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Rousseau, the Age of Enlightenment, and Their Legacies$
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Robert Wokler and Bryan Garsten

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147888

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147888.001.0001

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Projecting the Enlightenment

Projecting the Enlightenment

(p.260) Chapter 15 Projecting the Enlightenment
Rousseau, the Age of Enlightenment, and Their Legacies

Robert Wokler

, Bryan Garsten

Christopher Brooke

Princeton University Press

This chapter retraces Alasdair MacIntyre's own construal of the Enlightenment Project's trajectory in order to show how his interpretation of an intellectual tradition depends above all on his assessment of its impact. It argues that MacIntyre's Enlightenment Project is largely unreconstructed, unredeemed, and undiminished in its failure, even after substantial embellishment. His three principal works comprise an extraordinary indictment of the theoretical and practical legacy of eighteenth-century philosophy. His account projects the Enlightenment's implications and influence as they stem from its aims. He holds it to blame for some of the most sinister aspects of a morally vacuous civilization, cursed by the malediction of unlicenced Reason. His intellectual history of the period forms one of the mainsprings of his own philosophy.

Keywords:   Alasdair MacIntyre, Enlightenment, reason, eighteenth-century philosophy

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