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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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Thanks, very helpful. The London correspondent is considering this in the light of a wider argument, namely that no Enlightenment is needed outside the West, because 'outside the West' embraces different cultures.

However, if that argument is good, then could we not view the medieval West, and the ancient Greek and Roman civilisations from which 'the West' is derived, as themselves different cultures, equally 'valid'? In which case, the 'Enlightenment' was simply a transition from one culture to another.

We are up against arguments for and against cultural relativism.

I would say that the 18th cent. Enlightenment is already germinally present in the Judeo-Christian, Graeco-Roman, and medieval Western traditions.

Backward peoples need Enlightenment, but our mistake is to think we can impose it on them.

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