In Defence of the Enlightenment

In Defence of the Enlightenment This brilliant and concise book from internationally renowned historian Tzvetan Todorov establishes the Enlightenment as the philosophical cornerstone of the modern world and argues that the wisdom of

  • Title: In Defence of the Enlightenment
  • Author: Tzvetan Todorov
  • ISBN: 9781843548133
  • Page: 441
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This brilliant and concise book from internationally renowned historian Tzvetan Todorov establishes the Enlightenment as the philosophical cornerstone of the modern world and argues that the wisdom of those times is just as relevant today Although our liberal democracies are the offspring of the Enlightenment, they also illustrate the ways in which its ideas can be distorThis brilliant and concise book from internationally renowned historian Tzvetan Todorov establishes the Enlightenment as the philosophical cornerstone of the modern world and argues that the wisdom of those times is just as relevant today Although our liberal democracies are the offspring of the Enlightenment, they also illustrate the ways in which its ideas can be distorted and perverted People living in these democracies today are often baffled by a host of phenomena which they don t know how to judge globalisation and media omnipotence, state sponsored torture and lies, moralism and the right of intervention, the domination of economics and the triumph of technology Is it possible to distinguish between the Enlightenment legitimate and illegitimate heirs We cannot learn lessons from the past unless we know how to relate them to the present In this brilliant and concise book, internationally renowned historian TT shows that what remains relevant to us today of the 18th century debates is their spirit, as expressed in a number of crucial principles and values It is by criticizing the Enlightenment that we remain faithful to it.

    One thought on “In Defence of the Enlightenment”

    1. I don't think I can praise this work highly enough.In a mere 150 pages, with wide spacing, Todorov examines what we mean by the Enlightenment, what it meant to the people articulating its ideals in the 18th century, and the differing arguments they raised in their discussions and essays on the new ideas arising from the collapse of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the rise of science, developments in technology, the Reformation (which resulted in at least a further two types of Christianity (th [...]

    2. Original review here: marklindnerfo/blog/2012/03/I almost bought this book when it came out in December 2009, but I had read at least one review which was not very positive. I wish I could find whatever I had read to see whether I agree with it. I have tried but I failed.I have read at least three other Tzetvan Todorov books that I am certain of: Facing the Extreme, Imperfect Garden, and Hope and Memory. I have enjoyed them all, even when I have not entirely agreed with him.I decided to pick thi [...]

    3. 3.5 stars. More a Beginner's Guide to the Enlightenment than anything else. I was hoping it would directly engage with specific aspects of contemporary culture, but it was broader and more general in scope, and aimed at a historical overview of Enlightenment philosophies. Not a waste reading it, by any means, but not what I was hoping for. The traditional adversaries of the Enlightenment – obscurantism, arbitrary authority and fanaticism – are like the heads of the Hydra that keep growing ba [...]

    4. يصف تودوروف الأنوار في آخر هذا الكتاب بأنها لم تعد اتجاهًا فكريًا، وإنما موقفًا من العالم، وأرى بأنه قد تحدث عنها في مجمل الكتاب بوصفها كذلك. عظيم!

    5. Not a perfect book - Todorov sets up easily-dismissed strawman versions of the internet's potential (and actual) impact on human co-operation and the space program's relevance to our fate as a species. There's also a sense that his vision of Enlightenment thinking is so subtle as to be almost nebulous - it's not the radical desacralisation and scientism of Dawkins et. al nor the radical relativism of post-modernism, just as much as it isn't the pursuit of theocracy or autocracy, but I think is t [...]

    6. This book is a relatively easy reading and a very good defense of the enlightenment idea(s). According to Todorov, enlightenment is not a comprehensive or a single project as it is often proclaimed to be. Enlightenment is rationalist and empiricist, emphasizing universality and particularity, it is a more open debate rather than an achieved consensus. In other words, it is an attack on how the society was structured, and that religious institutions or any other object aren't holistic, what is ho [...]

    7. Despite being little over one-hundred-and-fifty pages in length, In Defence of the Enlightenment offers a surprisingly wide-ranging critique of the Enlightenment and, in Tzvetan Todorov's view, what it means for us as citizens of the modern world. Todorov examines the writings of the main Enlightenment thinkers and links them to the present day, arguing throughout that these ideas remain as relevant now as they were in the eighteenth century.Coming as it did in the wake of the global financial c [...]

    8. A very enjoyable, and very quotable short book. I dont remember being taught about the enlightenment in school (to be honest i wasnt paying much attention) but what the enlightenment gave us in terms of critical thought and the freedom to express those thoughts should be a key part of our education. The importance of a plurality of ideas was something i hadn't considered before - free thinking can only really exist when people are thinking different things. I'm probably not doing the book justic [...]

    9. لن تكفيك قراءة واحدة لهذا الكتاب حتى تحقق جلّ الفائدة منه، هذا الكتاب من الكتب التي تقرأ مرارا.تودوروف يدافع عن التنوير والأنوار التي اتهمت كثيرا بدعمها للأنظمة الشمولية أو حتى مفهوم الديموقراطية الخاطيء.لمن هذا الكتاب:لمحبي الفلسفةوباحثيها.ولمن يؤمن بالعقلانية والتنوير. [...]

    10. En 2006 se organizó en la Biblioteca Nacional de Francia la exposición “Ilustración. Una herencia para el mañana”, y a tal fin Todorov, encargado de la misma, escribió este ensayo, abordando el espíritu de la ilustración desde distintas perspectivas tales como: Autonomía, Laicismo, Verdad, Humanidad, Universalidad.Uno tiene la sensación de que ante semejante plantel Montaigne, Diderot, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Kant o Voltaire, Todorov, lejos de aportar algo nuevo, más bien se detiene [...]

    11. يعتبر مؤرخ الأفكار تزفيتان تودوروف من أهم المدافعين عن "الأنوار" و"الحداثة" في وقت رواج رؤى وأفكار مناقضة ومناوئة للحداثة.في هذا الكتاب "روح الأنوار" يحدد تودوروف رؤيته للأنوار، ويقدم دفاعه عن قيمه والتي يلخصها في الاستقلالية واللا ئيكية ومعرفة الحقيقة والبشرية والكونية.

    12. A very short, dense, yet highly readable book that is well worth picking up. As the title implies, this is not an in-depth exposition or analysis of enlightenment philosophy. Rather it is a polemic - an argument for the importance of enlightenment ideas in the world today. Along the way Todorov provides many original, perhaps provocative and always thought provoking insights into what enlightenment philosophy really means, along with a litany of criticisms of the enlightenment to which he provid [...]

    13. This is a good analysis and summary of the values of the enlightenment and its enduring influence today. Tzvetan Todorov argues passionately that these central values and concerns are still relevant, still valuable and still worth defending both against anti-enlightenment forces and those who have distorted the key messages of the enlightenment. Well worth reading if you want to understand one of the most important aspects of Western intellectual history.

    14. An interesting read, relating the ideas of the enlightenment to modern day life. Even the points I disagree with are eloquently put forward and understandable, so it isn't a pain even if you have conflicting views. (Not that such a thing should be a reason not to read, but for some it is, so anyway.) Only one chapter was really a slog, and it's very small, I read it in one sitting.

    15. Three principles• Autonomy• Purpose• UniversalityHumility and sincerity essential to retain the freedom of human spiritPreserve the best and evaluate the weaknesses

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