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Ang Pilosophia ni Pepe.

April 16, 2008

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance. This immaturity is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one’s own mind without another’s guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) “Have the courage to use your own understanding,” is therefore the motto of the enlightenment……This enlightenment requires nothing but freedom–and the most innocent of all that may be called “freedom”: freedom to make public use of one’s reason in all matters. Now I hear the cry from all sides: “Do not argue!” The officer says: “Do not argue–drill!” The tax collector: “Do not argue–pay!” The pastor: “Do not argue–believe!” Only one ruler in the world says: “Argue as much as you please, but obey!” We find restrictions on freedom everywhere. But which restriction is harmful to enlightenment? Which restriction is innocent, and which advances enlightenment? I reply: the public use of one’s reason must be free at all times, and this alone can bring enlightenment to mankind.

Immanuel Kant, from What Is Enlightenment?

The first topic for consideration today is this: will it be feasible for the working masses to know complete emancipation as long as the education available to those masses continues to be inferior to that bestowed upon the bourgeois, or, in more general terms, as long as there exists any class, be it numerous or otherwise, which, by virtue of birth, is entitled to a superior education and a more complete instruction? Does not the question answer itself? Is it not self-evident that of any two persons endowed by nature with roughly equivalent intelligence, one will have the edge – the one whose mind will have been broadened by learning and who, having the better grasped the inter- relationships of natural and social phenomena (what we might term the laws of nature and of society) will the more readily and more fully grasp the nature of his surroundings? And that this one will feel, let us say, a greater liberty and, in practical terms, show a greater aptitude and capability than his fellow? It is natural that he who knows more will dominate him who knows less. And were this disparity of education and learning the only one to exist between two classes, would not all the others swiftly follow until the world of men itself in its present circumstances, that is, until it was again divided into a mass of slaves and a tiny number of rulers, the former labouring away as they do today, to the advantage of the latter? –Mikhail Bakunin


“The aim of being is being itself. However with the appearance of the human -and this is my entire philosophy- there is something more important than my life, and that is the life of the other.”
Emmanuel Levinas

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