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The role of Enlightenment

The role of Enlightenment

Enlightenment represents a way of pursuing knowledge with a tradition of criticism and seeking good explanations instead of reliance on authority. Enlightenment's quintessential idea is that progress is both desirable and attainable.

The Enlightenment was a revolution in how people sought knowledge: by trying not to rely on authority. Mainly Religion. That is the context in which empiricism – purporting to rely solely on the senses for knowledge – played such a salutary historical role, despite being fundamentally false and even authoritative in its conception of how science works.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME BOOK

  • Empiricism: said that we derive it from sensory experience. False, We interpret experiences through explanatory theories, but true explanations are not obvious. We create new explanations through conjecture. One cannot derive predictions from experience, one certainly c...

Science is not about prediction. But explanations. Predictions are used to validate new explanations.

Are ideas that replicate.

Is the possibility of the unlimited growth of knowledge in the future.

There is only one way of making progress: conjecture (guesses) and criticism. We create theories by rearranging, combining, altering and adding to existing ideas with the intention of improving upon them. The rol...

Problems are conflicts between explanations or theories. Expectations are theories too.

2 interpretations of human progress inspired 2 broad branches of the Enlightenment:

A culture is a set of ideas that cause their holders to behave alike in some ways. By ‘ideas’ I mean any information that can be stored in people’s brains and can affect their behaviour.

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