Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The problem with the Enlightenment

I’ve always been a big fan of the Enlightenment. When I came across a quote in a paper by Jonathan Haidt and Craig Joseph, however, I began to wonder if all that emphasis on reason and rational action had left us with a problem. In discussing the impact of that earth-shaking period in the 18th century, the two moral psychologists wrote:

Where the Greeks focused on character and asked what kind of person we should each become, modern ethics focuses on actions, trying to determine which ones we should do.*

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