While demonstrating and overcoming the intellectual and practical shortcomings of dogma, tradition, authority and oppression prevalent in the Middle Ages, the Enlightenment brought about a fantastic intellectual, social and political revolution, as well as the promise of individualism, freedom, human rights, justice, rationality, free trade, autonomy and progress.
And while things have gotten better in many respects, developments in various scientific and philosophical disciplines have revealed that those promising concepts, important as they are, are somewhat simplistic and out of synch with our current understanding of human nature. Worse, by focusing exclusively on threats to these principles, our modern obsession with these concepts often interferes with the ideals to which we should strive.
In the following animated presentation, Matthew Taylor explores the meaning of 21st century enlightenment, and how this new conception could help us meet the serious challenges confronting us today.
If that caught your attention, you might be interested in the full speech and the Q&A that followed:
Check out other thought-provoking animated speeches.