Book Launch: Brian Ellis, The New Enlightenment

This Saturday the foundation professor for Philosophy at La Trobe, Brian Ellis, is holding a launch for his latest book titled The New Enlightenment; Steven Pinker and Beyond. PEiPL and the Department of Politics, Media, and Philosophy at La Trobe are offering sponsorship for the launch, which will be from 4-6pm, Saturday 5th October, Mud-Brick Hall of St. Margaret’s Church in Pitt Street, Eltham.  All are welcome to attend.  Here is some key information about the launch:

The launch will be conducted by John Bigelow, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Monash University, and will take the form of a symposium. The speakers will be Greg Bailey, Tony Lynch and Gideon Polya, who all contributed essays to the volume in their areas of expertise. But they will not be confining their remarks to just these areas. And, any members of the audience who also may wish to participate will be welcome to do so.  The New Enlightenment was written in response to Steven Pinker’s best-seller, Enlightenment Now: The case for Reason, Science, Humanism and ProgressIn our book we concede that great progress has been made on nearly all of the aims of the original Enlightenment, just as Pinker says. But, we say, these gains were mostly due to (a) increased access to resources (through colonization), and (b) scientific and technological developments in the physical sciences. But they were not due to realistic thinking in morals, economics or politics. And these subjects remain, as yet, more or less untouched by modern science.  A new global enlightenment is needed now to overcome our poverty of ideas in all of these areas. The minds of many people working in them seem to us to be stuck firmly in the eighteenth century. And, given the many existential threats that now confront us, eighteenth century thinking in these areas can be very dangerous.

This sounds like a great event! Hope to see some of you there.  Rob Wilson and Yuri Cath

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