for me is that, amongst the group, there didn't appear to be anyone who was more at ease with the counter-enlightenment stance than the enlightenment stance. At the same time, we do seem to be in a world-wide counter-enlightenment backlash at the moment. Where are the counter enlightenment voices? Does anyone know anyone who is seriously counter enlightenment? As a benchmark figure, I guess I'd pick Nigel Spivey as someone who seems to echo the counter enlightenment stance in a way similar to those mentioned in the Berlin article.
1 · June 3
I would like to mention two thoughts:
Kants judgemental words Immature, Laziness, Cowardice, Thoughtless (Masses) are all words that apply be degrees:
- In every period of man’s history they apply to a greater or lesser degree
- We have each and every one of us needed the guidance of others in order to develop the use of our own understanding
- Everyone uses their understanding in assessing their course of action and the trustworthiness of those who tell them things no matter how thoughtless Kant may consider them to be
- And each of us is influenced to differing degrees by the thoughts of others, Kant included
Reason, autonomy, freedom, knowledge are all powerful means, capacities, assets but the key question is what we will use them for; What sort of lives, what sort of family life, what sort of society will we use them to build?
0 · May 28
Wow, a lot of material there to read which is wonderful, only scanned through a couple of pages. What comes to mind at this early stage is, a big Yes to courage of own thinking and maturity. But at the end of the day, what does autonomy mean in our very complex, fast moving world when we are realising we are not independent but totally interdependent? And should we not value the importance of allowing ourselves to be influenced at times (secret of a successful marriage for example)? Perhaps as much as knowing our mind, I am much attached to the Socratic approach of inquiry rather than knowing.
And whether we like it or not, our own thinking will be influenced by so many things, our culture, society, generation, language etc. The first thing that came to my mind was how unpleasant some individuals can be when they are highly opinionated in daily life, and how sometimes I prefer people who are more open (less courageous?)
Please forgive my uninformed view, I am just a novice :)
1 · April 28
0 · April 27