The Dream of Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Philosophy

The Dream of Enlightenment The Rise of Modern Philosophy In a short period from the early s to the eve of the French Revolution Descartes Hobbes Spinoza Locke Leibniz and Hume all made their mark on Western thought The Dream of Enlightenment tells

  • Title: The Dream of Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Philosophy
  • Author: Anthony Gottlieb
  • ISBN: 9780871404435
  • Page: 455
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In a short period from the early 1640s to the eve of the French Revolution Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, and Hume all made their mark on Western thought The Dream of Enlightenment tells their story and that of the birth of modern philosophy What does the advance of science entail for our understanding of ourselves and for our ideas of God How should aIn a short period from the early 1640s to the eve of the French Revolution Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, and Hume all made their mark on Western thought The Dream of Enlightenment tells their story and that of the birth of modern philosophy What does the advance of science entail for our understanding of ourselves and for our ideas of God How should a government deal with religious diversity and what is government actually for Their questions remain our questions, and it is tempting to think these philosophers speak our language and live in our world but to understand them properly, we must step back into their shoes Gottlieb puts readers in the minds of these frequently misinterpreted figures, elucidating the history of their times while engagingly explaining their arguments and assessing their legacy Gottlieb creates a sweeping account of what they amounted to, and why we are still in their debt.

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      455 Anthony Gottlieb
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      Posted by:Anthony Gottlieb
      Published :2018-09-07T08:05:54+00:00

    1 thought on “The Dream of Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Philosophy”

    1. Ours may not be the best of all possible worlds; but these pioneers helped to make it an intellectually adventurous and, as d'Alembert suggested, a less ignorant one.Dream was a most welcome birthday present for me personally its publication is also timely given a world which sorely needs to examine its present trajectory. It is a survey by a retired journalist, a layman more than apt to do the heavy lifting about the advocates of a mechanized world, the stirring time in our early Modern period [...]

    2. One thing I appreciate about this book is Gottlieb attempted to correct what he saw as common misunderstandings concerning certain philosophers ideas, thus the section on Descartes, Hobbs and Spinoza were really interesting and contained new material that I had not heard in other histories of philosophy.The author's disdain for John Locke seemed very evident, yet, it was still worthwhile to hear criticism of a philosopher of which I've read and of whom I am fond. To me the most disappointing par [...]

    3. What has the Enlightenment ever done for us? This is an important question and the title of the last chapter of this book. My biased answer would include human rights, democratic government, personal freedom, and separation of church and state. I think it is no great exaggeration to say that the Enlightenment marks the beginning of a sea change in thought that rejected tyranny, acknowledged the rights of common people, and helped create the intellectual environment that made our modern world pos [...]

    4. I've been reading this book for a few months now for my philosophy Meetup group. We've been meeting monthly, and each month we discussed just one chapter as each chapter covers a different philosopher from the Age of Enlightenment in the 17th-18th centuries. It was a fascinating historical voyage: Anthony Gottlieb does justice explaining what each eminent philosopher stood for, what their prevailing works argued, and what their lives were like. Gottlieb helps you put on your history goggles to s [...]

    5. Nice overview. If you are already somewhat familiar with these philosophers it is still a useful refresher. Gottlieb offers the most payoff by trying to straighten out many misconceptions about what they wrote and said. A prep for tackling the new intellectual biography of Hume.

    6. A wonderful series of portraits, and introductions to the work and thought of, the great Enlightenment philosophers: Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Hume, and the French philosophes taken as a kind of "crew" (though of course, Rousseau doesn't fit in with the rest of the gang, nor does he want to). The author's biases must be similar to my own, because I was as much taken with the chapters on Spinoza and Hume as I have been previously with those saints of irreligiosity; and my dislikes of Loc [...]

    7. Overall this is a nice overview of early modern European philosophy, with a relatively digestible mix of biography, history, and philosophy -- although certainly not enough philosophy to substitute for actually reading the philosophers discussed! I have some criticisms (more on those in a bit), but this is a helpful thing to read if you've already read some of the figures featured. I'd stress that this is not a book to read in lieu of reading the primary sources; you have to have some basic fami [...]

    8. The Enlightenment Era was supposedly the time marking the exit out of the Middle Ages and the transition into what would become the modern epoch. I picked up this book with the intent on learning more of the ideas which made thinkers such as Baruch Spinoza, John Locke and David Hume well-known. Some of the ideas introduced were incredibly abstract and difficult to grasp, but that had more to do with the thoughts attributed to the particular philosopher than the writing itself. I felt it could ha [...]

    9. I cannot tell a lie: I hate reading philosophy. This was a perfectly good book, but I couldn't focus and ended up just skimming and then reading the final chapter, on Voltaire & Rousseau.

    10. This is really an amazing book. There are two insights that I thought were particularly salient from reading this text.Firstly in terms of the history of epistemology, metaphysics, theory of mind and 'scientific' discoveries of the figures in the book. In terms of science, even though we consider figures like Bacon a hero of the sciences and champion of modern science and method, Bacon was pretty mathematically ignorant. The same goes for Hobbes for all his talk of mechanical philosophy. Of cour [...]

    11. The Dream of Enlightenment is a wonderful read for anyone interested in philosophy, the history of ideas or the emergence of a civilization governed by reason and critical thinking. In these days when we appear to be regressing into a new endarkenment, it’s refreshing to hear about the thinkers who challenged a superstition based culture that controlled the masses through fear, dogma and brute force.Gottlieb presents numerous philosophers (Descarte to Rousseau) in miniature biographies that we [...]

