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。
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.