The Enlightenment: And Why It Still Matters

The Enlightenment: And Why It Still Matters - Anthony Pagden The book it's not a book on the history or the philosophy of the enlightenment age, but, rather, a chronicle on how they thought about thinking about science and the science of man.

He characterizes the Enlightenment by it's "dynamic and cosmopolitan" approach to thinking. The dynamic approach rejected knowledge based only on tradition, authority, revelation, or pretending to know things that weren't really known, and the cosmopolitan approach made the thinkers base there beliefs on logic, empirical, and analytical methods (when they were at their best which was not always!). Their method of thought is a guidebook for critical reasoning and is still completely relevant to today's times.

He starts the enlightenment age with Hobbs and says that most of the rest of the century is spent humanizing Hobbs and putting his thought into the Stoic, Epicurean or the Skeptical camp. Mostly this is in the first third of the book when he is talking about philosophy and natural philosophy (science).

Everybody needs to read at least one book on this time period, and this probably is the best book available on audible to introduce the topic. The author is probably not a philosopher or a pure historian and therefore, writes an accessible and easy to follow book for the listener to be able to follow the dialog of the the "Enlightenment Project" and presents the ideas of the time period by looking at a topic as if it were one long conversations between enlightenment thinkers.

He looks at one topic, takes one or two of the great thinkers of the topic and covers that topic in depth and than adds what others during that period thought about that period of time. He'll spend two hours on Tahiti and he'll tell you why it was so important at that time period.

I read a lot books on science and they often point me to the importance of The Enlightenment Age. This book tells me why that period of time was so important and is still relevant to today and how we should approach critical reasoning today. There doesn't seem to be that many good books on audible on this period of time and this one is probably the best overview of the time period.