Quick access:

Go directly to content (Alt 1) Go directly to first-level navigation (Alt 2)
Sapere Aude© Goethe-Institut/Canva

Immanuel Kant Essay Competition

Calling all high school and college students in the United States! In honor of Immanuel Kant's 300th birthday, the Goethe-Institut invites you to participate in our essay contest "Sapere Aude – Dare to Know through Reason."

This motto, tied to Kant and the Age of Enlightenment, urges us to break free from ignorance and think independently. The competition aims to encourage the next generation to explore the relevance of the Enlightenment in today's context by considering how Kant's idea of "Sapere Aude" can help us make wise and ethically informed decisions in modern society.

Participants may choose from topics such as Kant's ethics in modern society, epistemology in the era of information, aesthetics and art today, and sustainable freedom. Essays must be between 1500 and 2000 words in length and submitted by October 3rd, 2024, in German or English. Prizes include scholarships for German language courses (in Germany and online) and an award ceremony at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Join our September workshop series to brainstorm ideas and ensure your essay reflects your critical thinking and creativity while adhering to academic integrity. 


Essay Submission

September Workshop Series

9/09/2024 7 pm ET Introduction of the Immanuel Kant "Sapere Aude" Essay Competition Lucy Patterson (Goethe-Institut New York) Online Teachers (high school and college) Register
TBD TBD Kant 101 for Youth: the Enlightenment Meets 2024 TBD Online Students (high school and college) Register
9/23/2024 6 pm ET Introduction of the Immanuel Kant U-Häppchen GEMs: Berit Jany Online German teachers Register
9/24/2024 12 pm ET Media Literacy for Youth: How to Know What to Know Michael Gargiulo Hybrid Teachers and students Register