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  1. #11
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    I wish people would read some Foucault and realize that sweeping generalizations about how great the Enlightenment was are utterly reductive and unhelpful... I wish they would stop thinking so simplistically about it. Heart is making some very good points.

    And anyway, if the Enlightenment was so wonderful, why did Imperialism and colonialism reach some of their most horrific apexes during and after?!? What about Enlightenment failed which brought about the Romanticist period?
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

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  2. #12
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    And anyway, if the Enlightenment was so wonderful, why did Imperialism and colonialism reach some of their most horrific apexes during and after?!? What about Enlightenment failed which brought about the Romanticist period?
    The uptight, hidebound attitudes and persistent clericalism and monarchism, mostly.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    The Beggar's Benison: Sex Clubs of Enlightenment Scotland and Their Rituals

    David Stevenson

    265pp, Tuckwell Press, 18.99

    The Hell-Fire Clubs: Sex, Rakes and Libertines in Eighteenth-century Europe by Geoffrey Ashe

    "Ashe traces the influence of libertarian (He means here as in Libertine sexually) philosophies on the world of the Enlightenment, showing how they met the need for a secular morality at a time when Christianity faced the onslaught of rationalism and empiricism."

    My point? There's no savior coming to our rescue, no one philosophy or political party or any mass movement that can become the pancea to cling except individuals standing up for what is right. Debauchery exists throughout all movements.
    What's wrong those clubs? They seem perfectly fine to me.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    I wish people would read some Foucault and realize that sweeping generalizations about how great the Enlightenment was are utterly reductive and unhelpful...
    And anyway, if the Enlightenment was so wonderful, why did Imperialism and colonialism reach some of their most horrific apexes during and after?!??
    Exactly. In "Dialectic of Enlightenment" Horkheimer and Adorno expose the flaws of the enlightenment. Specifically, how nazism and two world wars in what was a barbaric 20th century were products of enlightenment thinking. Science and method was used not only to control nature but to control people. Nazism can be linked to Darwinism and Hitler's concentration camps and systematic killing was all planned out scientifically. Enlightenment thinking is totalitarian in so far as it suggests that science, reason, and knowledge are only tools with instrumental value. It perverts the value of a thing in and of itself. Science can be used to kill people but is killing people good? Science can be used to make people live longer but is living longer better? The sheer instrumentalism of enlightenment thought distorts our perception that surrounds the bigger picture. Moreover, when instrumentalism begins to take on a life of its own it becomes a sort of religion and becomes a system that people believe in. Thus, it is not possible to entirely replace belief with knowledge - and Horkheimer and Adorno make this clear.

    To understand the above in a nutshell, consider the following metaphor. When one looks at a Monet painting too close one will not see it for its full aesthetic beauty. Only by taking a step back and seeing the bigger picture will a higher level of aesthetic truth be gained. In short, enlightenment thinking seeks to look at everything under a microscope and often misses the bigger picture by doing so. But post-modernism recognizes the complexities and contradictions in modern thought and is in many ways a reaction to modernity. This is where the argument for post-modernism begins.

  5. #15
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Samuel De Mazarin;290538]
    And anyway, if the Enlightenment was so wonderful, why did Imperialism and colonialism reach some of their most horrific apexes during and after?!? QUOTE]

    Because the Enlightenment enabled the West to dramatically increase its economic wealth, military power, and social organization while societies that were previously more advanced stagnated. Think about it; someone born on 1 A.D. would have been able to adapt to the period right before the Enlightenment fairly easily, but someone born at the start of the Enlightenment would not be able to adapt to the world that the Enlightenment brought forth within a mere 300 years or so. The emphasis on reason often led to rationalizing barbaric behavoir, but the mere fact that they thought they had to justify things on an objective, empirical and universal basis opened the door to later societal reforms. Did you know, for instance, that economics was termed the "dismal science" because capitalist theory undermined the economic and social justification for African slavery? It was "dismal" because it implied that white Europeans and black Africans would respond the same way to economic forces. The Enlightenment is disproportionately responsible for everything that makes the modern world exponentally better than previous eras.

    Romanticism, the great Awakenings, and similar movements have flourished alongside the Enlightenment and its consequences because science and the material world are simply not enough to make a species aware of its own mortality happy, and lacks the power to motivate many people to action. Also, the human being is inherently limited, and lacks the intellectual capacity (singularly or collectively) to know and assimilate all posible knowledge before making decisions. Evolution has therefore provided us with emotions that often function better than our reasoning capabilities regarding certain situations and circumstances. The back and forth between the Enlightenment and Romanticism is simply a process through which human beings have attempted to optimally balance the role of reason and emotion in society.
    Last edited by lowtech redneck; 08-21-2008 at 05:48 PM. Reason: forgot a word

  6. #16
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    It's been very educational reading these posts.. so I suppose I will thank Victor for starting the thread in the first place! It would have been a shame to be reading arguments between two posters instead of different educations and backgrounds and history on this topic.

  7. #17
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    It's been very educational reading these posts.. so I suppose I will thank Victor for starting the thread in the first place! It would have been a shame to be reading arguments between two posters instead of different educations and backgrounds and history on this topic.
    It was a thread split. No one really started this thread.

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