Monday, August 10, 2009

Turn Out the Lights



'shallow and pretentious intellectualism, unreasonable contempt for authority and tradition, etc. applied esp. to the spirit and aims of the French philosophers of the 18th c.'

Enlightenment, as defined in the 1973 Shorter Oxford English Dictionary

8 Comments:

Anonymous lenin said...

That is a great find.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Savonarola said...

My source: Darrin McMahon, 'Edmund Burke and the Literary Cabal: A Tale of Two Enlightenments', in the Yale edition of Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (a particularly neo-con affair, particularly Conor Cruise O'Brien dyspeptic tirade against 'the tyranny of the politics of theory'). I think McMahon takes it from Roy Porter's Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was surprised to find that the current definition in the complete OED is more or less the same.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Savonarola said...

I can't log in, can you cut and paste?

Reaction dies hard, and sometimes doesn't die at all...

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I thought that link was one you didn't need to log in for. Here's the definition:

2. Sometimes used [after Ger. Aufklärung, Aufklärerei] to designate the spirit and aims of the French philosophers of the 18th c., or of others whom it is intended to associate with them in the implied charge of shallow and pretentious intellectualism, unreasonable contempt for tradition and authority, etc.

1865 J. H. STIRLING Secret of Hegel p. xxvii, Deism, Atheism, Pantheism, and all manner of isms due to Enlightenment. Ibid. p. xxviii, Shallow Enlightenment, supported on such semi-information, on such weak personal vanity, etc.

1889 CAIRD Philos. Kant I. 69 The individualistic tendencies of the age of Enlightenment.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous PabloK said...

"2. Sometimes used [after Ger. Aufklärung, Aufklärerei] to designate the spirit and aims of the French philosophers of the 18th c., or of others whom it is intended to associate with them in the implied charge of shallow and pretentious intellectualism, unreasonable contempt for tradition and authority, etc."

2:05 PM  
Blogger Savonarola said...

Many thanks to you both.

2:57 PM  
Blogger socialism and/or barbarism said...

Shouldn't all contempt be unreasonable? Therein lies the real pleasure of it.

10:56 AM  

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