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Oaths, Promises, and Compulsory Duties: Kant’s Response to Mendelssohn’s Jerusalem

Oaths, Promises, and Compulsory Duties: Kant’s Response to Mendelssohn’s Jerusalem J. Colin McQuillan I. In his article ``The Question of Enlightenment: Kant, Mendelssohn, and the Mittwochsgesellschaft,'' James Schmidt seeks to restore Immanuel Kant's essay ``An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?'' (1784) to its original context. According to Schmidt, Kant's essay is ``one response to a question which was addressed by a number of other writers and debated in a number of other forums.''1 The question to which Schmidt refers is, of course, ``What is enlightenment?'' The debate about the enlightenment question can be traced back to a footnote to an article that appeared in the Berlinische Monatsschrift in 1783.2 The author of the footnote, Johann Friedrich Zollner, wrote an arti¨ cle defending ecclesiastical marriage against Johann Erich Biester, the editor of the Berlinische Monatsschrift, who had advocated a purely civil and contractual conception of marriage in an earlier article. Biester's attempts to reduce marriage to a merely civil contract were ``unenlightened,'' in Zolln¨ er's view, because marriage is the basis of the family and, therefore, society James Schmidt, ``The Question of Enlightenment: Kant, Mendelssohn, and the Mittwochsgesellschaft,'' Journal of the History of Ideas 50 (1989): 270. 2 Norbert Hinske, Was Ist Aufklarung? Beitrage aus der Berlinischen http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the History of Ideas University of Pennsylvania Press

Oaths, Promises, and Compulsory Duties: Kant’s Response to Mendelssohn’s Jerusalem

Journal of the History of Ideas , Volume 75 (4) – Oct 21, 2014

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The Journal of the History of Ideas, Inc.
ISSN
1086-3222
Publisher site
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Abstract

J. Colin McQuillan I. In his article ``The Question of Enlightenment: Kant, Mendelssohn, and the Mittwochsgesellschaft,'' James Schmidt seeks to restore Immanuel Kant's essay ``An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?'' (1784) to its original context. According to Schmidt, Kant's essay is ``one response to a question which was addressed by a number of other writers and debated in a number of other forums.''1 The question to which Schmidt refers is, of course, ``What is enlightenment?'' The debate about the enlightenment question can be traced back to a footnote to an article that appeared in the Berlinische Monatsschrift in 1783.2 The author of the footnote, Johann Friedrich Zollner, wrote an arti¨ cle defending ecclesiastical marriage against Johann Erich Biester, the editor of the Berlinische Monatsschrift, who had advocated a purely civil and contractual conception of marriage in an earlier article. Biester's attempts to reduce marriage to a merely civil contract were ``unenlightened,'' in Zolln¨ er's view, because marriage is the basis of the family and, therefore, society James Schmidt, ``The Question of Enlightenment: Kant, Mendelssohn, and the Mittwochsgesellschaft,'' Journal of the History of Ideas 50 (1989): 270. 2 Norbert Hinske, Was Ist Aufklarung? Beitrage aus der Berlinischen

Journal

Journal of the History of IdeasUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Oct 21, 2014

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