南京大学马克思主义社会理论研究中心
教育部人文社会科学重点研究基地

什么是启蒙?

什么是启蒙?


康德



  启蒙运动就是人类脱离自己所加之于自己的不成熟状态,不成熟状态就是不经别人的引导,就对运用自己的理智无能为力。当其原因不在于缺乏理智,而在于不经别人的引导就缺乏勇气与决心去加以运用时,那么这种不成熟状态就是自己所加之于自己的了。Sapereaude!要有勇气运用你自己的理智!这就是启蒙运动的口号。


  懒惰和怯懦乃是何以有如此大量的人,当大自然早己把他们从外界的引导之下释放出来以后(naturalitermaiorennes)时,却仍然愿意终身处于不成熟状态之中,以及别人何以那么轻而易举地就俨然以他们的保护人自居的原因所在。处于不成熟状态是那么安逸。如果我有一部书能替我有理解,有一位牧师能替我有良心,有一位医生能替我规定食谱,等等;那么我自己就用不着操心了。只要能对我合算,我就无需去思想:自有别人会替我去做这类伤脑筋的事。


  绝大部分的人(其中包括全部的女性)都把步入成熟状态认为除了是非常之艰辛而外并且还是非常之危险的;这一点老早就被每一个一片好心在从事监护他们的保护人关注到了。保护人首先是使他们的牲口愚蠢,并且小心提防着这些温驯的畜牲不要竟敢冒险从锁着他们的摇车里面迈出一步;然后就向他们指出他们企图单独行走时会威胁他们的那种危险。可是这种危险实际上并不那么大,因为他们跌过几交之后就终于能学会走路的;然而只要有过一次这类事例,就会使人心惊胆战并且往往吓得完全不敢再去尝试了。


  任何一个个人要从几乎已经成为自己天性的那种不成熟状态之中奋斗出来,都是很艰难的。他甚至于已经爱好它了,并且确实暂时还不能运用他自己的理智,因为人们从来都不允许他去做这种尝试。条例和公式这类他那天分的合理运用、或者不如说误用的机械产物,就是对终古长存的不成熟状态的一副脚梏。谁要是抛开它,也就不过是在极狭窄的沟渠上做了一次不可靠的跳跃而己,因为他并不习惯于这类自由的运动。因此就只有很少数的人才能通过自己精神的奋斗而摆脱不成熟的状态,并且从而迈出切实的步伐来。


  然而公众要启蒙自己,却是很可能的;只要允许他们自由,这还确实几乎是无可避免的。因为哪怕是在为广大人群所设立的保护者们中间,也总会发见一些有独立思想的人;他们自己在抛却了不成熟状态的羁绊之后,就会传播合理地估计自己的价值以及每个人的本分就在于思想其自身的那种精神。这里面特别值得注意的是:公众本来是被他们套上了这种羁绊的,但当他们的保护者(其本身是不可能有任何启蒙的)中竟有一些人鼓动他们的时候,此后却强迫保护者们自身也处于其中了;种下偏见是那么有害,因为他们终于报复了本来是他们的教唆者或者是他们教唆者的先行者的那些人。因而公众只能是很缓慢地获得启蒙。通过一场革命或许很可以实现推翻个人专制以及贪婪心和权势欲的压迫,但却绝不能实现思想方式的真正改革;而新的偏见也正如旧的一样,将会成为驾驭缺少思想的广大人群的圈套。


  然而,这一启蒙运动除了自由而外并不需要任何别的东西,而且还确乎是一切可以称之为自由的东西之中最无害的东西,那就是在一切事情上都有公开运用自己理性的自由。可是我却听到从四面八方都发出这样的叫喊:不许争辩!军官说:不许争辩,只许操练!税吏说:不许争辩,只许纳税。神甫说:不许争辩,只许信仰。(举世只有一位君主说:可以争辩,随便争多少,随便争什么,但是要听话!君主指普鲁士腓德烈大王)到处都有对自由的限制。


  然则,哪些限制是有碍启蒙的,哪些不是,反而是足以促进它的呢?--我回答说:必须永远有公开运用自己理性的自由,并且唯有它才能带来人类的启蒙。私下运用自己的理性往往会被限制得很狭隘,虽则不致因此而特别妨碍启蒙运动的进步。而我所理解的对自己理性的公开运用,则是指任何人作为学者在全部听众面前所能做的那种运用。一个人在其所受任的一定公职岗位或者职务上所能运用的自己的理性,我就称之为私下的运用。


