Monday, February 19, 2007

The Darkness and the Light

Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed tutelage. Tutelage is the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance. This tutelage 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! Have the courage to use one's own understanding! is therefore the motto of the Enlightenment ... If it is only given freedom, enlightenment is inevitable... I. Kant, Political Writings, trans. H.B. Nisbet.
Writing toward the end of the 18th century, Kant sounded the clarion of the ascent of Reason -- the eager anticipation of the emancipation of the mind, which, once free, would rely upon itself to progress toward universal knowledge.

What would Dante make of this bold exodus from guides, tutors, teachers?

Here's Marco Lombardo inside the absolute darkness of Canto 16:
lo mondo e cieco, e tu vien ben da lui
the world is blind, and indeed you come from it.

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