Darwiniana

History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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The enlightenment inside a larger modernity

January 14th, 2016 · No Comments

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/14/the-end-of-the-enlightenment-a-fable-for-our-times-2/
This is an interesting anaysis but the basic perspective seems to me flawed. In the larger framework of WHEE the issue is not the enlightenment but the modern transition as a whole. It is a fallacy to equate modernity with the enlightenment, and many of its champions like Dawkins have no idea of what it is about. Darwinism was not the fault of the enlightenment. Ditto for the work of Freud, who was a much later thinker, and a fraud in any case. Marx, also, comes after the Enlightenment and moves into a new direction. His relation to Stalinism is open to challenge but the challenge is not really to the enlightenment. Russia had no real enlightenment in the sense of the classic of the eighteenth century. And Einstein, why cavil with the enlightenment on the basis of his work?

I think the enlightenment needs to be seen as a complex event or events inside a larger shift, that of modernity. The Enlightenment was in a counterpoint with many complex opposites, and the critique of enlightenment rationality is another modernist development, etc…

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