In 1784, Kant answered a call by a Berlin periodical for responses to the question "What is Enlightenment?", replying: "Enlightenment is mankind's exit from its self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to make use of one's own understanding without the guidance of another."
For this month's reading group, we'll read Kant's essay in full, as well as a selection of other, related texts---some pro-Enlightenment, some contra. We'll discuss, with reference to the texts, the place of reason and autonomy in human life and thought, and whether Enlightenment values can and should be at the core of our ethical and political lives.
Downloadable pdfs of Kant's essay, and a choice of eleven other writings, are here:
Please read the Kant and at least a small handful of the others before the meeting, and RSVP 'yes' only if you'll attend. Some of the texts are more historical, some historical, some surveys: it's your choice.
The meetings themselves are informal, with an emphasis on thinking together and sharing thoughts about the works and issues they raise. There aren't any presentations---just open discussion about the books.
As the numbers are limited (in order to keep the atmosphere more intimate), please only RSVP 'yes' if you're going to attend---it's important that people have time to read the book before the meeting. If you're down to attend but won't be able to make it, then do please change your RSVP as soon as possible.
IMPORTANT NOTE. As demand for the reading group is high, if you RSVP 'yes' and then don't attend or tend to change your RSVP at the last minute, we'll move you to the bottom of the waiting list. We're sorry to have to do this, but we want to give people who are likely to come the opportunity.