  就涉及共同体利益的许多事物而言,则我们必须有一定的机器,共同体的一些成员必须靠它来保持纯粹的消极态度,以便他们由于一种人为的一致性而由政府引向公共的目的,或者至少也是防止破坏这一目的。在这上面确实是不容许有争辩的;而是人们必须服从。但是就该机器的这一部分同时也作为整个共同体的,乃至于作为世界公民社会的成员而论,从而也就是以一个学者的资格通过写作面向严格意义上的公众时,则他是绝对可以争辩的,而不致因此就有损于他作为一个消极的成员所从事的那种事业。因此,一个服役的军官在接受他的上级交下某项命令肘,竟抗声争辩这项命令的合目的性或者有用性,那就会非常坏事;他必须服从。但是他作为学者而对军事业务上的错误进行评论并把它提交给公众来作判断时,就不能公开地加以禁止了。公民不能拒绝缴纳规定于他的税额;对所加给他的这类赋税惹事生非地擅行责难,甚至可以当作诽谤(这可能引起普遍的反抗)而加以惩处。然而这同一个人作为一个学者公开发表自己的见解,抗议这种课税的不适宜与不正当不一样,他的行动并没有违背公民的义务。同样地,一个牧师也有义务按照他所服务的那个教会的教义向他的教义问答班上的学生们和他的会众们作报告,因为他是根据这一条件才被批准的。但是作为一个学者,他却有充分自由、甚至于有责任,把他经过深思熟虑有关那种教义的缺点的全部善意的意见以及关于更好地组织宗教团体和教会团体的建议传达给公众。这里面并没有任何可以给他的良心增添负担的东西。因为他把作为一个教会工作者由于自己职务的关系而讲授的东西,当作是某种他自己并没有自由的权力可以按照自己的心意进行讲授的东西;他是受命根据别人的指示并以别人的名义选行讲述的。他将要说:我们的教会教导这些或那些;这里就是他们所引用的论据。于是,他就从他自己不会以完全的信服而赞同、虽则他很可以使自己负责进行宣讲的那些条文中--因为并非是完全不可能其中也隐藏着真理,而且无论如何至少其中不会发见有任何与内心宗教相违背的东西,--为他的听众引绎出全部的实用价值来。因为如果他相信其中可以发见任何与内心宗教相违背的东西,那么他就不能根据良心而尽自己的职务了,他就必须辞职。一个就任的宣教师之向他的会众运用自己的理性,纯粹是一种私下的运用;因为那往往只是一种家庭式的聚会,不管是多大的聚会;而在这方面他作为一个牧师是并不自由的,而且也不能是自由的,因为他是在传达别人的委托。反之,作为一个学者通过自己的著作而向真正的公众亦即向全世界讲话时,则牧师在公开运用他的理性上便享有无限的自由可以使用他自己的理性,并以他自己本人的名义发言。因为人民(在精神事务上)的保护者而其本身居然也不成熟,那便可以归结为一种荒谬性,一种永世长存的荒谬性了。


  然则一种牧师团体、一种教会会议或者一种可敬的教门法院(就象他们在荷兰人中间所自称的那样),是不是有权宣誓他们自己之间对某种不变的教义负有义务,以便对其每一个成员并且由此也就是对全体人民进行永不中辍的监护,甚至于使之永恒化呢?我要说:这是完全不可能的。这样一项向人类永远封锁住了任何进一步启蒙的契约乃是绝对无效的,哪怕它被最高权力、被国会和最庄严的和平条约所确认。一个时代决不能使自己负有义务并从而发誓,要把后来的时代置于一种决没有可能扩大自己的(尤其是十分迫切的)认识、清除错误以及一般地在启蒙中继续进步的状态之中。这会是一种违反人性的犯罪行为,人性本来的天职恰好就在于这种进步;因此后世就完全有权拒绝这种以毫无根据而且是犯罪的方式所采取的规定。