    12. The author does a great job of putting some flesh on the philosophers and their ideas, bringing some context and life to the 17th Century. There's a bit too much of the "Is there or isn't there a God" for my taste - I prefer the Politics and Natural Philosophy side of things - though I see how it was an important part of the era. Fascinating characters both known and unkown and wonderfully narrated too.

    13. Nice way of summarising the main thinkers of the Enlightenment period with a nice touch of Humenian scepticism embedded in Gottlieb style.

    14. "What has the Enlightenment ever done for us?" reads the heading of the final chapter. Rather a lot, as it turns out.The Dream of Enlightenment by Anthony Gottlieb is a fascinating history of the ideas and the people who brought about one of the greatest, and one of the most enduring revolutions. This revolution upset and then upturned the old ways of thinking, and was brought about, in large part, by the power of words. Succinctly, but never superficially, Gottlieb explores the intriguing, and [...]

    15. I may be generous in awarding three stars. I did not enjoy the book. I am basically starting with the assumption that Gottlieb is an expert in the field; and many other reviewers regard the book favorably. However, I am a well-read layperson with my own thoughts and ability to evaluate written prose.Gottlieb appears to be answering a rhetorical question something akin to the question 'what is enlightenment?' The book is set up to show how philosophers starting with Descartes move away from God-c [...]

    16. Interesting book which offers insight in the different philosophers and their significance:Descartes, who dared to give the skepticism full way trying to cope with it. He found a basis in his own mind and thinking as ground for knowledge building (as a brilliant mathematician) which is often defined as rationalism but he was also very much into experience as basis to check the build knowledge (empirism). Hobbes, he was a materialist believing that everything has a physical content the non physic [...]

    17. Compared with his previous time, 'The Dream of Reason' this, the sequel, is remarkably short; you get the impression throughout that Gottlieb is just less interested in this period of philosophy than he is in the philosophy of classical antiquity. Like the first of the series it is well researched and more or less always presents a balanced and fair view of the characters surveyed; often puncturing popular misconceptions about the works and ideas of great thinkers of the past, or disagreeing wit [...]

    18. Gottlieb is a former executive editor of the Economist and his work here is a journalistic profile on each philosopher (or thinker). That said, he put us these thinkers with their context when they had lived, a behemoth dogmatic institution used to dominate the truth - Church. This is an achievement by "Enlightenment" who overlooks the benefits of modern society (especially who follows Rousseau). In fact "Enlightenment" thinkers can be all the same, and Gottlieb also fully introduces each thinke [...]

    19. Certainly my book of 2016. I have always found it hard to find books on philosophy that meet my requirements. They must be not too heavy, focus on the philosophy as well as the history and not be full of trite examples. Gottlieb's book on Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Bayle, Leibniz and Hume meets all my requirements and more; it is intelligent, witty and not too long. My only issue, and this is one is based on ignorance, is that whenever I have read about the enlightenment before, I have b [...]

    20. Marvelous book. Delightful to read for anyone interested in philosophy. Anthony takes you to the philosophical history of the enlightenment, looking at the biography and ideas of Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, and Hume. It was a period of emphasis on reason, liberty, progress, and tolerance. It was deeply anti-tradition and authority, which certainly didn't appeal the Crunch. But nevertheless, the seed of reason and science was planted, and nothing could stop its growth. It was crit [...]

    21. The intended appeal of this book lies in its irreverence of all the towering figures it deals with, along with their lofty thought projects. Gottlieb balances the weight of their influence against humanizing, biographical snippets that contextualize their perceived shortcomings, making it all the more clearer of what is to be salvaged from the work of the particular character in focus. Gets a bit too casual towards the end, mind. Though on the whole, a very readable overview, with transitions in [...]

    22. Such an interesting read, where Gottlieb introduces modern philosophers in the last century and how their views on science and politics differed.He takes us on a journey in time, telling us stories of the life of the most famous philosophers and in most instances how they criticized each other.This book breaks down misconceptions that most people have and what they know about modern philosophers and what they believed in.

    23. The second in a planned three volume history of philosophy, this book covers the 17th and 18th century thinkers: Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Bayle, Leibniz, Hume, Voltaire and Rousseau. Gottlieb writes in an entertaining style that is at the same time very lucid and perceptive making great introduction to these great ideas for the non-expert. I particularly enjoyed his chapter on Hume whose ideas on inductive reasoning and proof have much to teach us even today 250 years later.

    24. A pretty good book on the key influences of 18th century philosophers. It’s well written, and details out some important issues they all brought up. From those less familiar with philosophy, more details would have been helpful, but on the whole a good book. It was interesting to see how powerful religions were then, something I was not as familiar with.

    25. This book will make you feel much smarter.What I love about this series is the way it demystifies the great fellows whose quotes are based around so much and yet we don't really know what their larger worldview was.

    26. Good sequel to book on ancient philosophers, though not as fascinating. Shows that most of these guys aren't geniuses, just had a few interesting observations, but also lots of errors and crazy concepts. Their philosophies are very linked to the culture and societies they were a part of.

    27. While failing in its larger project of defending the Enlightenment against its 20th century critics, this is a uniquely interesting and exciting history of philosophy in its own right. Well written, and well worth your time for beginners and intermediates alike.

    28. Great introduction to a number of philosophers during the broadly scoped enlightenment. Quite funny in places as he has lovely acerbic phrasing and a light touch while being very informative.

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