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Light in GermanyScenes from an Unknown Enlightenment$
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T. J. Reed

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226205106

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226205243.001.0001

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Coming of Age

Coming of Age

The Primal Scene

(p.6) Chapter 1 Coming of Age
Light in Germany

T.J. Reed

University of Chicago Press

In the beginning is the human birthright of thinking for yourself, as set out in Immanuel Kant’s great essay ‘What is Enlightenment?’ Coming of age brings with it the right and responsibility to ask questions, particularly about the practices of power and dogma. That requires a public forum of free debate, such as Frederick the Great conceded in Prussia. The struggle needed elsewhere is illustrated by the dramatist Friedrich Schiller’s early experience in Württemberg, and the paradoxical problems of reform from above by the programme of Joseph II of Austria.

Keywords:   maturity, independence, criticism, debate, Immanuel Kant, Frederick the Great, Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, Karl Eugen, Joseph II

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