  凡是一个民族可以总结为法律的任何东西,其试金石都在于这样一个问题:一个民族是不是可以把这样一种法律加之于其自身?它可能在一个有限的短时期之内就好像是在期待着另一种更好的似的,为的是好实行一种制度,使得每一个公民而尤其是牧师都能有自由以学者的身份公开地,也就是通过著作,对现行组织的缺点发表自己的言论。这种新实行的制度将要一直延续下去,直到对这类事情性质的洞见已经是那么公开地到来并且得到了证实,以致于通过他们联合(即使是并不一致)的呼声而可以向王位提出建议,以便对这一依据他们更好的洞见的概念而结合成另一种已经改变了的宗教组织加以保护,而又不致于妨碍那些仍愿保留在旧组织之中的人们。但是统一成一个固定不变的、没有人能够(哪怕在一个人的整个一生中)公开加以怀疑的宗教体制,从而也就犹如消灭了人类朝着改善前进的整整一个时代那样,并由此给后代造成损害,使得他们毫无收获,--这却是绝对不能容许的。一个人确实可以为了他本人并且也只是在一段时间之内,推迟对自己有义务加以认识的事物的启蒙;然而迳行放弃它,那就无论是对他本人,而更其是对于后代,都可以说是违反而且践踏人类的神圣权利了。


  而人民对于他们本身都不能规定的事,一个君主就更加不可以对他的人民规定了;因为他的立法威望全靠他把全体人民的意志结合为他自己的意志。只要他注意使一切真正的或号称的改善都与公民秩序结合在一起,那么此外他就可以把他的臣民发觉对自己灵魂得教所必须做的事情留给他们自己去做;这与他无关,虽则他必须防范任何人以强力妨碍别人根据自己的全部才能去做出这种决定并促进这种得救。如果他干预这种事,要以政府的监督来评判他的臣民借以亮明他们自己的见识的那些作品;以及如他凭自己的最高观点来这样做,而使自己受到"Caesarnon estt supragrammaticos"(凯撒并不高于文法学家)的这种责难;那就会有损于他的威严。如果他把自己的最高权力降低到竟至去支持自己国内的一些暴君对他其余的臣民实行精神专制主义的时候,那就更加每况愈下了。


  如果现在有人问:"我们目前是不是生活在一个启蒙了的时代?"那么回答就是:"并不是,但确实是在一个启蒙运动的时代"。目前的情形是,要说人类总的说来已经处于,或者是仅仅说已经被置于,一种不需别人引导就能够在宗教的事情上确切地而又很好地使用自己的理智的状态了,则那里面还缺乏许多东西。可是现在领域已经对他们开放了,他们可以自由地在这上面工作了,而且对普遍启蒙的、或者说对摆脱自己所加给自己的不成熟状态的障碍也逐渐地减少了;关于这些我们都有着明确的信号。就这方面考虑,这个时代乃是启蒙的时代,或者说乃是腓德烈的世纪。


  一个不以如下说法为与自己不相称的国君:他认为自己的义务就是要在宗教事务方面决不对人们加以任何规定,而是让他们有充分的自由,但他又甚至谢绝宽容这个高傲的名称;这位国君本人就是启蒙了的,并且配得上被天下后世满怀感激之忱尊之为率先使得人类,至少从政权方面而言,脱离了不成熟状态,并使每个人在任何有关良心的事务上都能自由地运用自身所固有的理性。在他的治下,可敬的牧师们可以以学者的身份自由地并且公开地把自己在这里或那里偏离了既定教义的各种判断和见解都提供给全世界来检验,而又无损于自己的职责:至于另外那些不受任何职责约束的人,那就更加是如此了。这种自由精神也要向外扩展,甚至于扩展到必然会和误解了其自身的那种政权这一外部阻碍发生冲突的地步。因为它对这种政权树立了一个范例,即自由并不是一点也不关怀公共的安宁和共同体的团结一致的。只有当人们不再有意地想方设法要把人类保持在野蛮状态的时候,人类才会由于自己的努力而使自己从其中慢慢地走出来。


  我把启蒙运动的重点,亦即人类摆脱他们所加之于其自身的不成熟状态,主要是放在宗教事务方面,因为我们的统治者在艺术和科学方面并没有向他们的臣民尽监护之责的兴趣;何况这一不成熟状态既是一切之中最有害的而又是最可耻的一种。但是,一个庇护艺术与科学的国家首领,他的思想方式就要更进一步了,他洞察到:即使是在他的立法方面,容许他的臣民公开运用他们自身的理性,公开向世上提出他们对于更好地编篡法律、甚至于是直言无讳地批评现行法律的各种见解,那也不会有危险的。在这方面,我们有着一个光辉的典范,我们所尊敬的这位君主(指普鲁士腓德烈大王)就是没有别的君主能够超越的。


