In the wake of the Scientific Revolution, the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the complete demolition of traditional structures of authority, scientific thought, and belief by the new philosophy and the philosophes, including Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. The Radical Enlightenment played a part in this revolutionary process, which effectively overthrew all justification for monarchy, aristocracy, and ecclesiastical power, as well as man's dominance over woman, theological dominance of education, and slavery. Despite the present day interest in the revolutions (...) of the eighteenth century, the origins and rise of the Radical Enlightenment have received limited scholarly attention. The greatest obstacle to the movement finding its proper place in modern historical writing is its international scope: the Racial Enlightenment was not French, British, German, Italian, Jewish or Dutch, but all of these at the same time. In this wide-ranging volume, Jonathan Israel offers a novel interpretation of the Radical Enlightenment down to La Mettie and Diderot, two of its key exponents. Particular emphasis is placed on the pivotal role of Spinoza and the widespread underground international philosophical movement known before 1750 as Spinozism. (shrink)
The first major reassessment of the Western Enlightenment for a generation. Continuing the story he began in Radical Enlightenment, Jonathan Israel now focuses on the first half of the eighteenth century. He traces to their roots the core principles of Western modernity: the primacy of reason, democracy, racial equality, feminism, religious toleration, sexual emancipation, and freedom of expression.
That the Enlightenment shaped modernity is uncontested. Yet remarkably few historians or philosophers have attempted to trace the process of ideas from the political and social turmoil of the late eighteenth century to the present day. This is precisely what Jonathan Israel now does. In Democratic Enlightenment , Israel demonstrates that the Enlightenment was an essentially revolutionary process, driven by philosophical debate. The American Revolution and its concerns certainly acted as a major factor in the intellectual ferment (...) that shaped the wider upheaval that followed, but the radical philosophes were no less critical than enthusiastic about the American model. From 1789, the General Revolution's impetus came from a small group of philosophe-revolutionnaires , men such as Mirabeau, Sieyes, Condorcet, Volney, Roederer, and Brissot. Not aligned to any of the social groups represented in the French National assembly, they nonetheless forged " la philosophie moderne "--in effect Radical Enlightenment ideas--into a world-transforming ideology that had a lasting impact in Latin America, Canada and eastern Europe as well as France, Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries. In addition, Israel argues that while all French revolutionary journals powerfully affirmed that la philosophie moderne was the main cause of the French Revolution, the main stream of historical thought has failed to grasp what this implies. Israel sets the record straight, demonstrating the true nature of the engine that drove the Revolution, and the intimate links between the radical wing of the Enlightenment and the anti-Robespierriste "Revolution of reason." Acclaim for earlier volumes in the trilogy: "His vast--and vastly impressive--book sets out to redefine the intellectual landscape of early modern Europe. Magnificent and magisterialwill undoubtedly be one of the truly great historical works of the decade." -- Sunday Telegraph "The scholarship is breathtaking. Israel has read everything, absorbed every nuance, followed up every byway." -- New Statesman "An enormously impressive piece of scholarship. The breadth and depth of the author's reading are breathtaking and Enlightenment Contested is set to become the definitive work for philosophers as well as historians on this extraordinary period." -- Tribune. (shrink)
In the late eighteenth century, an array of European political thinkers attacked the very foundations of imperialism, arguing passionately that empire-building was not only unworkable, costly, and dangerous, but manifestly unjust. Enlightenment against Empire is the first book devoted to the anti-imperialist political philosophies of an age often regarded as affirming imperial ambitions. Sankar Muthu argues that thinkers such as Denis Diderot, Immanuel Kant, and Johann Gottfried Herder developed an understanding of humans as inherently cultural agents and therefore necessarily (...) diverse. These thinkers rejected the conception of a culture-free "natural man." They held that moral judgments of superiority or inferiority could be made neither about entire peoples nor about many distinctive cultural institutions and practices.Muthu shows how such arguments enabled the era's anti-imperialists to defend the freedom of non-European peoples to order their own societies. In contrast to those who praise "the Enlightenment" as the triumph of a universal morality and critics who view it as an imperializing ideology that denigrated cultural pluralism, Muthu argues instead that eighteenth-century political thought included multiple Enlightenments. He reveals a distinctive and underappreciated strand of Enlightenment thinking that interweaves commitments to universal moral principles and incommensurable ways of life, and that links the concept of a shared human nature with the idea that humans are fundamentally diverse. Such an intellectual temperament, Muthu contends, can broaden our own perspectives about international justice and the relationship between human unity and diversity. (shrink)
