The Ambiguous Legacy of the Enlightenment

Overview

As the twentieth century closes, having withstood two world wars, a massive economic depression, and the rise of murderous, despotic regimes that based their existence on rationalistic theories, the legacy of the Enlightenment has come under new scrutiny. This new collection of essays from the Claremont Institute examines both the beneficial aspects of the Enlightenment as well as those considered detrimental. Including essays by political and social scientists such as Charles Kesler and Ernest van den Haag as ...
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Overview

As the twentieth century closes, having withstood two world wars, a massive economic depression, and the rise of murderous, despotic regimes that based their existence on rationalistic theories, the legacy of the Enlightenment has come under new scrutiny. This new collection of essays from the Claremont Institute examines both the beneficial aspects of the Enlightenment as well as those considered detrimental. Including essays by political and social scientists such as Charles Kesler and Ernest van den Haag as well as scientists like Edward Teller and Sir Fred Hoyle, this book examines why in the postmodern world of the late twentieth century, the application of reason, rationalism, and the scientific method to explain natural, social, and economic phenomena takes place almost without a second thought. While these modes of looking at the world have provided considerable benefits, especially when related to the natural realm, the perpetual use of reason and rationalism to explain man's existence has nudged theology aside, allowing secular humanism to displace reliance on a divine Providence and often leaving mankind spiritually adrift. Co-published with the Claremont Institute.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Scientists, political theorists, philosophers, and a theologian address political and intellectual legacies of the Enlightenment and assess the viability of its ideas as a guide to the future. They consider the roots of the Enlightenment in early modern thought and literature, its American dimension, the assumptions and techniques of science, and the limitations of specific disciplines. The 13 essays were presented at conferences sponsored by the Claremont Institute in 1990 and 1991; a volume containing the roundtable discussions from the third conference in 1992 is projected. Bibliographies range from none to full. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819199577
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 8/1/1995
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Masugi teaches for Johns Hopkins University, Advanced Academic Programs, in Washington, D.C.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Contributors
1 The Roots of the Enlightenment 1
2 Blumenberg and the Legitimacy of the Modern Age 22
3 Enlightenment to Ideology: the Apotheosis of the Human Mind 38
4 The Desolation of Reality 68
5 America's Place in the Enlightenment 85
6 The Different Enlightenments: Theory and Practice in the Enlightenment 102
7 The Permanent Limitations of Biology 120
8 The Assumptions and Techniques of Science 142
9 Future Achievements to Be Gained Through Science 169
10 The Limitations of Physics 182
11 The Limitations of Astronomy 196
12 Further Limitations of Astronomy 201
13 Beyond Science 208
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