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UCI EUROST 10 - Euro Studies Class 18

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Professor Smith European Studies Department Europe Studies 10 European History Course Code: 24000 ● Why is enlightenment difficult? ○ Why is it “self-incurred” ○ Because people who are “of age” and should have a voice of their own, don’t ■ Why? ● Laziness and cowardice ● Fear of the unknown that comes from challenging authority ● The “guardians” feed off that fear, laziness, and cowardice and “make it easy” ● The goal ○ “Autonomy” ○ = auto + nomos = self + law ○ To be autonomous is to be capable of “imposing the law upon oneself” ■ Recall his ethics from the 2nd critique: do what’s right because it’s right ○ Hence, to be autonomous is not to be outside of or beyond the law ○ This will lead to an interesting paradox that we will deal with at the end ■ The law is necessary for enlightenment and autonomy ● Paradox? ○ We don’t live in an “enlightenment age” but we do live in an “age of enlightenment” ○ How to resolve this apparent contradiction? ○ Enlightenment is a process ● Progress ○ How does Kant envision social change coming about? ○ Enlightenment not (just) an individual process ○ He gives the example of a religious community ○ Some members (even a clergyman) must be allowed to air differences publicly(in writing) ○ If more people “in the reading public” come to adopt these views through open discussion, then they could approach the “throne” to start a new congregation ○ In political science this is called “deliberative democracy” ○ Note: this is Kant’s way of circumventing wars of religion! ■ “Use reason (publicly) in religious matters” ● Who can be enlightened? ○ Everyone? All to the same degree? ○ Women? ○ I read Kant favorably ■ He has sexist ideas typical of his period● But i think he implies in this essay that the reason why the “entire fair sex” is unenlightened is because the “guardians” have convinced them of the dangers ○ Those guardians need to be challenged ○ Does kant at least raise a claim to universality? ○ Keep these questions in mind when you prepare the magic flute for next tuesday ● A brief aside… ○ Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) ■ A vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) ■ “First great feminist” ■ But she also criticized women for allowing themselves to be cowed by their “guardians” ● Frederick the second (“the great”) Friedrich der Grobe ○ 1712 -1786 ○ “King in Prussia” 1740-1772 (because of scattered territories) ○ “King of Prussia” 1772-1786 ○ The crowning achievement of the Hohenzollern dynasty that led Prussia to become the dominant force in “Germany” ○ He’s the ruler Kant is referring to with his line: ■ “Only one ruler says ● Discuss all you want, but obey” ● Frederick the Great ○ Rise of the notion of the “state” as an entity with its own inner logic/life ■ Not just tied to the individual ruler ● He respected the FRENCH court ○ Raison d’etat ■ The state has its own reason ○ “King is the first servant of the state” ■ A kind of secular version of Lutheranism ● In a sense, man is “unfree” and must serve others ○ In 1739 he published an anti-machiavelli ○ Fusion of state power and rationality ■ A properly run state functions like an efficient “machine” ● We now see the further development of the Westphalian system ○ Recall: The Treaty allowed a country like the France of Louis XIV (the “sun king” to consolidate power) ○ It weakened the holy roman empire by giving more independence to the small principalities in the German-speaking region ○ What we see now is ■ The merging of some of those principalities into a stronger state ■ A new process of “rationalization” ● The “modern nation state” is slowly taking shape ○ Kant seems to be aware of this irony that the modern state is a precondition for enlightenment…○ On the other hand, the state (or its ruler) has the right to expect that it runs smoothly ■ We are cogs in the machine and must obey ○ But on the other, it also must allow us to pursue our academic or “scholarly” interests freely ● Enlightenment is a collective enterprise ○ The solution to the paradox that we do not live in an enlightened age but in an age of enlightenment ■ It is difficult for an individual on his or her own to “step out” of self-incurred tutelage ○ “But that the public should enlighten itself is more possible...” ○ This means we need to explore the possibility of a “public” ● Rise of a “public sphere” ○ Physical space and “literary” space ● Reading public + state = new possibilities for politics ○ Also: jurgen Habermas, the structural transformation of the public sphere: an inquiry into a category of Bourgeois society ○ A basic part of “liberal” societies ■ But are they in danger from the very way those societies have developed? ○ Do we need to protect the possibility of a public sphere? ● Contemporary examples ○ The “occupy” movement ○ Zuccotti Park, New York City ● What, according to this image, is contributing to our “minority status” ● Or a “public sphere elsewhere?” ● For our purposes, we want to explore: ○ How does Kant deal with the issues of reason, the new public sphere, and the rationalized state? ○ What is the distinction between “public” and “private” uses of reason? ● Human beings are split ○ Luther: spiritual vs. earthly realms; my salvation vs. my activities in this world ○ Kant: i am purely rational being capable of exploring ideas for their own sake and I am a being who plays a role in society ○ In my purely intellectual life I am equal and even in a sense identical to everyone else ■ But in my status as a social being, i am always identified with my role, i.e., I am who I am as X,Y, or Z ● Luther and Kant ○ Luther’s paradox: ■ The christian is most free and equal to all, but christian is the servant to all ○ Solution ■ Free spiritually but bound by “temporal government” ○ Kant’s paradox: ■ We must be free to be enlightened, yet we must obey○ Solution: free as “scholars” or when we have a “public” use of reason, bound as citizens or when we have a “private” use of our reason ● “Private” use of reason ○ How i think and behave and


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