What Is Enlightenment: Immanuel Kant And Voltaire

566 (1 page)
Download for Free
Important: This sample is for inspiration and reference only

As the age of Enlightenment arose in the 18th century, many had different views on what Enlightenment was. For the most part, Enlightenment stresses the idea of rationalism. For Immanuel Kant, this meant thinking for yourself, expressing your ideas instead of others. As for Voltaire, he emphasized that the idea of Dogmatism towards religion should not be instituted; instead, Voltaire insisted that people be tolerant towards other religions.

No time to compare samples?
Hire a Writer

✓Full confidentiality ✓No hidden charges ✓No plagiarism

What is Enlightenment by Immanuel Kant? According to Kant, “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity”. Kant wants the public to emerge from the state of being restricted to the traditional norms for so long, which leads to people’s freedom. Kant breaks down the process of becoming enlightened on the key principle of freedom. Freedom is very crucial to Kant’s process because it allows the public to voice their ideas and opinions without being judged or punished when they do so. However, this is only in the case that people’s opinions do not interfere with people's actions. For example, in Kant’s text, one can speak out about the ideas of tax but cannot refuse to pay taxes. In synopsis, one can speak out about an idea but cannot act on it. Furthermore, Kant believes that the leaders of a society must be enlightened before they can enlighten the public. Kant implies this rule/idea because without their “spiritual guardians” being enlightened, what right would they have trying to enlighten the people if the leaders themselves aren’t; for example, “For that the guardians of a people should themselves be immature is an absurdity that would insure the perpetuation of absurdities”. Kant even goes to say that the leader’s jurisdiction will have no consequence if the public voice their opinions publicly. The public should have a leader that is willing to let the people speak out and voice their opinions without being opinionated.

On the topic of being opinionated, Voltaire strongly asserts that people shouldn’t be opinionated towards one religion and should be more tolerant of other religions. The idea of not having many religions can bring rise to many problems. For example, having a belief in only one religion would cause many unpredictable results. If there were only two, there would be lots of people fighting and causing violence between which religion is right. By having many religions, many people should be understanding to other religions while still believing in theirs. Voltaire wanted everyone to realize that not one religion is superior compared to another. In the text, A Treatise on Tolerance, Voltaire states, “ I say that we should regard all men as our brothers”. The people need to get past the traditional things they were taught and be able to accept the idea that they need to be more reasonable about other religions. However, the bigger point for Voltaire must be centered around the central idea of rationalism and understanding.

Voltaire and Kant, despite having very different backgrounds and lifestyles, had similar ideas that bring enlightenment to the public. Both express the idea of the leaders having to be understanding and rational. For Kant, the public and the leaders both have to be rational in the sense that the leaders must take criticism from the people. For Voltaire, the public can voice their opinions about religion towards the clergy. Similarly, both thinkers wanted the public to break free from the traditional norms and explore the ideas of freedom and rationality.  

You can receive your plagiarism free paper on any topic in 3 hours!

*minimum deadline

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below

Copy to Clipboard
What Is Enlightenment: Immanuel Kant And Voltaire. (2022, August 19). WritingBros. Retrieved October 2, 2023, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/what-is-enlightenment-immanuel-kant-and-voltaire/
“What Is Enlightenment: Immanuel Kant And Voltaire.” WritingBros, 19 Aug. 2022, writingbros.com/essay-examples/what-is-enlightenment-immanuel-kant-and-voltaire/
What Is Enlightenment: Immanuel Kant And Voltaire. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/what-is-enlightenment-immanuel-kant-and-voltaire/> [Accessed 2 Oct. 2023].
What Is Enlightenment: Immanuel Kant And Voltaire [Internet]. WritingBros. 2022 Aug 19 [cited 2023 Oct 2]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/what-is-enlightenment-immanuel-kant-and-voltaire/
Copy to Clipboard

Need writing help?

You can always rely on us no matter what type of paper you need

Order My Paper

*No hidden charges