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The more and the more easily messengers reach everywhere here, everywhere there, then the more the communication of thoughts is advanced, and no prince, no king will seek to hinder this who understands the infinite advantages of the mind-industry, of mind-culture, of the reciprocal communication of inventions, thoughts, suggestions, even of mistakes committed and weaknesses. Every one of these things benefits human nature, and hence also society; the mistake gets discovered, the error gets corrected, thought awakens thought, sensations and decisions stimulate and motivate.

Herder, J. (2002). Letters for the Advancement of Humanity (1793–7) [excerpts concerning freedom of thought and expression]. In M. Forster (Ed.), Herder: Philosophical Writings (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy, pp. 370-373). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781139164634.016

I am currently having a hard time trying to understand the very last line about awakening thoughts I hope someone can explain it to me

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  • Context: the French campaigns in Europe led by Napoleon were a powerful "media" to spread Enlightenment ideas through Europe. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA May 12 at 13:25
  • According to Herder, the communication of ideas, thoughts, discoveries are a powerful force driving "Advancement of Humanity". – Mauro ALLEGRANZA May 12 at 13:26
  • If the yearning for knowledge is suppressed for a long time and the person stops trying, you’ll see this person will be inevitably drowned into the task-oriented Sisyphean depression state... – Double Knot May 12 at 17:24

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