INSTRUCTIONS: select three of the four questions. Answer each of them separately in approximately 500 words (give or take 100 words).
1. In his essay What is Enlightenment? Kant contrasts the movement of enlightenment to a state of immaturity. Explain the terms of this contrast and why it is significant for Kant. Then, offer an interpretation of how this contrast helps to illuminate the stakes of Kant’s concept of enlightenment.
2. Kant seems to express an almost ambivalent attitude toward revolutions. Offer an interpretation of Kant’s understanding of revolutionary action, specifically with regard to why revolutions could work either against or in favor of the enlightenment. What does this tell us about how progress works with respect to social and political institutions?
3. The issue of justifying progress is clearly at the center of Kant’s interests. Explain how critique works as a motor for progress, from where this critique is generated, and the purpose or end of critique. Then, offer an interpretation of whether or not you think this form of critique is up to the task that Kant ascribes to it, that is, to ensure progress.
4. Why is the consideration of history significant for the enlightenment? Explain what distinguishes universal history, specifically with respect to how nature and reason are understood to co-operate therein. Offer an interpretation of what it is that universal history allows us to hope for, according to Kant.