Kant's Contribution To The Enlightenment

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The enlightenment was a reformation of thought. Philosophers sought to question if the facts we are given are true and define enlightenment. Kant and Descartes discuss enlightenment in the context of intellect whereas Lessing and Smith discuss enlightenment of toleration and compassion. All four of these authors contributed immensely to the enlightenment and as a whole answered what enlightenment is.
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher and who posed the question of “What is enlightenment?” Many other philosophers attempt to answer this question while Kant gives his own answer. Enlightenment to Kant is man’s freedom to find understanding without the help of others. The motto of the enlightenment is “Have courage to use your own reason!” making the
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Descartes believed that the knowledge we have learned is based on opinions that vary and have no certainty. From this realization, Descartes went on a destructive process where he went to a cottage and subjected everything to systematic doubt. The destructive process was comprised of four steps. First, Descartes was not going to accept anything for true that he did not clearly know for himself was true. Second, he divided ideas into difficulties and tried to split them into as many parts as possible. Third, he started by using basic knowledge and then worked to more complex knowledge. And lastly, he was going to make his conclusions complete and general so that nothing was left out. This lead to Descartes conclusion that knowledge comes from the one’s mind and the only thing that is for certain is “I think, therefore I am”. Descartes like Kant believes that the individual should be the source of their knowledge. The “good sense”, which is the power to distinguish truth from error and is by nature equal among men, shows Descartes belief that everyone is capable of being

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