[ books pdf ] The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat: A Comedy of IdeasAuthor Steven Lukes – Sharkmotorcyclehelmets.co.uk



10 thoughts on “The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat: A Comedy of Ideas

  1. says:

    What a horrific shame This book should be everything I wanted and As a philosophy fanatic, a novel which is literally constructed out of philosophy to formulate a political allegory is my idea of heaven But after 100 pages in, I surrendered What a shame Why I m afraid it as far too on the nose for my liking the story was painfully shoehorned into philosophical concepts to a point it felt so laboured my head started to throb with boredom I prefer novels that show don t tell I was open to the blatant use of overt philosophical concepts as a humorous gag, such as the names of the cities, countries and gangs It had the potential to be a Terry Pratchett esque tongue in cheek play on familiar principles which are, in turn, manipulated and toyed with for entertainment But as the novel progressed, my hopes were dashed It felt as though these obvious names were not used as a playful wit, but to hammer home and spoon feed the reader to digest the principles It resulted in the over stressing and emphasising of points which killed any sense of logical and imaginative freedom for the reader There was no room for interpretation, there was no room for the reader to work it out for them self the challenge of unpicking imagery and allegory was stripped away from me because I was told absolutely everything to the point of boredom and exhaustion I have no time for over laboured narrative, so I passed the book over in favour of literature cleverly and literally written It s a shame, because the concept was wonderful, but there s no pleasure in being told a story as if the narrator is holding your hand and doesn t trust you to not pick up on every single clever detail they re shoe horning in, because heaven forbid we overlook any spec of knowledge I ll stick to the philosophical literature of Italo Calvino and Herman Broch in future.


  2. says:

    Entertaining and instructive A professor who studies The Enlightenment finds himself out of favor in his home country of Militaria and goes on a journey to find which country would be best to live or be born in Each is built upon a different moral principle The principles sound good at first, but when put into practice they can have surprisingly bad results Note that I say can The author isn t saying this is the only way a society could implement a certain rule Just that it could turn out this way Utilitaria is based on the idea of the greatest good for the greatest number Sounds OK, but can lead to very unpleasant outcomes for some If greatest number is all that matters, then isn t it better to keep innocent people in prison than to destroy the whole country s faith in police and courts by revealing their corruption The next country is based on Communitarianism which requires maximum respect for all ethnicities and faiths This turns ugly for individuals who want to reject some of their ethnic customs or find a new faith, as well as those who accidentally give offense Finally, Libertaria is based on maximum individual freedom Everyone is free to try to survive based on their own merit, where merit is measured by money This one feels very close to home He also briefly visits one society, Proletaria, that really does function perfectly for all of its citizens based on Marxist Communist ideas But it turns out to have only been a dream As in real life He never finds the perfect society The closest that he comes to a conclusion is that no society should be based on one single rigid principle, but rather some balancing between competing interests.The author is a moral philosopher, and we all know how popular they are at parties I, at least, enjoyed this I should award extra points for an entire book about moral philosophy that never once mentions that Forking Trolley problem Quibbles I m not sure what exactly was extra in the new expanded edition I hope that doesn t refer only to the glitch where, starting on page 205, about 5 pages of text is repeated verbatim That was an odd flaw, but doesn t change the fact that I enjoyed this very much Another oddity is the quotation marks, which are sometimes like this and sometimes like this , but also very often, like THIS It distracted me every time I saw it Is using an open quote mark at the end of a quote some common British thing It was so systematically used for titles of books and businesses that it seems intentional.


  3. says:

    Benim i in de harika bir ayd nlanmayd niversite s ralar nda renmekte olduklar m teker teker al p yerlerine yerle tiren bir kitapt ok a elden ele gezmesine vesile oldu um, bana da pek g zel bir el ile gelen a, El demi ken, kitab n ilk sayfalar nda tan aca n z rg t e de merhaba deyin Ben de bir kere daha okuyay m keyifle.


  4. says:

    .1 Militarism2 Utilitarianism3 Communitarianism4 Liberalism


  5. says:

    El profesor Caritat, fil sofo especializado en la Ilustraci n, huye de la persecuci n a la que se ve sometido en su pa s, y se embarca en una misi n clandestina en la que bajo el nombre de Pangloss tratar de descubrir el mejor de los mundos posibles Lukes, empleando los recursos narrativos del siglo XVIII, y tomando como referentes a Swift y Voltaire, construye una s tira el mismo texto contiene un definici n de s tira que da consistencia a la novela en las que aspectos de nuestra sociedad se ven reflejadas en un espejo distorsionador que nos deben hacer pensar en ciertos valores que tenemos socialmente asumidos y al que les damos una validez que se nos cuestiona en el texto Existe el mejor de los mundo posibles Lukes lleva a Pangloss Caritat hasta las puertas del mejor de los mundos posibles, quiz s lo haga dos veces, pero en la primera se muestra cruel, arrojando un cubo de agua helada tanto a su protagonista como al lector El mejor de los mundos posibles es un sue o que no alcanzaremos, pero, como el profesor Caritat, debemos seguir en su b squeda o quiz s todo sea en vano Porque aunque el camino siga abierto a nuevas expectativas las experiencias narradas en la novela y las de nuestra cotidianiedad nos hace ser muy, muy pesimistas.


