Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Dare to Know

So why this title then? Well, it comes, (OK, completely pretentiously), from Kant, who to date I would not dream of reading at length in the original, but from whom the occasional snippet makes gratifying good sense.

He wrote (somewhere other than in the Critique of Pure Reason):

"Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's own understanding without direction from another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolve and courage to use it without another's guidance. Sapere aude! Dare to know! This is the motto of the Enlightenment."

I realise that this phrase could read like an extremely presumptious and rude demand. I mean most of you out there will be courageous free-thinkers anyway. You don't need me to tell you to think for yourselves. But actually I really didn't mean it that way. It was intended entirely as an invocation to myself, a reminder to have the courage to think and say things I haven't just read somewhere else, a reminder also to have the courage to examine subjects that I would rather forget about. (which is all rather self-defeating, in this instance, seeing as all the ideas here have actually been garnered pretty directly from some authoritative source and also don't give me the willies, but anyway...)

I also felt that it was a good title for what may well be largely a Home Educating blog. Home Educators do frequently find that they must think for themselves. They must make things up as they go along, not only in addressing the issue of learning in an entirely different way, but also in the experience of fielding the questions our children raise, (which we often find to be far from those that are dealt with in the standard curriculum and indeed often beyond the scope of most explanations.) We also have to meet the ever changing challenges of government intrusion with creative thought and action. I guess that should make us mature. Well...

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