Enlightened or Sublime (History)

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This week was all about the Enlightenment with a small detour into its backlash: The romantic era. A professor once described the differences between the two like this to me: The Enlightenment thinker might point to the organized grid system of any given city and the clean lines of paved sidewalks and say “This! this is progress, this is a society rationally ordered.” In response, the romantic thinker would point out the grass and weeds growing through the cracks between the concrete sidewalks and the tree roots demolishing the city streets slowly but surely, stating “See! There is nature, uncontrolled, all powerful, and untamable and we too are part of nature. It is foolish to think that all men are rational and that we can harness and control the powers of nature, we are just small beings at each others and at nature’s mercy.” What say you? What are your opinions about the enlightenment notion in progress and the romantics embrace of the sublime and unconscious? In other words are you a believer in the Enlightenment notion of reason and progress and the harnessing of nature for the betterment of human society or are you a romantic and why?

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Enlightened or Sublime (History)

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