Customer Reviews


2 Reviews
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pocket Guide to the Enlightenment
Ok, you might need a biggish pocket but, at 161 pages (including references), where will you find such a clear description of the ideas of all the major thinkers of the enlightenment age? Moreover Todorov picks up most of the major critics of the enlightenment and deals them some lessons in reading the texts properly. Reading Todorov took me back to my teenage years and...
Published on 27 July 2010 by Leo Jago

versus
6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I don't like it, it's too quiet...
I found that the problem with this book was that nothing in it seemed to be problematic. Essentially, it falls into two parts, distributed across a number of themes ("Truth", "Autonomy", "Universality" and so on.) The first part is a re-statement of the ideals of the Enlightenment in relation to the issue being discussed, and the second looks at some problems of today...
Published on 9 Jan 2010 by M. J. B. Richards


Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pocket Guide to the Enlightenment, 27 July 2010
This review is from: In Defence of the Enlightenment (Hardcover)
Ok, you might need a biggish pocket but, at 161 pages (including references), where will you find such a clear description of the ideas of all the major thinkers of the enlightenment age? Moreover Todorov picks up most of the major critics of the enlightenment and deals them some lessons in reading the texts properly. Reading Todorov took me back to my teenage years and my delight at reading a whole range of books arguing for and against different religions and political philosophies and I was not surprised to be thrilled again. Todorov is so clear, crisp and relevant for issues facing humanity today - he inspires the long view - "the traditional adversaries of the Enlightenment - obscurantism, arbitrary authority and fanaticism are like the heads of the Hydra that keep growing back as they are cut..... This would be the vocation of our species: to pick up the task of enlightenment with each new day, knowing that it is interminable." The interminable is not despairing because: "The ability to integrate differences without erasing them distinguishes Europe from the world's other great political areas..."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I don't like it, it's too quiet..., 9 Jan 2010
By 
This review is from: In Defence of the Enlightenment (Hardcover)
I found that the problem with this book was that nothing in it seemed to be problematic. Essentially, it falls into two parts, distributed across a number of themes ("Truth", "Autonomy", "Universality" and so on.) The first part is a re-statement of the ideals of the Enlightenment in relation to the issue being discussed, and the second looks at some problems of today which are related to the issue (but doesn't attempt a general or synthetic statement of how that theme appears in the modern world,) and suggests how the re-statement or the re-application of the Enlightenment position might improve matters.

However, the argument proceeds as if the nature and meaning of the Enlightenment were both homogeneous and self-evident, and as if we simply needed reminding of its nature and meaning to recall ourselves to our better natures. While I was reading it, I kept feeling that things were not quite so simple, and wishing that Professor Todorov had taken the time to tackle head-on questions like: why is the Enlightenment project so much more in danger from false friends than from direct enemies? Is the scientific stance of the Enlightenment merely a matter of vocabulary and rhetorical stance, or does it represent a genuine refounding of the human sciences on the model of the physical sciences? If the latter, why is a consensus so much harder to find and maintain in the human sciences, and why are they so productive of perversions and caricatures?

I don't think I'm just looking for difficuties where none ought to exist. This book has something of the serene clarity of style which characterises Bruno Bettelheim's "The Informed Heart", but I never felt that Bettelheim's style was disguising or smoothing away the difficulties of his subject. With this book, there's a disquieting sense that the smooth surface of its argument might be affording safe passage to the monsters of the deep.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

In Defence of the Enlightenment
In Defence of the Enlightenment by Tzvetan Todorov (Hardcover - 1 Dec 2009)
Used & New from: £2.98
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews