All the instructions is upload. This is a humanities class.
What Is Enlightenment?
Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use
one's own understanding without another's guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies
not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one's own mind without
another's guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) "Have the courage to use your own
understanding," is therefore the motto of the enlightenment.
Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors
all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why
it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor. If I
have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes
my diet, and so on--then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think, if only I can
pay; others will take care of that disagreeable business for me. Those guardians who have kindly
taken supervision upon themselves see to it that the overwhelming majority of mankind--among
them the entire fair sex--should consider the step to maturity, not only as hard, but as extremely
dangerous. First, these guardians make their domestic cattle stupid and carefully prevent the
docile creatures from taking a single step without the leading-strings to which they have fastened
them. Then they show them the danger that would threaten them if they should try to walk by
themselves. Now this danger is really not very great; after stumbling a few times they would, at
last, learn to walk. However, examples of such failures intimidate and generally discourage all
Thus it is very difficult for the individual to work himself out of the nonage which has become
almost second nature to him. He has even grown to like it, and is at first really incapable of using
his own understanding because he has never been permitted to try it. Dogmas and formulas,
these mechanical tools designed for reasonable use--or rather abuse--of his natural gifts, are the
fetters of an everlasting nonage. The man who casts them off would make an uncertain leap over
the narrowest ditch, because he is not used to such free movement. That is why there are only a
few men who walk firmly, and who have emerged from nonage by cultivating their own minds.
It is more nearly possible, however, for the public to enlighten itself; indeed, if it is only given
freedom, enlightenment is almost inevitable. There will always be a few independent thinkers,
even among the self-appointed guardians of the multitude. Once such men have thrown off the
yoke of nonage, they will spread about them the spirit of a reasonable appreciation of man's
value and of his duty to think for himself. It is especially to be noted that the public which was
earlier brought under the yoke by these men afterwards forces these very guardians to remain in
submission, if it is so incited by some of its guardians who are themselves incapable of any
enlightenment. That shows how pernicious it is to implant prejudices: they will eventually
revenge themselves upon their authors or their authors' descendants. Therefore, a public can
achieve enlightenment only slowly. A revolution may bring about the end of a personal
despotism or of avaricious tyrannical oppression, but never a true reform of modes of thought.
New prejudices will serve, in place of the old, as guide lines for the unthinking multitude.
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