Public Sphere in Theory and Practice. Kant & Rationality.
“Enlightenment is man’s release from his self-incurred tutelage. Tutelage is man’s inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another. It is self-incurred when its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another. Sapereaude! ‘Have courage to exercise your own understanding!’ – that is the motto of the Enlightenment” (30).
“Nothing is required for this enlightenment, however, except freedom; and the freedom in question is the least harmful of all, namely, the freedom to use reason publicly in all matters.”
The ideal of the public sphere (and thus the ideal of the Enlightenment) won’t be reached by Kant’s model of pure rationality because
still in thought as free as ever,
what are England’s rights, I ask,
me from my delights to sever,
me to torture, me to task?
fleecy locks and black complexion
cannot forfeit Nature’s claim;
skins may differ, but affection
dwells in white and black the same
the Negro’s complaint
They still are men, and men should still be free.
Insulted reason loathes th’ inverted trade –
loathes, as she views the human purchase made;
the outraged goddess, with abhorrent eyes,
sees man the traffic, souls the merchandise!
the slave trade