Notes from a presentation

Posted in: Comment, New Publications

The other day, I posted the text of my talk to the Education 21 seminar in Zürich.  Here are a couple of notes that I might have added to the post.  The first is about the Enlightenment (or enlightenments?); the second about muddling through.

1. Anyone wanting more detail on enlightenment(s) could do much worse than read AC Grayling's new bookThe Age of Genius: the seventeenth century and the making of the modern mind [Bloomsbury].  But if you do, you might also have a look at Malcolm Gaskill's review in a Weekend FT for a critical appreciation and a more nuanced historical perspective.  This is how it ends:

"This is an entertaining, erudite book, written with verve and a steely self-confidence.  It is, however, tendentious, and less free-thinking than its 17th-century subjects.  Their confidence was based not on certainty – that was the old dogma – but rather on the inspired hope that through hypothesis and observation, experiment and debate, human beings might understand the mysteries of God's universe."

2. As for muddling through, that most human of social strategies, do read Still Muddling, Not Yet Through by Charles Lindblom, published in 1979 in Public Administration Review 39[6].  You can download it here.

Posted in: Comment, New Publications


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