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Uses of Reason and Human Destinies within the Political Sphere. I. Kant and M. Mendelssohn

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Author(s): Nicolae Drăgușin

Journal: Sfera Politicii
ISSN 1221-6720

Volume: XX;
Issue: 167 (1);
Start page: 46;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: public reason | private reason | Enlightenment | freedom | authority | sovereign | man as man | man as citizen

ABSTRACT
The paper draws upon two texts authored by Moses Mendelssohn and Immanuel Kant. They both address the question on the meaning and significance of Aufklärung raised by Berlinische Monatsschrift (1783-1784). Seemingly, the main theoretical point of Enlightenment is the relation between freedom and authority, particularily between individual subject (as man and as citizen) and political sovereign (the King). The paper argues that the solutions they advance to this relation have a two-fold impact on the political (read public) sphere: conservative in the case of M. Mendelssohn and subversive (even revolutionary) in I. Kant’s case. The conservative impact means keeping the status-quo whereas the subversive impact steps beyond political sphere to public one. In the public sphere each individual will be defined more through the use of public reason.
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Tango Rapperswil
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