In Defence of the Enlightenment

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Atlantic Books, Oct 1, 2010 - Philosophy - 300 pages
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Tzvetan Todorov argues that although our liberal democracies are the offspring of the Enlightenment, they also illustrate the ways in which its ideas have been distorted and perverted. People living in contemporary democracies are often baffled by phenomena which resist easy judgement: globalisation and media omnipotence; disinformation and state-sponsored torture; moralism and the right of intervention; the dominance of economics and the triumph of technology.

In this book, Todorov shows that we cannot learn lessons from the past unless we know how to relate them to the present. He demonstrates that what remains relevant to today is the spirit expressed in the core principles and values for which the Enlightenment stood. In a period of great uncertainty, In Defence of the Enlightenment could not be more timely.

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About the author (2010)

Tzvetan Todorov is a Honorary Director of Research at the CNRS in Paris. Critic, philosopher and historian, he has written many books including Facing the Extreme and Hope and Memory, which has been translated into eleven languages. He has recently received the international Principe de Asturias prize for his achievements.

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