Reverberations of the Enlightenment

December 17, 2009 § Leave a comment

“At times beneficent in its effects, as when the philosophes campaigned against torture, the Enlightenment has also been disastrous – as when Lenin and assorted neoconservatives endorsed or turned a blind eye to torture as a means of speeding up human progress. No differently from other traditions, the large and quarrelling family of thinkers and movements of which the Enlightenment is comprised has always partaken fully of human folly.”

John Gray’s fascinating review Wishful Thinking in Literary Review not only dissects Enlightenment fundamentalism, but suggests that all forms of fundamentalism, be it religious, political or philosophical, engender ramifications that can’t be detached from their source no matter how stringent and convinced theĀ apologist.


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