Arquivo para February 22nd, 2024

Was the Enlightenment an enlightenment?

22 Feb

To analyze the Enlightenment in the light of Western philosophy, it is necessary to read, of course with an open mind, ontological metaphysics, from Cassirer, his criticism and analysis from the heyday of idealism in the 18th century, “who proudly called himself ‘ Century of philosophy’” (Cassirer, 1992).

This philosophy was considered to have “opened the way to that deepest order from which springs, with pure thought, all the intellectual activity of man, and where this activity must find its foundation, according to the profound conviction of the Enlightenment” (Cassirer 1992) .

The author observes that Hegel, considered “the first to take this path” as a philosopher and historian of philosophy, made a forgotten (Cassirer calls it curious) rectification, which diverges from the verdict that “the metaphysics of Hegel himself pronounced regarding the Enlightenment ” (Cassirer, 1992), recognizing its role and making a reconciliation with it (in photo, Frontispiciul for the L’Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, .

Having Kant as his main influence, Cassirer was also influenced by Herman Cohen (great exponent of neo-Kantianism at the beginning of the 20th century) and Paul Nartop (one of the founders of the Marburg school) and thus remained trapped in the idealism of neo-Kantianism, but there was still influences on the thoughts of Heidegger, Hans Georg Gadamer and Hartmann.

The scientific question in the 18th century was to find “a determined border between the mathematical spirit and the philosophical spirit” (Cassirer, 1992, p. 34), thus beginning a doubt that would last until the beginning of the 20th century when David Hilbert in a Mathematics Conference announced 23 problems that mathematics should solve to be considered complete, among them the second problem was the consistency of the axioms of arithmetic, that is, that arithmetic could solve any problem that was enumerable.

It was Kurt Gödel who demonstrated that this problem of the finite proof of the consistency of arithmetic is demonstrably impossible, in his second Incompleteness Theorem, which became known as Gödel’s Paradox, the system is either complete or finite, never both.

To help this collapse of scientific rationalism, quantum physics also proposed through Werner Heisenberg the uncertainty principle, which announced that it was not possible to affirm the position of an atom or an atomic particle in a given situation.

Idealism is still a strong current, even in scientific circles, but its logical, physical and mathematical bases have already been dismantled by science itself, philosophers of Science such as Karl Popper, Tomas Kuhn and Imre Lakatos have already announced new postulates.

The consensus is that human thought needs a broader vision, a worldview that is not limited to the so-called exact sciences, recovers the importance of language, the study of Being and a transdisciplinary vision that releases the narrow limits of each area of ​​knowledge. , without ceasing to admit the mysteries, beliefs and original cultures.

Cassirer, E. (1992) The philosophy of the Enlightenment. Trans. Álvaro Cabral, Campinas: Editora Unicamp.