Lecture 4

Grimms’ Fairy Tales

René Descartes

  • Applied scientific method to past philosophers, inventing “Rationalist Philosophy”
  • Credited with creating modern philosophy
  • Greatly influenced all the famous philosophers


  • Reason, logic, rationality are primary sources of knowledge
    • Not dogma, magic, etc
  • To gain knowledge follows the scientific method
  • No more orthodoxy / blind tradition

  • Germans did rational philosophy on rational philosophy
    • Trying to figure out what the enlightenment really is

Immanuel Kant

  • Enlightenment is “humanity’s emergence from self-imposed immaturity” (immaturity = not thinking for themselves)
  • Having people think for you is nice and convenient, but not enlightened

Overall! on Enlightenment

  • This is a new way to create knowledge
  • Blind tradition and faith are out; scientific method is in
  • Needs community to double check (this is not personal enlightenment, like sitting in a cave and thinking real hard)
  • Freedom for public scholars
  • Obedience for private workers