“Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!” — German philosopher Immanuel Kant in his essay “What Is Enlightenment?” (1784)
The intellectual ideas of the early and late Enlightenment periods, early 1600s to early 1800s, permeate all aspects of modern life and politics. Embiggen Books and Laneway Learning have teamed up to bring Melburnians a special series of classes of the philosophy and philosophers of that time.
With the aid of some of Australia’s finest philosophers we will focus on one area per month, covering thinkers such as Voltaire, Hume, Wollstonecraft, and Kant. We will explore some of the fundamental ideas that underpin modern society. What are they? Why were they considered important at the time? How did it revolutionise the way we think? Ideas such as freedom of speech; Questions such as what is the best way to govern society? All this and more developed an almost irresistible tide of change.
Our first session, An Introduction to the Philosophy of the Enlightenment, kicked off on March 22nd, with an introduction to the whole period with Ian Robinson, President Emeritus of The Rationalist Society of Australia and former philosophy tutor at the University of Melbourne.