Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-7mfl8 Total loading time: 0.248 Render date: 2021-12-07T10:16:04.366Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2009

A. W. Carus
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Get access

Summary

THE ENLIGHTENMENT AND THE RISE OF LOGICAL EMPIRICISM

A certain recurrent, perhaps inextinguishable human ambition found its classic expression in the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, especially in the circle around the Encyclopédie of Diderot and d'Alembert: the ambition of shaping individual and social development on the basis of better and more reliable knowledge than the tangled, confused, half-articulate but deeply rooted conceptual systems inherited from our ancestors. The Enlightenment is identified with the idea that improved knowledge can be an instrument of individual and social liberation. People of whatever class or culture, given access to this knowledge and the tools to use it critically, are able in this view to emancipate themselves from their culture of origin and belong to a cosmopolitan republic of letters. Individuals who join this culture are better informed about the contexts of their lives, this story goes, and so are better able to make informed life choices and to take genuine civic responsibility. And societies composed of such citizens can use this knowledge to build pluralistic institutions that enable all their members to develop and pursue their aspirations autonomously. The cosmopolitan culture embodying this programme of life guided by better knowledge has never been entirely well defined, and even in the eighteenth century it took on a number of national guises. But these shared a common inheritance from classical antiquity, as well as a growing trans-national corpus of scientific (and, in the broad sense in which it was then still used, ‘philosophical’) knowledge, of political commentary, of literature, art, and music.

Type
Chapter
Information
Carnap and Twentieth-Century Thought
Explication as Enlightenment
, pp. 1 - 40
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Introduction
  • A. W. Carus, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Carnap and Twentieth-Century Thought
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511487132.003
Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

  • Introduction
  • A. W. Carus, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Carnap and Twentieth-Century Thought
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511487132.003
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • A. W. Carus, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Carnap and Twentieth-Century Thought
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511487132.003
Available formats
×