The Birth of the Modern Mind: The Intellectual History of the 17th and 18th Centuries : The Great Courses: Modern Philosophy

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Alan Charles Kors
  • Series: The Great Courses: Modern Philosophy
  • 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Revolutions in thought (as opposed to those in politics or science) are in many ways the most far-reaching of all. They affect how we grant legitimacy to authority, define what is possible, create standards of right and wrong, and even view the potential of human life. Between 1600 and 1800, such a revolution of the intellect seized Europe, shaking the minds of the continent as few things before or since. What we now know as the Enlightenment challenged previously accepted ways of understanding reality, bringing about modern science, representative democracy, and a wave of wars, sparking what Professor Kors calls, "perhaps the most profound transformation of European, if not human, life."
In this series of 24 insightful lectures, you'll explore the astonishing conceptual and cultural revolution of the Enlightenment. You'll witness in its tumultuous history the birth of modern thought in the dilemmas, debates, and extraordinary works of the 17th and 18th-century mind, as wielded by the likes of thinkers like Bacon, Descartes, Hobbes, Pascal, Newton, Locke, Hume, Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau.
And you'll understand why educated Europeans came to believe that they had a new understanding - of thought and the human mind, of method, of nature, and of the uses of knowledge - with which they could come to know the world correctly for the first time in human history, and with which they could rewrite the possibilities of human life.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Absorbing and enlightening

What made the experience of listening to The Birth of the Modern Mind: The Intellectual History of the 17th and 18th Centuries the most enjoyable?

The amount of information included in this course was excellent - even though I study all these things, I still found it fascinating and I came away thinking about the philosophical topics in a better way.

Who was your favorite character and why?


What does Professor Alan Charles Kors bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Some other reviewers have been overly harsh about Professor Kors’s delivery and pronunciation. It’s a lecture series and he has a regional accent. Get over it. Honestly, some of the negative reviews nearly made me refrain from purchasing the series altogether and I’m glad I didn’t do that. I would have missed out. I actually find the professor’s pronunciation quite endearing really. And anyway, it’s supposed to be about the content – and that is great. Professor Kors obviously has a lifelong passion for the intellectual history of the 17th and 18th centuries and his enthusiasm is wonderful to listen to.

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- Andrea Zuvich

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses