The Dream of Enlightenment
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Anthony Gottlieb’s landmark The Dream of Reason and its sequel challenge Bertrand Russell’s classic as the definitive history of Western philosophy. Western philosophy is now two and a half millennia old, but much of it came in just two staccato bursts, each lasting only about 150 years. In his landmark survey of Western philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance, The Dream of Reason, Anthony Gottlieb documented the first burst, which came in the Athens of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Now, in his sequel, The Dream of Enlightenment, Gottlieb expertly navigates a second great explosion of thought, taking us to northern Europe in the wake of its wars of religion and the rise of Galilean science. In a relatively short period—from the early 1640s to the eve of the French Revolution—Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, and Hume all made their mark. The Dream of Enlightenment tells their story and that of the birth of modern philosophy. As Gottlieb explains, all these men were amateurs: none had much to do with any university. They tried to fathom the implications of the new science and of religious upheaval, which led them to question traditional teachings and attitudes. What does the advance of science entail for our understanding of ourselves and for our ideas of God? How should a government deal with religious diversity—and what, actually, is government for? Such questions remain our questions, which is why Descartes, Hobbes, and the others are still pondered today. Yet it is because we still want to hear them that we can easily get these philosophers wrong. It is tempting to think they speak our language and live in our world; but to understand them properly, we must step back into their shoes. Gottlieb puts readers in the minds of these frequently misinterpreted figures, elucidating the history of their times and the development of scientific ideas while engagingly explaining their arguments and assessing their legacy in lively prose. With chapters focusing on Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Pierre Bayle, Leibniz, Hume, Rousseau, and Voltaire—and many walk-on parts—The Dream of Enlightenment creates a sweeping account of what the Enlightenment amounted to, and why we are still in its debt.
"His book...supplant[s] all others, even the immensely successful History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell."—A. C. Grayling Already a classic in its first year of publication, this landmark study of Western thought takes a fresh look at the writings of the great thinkers of classic philosophy and questions many pieces of conventional wisdom. The book invites comparison with Bertrand Russell's monumental History of Western Philosophy, "but Gottlieb's book is less idiosyncratic and based on more recent scholarship" (Colin McGinn, Los Angeles Times). A New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Best Book, and a Times Literary Supplement Best Book of 2001.
"With this profound and magnificent book, drawing on his deep reservoir of thought and expertise in the humanities, James MacGregor Burns takes us into the fire's center. As a 21st-century philosopher, he brings to vivid life the incandescent personalities and ideas that embody the best in Western civilization and shows us how understanding them is essential for anyone who would seek to decipher the complex problems and potentialities of the world we will live in tomorrow." --Michael Beschloss, New York Times bestselling author of Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989 "James MacGregor Burns is a national treasure, and Fire and Light is the elegiac capstone to a career devoted to understanding the seminal ideas that made America - for better and for worse - what it is." --Joseph J. Ellis, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning author Revolutionary Summer Pulitzer Prize-winning and bestselling historian James MacGregor Burns explores the most daring and transformational intellectual movement in history, the European and American Enlightenment In this engaging, provocative history, James MacGregor Burns brilliantly illuminates the two-hundred-year conflagration of the Enlightenment, when audacious questions and astonishing ideas tore across Europe and the New World, transforming thought, overturning governments, and inspiring visionary political experiments. Fire and Light brings to vivid life the galaxy of revolutionary leaders of thought and action who, armed with a new sense of human possibility, driven by a hunger for change, created the modern world. Burns discovers the origins of a distinctive American Enlightenment in men like the Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, and their early encounters with incendiary European ideas about liberty and equality. It was these thinker-activists who framed the United States as a grand and continuing experiment in Enlightenment principles. Today the same questions Enlightenment thinkers grappled with have taken on new urgency around the world: in the turmoil of the Arab Spring, in the former Soviet Union, and China, as well as in the United States itself. What should a nation be? What should citizens expect from their government? Who should lead and how can leadership be made both effective and accountable? What is happiness, and what can the state contribute to it? Burns's exploration of the ideals and arguments that formed the bedrock of our modern world shines a new light on these ever-important questions.
In the modern era Sigmund Freud observed that the most common dreams are typically the product of our anxieties and preoccupations. The prevalence of common dreams has spawned mechanistic type theories by contemporary scientists hypothesizing the inconsequentiality of all dreams. In this book I have attempted to balance the slate by consolidating information as to the function and meaning of dreams, and the transcendent possibilities they represent. In contrast to the aforementioned quasi scientific theories, rich Dream Yoga traditions attribute mystical and trans-personal value to some classes of dreams. Tibetan Buddhist Dream Yoga masters, along with teachers from other traditional cultures, recognizes that, while it is true that many dreams are relatively inconsequential in regards to content, some dreams have great significance.
This book tells nothing less than the story of how the modern, Western view of the world was born. Cultural and intellectual historian Anthony Pagden explains 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. Cosmopolitanism is an ancient creed; but in its modern form it was a creature of the Enlightenment attempt to create a new 'science of man', based upon a vision of humanity made up of autonomous individuals, free from all the constraints imposed by custom, prejudice, and religion. As Pagden shows, this 'new science' was based not simply on 'cold, calculating reason', as its critics claimed, but on the argument that all humans are linked by what in the Enlightenment were called 'sympathetic' attachments. The conclusion was that despite the many tribes and nations into which humanity was divided there was only one 'human nature', and that the final destiny of the species could only be the creation of one universal, cosmopolitan society. This new 'human science' provided the philosophical grounding of the modern world. It has been the inspiration behind the League of Nations, the United Nations and the European Union. Without it, international law, global justice, and human rights legislation would be unthinkable. As Anthony Pagden argues passionately and persuasively in this book, it is a legacy well worth preserving - and one that might yet come to inherit the earth.
The first authoritative and accessible single-volume history of philosophy to cover both Western and Eastern traditions, from one of the world's most eminent thinkers The story of philosophy is the story of who we are and why. An epic tale, spanning civilizations and continents, it explores some of the most creative minds in history. But not since the long-popular classic Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy, published in 1945, has there been a comprehensive and entertaining single-volume history of this great, intellectual, world-shaping journey. With characteristic clarity and elegance, A. C. Grayling takes the reader from the worldviews and moralities before the age of the Buddha, Confucius and Socrates through Christianity's capture of the European mind, from the Renaissance and Enlightenment on to Mill, Nietzsche, Sartre and, finally, philosophy today. Bringing together these many threads that all too often run parallel, he surveys in tandem the great philosophical traditions of India, China and the Persian-Arabic world. Accessible for students and revelatory to enthusiasts of philosophy, Grayling's narrative brings to life the work of both famous historical figures and less well-known but influential thinkers, bridging epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, logic, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language, political philosophy and the history of debates within these areas of enquiry. He dramatizes the interchange between and within eras and epochs, making thrilling the grand dance of human thought. He asks what we have learned, but also what progress is still to be made. Destined to be Grayling's magnum opus, and astonishing in its range and accessibility, this is a landmark work.
Arguably the most decisive shift in the history of ideas in modern times was the complete demolition during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries - in the wake of the Scientific Revolution - of traditional structures of authority, scientific thought, and belief by the new philosophy and the philosophes, culminating in Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. In this revolutionary process which effectively overthrew all justicfication for monarchy, aristocracy, and ecclesiastical power, as well as man's dominance over woman, theological dominance of education, and slavery, substituting the modern principles of equality, democracy, and universality, the Radical Enlightenment played a crucially important part. Despite the present day interest in the revolutions of the late eighteenth century, the origins and rise of the Radical Enlightenment have been astonishingly little studied doubtless largely because of its very wide international sweep and the obvious difficulty of fitting in into the restrictive conventions of 'national history' which until recently tended to dominate all historiography. The greatest obstacle to the Radical Enlightenment finding its proper place in modern historical writing is simply that it was not French, British, German, Italian, Jewish or Dutch, but all of these at the same time. In this novel interpretation of the Radical Enlightenment down to La Mettie and Diderot, two of its key exponents, particular stress is placed on the pivotal role of Spinoza and the widespread underground international philosophical movement known before 1750 as Spinozism.
