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Frederick II. Frederick II (1712-1786). F. the Great or Old Fritz King of Prussia 1740-1786 Enabled rise of Prussia with the help of military victories Enlightened absolutism Major reforms in economic, legal, administrative, agricultural, and military sectors. Immanuel Kant.

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frederick ii 1712 1786
Frederick II (1712-1786)
  • F. the Great or Old Fritz
  • King of Prussia 1740-1786
  • Enabled rise of Prussia with the help of military victories
  • Enlightened absolutism
  • Major reforms in economic, legal, administrative, agricultural, and military sectors
immanuel kant 1724 1804
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
  • Author of 3 critiques (Pure Reason, Practical Reason, and Judgment)
  • Knowledge becomes part of critique
  • Categorical Imperative: “Act in such a way that the underlying principle of your will could also at any time serve as general law.”
gotthold ephraim lessing 1729 1781
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781)
  • Theatrical director in Hamburg
  • Most prominent writer of German enlightenment (plays, pamphlets, essays)
  • Minna of Barnhelm
  • Laokoön
  • Hamburgische Dramaturgie
enlightenment concepts
Enlightenment Concepts
  • Act according to reason (Sapere aude!)
  • Logical reasoning inherent to human being
  • Progress, tolerance, equality, freedom of the individual
  • Accumulation of knowledge, rather than formation of emotion and character
  • Denigration of religion in favor of intellectualism
enlightenment debate the berlin wednesday society
Enlightenment DebateThe Berlin Wednesday Society
  • J.K.W. Möhsen (1722-1795); “What is to be done toward the Enlightenment of the Citizenry?” (1783)
  • Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786); “On the Question: What is Enlightenment?” (1784)
  • Kant essay (1784)
  • K.L. Reinhold (1758-1823); “Thoughts on Enlightenment” (1784)
  • C.M. Wieland (1733-1813); “A Couple of Gold Nuggets from the… Wastepaper, or Six Answers to Six Questions” (1789)
initial questions wieland
Initial Questions (Wieland)
  • What is enlightenment?
  • Over which objects can and must it extend itself?
  • Where are its limits?
  • What are the safe means through which it is advanced?
  • Who is authorized to enlighten humanity?
  • By what consequences does one recognize its truth?
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