Sapere Aude: Dare to Know
The battle cry of the Enlightenment, as outlined by 18th century German philosopher Immanuel Kant in his famous article ‘What is Enlightenment?’ In this short essay Kant warns us that there are many obstacles that stand in the way of our maturity, but that we must learn to think for ourselves. He says:
“It is so easy not to be of age. If I have a book which understands for me, a pastor who has a conscience for me, a physician who decides my diet, and so forth, I need not trouble myself. I need not think, if only I can pay – others will easily undertake the irksome work for me.”
He said this back in 1784, way before the internet came along and made it even easier to be irresponsible adults. Sapere Aude, Dare to Know, means dare to find out what you’re made of, what’s important, what matters to you and the world. It originally comes from a parable that describes a fool who waits for the stream to stop before crossing, while the wise man forgoes comfort and crosses anyway.