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February 24, 2013



The right wing of the Enlightenment tended towards the rational,
logical, inductive and deductive way of knowing and being---a certain form of science (scientism) and reason (rationalism) dominated the day--many forms of Christian apologetics pander to this approach. The reaction to the rationalist form of the Enlightenment was the romantic response--romantics hold high the arts, poetry, intuition, myth, symbol, narrative and a parabolic ways of know and being. Needless to say, the rationalist and romantic wings of the Enlightenment include and exclude valuable ways of
knowing and being---in short, each tendency both reveals and conceals insights.

The humanist wing of the Enlightenment attempted to synthsize the best of the intuitive and heart way of knowing with the best of the rational and head way of knowing---Blake definitely leaned in the romantic direction, but he was a sophisticated romantic---he was certainly not anti-intellectual---The well known Canadian, Charles Taylor, embodies the best of the humanist wing of the Enlightenment.


Thanks for the reply, Brad

Susan McCaslin

Concise and eloquent, Ron, as well as timely. Blake's distinction between true reason and science versus scientism and the domination of a materialist reason are more needed than ever. Also, I love his notion of the integration of the Four Zoas or soul powers in humanity. His voice comes out of the future rather than just the past as far as I can tell. I'm a Blakean from way back.


Speaking for Ron, as I've understood him, the Enlightenment included a rational right wing, a romanticist left wing (Blake) and a humanist centre that tried to balance the two.



If extreme reason is the right-wing of the Enlightenment, what is the left-wing then?

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