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This is the Enlightenment's refutation by reductio ad absurdum.

Here's how it goes: the enlightenment produced both Kant's epistemology which made it clear that we don't know what there is (noumenon) but only our perceptions (phenomena) that we assume caused by a noumenon and so allow us to infer things about it. The enlightenment also produced the narrative of the scientific revolution and the scientific method, and the belief that reason is a powerful force that can ultimately address and solve any problem. Then people like Humboldt founded anthropology. And then anthropology shows us just how fragile the basis for rationalism, the enlightenment and the scientific method is: it's just a narrative, and not a particularly appealing one at that.

We're doomed, I tell you, doomed.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 9th, 2007 at 04:55:03 AM EST
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