Dialectic of Enlightenment is undoubtedly the most influential publication of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Written during the Second World War and circulated privately, it appeared in a printed edition in Amsterdam in 1947. "What we had set out to do," the authors write in the Preface, "was nothing less than to explain why humanity, instead of entering a truly human state, is sinking into a new kind of barbarism." Yet the work goes far beyond a mere critique (...) of contemporary events. Historically remote developments, indeed, the birth of Western history and of subjectivity itself out of the struggle against natural forces, as represented in myths, are connected in a wide arch to the most threatening experiences of the present. The book consists in five chapters, at first glance unconnected, together with a number of shorter notes. The various analyses concern such phenomena as the detachment of science from practical life, formalized morality, the manipulative nature of entertainment culture, and a paranoid behavioral structure, expressed in aggressive anti-Semitism, that marks the limits of enlightenment. The authors perceive a common element in these phenomena, the tendency toward self-destruction of the guiding criteria inherent in enlightenment thought from the beginning. Using historical analyses to elucidate the present, they show, against the background of a prehistory of subjectivity, why the National Socialist terror was not an aberration of modern history but was rooted deeply in the fundamental characteristics of Western civilization. Adorno and Horkheimer see the self-destruction of Western reason as grounded in a historical and fateful dialectic between the domination of external nature and society. They trace enlightenment, which split these spheres apart, back to its mythical roots. Enlightenment and myth, therefore, are not irreconcilable opposites, but dialectically mediated qualities of both real and intellectual life. "Myth is already enlightenment, and enlightenment reverts to mythology." This paradox is the fundamental thesis of the book. This new translation, based on the text in the complete edition of the works of Max Horkheimer, contains textual variants, commentary upon them, and an editorial discussion of the position of this work in the development of Critical Theory. (shrink)
The West has long had an ambivalent attitude toward the philosophical traditions of the East. Voltaire claimed that the East is the civilization "to which the West owes everything", yet C.S. Peirce was contemptuous of the "monstrous mysticism of the East". And despite the current trend toward globalizations, there is still a reluctance to take seriously the intellectual inheritance of South and East Asia. Oriental Enlightenment challenges this Eurocentric prejudice. J. J. Clarke examines the role played by the ideas (...) of Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism in the intellectual life of the West and how these ideas, far more than exotic distractions, or even instruments of colonial domination, have been the means towards serious self-questioning and self-renewal, used to dispute and even to undermine Western orthodoxies. (shrink)
What is the Enlightenment? A period rich with debates on the nature of man, truth and the place of God, with the international circulation of ideas, people and gold. But did the Enlightenment mean the same for men and women, for rich and poor, for Europeans and non-Europeans? In this fourth edition of her acclaimed book, Dorinda Outram addresses these and other questions about the Enlightenment and its place at the foundation of modernity. Studied as a global (...) phenomenon, Outram sets the period against broader social changes, touching on how historical interpretations of the Enlightenment continue to transform in response to contemporary socio-economic trends. Supported by a wide-ranging selection of documents online, this new edition provides an up-to-date overview of the main themes of the period and benefits from an expanded treatment of political economy and imperialism, making it essential reading for students of eighteenth-century history and philosophy. (shrink)
Kant believed that true enlightenment is the use of reason freely in public. This book systematicaaly traces the philosophical origins and development of the idea that the improvement of human understanding requires public activity. Michael Losonsky focuses on seventeenth-century discussions of the problem of irresolution and the closely connected theme of the role of volition in human belief formation. This involves a discussion of the work of Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Spinoza and Leibniz. Challenging the traditional views of seventeenth-century philosophy (...) and written in a lucid, non-technical language, this book will be eagerly sought out by historians of philosophy and students of the history of ideas. (shrink)
Interpreting the Enlightenment: on methods -- A map of the Enlightenment: whither France? -- The spirit of the moderns: from the new science to the Enlightenment -- Society, the subject of the modern story -- Quarrel in the Academy: the ancients strike back -- Humanism and Enlightenment: the classical style of the philosophes -- The philosophical spirit of the laws: politics and antiquity -- An ancient god: pagans and philosophers -- Post tenebras lux: Begriffsgeschichte or regime (...) d'historicité? -- Ancients and the Orient: translatio imperii -- Enlightened institutions (i): the royal academies versus the Republic of Letters -- Enlightened institutions (ii): universities, censorship, and public instruction -- Worldliness, politeness, and the importance of not being too radical -- From Enlightenment to Revolution: a shared history? -- France and the European Enlightenment -- Modern myths. (shrink)
Existing interpretations of Kant’s appeal to the spontaneity of the mind focus almost exclusively on the discussion of pure apperception in the Transcendental Deduction. The risk of such a strategy lies in the considerable degree of abstraction at which the argument of the Deduction is carried out: existing interpretations fail to reconnect adequately with any ground-level perspective on our cognitive lives. This paper works in the opposite direction. Drawing on Kant’s suggestion that the most basic picture we can have of (...) our cognitive capacity already makes reference to its state of excellence, or health (“sound understanding”), I set out by assembling Kant’s normative ground-level view of our cognitive lives, and then search for the fundamental condition of its possibility. This leads me to Kant’s conception of reflection as a normative requirement of judgment. Through examination of Kant’s remarks on reflection, I connect Kant’s preoccupation with the enlightenment ideal of originality (thinking for oneself) with his central appeal to the spontaneity of the mind. (shrink)
The term phenomenology can be used in a generic sense to cover a variety of areas related to the problem of consciousness. In this sense it is a title that ranges over issues pertaining to first-person or subjective experience, qualia, and what has become known as "the hard problem" (Chalmers 1995). The term is sometimes used even more generally to signify a variety of approaches to studying such issues, including contemplative, meditative, and mystical studies, and transpersonal psychology.(1) Within the disciplines (...) of philosophy and psychology, however, phenomenology has a more specialized meaning. In this case it refers to the methodology and philosophy initiated by the philosopher Edmund Husserl at the beginning of the twentieth-century and developed in various ways by theorists such as Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and Schutz. I restrict the scope of this review to phenomenology in this more specialized sense. In the light of several recent publications, the general questions I address are: What is and what ought to be the relationship between phenomenology and cognitive science? and What, if any, recent contributions has phenomenology made to the science of consciousness? (shrink)
This new book by Michael Slote argues that Western philosophy on the whole has overemphasized rational control and autonomy at the expense of the important countervailing value and virtue of receptivity. Recently the ideas of caring and empathy have received a great deal of philosophical and public attention, but both these notions rest on the deeper and broader value of receptivity, and in From Enlightenment to Receptivity, Slote seeks to show that we need to focus more on receptivity if (...) we are to attain a more balanced sense and understanding of what is important to us. -/- Beginning with a critique of Enlightenment thinking that calls into question its denial of any central role to considerations of emotion and empathy, he goes on to show how a greater emphasis on these factors and on the receptivity that underlies them can give us a more realistic, balanced, and sensitive understanding of our core ethical and epistemological values. This means rejecting post-modernism's blanket rejection of reason and of compelling real values and recognizing, rather, that receptivity should play a major role in how we lead our lives as individuals, in how we relate to nature, in how we acquire knowledge about the world, and in how we relate morally and politically with others. (shrink)
