Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Apropos of Nothing and Everything

It is notable that as late as 1973, the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defined the Enlightenment as "shallow and pretentious intellectualism, unreasonable contempt for authority and tradition, etc. applied esp. to the spirit and aims of the French philosophers of the 18th cent."

Thereafter: "the philosophical movement that occurred in Europe, esp. France, in the 18th cent., in which reason and individualism came to be emphasized at the expense of tradition."

Which makes 1974 about the saddest year in English history after 1066.