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Archive for the 'World Civ-Enlightenment' Category

The man who made America: Reason, religion and the brilliant mind of John Locke

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Locke’s Two Treatises of Government appeared in December of 1689. It began with a full-throated refutation of the hereditary, divine right of kings, and a scathing dismissal of Scriptural justifications for such power, such as claims by kings to be descended from Adam. The second essay outlined a civil society in which all men were created equal. This cohered with Locke’s theory of selfhood and the mind. What could all those blank slates be but equal at birth? Nearly simultaneously, he sent out his letter on toleration, that divisive subject that had long simmered in Western religious and legal circles. Hiding behind anonymity, Locke argued that civil interests included life, liberty, health, and possessions, but not the salvation of souls. Since belief emerged from the full persuasion of the mind, error could be challenged by reason only. Force was useless. Dissenters, Locke proposed, should be treated like odd fellows who did their hair up in a silly manner.

Read more from this excerpt at Salon

Excerpted from “Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind”

Grade 9 Enlightenment Lectures

Friday, December 11th, 2015

I’ve combined all your Power Point lectures. You may view them here.

Lecture: The Enlightenment: Constructing a New Paradigm of Man and Society

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

My lecture outline:

  • Operational Definition
  • The Road to Enlightenment
  • The State of Nature
  • Enlightened Governance
  • Enlightened Economics
  • Enlightened Education
  • Enlightenment vs. Religion
  • Challenges to Enlightenment

Here is the Power Point

What Is Enlightenment? Immanuel Kant, 1784

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Enlightenment is a person’s emergence from his self-sustained dependency.  “Dependency” is the inability to make use of one’s intellect without the supervision of another.  One’s dependency is “self-sustained” when its cause lies not in defect of intellect but in lack of the decisiveness and courage to make use of one’s mind without the direction of another.  Sapere aude!  “Have the courage to make use of your own mind!” is thus the slogan of the Enlightenment.

Read Kant’s “What is Enlightenment?” (3 p.)

Voltaire: On Religion

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

“I meditated last night; I was absorbed in the contemplation of nature; I admired the immensity, the course, the harmony of these infinite globes which the vulgar do not know how to admire…”

His meditation led him to a scathing indictment of religion. Discussion questions at end of the reading.

Jean Jacques Rousseau: The Social Contract, 1763

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains. This man believes that he is the master of others, and still he is more of a slave than they are. How did that transformation take place? I don’t know. How may the restraints on man become legitimate? I do believe I can answer that question…

Read this excerpt of the Social Contract (4 pages) and answer these questions

The Limits of Enlightenment: A Modest Proposal

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick

Jonathan swift demonstrates the limits of Enlightenment dogma in this masterful and hilarious essay.

The French Revolution: Ideas and Ideologies

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

The philosophe may have laid the egg, but was the bird hatched of a different breed? Maurice Cranston discusses the intellectual origins and development of the French Revolution. (History Today)

Free Will?

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the problem of free will – the extent to which we are able to choose our actions.

Fun with Kant

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

The Kant Song:

Immanuel Kant Song

Kant Attack Ad:

Kant Attack Ad