Central to the United Nations Framework setting out the human rights responsibilities of corporations proposed by John Ruggie is the principle that corporations have a responsibility to respect human rights in their operations whether or not doing so is required by law and whether or not human rights laws are actively enforced. Ruggie proposes that corporations should respect this principle in their strategic management and day-to-day operations for reasons of corporate self-interest. This paper identifies this as a serious weakness and (...) argues that identifying the responsibility to respect human rights as an explicitly ethical obligation to be respected for that reason would provide a much stronger justificatory foundation for respecting the principle seen from a corporateperspective, given that corporations are accountable to their shareholders for their deployment of the firm’s financial resources. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis article is the first in a series of four articles that engage critically with the arguments of two recent and significant additions to the literature on critical realism, namely Bhaskar’s ‘Enlightened Common Sense: The Philosophy of Critical Realism’, and Bhaskar et al.’s ‘Interdisciplinarity and Wellbeing: A Critical Realist General Theory of Interdisciplinarity’. Using the method of immanent critique and focusing mainly, but not exclusively, on the arguments of Enlightened Common Sense, I identify, and propose solutions to, a range of (...) problems pertaining to the concepts of depth, emergence and transfactuality. In identifying and resolving these problems, my aim is to clarify and develop the categories of original critical realism and thereby ensure that critical realism as a whole is as effective an underlabourer for science as it can be. (shrink)
Two great problems of learning confront humanity: learning about the nature of the universe and about ourselves and other living things as a part of the universe, and learning how to become civilized or enlightened. The first problem was solved, in essence, in the 17th century, with the creation of modern science. But the second problem has not yet been solved. Solving the first problem without also solving the second puts us in a situation of great danger. All our current (...) global problems have arisen as a result. What we need to do, in response to this unprecedented crisis, is learn from our solution to the first problem how to solve the second one. This was the basic idea of the 18th century Enlightenment. Unfortunately, in carrying out this programme, the Enlightenment made three blunders, and it is this defective version of the Enlightenment programme, inherited from the past, that is still built into the institutional/intellectual structure of academic inquiry in the 21st century. In order to solve the second great problem of learning we need to correct the three blunders of the traditional Enlightenment. This involves changing the nature of social inquiry, so that social science becomes social methodology or social philosophy, concerned to help us build into social life the progress-achieving methods of aim-oriented rationality, arrived at by generalizing the progress-achieving methods of science. It also involves, more generally, bringing about a revolution in the nature of academic inquiry as a whole, so that it takes up its proper task of helping humanity learn how to become wiser by increasingly cooperatively rational means. The scientific task of improving knowledge and understanding of nature becomes a part of the broader task of improving global wisdom. The outcome would be what we so urgently need: a kind of inquiry rationally designed and devoted to helping us make progress towards a genuinely civilized world. We would succeed in doing what the Enlightenment tried but failed to do: learn from scientific progress how to go about making social progress towards as good a world as possible. (shrink)
Issues relating to diversity and pluralism continue to permeate both social and political discourse. Of particular contemporary importance and relevance are those issues raised when the demands associated with forms of pluralism clash with those of the liberal state. These forms of pluralism can be divided into two subcategories: thin and thick pluralism. Thin pluralism refers to forms of pluralism that can be accommodated by the existing liberal framework, whereas thick pluralism challenges this liberal framework. -/- This thesis is an (...) examination of four forms of political association that may be able to accommodate and support the demands of pluralism. These four models are Rawls’ political liberalism, Crowder’s value pluralism, Rorty’s post-foundational liberalism, and Mouffe’s radical democratic project. What unites these four forms of political association is their capacity to avoid the exclusionary effects of a form of liberalism that I, following Gaus, refer to as Enlightenment liberalism. As the name suggests, this conception of liberalism is anchored in the Enlightenment, and in particular with what may be considered as the Enlightenment view of reason. As such, therefore, Enlightenment liberalism is both universal and perfectionist. In this context, I argue that Enlightenment liberalism is a species of what Berlin refers to as ‘moral monism’. -/- These four forms of political association are ordered in such a way as to chart an intellectual trajectory. Rawls and Crowder are both situated firmly within the liberal tradition, whereas Rorty and Mouffe move beyond this, and embrace a form of post-foundational politics. It is in this trajectory that the second theme of this thesis emerges. This is centred on a paradox: in order to avoid the exclusionary effect of Enlightenment liberalism and embrace a form of political association that meets the demands of pluralism and diversity, the models examined still promote autonomy as the dominant virtue. (shrink)
