I consider Immanuel Kant’s work on “What is Enlightenment” to be a great work because even though the enlightenment occurred in the 17th and 18th century, it is still relevant to our society today. There are some points in the reading, points brought up back in the 17th century about how humans are obedient and lazy, and I think that still pertains to our society today. I think this relates to us today because our obedience and lack of courage essentially give the people in power to control our lives and prevent the rest of us from ‘rising up’ and achieving true enlightenment. I would classify this reading as a great work because it requires you to re-read it and allows you to pick up things you didn’t notice when reading it the first time. I connected with this reading because I was able to relate this reading to what I read in my sociology class. When reading this I automatically thought about C Wright Mill’s theory on elites, because in both they discussed how the people in power ideally control what we learn and we allow them to do so because based on what Kant is saying, humans are naturally lazy. After rereading this, I started to pick up on things that I never focused that much on and started to question things and making connections to what I have previously learned. I was amazed at how what I learned from one class connected to this reading. This is what makes something a great work, when the reading allows you to make connections between what you already know and what’s in the reading. I read this during the night, and because I typically have deeper thoughts at night, I definitely felt that I was questioning myself and realizing what Kant was saying was still relevant to us. This reading made me look at the world with a new perspective, noticing how certain characteristics Kant mention are still causing issues in our society. The message in this reading made me reevaluate my life and how we are all individuals playing a role in society, allowing the people with power to maintain their power. I find this reading to be important because it allows you to think about how our society is organized and I think it brings up important aspects about how our we live our lives. It challenges the life we live in today and it makes me want to change how we live our lives. In our society, we tend to just allow the people in power to stay in power, rather than challenging and questioning why these certain individuals are in power. This reading does a great job at describing how certain characteristics we have allowed this to happen, and because of this recognition, I think this reading is important because it makes people reevaluate their lives, question ourselves, and in all sheds light to how our society is structured. This work by Kant on enlightenment is considered to be a great work because while reading this, you can make connections to what you already know and most of all it makes us question our lives and makes us reevaluate how we live it.
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