Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Enlightenment

Today I started reading the book that JK sent me, How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World by Francis Wheen. So far, so good.

I have already found one passage in the book that I like so much, I am going to use it in the title part of my blog (or as much of it as will fit). It was actually quoted from Roger Scruton, a contemporary British philosopher and self-described political activist and conservative. I found Scruton’s article "What Ever Happened to Reason?", from whence the quote was taken, in City Journal:

http://www.city-journal.org/html/9_2_urbanities_what_ever.html.

The Enlightenment made explicit what had long been implicit in the intellectual life of Europe: the belief that rational inquiry leads to objective truth. Even those Enlightenment thinkers who distrusted reason, like Hume, and those who tried to circumscribe its powers, like Kant, never relinquished their confidence in rational argument…For the ensuing 200 years, reason retained its position as the arbiter of truth and the foundation of objective knowledge.

Reason is now on the retreat, both as an ideal and as a reality.

2 comments:

Tits Malone said...

MM,

Love the quote. Have you ever read anything by John Rolsten Saul? The Unconscious Civilisation might be something that you should take a look at.

Max said...

TM, thanks for the recommendation. I'll keep an eye out for the book.
Max xo