  但是只有那位其本身是启蒙了的、不怕幽灵的而同时手中又掌握着训练精良的大量军队可以保障公共安宁的君主,才能够说出一个自由国家所不敢说的这种话:可以争辩,随便争多少,随便争什么;但是必须听话。这就标志着人间事务的一种可惊异的、不能意料的进程;正犹如当我们对它从整体上加以观察时,其中就几乎一切都是悖论那样。程度更大的公民自由仿佛是有利于人民精神的自由似的,然而它却设下了不可逾越的限度;反之,程度较小的公民自由却为每个人发挥自己的才能开辟了余地。因为当大自然在这种坚硬的外壳之下打开了为她所极为精心照料着的幼芽时,也就是要求思想自由的倾向与任务时,它也就要逐步地反作用于人民的心灵面貌(从而他们慢慢地就能掌握自由);并且终于还会反作用于政权原则,使之发见按照人的尊严--人并不仅仅是机器而已--去看待人,也是有利于政权本身的。


  1784年9月30日,于普鲁士哥尼斯堡(刘伟录自《历史理性批判文集》)


何兆武译



附英译:


  Was ist ?ufklarung?


  Enlightenment is man's release from his self-incurred tutelage.Tutelage s man's inability to make use of his understanding withoutdirection from another. Self-incurred is this tutelage when itscause lies not in lack of reason but in lack of resolution andcourage to use it without direction from another. Sapere aude!"Have courage to use your own reason!"- that is the motto ofenlightenment. Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a portion ofmankind, after nature has long since discharged them from externaldirection (naturaliter maiorennes), nevertheless remains underlifelong tutelage, and why it is so easy for others to setthemselves up as their guardians. It is so easy not to be of age.If I have a book which understands for me, a pastor who has aconscience for me, a physician who decides my diet, and so forth, Ineed not trouble myself. I need not think, if I can only pay -others will easily undertake the irksome work for me. That the step to competence is held to be very dangerous by thefar greater portion of mankind (and by the entire fair sex) - quiteapart from its being arduous is seen to by those guardians who haveso kindly assumed superintendence over them. After the guardianshave first made their domestic cattle dumb and have made sure thatthese placid creatures will not dare take a single step without theharness of the cart to which they are tethered, the guardians thenshow them the danger which threatens if they try to go alone.Actually, however, this danger is not so great, for by falling afew times they would finally learn to walk alone. But an example ofthis failure makes them timid and ordinarily frightens them awayfrom all further trials. For any single individua1 to work himself out of the life undertutelage which has become almost his nature is very difficult. Hehas come to be fond of his state, and he is for the present reallyincapable of making use of his reason, for no one has ever let himtry it out. Statutes and FORMulas, those mechanical tools of therational employment or rather misemployment of his natural gifts,are the fetters of an everlasting tutelage. Whoever throws them offmakes only an uncertain leap over the narrowest ditch because he isnot accustomed to that kind of free motion. Therefore, there arefew who have succeeded by their own exercise of mind both infreeing themselves from incompetence and in achieving a steadypace. But that the public should enlighten itself is more possible;indeed, if only freedom is granted enlightenment is almost sure tofollow. For there will always be some independent thinkers, evenamong the established guardians of the great masses, who, afterthrowing off the yoke of tutelage from their own shoulders, willdisseminate the spirit of the rational appreciation of both theirown worth and every man's vocation for thinking for himself. But beit noted that the public, which has first been brought under thisyoke by their guardians, forces the guardians themselves to renainbound when it is incited to do so by some of the guardians who arethemselves capable of some enlightenment - so harmful is it toimplant prejudices, for they later take vengeance on theircultivators or on their descendants. Thus the public can onlyslowly attain enlightenment. Perhaps a fall of personal despotismor of avaricious or tyrannical oppression may be accomplished byrevolution, but never a true reFORM in ways of thinking. Farther,new prejudices will serve as well as old ones to harness the greatunthinking masses. For this enlightenment, however, nothing is required but freedom,and indeed the most harmless among all the things to which thisterm can properly be applied. It is the freedom to make public useof one's reason at every point. But I hear on all sides, "Do notargue!" The Officer says: "Do not argue but drill!" The taxcollector: "Do not argue but pay!" The cleric: "Do not argue butbelieve!" Only one prince in the world says, "Argue as much as youwill, and about what you will, but obey!" Everywhere there isrestriction on freedom. Which restriction is an obstacle to enlightenment, and which isnot an obstacle but a promoter of it? I answer: The public use ofone's reason must always be free, and it alone can bring aboutenlightenment among men. The private use of reason, on the otherhand, may often be very narrowly restricted without particularlyhindering the progress of enlightenment. By the public use of one'sreason I understand the use which a person makes of it as a scholarbefore the reading public. Private use I call that which one maymake of it in a particular civil post or office which is entrustedto him. Many affairs which are conducted in the interest of thecommunity require a certain mechanism through which some members