Reason vs Unreason: The Mother of all Distractions

“Supporters of Anglo-American policies after 9/11 can draw on a model of Enlightenment that has become something like the conventional wisdom among intellectuals and commentators. This Enlightenment is understood above all in the context of a struggle between the rational and the irrational. Enlightenment is identified with reason in the broad sense of empirical inquiry and rational analysis. Its enemies are identified as ‘those forces of religious reaction, conservative prejudice, and fascist irrationalism whose inspiration derived from … the Counter-Enlightenment’.* […] Enlightenment is normally invoked in the context of a struggle with its external enemies: reason is threatened by faith, science is threatened by superstition, and so on.”

The Threat to Reason (London: Verso, 2007), p.24

 

 

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