Birth of the Modern Mind The Intellectual History of the 17th and 18th Centuries PDF Included

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Birth of the Modern Mind - The Intellectual History of the 17th and 18th Centuries (PDF Included)

Birth of the Modern Mind - The Intellectual History of the 17th and 18th Centuries
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Modern science, representative democracy, and a wave of wars were caused by a revolution of the intellect that seized Europe between 1600 and 1800. Shaking the minds of the continent like few things before or since, this revolution challenged previous ways of understanding reality and sparked what Professor Alan Charles Kors calls "perhaps the most profound transformation of European, if not human, life."

Revolutions in thought (as opposed to those in politics or science) are in many ways the most far-reaching. They affect our entire sense of legitimate authority, of the possible and impossible, of right and wrong, and of the potentials of human life.

The goal of these lectures is to understand the conceptual and cultural revolution of the Enlightenment. In them, you see the birth of modern thought in the dilemmas, debates, and extraordinary works of the 17th- and 18th-century mind.

Professor Kors is Henry Charles Lea Professor of European History at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has taught for over 30 years. His courses on European intellectual history have won two awards for distinguished teaching.

He is the editor-in-chief of the multi-volume Oxford University Press Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment and has written and edited several books on European intellectual history.

The Power of Aristotle and the Churchmen

When the 17th century dawned in Europe, past authors who had stood the test of time dominated the world of learning and understanding.

Their system of thought??"Aristotelian scholasticism??"emerged from the fusion of those authorities and Christian doctrine. Professor Kors shows how fully these ideas had suffused and controlled thought and society.

The Walls begin to Crumble

A series of fundamental assaults upon the inherited intellectual system dominated the intellectual life of the 17th century.

Those assaults constituted nothing less than a conceptual revolution that altered the European relationship to thought, nature, and human possibility. With Professor Kors, you examine the key thinkers who changed the world.

ound transformation of European, if not human, life."
Revolutions in thought (as opposed to those in politics or science) are in many ways the most far-reaching. They affect our entire sense of legitimate authority, of the possible and impossible, of right and wrong, and of the potentials of human life.

The goal of these lectures is to understand the conceptual and cultural revolution of the Enlightenment. In them, you see the birth of modern thought in the dilemmas, debates, and extraordinary works of the 17th- and 18th-century mind.

Professor Kors is Henry Charles Lea Professor of European History at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has taught for over 30 years. His courses on European intellectual history have won two awards for distinguished teaching.

He is the editor-in-chief of the multi-volume Oxford University Press Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment and has written and edited several books on European intellectual history.

The Power of Aristotle and the Churchmen
When the 17th century dawned in Europe, past authors who had stood the test of time dominated the world of learning and understanding.

Their system of thought??"Aristotelian scholasticism??"emerged from the fusion of those authorities and Christian doctrine. Professor Kors shows how fully these ideas had suffused and controlled thought and society.

The Walls begin to Crumble
A series of fundamental assaults upon the inherited intellectual system dominated the intellectual life of the 17th century.

Those assaults constituted nothing less than a conceptual revolution that altered the European relationship to thought, nature, and human possibility. With Professor Kors, you examine the key thinkers who changed the world.

Francis Bacon, politician and philosopher, criticized the entire Western intellectual inheritance, revising the human quest for knowledge and transforming the uses of knowledge into power over the forces of nature.

Rene Descartes created a coherent philosophical system that became the major challenge to scholasticism on the Continent. Descartes sought to demonstrate that humans can establish a criterion of truth and, with it, know with certainty the real nature of things.

Thomas Hobbes, author of the monumental work of political philosophy known as Leviathan (1651), argued that the entire world was matter in motion according to mechanical laws. Thus, there was no freedom of the will, and all things were the necessary results of prior causes.

Blaise Pascal was one of the 17th century's most influential fideists. Philosophical skepticism is the belief that we may know nothing with certainty. When used to humble human reason and demonstrate our dependence on religious faith, it is termed "fideism"??"yet another systematic assault on Aristotelian scholasticism.

Physics, Politics, and the End of the Old Order

The new knowledge had gained a foothold, but then you see how Newton made it dominant. The 1687 publication of Newton's Principia Mathematica was not merely a major event in the history of Western science but a watershed in the history of Western culture.

Newton's Principia convinced the majority of its readers that the world was ordered and coherent and that the human mind, using Baconian inductive methodology and mathematical reasoning, could grasp that order.

John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) changed the way in which the culture thought about the whole phenomenon of human knowledge.

To Locke, the mind begins as a blank slate on which experience imprints ideas via the senses and via reflection. Because experience is not logically determined, our knowledge of the world is merely probable. The Baron de Montesquieu expanded Locke's idea in the areas of law, society, and politics.

The Dam Bursts

The 18th century sought to take the models of Newton and Locke and apply them to the fullest possible range of human inquiry and endeavor.

The heirs of that conceptual revolution??"the "new philosophers"??"both popularized what they took to be the substance and implications of what had occurred in the 17th century and extended them to new areas of inquiry. You study the work of David Hume, Voltaire, the "philosophes," and the encyclopedist Denis Diderot.

They dealt with the dramatic implications of the new philosophy for religious issues: miracle, revelation, supernaturalism, the authority of the priesthood, human nature, sin, and virtue.

They sought to understand both society and religion in increasingly natural terms, to establish the rights of freedom of inquiry and belief, and to discredit, reform, or replace those authorities that could not justify themselves by the new criteria and proper uses of knowledge.

By the end of the 18th century, the prestige of ancient thought and of the inherited system was a thing of the past.

The new ideas were not accepted without dissent. Rousseau, writing in the middle of the 18th century, framed a profoundly influential critique, which echoes down to our own day. He argued that cultural "progress" inevitably leads to moral decadence via the proliferation of artificial needs and inequalities. But his protest did not stop the march of progress.

Educated Europeans believed that they had a new understanding??"of thought and the human mind, of method, of nature, and of the uses of knowledge??"with which they could come to know the world correctly for the first time in human history and with which they could rewrite the possibilities of human life.

Soon, under the weight of these new ideas, all over the globe, monarchs fell.

This course puts us at the heart of the most far-reaching and consequential intellectual changes in the history of European civilization.

24 Lectures

01 Introduction??"Intellectual History and Conceptual Change
02 The Dawn of the 17th Century??"Aristotelian Scholasticism
03 The New Vision of Francis Bacon
04 The New Astronomy and Cosmology
05 Descartes's Dream of Perfect Knowledge
06 The Specter of Thomas Hobbes
07 Skepticism and Jansenism??"Blaise Pascal
08 Newton's Discovery
09 The Newtonian Revolution
10 John Locke??"The Revolution in Knowledge
11 The Lockean Moment
12 Skepticism and Calvinism??"Pierre Bayle
13 The Moderns??"The Generation of 1680-1715
14 Introduction to Deism
15 The Conflict Between Deism and Christianity
16 Montesquieu and the Problem of Relativism
17 Voltaire??"Bringing England To France
18 Bishop Joseph Butler and God's Providence
19 The Skeptical Challenge to Optimism??"David Hume
20 The Assault upon Philosophical Optimism??"Voltaire
21 The Philosophes??"The Triumph of the French Enlightenment
22 Beccaria and Enlightened Reform
23 Rousseau's Dissent
24 Materialism & Naturalism??"The Boundaries of the Enlightenment

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