We relate the theory of presupposition accommodation to a computational framework for reasoning in conversation. We understand presuppositions as private commitments the speaker makes in using an utterance but expects the listener to recognize based on mutual information. On this understanding, the conversation can move forward not just through the positive effects of interlocutors’ utterances but also from the retrospective insight interlocutors gain about one anothers’ mental states from observing what they do. Our title, ENLIGHTENED UPDATE, highlights such cases. Our (...) approach fleshes out two key principles: that interpretation is a form of intention recognition; and that intentions are complex informational structures, which specify commitments to conditions and to outcomes as well as to actions. We present a formalization and implementation of these principles for a simple conversational agent, and draw on this case study to argue that pragmatic reasoning is holistic in character, continuous with common-sense reasoning about collaborative activities, and most effectively characterized by associating specific, reliable interpretive constraints directly with grammatical forms. In showing how to make such claims precise and to develop theories that respect them, we illustrate the general place of computation in the cognitive science of language. (shrink)
The Enlightenment and its legacy are still actively debated, with the Enlightenment acting as a key organizing concept in philosophy, social theory and the history of ideas. Counter-Enlightenments is the first full-length study to deal with the history and development of the Counter-Enlightenment thought from its inception in the eighteenth century right through to the present. Engaging in a critical dialogue with Isiah Berlin's work, this book analyses the concept of Counter-Enlightenment and some of the most (...) important conceptual issues and problems it raises. Graeme Garrard explores the diverse forms of Counter-Enlightenment thought, with a wide-ranging review of the principle figures of the past two hundred and fifty years, and he assesses the persuasiveness of the most common and important criticisms of the Enlightenment. (shrink)
While visiting a friend's family in Cornwall during the traditional May Day celebrations, eighteen-year-old Laura becomes involved in an old family mystery concerning the disappearance of ancient heirlooms.
The Enlightenment has often been written about as a sequence of disembodied 'great ideas'. The aim of this book is to put the beliefs of the Enlightenment firmly into their social context, by revealing the national soils in which they were rooted and the specific purposes for which they were used. It brings out the regional divergences of the Enlightenment experience, shaped by different local intellectual and economic priorities. At the same time it also shows how central (...) concerns were shared everywhere, and how the writings of certain key areas came to be influential elsewhere. The thirteen essays, each written by a historian specialising in the particular country, examine national contexts from Sweden to Italy, from Russia to North America. As well as focusing attention on the interplay of thought and action, ideology and society, the book offers important insights into the place of the intelligentsia in the modern world. (shrink)
Altruism and the medical profession have been linked throughout the history of medicine. Students are drawn to the calling of medicine because of altruistic values, dedication to service, and the desire to alleviate suffering and promote healing. Despite a dedication to these values, altruism in medicine is threatened by empathy erosion that develops in the clinical years of medical school and an increasing rate of medical student burnout. Currently, there are two widespread movements in medicine aimed at addressing the dual (...) loss of altruism and physician and student burnout—professionalism and wellness. Despite widespread recognition of the problems and programs aimed at improving them, there has been little headway, and even calls to abandon altruism in the modern marketplace of medicine. What is needed is not an abandonment of a fundamental, defining value of the profession, but a re-evaluation of the meaning of altruism in medicine and a framework that allows for students and physicians to provide altruistic care for a sustainable, rewarding career in the healing profession. This paper proposes the Enlightened Self-Interest in Altruism model as an ethical framework to allow medical students to synergize the interests of the self with those they serve in a mutually beneficial relationship to improve patient care and the healthcare system at large. The ESIA model acknowledges that egoism and altruism are intertwined, dynamic motivators of behavior. In the enlightened self-interest approach, the interests of the group are also the interests of the self. The physician–patient relationship is a dyad in which egoism and altruism may converge in an enlightened way that acknowledges that the interests of one are the interests of the whole. This is a paradigm shift from the historical view of egoism and altruism as opposing motivations. This paper will present the threats to altruism, explore the interface of egoism and altruism in a clinical vignette, and then present the ESIA framework as an educational approach to aligning the interests of providers and patients to prevent burnout and promote altruism. (shrink)