Against the backdrop of ever-increasing nationalist violence during the last decade of the twentieth century, this book challenges standard analyses of nation formation by elaborating on the nation’s dream-like hold over the modern social imagination. The author argues that the national fantasy lies at the core of the Enlightenment imaginary, embodying its central paradox: the intertwining of anthropological universality with the primacy of a cultural ideal. Crucial to the operation of this paradox and fundamental in its ambiguity is the figure of Greece, the universal alibi and cultural predicate behind national-cultural consolidation throughout colonialist Europe. The largely unpredictable institution of a modern Greek nation in 1830 undoes the interweaving of Enlightenment and Philhellenism, whose centrifugal strands continue to unravel the certainty of European history, down to the current internal predicaments of the European Community or the tragedy of the Balkan conflicts.
A MASTERPIECE of illuminative writing, Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing is mandatory reading for anyone following a spiritual path. Part exposé and part how-to manual, this is the first book to explain why failure seems to be the rule in the search for enlightenment, and how the rule can be broken. :: Book One of Jed McKenna's Enlightenment Trilogy. Contains Bonus Material.
“I combed through the pages with delight. This book is going to cause a real buzz.” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author Sometimes a shattered dream leads to an amazing journey. At twenty-six, apprentice baker Mia West has her entire life planned out: a Craftsman cottage in Seattle, a job baking at The Butter Emporium, and her first love—her boyfriend, Ethan—by her side. But when Ethan declares he “needs some space,” Mia’s carefully planned future crumbles. Feeling adrift, Mia joins her vivacious housemate Rosie on a humanitarian trip around the world funded by a reclusive billionaire. Along with a famous grunge rock star, a Rwandan immigrant, and an unsettlingly attractive Hawaiian urban farmer named Kai, Mia and Rosie embark on the adventure of a lifetime. From the slums of Mumbai to a Hungarian border camp during the refugee crisis, Mia’s heart is challenged and changed in astonishing ways—ways she never could have imagined. As she grapples with how to make a difference in a complicated world, Mia realizes she must choose between the life she thought she wanted and the life unfolding before her. In a romantic adventure across the globe, The Enlightenment of Bees beautifully explores what it means to find the sweet spot in life where our greatest passions meet the world’s greatest need.
"Traces the historical foundations of modern American libraries to the European Enlightenment, showing how the ideas on which library institutions are based go back to the ideas and institutions of that revolutionary time"--Provided by publisher.
Sir Anthony Kenny FBA was born in Liverpool in 1931, and was educated at Upholland College and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. From 1963 to 1989 he was at Balliol College, Oxford, first as Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, and then as Master. He later became Warden of Rhodes House, President of the British Academy and of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, and Chair of the Board of the British Library. In 2006 Kenny was awarded the American Catholic Philosophical Association's Aquinas Medal for his significant contributions to philosophy.
Fictions of Enlightenment is the first book to examine the fascinating and intricate relationship between Buddhism and the development of Chinese vernacular fiction. Qiancheng Li brings Buddhist models to bear on the vision, structure, and narrative form of three classics of late imperial literatureJourney to the West, Tower of Myriad Mirrors, and Dream of the Red Chamberarguing that by fashioning their plots after the narratives of certain Mah?y?na sutras, the novelists transformed Buddhist concepts into narrative structures. Within the traditional Chinese novel Li even defines a new genre: the fiction of enlightenment.
The Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, also called the Age of Reason, was so named for an intellectual movement that shook the foundations of Western civilization. In championing radical ideas such as individual liberty and an empirical appraisal of the universe through rational inquiry and natural experience, Enlightenment philosophers in Europe and America planted the seeds for modern liberalism, cultural humanism, science and technology, and laissez-faire Capitalism This volume brings together works from this era, with more than 100 selections from a range of sources. It includes examples by Kant, Diderot, Voltaire, Newton, Rousseau, Locke, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, and Paine that demonstrate the pervasive impact of Enlightenment views on philosophy and epistemology as well as on political, social, and economic institutions.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018 ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR "My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science. Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing. Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
Encouraged by Eckhart Tolle, Awake Joy is a unique and comprehensive guide to awakening and enlightenment. It points to the radiant joy that is beyond the thinking mind, the separate sense of self, its idea of separation and identification with form. Katie Davis takes the mind-identified reader through their personal growth strategies to awakening. She then deepens to Self-discovery or what we might call the realization of the Heart. The book then shifts to conscious living by embracing humanity's diversity and the earth as none other than the Essence. The journey requires presence, not practices, although the book offers experiments and meditations to free the ego. This book is designed to be your companion throughout your life's journey to true and lasting fulfillment. It will be a trusted resource again and again. This A-Z handbook stands free of concepts and points pragmatically for those who are ready to surrender suffering for themselves, their families, the schools and the world
After Enlightenment: Hamann as Post–Secular Visionary is a comprehensive introduction to the life and works of eighteenth–century German philosopher, J. G. Hamann, the founding father of what has come to be known as Radical Orthodoxy. Provides a long–overdue, comprehensive introduction to Haman′s fascinating life and controversial works, including his role as a friend and critic of Kant and some of the most renowned German intellectuals of the age Features substantial new translations of the most important passages from across Hamann′s writings, some of which have never been translated into English Examines Hamann′s highly original views on a range of topics, including faith, reason, revelation, Christianity, biblical exegesis, Socrates, theological aesthetics, language, sexuality, religion, politics, and the relationship between Judaism and Christianity Presents Hamann as the ′founding father′ of a distinctly post–modern, post–secular theology and, as such, as an alternative to the ′postmodern triumvirate′ of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida Considers Hamann′s work as a touchtone of modern Jewish–Christian dialogue, in view of debates with his friend Moses Mendelssohn Explores Hamann′s role as the visionary founder of a ′metacritical′ movement that radically calls into question the basic principles of modern secular reason, and thus reprises the debate between those defending Hamann′s views and those labeling him the bête noir of the Enlightenment
Matytsin, Darrin M. McMahon, James Schmidt, Céline Spector, Jo Van Cauter
By turns witty and profound, The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat is a novel in the spirit of Gulliver's Travels or Animal Farm. Telling the story of the travels of a Professor Caritat, who is in search of the perfect world, Steven Lukes us on an irreverent romp through the history of western political philosophy. Doing for that discipline what Sophie's World did for philosophy in general, The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat is both a refreshing humorous introduction to the clasing ideologies of our time, and a passionate defence of the much-abused Enlightenment and its core values of reason, freedom and tolerance.
A compelling reevaluation of the Enlightenment from one of its leading historians In this concise and powerful book, one of the world's leading historians of the Enlightenment provides a bracing and clarifying new interpretation of this watershed period. Arguing that philosophical and historical interpretations of the era have long been hopelessly confused, Vincenzo Ferrone makes the case that it is only by separating these views and taking an approach grounded in social and cultural history that we can begin to grasp what the Enlightenment was—and why it is still relevant today. Ferrone explains why the Enlightenment was a profound and wide-ranging cultural revolution that reshaped Western identity, reformed politics through the invention of human rights, and redefined knowledge by creating a critical culture. These new ways of thinking gave birth to new values that spread throughout society and changed how everyday life was lived and understood. Featuring an illuminating afterword describing how his argument challenges the work of Anglophone interpreters including Jonathan Israel, The Enlightenment provides a fascinating reevaluation of the true nature and legacy of one of the most important and contested periods in Western history. The translation of this work has been funded by SEPS—Segretariato Europeo per le Pubblicazioni Scientifiche.