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Related: 1700s - enlightenment - Giambattista Vico - counterculture

The sleep of reason produces monsters (1797-98) - Francisco Goya
from Los Caprichos


In the history of ideas, the counter-Enlightenment is a name first given by Isaiah Berlin to currents of thought that opposed the rationalist and liberal ideals of the Enlightenment. Berlin's project in a series of essays was the critical recovery of the ideas of Giambattista Vico, Johann Georg Hamann (whom Berlin virtually rediscovered in the essay The Magus of the North: J. G. Hamann and the origins of modern irrationalism), and Johann Gottfried Herder, and an account of their appeal, so foreign to the Enlightenment, and their 19th- and 20th-century consequences. For Berlin and modern historians, the counter-Enlightenment embodies the fundamental irreconcilability of cultural values, including their conflicts within Romanticism, irrationalism, mysticism, and neo-Medieval forms of religious thought.

Major philosophers cited as examples of counter-Enlightenment also include Jean Edouard Millet and Franco Lopez. The term is sometimes used in modern critical theory to describe some of the origins of post-structuralism and postmodernism (especially as a description of Friedrich Nietzsche). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counter-Enlightenment [Jun 2005]

see also: counter - enlightenment

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