Where much contemporary philosophy seeks to stave off the "threat" of nihilism by safeguarding the experience of meaning--characterized as the defining feature of human existence--from the Enlightenment logic of disenchantment, this book attempts to push nihilism to its ultimate conclusion by forging a link between revisionary naturalism in Anglo-American philosophy and anti-phenomenological realism in recent French philosophy. Contrary to an emerging "post-analytic" consensus which would bridge the analytic-continental divide by uniting Heidegger and Wittgenstein against the twin perils of scientism (...) and skepticism, this book short-circuits both traditions by plugging eliminative materialism directly into speculative realism. (shrink)
Kant’s main concern in his famous essay on enlightenment is the relation between enlightenment and the political order. His account of this relation turns on the idea of the freedom of public reason. This paper develops a new interpretation of Kant’s concept of public reason. First, it argues that Kant conceives of public reasoning as a matter of speaking in one’s own name to the commonwealth of the public. Second, it draws on Kant’s republican conception of freedom in (...) order to develop an account of the grounds of the freedom of public reason. It argues that the state’s duty with respect to public reason is an aspect of its duty to protect the independence of citizens. Contrary to what is commonly thought, this duty is not an obligation to refrain from interfering in the sphere of public reason. The state may have a positive, though limited, role to play in enlightenment. (shrink)
Buddhist philosophy asserts that human suffering is caused by ignorance regarding the true nature of reality. According to this, perceptions and thoughts are largely fabrications of our own minds, based on conditioned tendencies which often involve problematic fears, aversions, compulsions, etc. In Buddhist psychology, these tendencies reside in a portion of mind known as Store consciousness. Here, I suggest a correspondence between this Buddhist Store consciousness and the neuroscientific idea of stored synaptic weights. These weights are strong synaptic connections built (...) in through experience. Buddhist philosophy claims that humans can find relief from suffering through a process in which the Store consciousness is transformed. Here, I argue that this Buddhist 'transformation at the base' corresponds to a loosening of the learned synaptic connections. I will argue that Buddhist meditation practices create conditions in the brain which are optimal for diminishing the strength of our conditioned perceptual and behavioural tendencies. (shrink)
Genevieve Lloyd presents a new study of the place of Enlightenment thought in intellectual history and of its continued relevance. She offers original readings of a range of key texts, which highlight the ways in which Enlightenment thinkers enacted in their writing--and reflected on--the interplay of intellect, imagination, and emotion.
While much has been written on specificity (e.g., in texts on new institutional economics, agency theory, and team production theory), there are still some insights to be learnt by business ethicists. This article approaches the issue from the perspective of team production, and will propose a new form of corporate governance: enlightened corporate governance, which takes into consideration the specific investments of employees. The article argues that, in addition to shareholders, employees also bear a residual risk which arises due to (...) their specific investments. This residual risk presents a valid and legitimate basis for residual claims. In this way, employees can be seen as residual claimants due to the fact that their income depends upon a hazardous quasi rent. Therefore, this article will call on the fiduciary duty of board members to protect those employees who are exposed to such residual risks and may thus be vulnerable as a result. This leads to a fundamental change of perspective on the “theory of the firm” – a change which will adopt the theories of new institutional economics, agency theory, and team production theory in order to promote business ethics research. Against this background, enlightened corporate governance aims to follow the criterion of specific investments as a legitimate basis for residual claims. Furthermore, it seeks to understand the consequences for board members, and to promote the sharing of control and ownership. The article will close with some discussion of the implications and future prospects for business ethics. (shrink)
The story of how, and why, the ideal of a universal, global, and cosmopolitan society became such a central part of the Western imagination in the ferment of the Enlightenment - and how these ideas have done battle with an inward-looking, tradition-oriented view of the world ever since.