ofthe community must passively conduct themselves with an artificialunanimity, so that the government may direct them to public ends,or at least prevent them from destroying those ends. Here argumentis certainly not allowed - one must obey. But so far as a part ofthe mechanism regards himself at the same time as a member of thewhole community or of a society of world citizens, and thus in therole of a scholar who addresses the public (in the proper sense ofthe word) through his writings, he certainly can argue withouthurting the affairs for which he is in part responsible as apassive member. Thus it would be ruinous for an officer in serviceto debate about the suitability or utility of a command given tohim by his superior; he must obey. But the right to make remarks onerrors in the military service and to lay them before the publicfor judgment cannot equitably be refused him as a scholar. Thecitizen cannot refuse to pay the taxes imposed on him; indeed, animpudent complaint at those levied on him can be punished as ascandal (as it could occasion general refractoriness). But the sameperson nevertheless does not act contrary to his duty as a citizen,when, as a scholar, he publicly expresses his thoughts on theinappropriateness or even the injustices of these levies, Similarlya clergyman is obligated to make his sermon to his pupils incatechism and his congregation conFORM to the symbol of the churchwhich he serves, for he has been accepted on this condition. But asa scholar he has complete freedom, even the calling, to communicateto the public all his carefully tested and well meaning thoughts onthat which is erroneous in the symbol and to make suggestions forthe better organization of the religious body and church. In doingthis there is nothing that could be laid as a burden on hisconscience. For what he teaches as a consequence of his office as arepresentative of the church, this he considers something aboutwhich he has not freedom to teach according to his own lights; itis something which he is appointed to propound at the dictation ofand in the name of another. He will say, "Our church teaches thisor that; those are the proofs which it adduces." He thus extractsall practical uses for his congregation from statutes to which hehimself would not subscribe with full conviction but to theenunciation of which he can very well pledge himself because it isnot impossible that truth lies hidden in them, and, in any case,there is at least nothing in them contradictory to inner religion.For if he believed he had found such in them, he could notconscientiously discharge the duties of his office; he would haveto give it up. The use, therefore, which an appointed teacher makesof his reason before his congregation is merely private, becausethis congregation is only a domestic one (even if it be a largegathering); with respect to it, as a priest, he is not free, norcan he be free, because he carries out the orders of another. Butas a scholar, whose writings speak to his public, the world, theclergyman in the public use of his reason enjoys an unlimitedfreedom to use his own reason to speak in his own person. That theguardian of the people (in spiritual things) should themselves beincompetent is an absurdity which amounts to the eternalization ofabsurdities. But would not a society of clergymen, perhaps a church conferenceor a venerable classis (as they call themselves among the Dutch) ,be justified in obligating itself by oath to a certain unchangeablesymbol inorder to enjoy an unceasing guardianship over each of itsnumbers and thereby over the people as a whole , and even to makeit eternal? I answer that this is altogether impossible. Suchcontract, made to shut off all further enlightenment from the humanrace, is absolutely null and void even if confirmed by the supremepower , by parliaments, and by the most ceremonious of peacetreaties. An age cannot bind itself and ordain to put thesucceeding one into such a condition that it cannot extend its (atbest very occasional) knowledge , purify itself of errors, andprogress in general enlightenment. That would be a crime againsthuman nature, the proper destination of which lies precisely inthis progress and the descendants would be fully justified inrejecting those decrees as having been made in an unwarranted andmalicious manner. The touchstone of everything that can be concluded as a law for apeople lies in the question whether the people could have imposedsuch a law on itself. Now such religious compact might be possiblefor a short and definitely limited time, as it were, in expectationof a better. One might let every citizen, and especially theclergyman, in the role of scholar, make his comments freely andpublicly, i.e. through writing, on the erroneous aspects of thepresent institution. The newly introduced order might last untilinsight into the nature of these things had become so general andwidely approved that through uniting their voices (even if notunanimously) they could bring a proposal to the throne to takethose congregations under protection which had united into achanged religious organization according to their better ideas,without, however hindering others