THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT

 

1.              The demise of natural law, at least in its Augustinian sense, is grounded in a personal lawgiver: (a) Newtonian science removed god from the cosmos; (b) Lockean psychology removed god from man; and, (c) Comtean sociology removed god from society.

 

2.              The collapse of Aristotle’s hierarchy of being as an interpretive schema of all reality.

 

3.              T the new hope was grounded in the power of reason.

 

4.              The promise of science: salvic method.

 

5.              The prospect of utopia: social peace, prosperity and progress.

 

6.              Education as the messianic source of renewed humanity and society.  Happiness is man’s summum bonum, attainable only through adequate education.

 

7.              Autonomous reason, i.e., the law of reason was in harmony with the law of nature, and both could discover the law of society and produce the new earth.  God becomes irrelevant for explaining and understanding the cosmos, man as a sinner in need of redemption, and reasons for social disorder.  Despair and powerless existentialism, romanticism and mysticism seek to fell the world.  (Louis I. Bredvold, The Brave New World of the Enlightenment (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1962)

 

The Postmodern Foundations of Anti-Science

 

1.              There is no scientific certitude.

2.              The illusory nature of the ideal of objectivity.

3.              The illusory nature of definitions.

4.              The illusory nature of the absolute truthfulness of mathematics.

5.              The illusory nature of “factual” truth.

6.              The breakdown of the mechanical concept of causality.

7.              The principle importance of potentialities and tendencies.

8.              Not the essence of “factors” but their relationship counts.

9.              The principles of “classical” logic are no longer unconditional

10.         At the end of the modern age the Cartesian partition falls         away.

 

(James Strauss, Lincoln, Il)