  6. says:

    Lukes manages to write a novel based on the major theories of contemporary political philosophy The book follows the Gulliver esque travels of a political science professor on a mission to find the perfect society In his quest, he visits several imaginary countries, each one based on a different political theory utilitarianism, communitarianism, libertarianism, etc His misadventures illustrate the various pros and cons of each respective theory.When I first discovered this book, it struck me as one of the most brilliant ideas ever conceived Assuming that this was my kind of novel, and hoping that I might one day assign this book to my students if I ever taught a course on political philosophy, I eager read it as soon as I could my hands on a copy But, reading the book, it soon became obvious how difficult the idea is to execute If the author tries to be too faithful to the theory, then the book is tedious and the plot comes across as contrived On the other hand, if the author wants to create an engaging story with rich characters, then liberties must be taken with the theory Lukes does an excellent job of plotting a course between the two extremes Unfortunately, the result is not necessarily the best of both worlds One particular problem with this project is that many political theories are too general or abstract to generate one particular kind of society with one specific sort of legal and political structure The exception might be libertarianism, which does seem to yield rather narrow results in practice Most libertarian societies will look or less the same And for this reason, the professor s visit to Libertaria is probably the most successful part of the book Communitarian political theory, by contrast, claims that the values of the community and the importance of interpersonal relations should take priority over individual rights and free choice But different communities have different values Thus actual communitarian societies in practice could vary from radical right wing Islamist societies to hippy free love communes depending on the shared values and beliefs of the members of the particular community Too avoid this, Lukes depicts a pluralistic society made of multiple communities But what results looks like multiculturalism than communitarianism.Utilitarianism is even problematic According to this approach to political theory, we should adopt whatever legal and political system and whatever specific laws and public policies would maximize aggregate happiness in the long run But which laws, policies, and institutional structures would best promote the overall happiness of the members of society is a matter of debate and might differ greatly among different places, peoples, and times What Lukes actually depicts is not a utilitarian society but a society of utilitarians which is not the same thing.Though Lukes s book is entertaining and will amuse anyone interested in political theory, it does not compare well with Aldous Huxley s Brave New World 1931 the gold standard for the genre which depicts a very specific vision for society a hedonistic utilitarian utopia of the push pin is as good as poetry form of hedonism Besides being insightful and entertaining, BNW also makes a stronger case both for and against hedonistic utilitarian society than Lukes manages to make for against any of the theories treated in his novel Lukes s Curious Enlightenment does, however, have the significant advantage of examining several popular political theories not just one This makes the idea behind his novel interesting but harder to pull off successfully.


  7. says:

    360 360 .


  8. says:

    Although this was the first political satire I have read, I feel the need to express my complete astonishment and utter satisfaction in finishing this book It is now one of my favorite books and will certaintly remain in my mind forever , especially during discussion of Western politics Nevertheless, it was a bold book that I find was quite inspirational If I had to recommend any nonfiction book for someone, it would be this book If I could give it a higher praise than 5 stars I would because of it s ingenious combination of hilarity and truthfullness at the same time It has not only inspired me to come back into reading but has opened my eyes to the flaws in the different political systems that I could only hope to glance at before If anyone asked why I would give this book 5 stars, then please open the book and read it yourself.


  9. says:

    A fun little parodic journey through contemporary political philosophies and a piece of liberal propaganda.Professor Caritat, upon being arrested by the military junta in Militaria, goes on a quest to find the Best Of All Possible Worlds, adopting the name Pangloss He travels through Utilitaria, Communitaria, Proletaria and lastly, Libertaria Each comes with its own unique set of deficiencies.In Utilitaria, Caritat notices that the separateness and even existence of persons is completely disregarded He sees this as unacceptable as is the intuition of many individuals.From here, he moves to Communitaria in which persons are defined completely by their community While this is fine for some, it poses a serious problem for non conformists who do not have a community they feel they can identify with As well, the realm of individual freedom is completely collapsed into the sphere of communal freedom, another intuitively implausible implication.Caritat then ends up in Proletaria, a truly utopian world Then he wakes up.Lastly, Caritat ends up in Libertaria where he falls on misfortune and sees this society as undesirable due to its lack of structural framework that helps individuals to raise themselves up from poverty.From here, Caritat seeks a society that balances the flaws of all of the three one perhaps opposed to perfectionism that plagued all of the former destinations Couple this with some not so subtle allusions to Rawls A Theory of Justice and the book is an obvious piece of liberal propaganda, meant to pull people into the anti perfectionist camp on the basis of the flaws that plague all perfectionist schools.Mixed in are various conversations with philosophers on topics like Enlightenment and tolerance and well as several allusions to philosophical figures that are often humorous The book caps off with a visit from the Owl of Minerva after leaving The Hegel Cafe The owl informs him that he ought to interpret the previous nations and their failings and see that their deficiencies fed into one another and led to the perhaps not real Egalitaria a liberal paradise.The book mostly tells, not shows and in generally is written like an analytic philosopher who decided to write a semi fiction propaganda piece It s a fun read for anyone interested in political philosophy and philosophy in general for its themes and funny allusions to philosophers but certainly not for its aptitude as a work of fiction or for any sort of intellectual clarity.


The Curious Enlightenment Of Professor Caritat Is A Brilliant Fictional Journey Through Western Political Philosophy By One Of Our Most Original Thinkers Professor Caritat, A Middle Aged Candide, Walks Naively Through The Neighbouring Countries Of Utilitaria, Communitaria And Libertaria, In His Quest To Find The Best Of All Possible Worlds Cut Loose From The Confines Of His Ivory Tower, This Wandering Professor Is Made To Confront The Perplexed State Of Modern Thinking In This Dazzling Comedy Of Ideas