This is a bold and controversial feminist, philosophical critique of postmodernism. While providing a brief and accessible introduction to postmodernist feminist thought, Enlightened Women is also a unique defence of realism and enlightenment philosophy. The first half of the book covers an analysis of some of the most influential postmodernist theorists, such as Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler. In the second half Alison Assiter advocates a return to modernism in feminism. She argues, against the current orthodoxy, that there can (...) be a distinction between "sex" and "gender". For students trying to pick their way through the maze of literature in the area of postmodernist feminism, Enlightened Women is a concise guide to contemporary thought - as well as a radical contribution to the debate. (shrink)
The Enlightenment, Popper and Einstein Abstract Nicholas Maxwell Email: [email protected] In this paper I discuss four versions of the basic idea of the French Enlightenment of the 18th century, namely: To learn from scientific progress how to achieve social progress towards an enlightened world. These four versions are: 1. The Traditional Enlightenment Programme. 2. The Popperian Version of the Enlightenment Programme. 3. The Improved Popperian Enlightenment Programme. 4. The New Enlightenment Programme. The Traditional (...) class='Hi'>Enlightenment Programme is the version of the idea upheld by the philosophes of the French Enlightenment. It was developed throughout the 19th century and put into practice in the early 20th century with the creation of departments of social science in universities all over the world. It is however damagingly defective. The Popperian Version of the Enlightenment Programme is an improvement, but still defective. As we go down the list, from 1 and 2 to 3 and 4, each Programme improves on its predecessor, until with The New Enlightenment, which can in some respects be associated with Einstein, we arrive at a version of the idea which can genuinely help humanity make social progress towards an enlightened world. (shrink)
This essay reevaluates the Weimar writings of Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss, specifically, their intellectual efforts to replace the political authority of Kantian liberalism with, respectively, a ‘political theology’ and ‘Biblical atheism’ derived from the thought of early-modern state theorists like Hobbes and Spinoza. Schmitt and Strauss each insisted that post-Kantian Enlightenment rationality was unraveling into a way of thinking that violently rejected ‘form’ of any kind, fixated myopically on material things and lacked any conception of the external constraints (...) that invariably condition the possibilities of philosophy, morality and politics. They considered Kantian reason and liberal politics to pose serious threats to ‘genuine’ expressions of rationality and as dangerous obfuscations of the necessity of political order—of the brute fact that human beings stand in need of ‘being ruled,’ as such. (shrink)
Kant does not completely work out his philosophical conception of enlightenment. The definition of enlightenment that he offers in his well-known essay on the topic does not seem to completely match the definition that he puts forward later in his essay on the pantheism controversy and in the third Critique. It remains unclear how the two definitions relate to each other and whether and how they rest on the same principle. The lack of clarity in Kant’s conception of (...)enlightenment is left mostly unaddressed in the secondary literature on the topic. This paper suggests that Kant’s philosophical conception of enlightenment rests on the discipline of pure reason. The self-disciplinary principle of reason, which is laid out in the Doctrine of Method of the first Critique, underlies both of Kant’s definitions of enlightenment, although he himself does not clearly demonstrate how it does so. (shrink)
Some in public relations have suggested that practitioners adopt a philosophy of enlightened self-interest as an ethical baseline. The author contends that such a theory must be rejected because even the enlightened variety does not adequately weigh the needs of significant others - a central consideration in any effort to define ethical behavior. The author maintains that genuine sacrifice - at times required of those desiring to do the right thing - clearly can conflict with any theory espousing self-interest as (...) a baseline. Further, there is a social dimension to ethics. By virtue of occupational title, the author holds that public relations practitioners have a particular responsibility to advance the social order. Ethical behavior - especially as it relates to public relations - must go well beyond a narrow concern that no injustice is done to individual persons. (shrink)
This celebrated work is the keystone of the thought of the Frankfurt School. It is a wide-ranging philosophical and psychological critique of the Western categories of reason and nature, from Homer to Nietzsche.