who wish to remain in the order.But to unite in a permanent religious institution which is not tobe subject to doubt before the public even in the lifetime of oneman, and thereby to make a period of time fruitless in the progressof mankind toward improvement, thus working to the disadvantage ofposterity - that is absolutely forbidden. For himself (and only fora short time) a man may postpone enlightenment in what he ought toknow, but to renounce it for posterity is to injure and trample onthe rights of mankind. And what a people may not decree for itselfcan even less be decreed for them by a monarch, for his lawgivingauthority rests on his uniting the general public will in his own.If he only sees to it that all true or alleged improvement standstogether with civil order, he can leave it to his subjects to dowhat they find necessary for their spiritual welfare. This is nothis concern, though it is incumbent on him to prevent one of themfrom violently hindering another in determining and promoting thiswelfare to the best of his ability. To meddle in these matterslowers his own majesty, since by the writings in which his ownsubjects seek to present their views he may evaluate his owngovernance. He can do this when, with deepest understanding, helays upon himself the reproach, Caesar non est supra grammaticos.Far more does he injure his own majesty when he degrades hissupreme power by supporting the ecclesiastical despotism of sometyrants in his state over his other subjects. If we are asked , "Do we now live in an enlightened age?" theanswer is, "No ," but we do live in an age of enlightenment. Asthings now stand, much is lacking which prevents men from being, oreasily becoming, capable of correctly using their own reason inreligious matters with assurance and free from outside direction.But on the other hand, we have clear indications that the field hasnow been opened wherein men may freely dea1 with these things andthat the obstacles to general enlightenment or the release fromself-imposed tutelage are gradually being reduced. In this respect,this is the age of enlightenment, or the century of Frederick. A prince who does not find it unworthy of himself to say that heholds it to be his duty to prescribe nothing to men in religiousmatters but to give them complete freedom while renouncing thehaughty name of tolerance, is himself enlightened and deserves tobe esteemed by the grateful world and posterity as the first, atleast from the side of government , who divested the human race ofits tutelage and left each man free to make use of his reason inmatters of conscience. Under him venerable ecclesiastics areallowed, in the role of scholar, and without infringing on theirofficial duties, freely to submit for public testing theirjudgments and views which here and there diverge from theestablished symbol. And an even greater freedom is enjoyed by thosewho are restricted by no official duties. This spirit of freedomspreads beyond this land, even to those in which it must strugglewith external obstacles erected by a government whichmisunderstands its own interest. For an example gives evidence tosuch a government that in freedom there is not the least cause forconcern about public peace and the stability of the community. Menwork themselves gradually out of barbarity if only intentionalartifices are not made to hold them in it. I have placed the main point of enlightenment - the escape of menfrom their self-incurred tutelage - chiefly in matters of religionbecause our rulers have no interest in playing guardian withrespect to the arts and sciences and also because religiousincompetence is not only the most harmful but also the mostdegrading of all. But the manner of thinking of the head of a statewho favors religious enlightenment goes further, and he sees thatthere is no danger to his lawgiving in allowing his subjects tomake public use of their reason and to publish their thoughts on abetter FORMulation of his legislation and even their open-mindedcriticisms of the laws already made. Of this we have a shiningexample wherein no monarch is superior to him we honor. But only one who is himself enlightened, is not afraid of shadows,and has a numerous and well-disciplined army to assure publicpeace, can say: "Argue as much as you will , and about what youwill , only obey!" A republic could not dare say such a thing. Hereis shown a strange and unexpected trend in human affairs in whichalmost everything, looked at in the large , is paradoxical. Agreater degree of civil freedom appears advantageous to the freedomof mind of the people, and yet it places inescapable limitationsupon it. A lower degree of civil freedom, on the contrary, providesthe mind with room for each man to extend himself to his fullcapacity. As nature has uncovered from under this hard shell theseed for which she most tenderly cares - the propensity andvocation to free thinking - this gradually works back upon thecharacter of the people, who thereby gradually become capable ofmanaging freedom; finally, it affects the principles of government,which finds it to its advantage to treat men, who are now more thanmachines, in accordance with their dignity.