Published 10 Apr 2017
Enlightenment is not only a word but a concept in itself. As per the rule of the nature ,a concept always comes into existence after being tested in practical life for again and again. This rule is not an exception about enlightenment too but at the same time there are so different views because of so different experiences regarding enlightenment.
Kant has a different perception that human freedom is a prerequisite for enlightenment while there is a general perception that development of senses, is a prerequisite for knowledge and enlightenment, thus this contradiction is the key issue of the work.
Author puts his view in such a way that enlightenment always need freedom as the primary factor, but our system is shaped in such a way that always we receive such instruction that- “Do not argue! Just do”. Although this is not applicable in all the way but that’s the biggest drawback with us which prevent to get closer with enlightenment.
As far as the assumptions by the author are concern they all are not acceptable but still it gives a broaden shape to his own view. Author repeats the concept of freedom with some argument for the better development of the intellect, but same time there is a presentation of a different concept that is- “Argue as much as you want and about what you want, but obey!” In fact it is a strong and acceptable fact that there should always be freedom to think. In the case of enlightenment it becomes stronger because freedom is really a prerequisite for enlightenment and when it comes to a mature stage, becomes ‘Renaissance’.
Although the thought of freedom is appreciable but we cant escape ourselves by accepting that freedom is only fruitful when it is with some restrictions. Just think restrictions and freedom both are adverse in nature so that’s not a better argument in case of enlightenment.Enlightenment is a wide concept which depends upon the fact of the related concern. Intellect development is a prerequisite of it but we should always question- till what extend? Voltaire says that doesn’t judge a person by his answer but judge him by his question.
Whereas Voltaire insisted on the supremacy of the intellect; Rousseau emphasized the emotions, becoming a contributor to both the Enlightenment and its successor, romanticism. And whereas Voltaire endlessly repeated the same handful of core Enlightenment notions, Rousseau sparked off original thoughts in all directions: ideas about education, the family, government, the arts, and whatever else attracted his attention.(Paul Brians). Thus there is always a way to get the different ways differently.
Actually the main problem is not to find out the way to enlightenment but the problem is to find out what the enlightenment is and why it is important for us. As far as my own view is concern, enlightenment always comes as a result of previous work not a result of miracle. In other words it’s a process not a result. A very funny but attractive question is asked that which came first- egg or chicken.? Of course you can avoid the question by saying that it’s a useless one to discuss over it but there is an answer and that is- egg came first because egg is a process and chicken is the result. A result always comes as a result of process so enlightenment is a process not a result. Although there may be uncountable results of this process so be a part of the process not a part of the result, because result is a mature as well as stagnant stage while process is a way, is full of possibilities of so many results.
- Brians, Paul.