Hume's Enlightenment Tract is the first full study for forty years of David Hume's Enquiry concerning Human Understanding. The Enquiry has, contrary to its author's expressed wishes, long lived in the shadow of its predecessor, A Treatise of Human Nature. Stephen Buckle presents the Enquiry in a fresh light, and aims to raise it to its rightful position in Hume's work and in the history of philosophy.
For Kant, the ideal of enlightenment is most fundamentally expressed as a self-developed soundness of judgment. But what does this mean when the judgment at issue is practical, i.e., concerns the good to be brought about through action? I argue that the moral context places special demands on the ideal of enlightenment. This is revealed through an interpretation of Kant’s prescription for moral pedagogy in the Critique of Practical Reason. The goal of the pedagogy is to cultivate the (...) moral disposition, and the method consists of training in judgment. Unfortunately, Kant seems to wind up somewhere short of this goal, leaving the young person with only an idle wish for a properly cultivated moral disposition. In this paper, I argue that when we address the special issues that arise when the enlightenment ideal is brought to bear on practical judgment — issues that stem from the intrinsic connection between practical judgment and agency — we will see that there is no lacuna in Kant’s account. (shrink)
Critics have long treated the most important intellectual movement of modern history--the Enlightenment--as if it took shape in the absence of opposition. In this groundbreaking new study, Darrin McMahon demonstrates that, on the contrary, contemporary resistance to the Enlightenment was a major cultural force, shaping and defining the Enlightenment itself from the moment of inception, while giving rise to an entirely new ideological phenomenon-what we have come to think of as the "Right." McMahon skillfully examines the Counter- (...) class='Hi'>Enlightenment, showing that it was an extensive, international, and thoroughly modern affair. (shrink)
Enlightening Journey brings the life of the American philosopher, Nicholas Rescher, into the new millennium. The latest in a quartet of autobiographical works, this latest installment charts—in a single volume—the many twists and turns of Rescher's life and career. It takes the reader from Rescher's childhood in Weimar and then Nazi Germany through life as a first generation American during the Depression; as a high school student during World War II and a graduate student at Princeton; as a serviceman during (...) the Korean War to work as a Cold War warrior with the RAND Corporation during the Vietnam War. It traces the evolution of Rescher's career as a professional philosopher and his contribution of over seventy books and more than two hundred articles, many written in the construction of his signature system of pragmatic idealism. The very best in biography, Enlightening Journey offers new insight into the intellectual power and restless curiosity of an extraordinary modern scholar seeking to live out a very ordinary American life. (shrink)
The Enlightenment was the age in which the world became modern, challenging tradition in favor of reason, freedom, and critical inquiry. While many aspects of the Enlightenment have been rigorously scrutinized—its origins and motivations, its principal characters and defining features, its legacy and modern relevance—the geographical dimensions of the era have until now largely been ignored. Placing the Enlightenment contends that the Age of Reason was not only a period of pioneering geographical investigation but also an age (...) with spatial dimensions to its content and concerns. Investigating the role space and location played in the creation and reception of Enlightenment ideas, Charles W. J. Withers draws from the fields of art, science, history, geography, politics, and religion to explore the legacies of Enlightenment national identity, navigation, discovery, and knowledge. Ultimately, geography is revealed to be the source of much of the raw material from which philosophers fashioned theories of the human condition. Lavishly illustrated and engagingly written, Placing the Enlightenment will interest Enlightenment specialists from across the disciplines as well as any scholar curious about the role geography has played in the making of the modern world. (shrink)