The Modern Reversal
Part of the Recovering Political Philosophy book series (REPOPH)


As Edmund Burke suggests, the ancient Epicureans were far less enterprising than their modern counterparts. We are now in a position to judge the truth of Burke’s reflection and what Lucretius might have made of his more enterprising cousins. The following remarks are intended only as a prelude to a more thoroughgoing investigation of Enlightenment rationalism. What follows is only a thumbnail sketch of what it is that unites the principal architects of modern rationalism, notwithstanding the profound differences and disagreements between them. While one can appreciate the influence of classical Epicureanism in early modernity, there are political, theological, and philosophic motives that lead the moderns to reject the classical understanding of philosophy and modify the original Epicurean motive of sought-after soulful tranquility.


Political Life Violent Death Philosophic Life Religious Opinion Modern Counterpart 
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© John Colman 2012

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