Kant vs. Rousseau

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GLST 301
Ally Hunt
The Rise of Man Kind: Societal Progression through Enlightenment

History is what we learn from; it shows the mistakes and tribulations of man. History demonstrates progression of the human mind and capabilities. It is my belief that we would not be where we are today without the advances of science and its inherent development of modern society. The day our minds started thinking that there is a better way, or more than one way, to go about things is the day humans started striving for a richer, more intellectual state of being. Without the modern advances over the many years man has populated the earth there would not be the democratic system that we call a society. Without the conveniences of modern luxuries we would have an entirely different stature of limitations than we perceive there to be. Kant claims in his second thesis that nature intended us to achieve great things; that man becomes powerful because nature pushed us to apply all of our capacity to rise above instinct and nature and begin to learn how to provide for ourselves. Rousseau does not see it that way; he feels that the rise of modern science only lead to conflict and false optimism in believing the power of the human race. I will be dissecting these two points of views using quoted material and my own personal logic and reflections. When reading Kant’s Perpetual Peace I found myself agreeing with a lot of his theories. He articulates that the notion of progress is more important than progress itself, meaning, being able to see the pattern or growth in the species develop creates the prominent suggestion that modernization and adaptation is within our capabilities. Kant also claims that nature wants us to do everything on our own, and take credit for our successes. “Nature seems to have taken delight in the greatest frugality and to have calculated her animal endowments so closely-so precisely to the most pressing needs of a primitive existence-that she seems to have...
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