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Dare to know: the dream of Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant is a German philosopher who died more than 200 years ago. He taught us how we should seek to live our lives and I find that what he said then is relevant for how I live my life today.

Here is the dream of Immanuel Kant. It seems to me that he is talking about Local Response. And his dream is a dream for the Constellation. I shall carry it with me into 2014.

"Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance. This nonage 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. Dare to know!"

And this is a reflection on Kant's dream by Gerd Gigerenzer, another German thinker who is still very much alive:

"...we are still far from being the courageous and informed citizens whom Kant envisaged—a goal that can be expressed in just two Latin words: Sapere aude. Or in three English words: Dare to know."

Perhaps all that we are doing in the Constellation is daring to know and urging others to meet that same challenge.

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Comment by rebeka sultana on February 26, 2014 at 11:02pm

Thanks Phil for your reply. 

Comment by Phil on February 21, 2014 at 10:04am

Dear Rebeka, 

I have enjoyed thinking about your comment during this week.

I think that you are right: Kant was challenging each of us as individuals to use our own minds...

...but out of that challenge came the recognition that if we work together and learn together, many things beyond our wildest dreams become possible...

...and from there to local response is not such a big leap...

(It makes me very happy that this tool we call Ning allows two people in England and Indonesia to exchange thoughts on a German philosopher.)

My best wishes 


Comment by rebeka sultana on February 17, 2014 at 4:46pm

Hi Phil,

Thank you for this post. 

From reading your post I think Kant spoke about individual's ability not about a group. And so it is not about local response. 

May be I am very wrong thinking this.

What do you think I am missing here?



Comment by Loli Rey on January 2, 2014 at 9:20am

Thanks Philip Forth for this message. A good reflection to consider in our lives!!! Happy New Year!!!

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