Download e-book for kindle: Crowded with Genius: The Scottish Enlightenment: Edinburgh's by James Buchan

By James Buchan

In the early eighteenth century, Edinburgh was once a grimy backwater city synonymous with poverty and ailment. but by way of century's finish, it had develop into the surprise of contemporary Europe, domestic to the best minds of the day and their breathtaking techniques in structure, politics, technological know-how, the humanities, and economics—all of which proceed to echo loudly today.

Adam Smith penned The Wealth of Nations. James Boswell produced The lifetime of Samuel Johnson. along them, pioneers akin to David Hume, Robert Burns, James Hutton, and Sir Walter Scott remodeled the way in which we comprehend our perceptions and emotions, ailment and healthiness, kin among the sexes, the flora and fauna, and the aim of existence.

In Crowded with Genius, James Buchan superbly reconstructs the intimate geographic scale and boundless highbrow milieu of Enlightenment Edinburgh. With the scholarship of a historian and the beauty of a novelist, he tells the tale of the triumph of this not likely city and the lads whose imaginative and prescient introduced it into being.

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Additional info for Crowded with Genius: The Scottish Enlightenment: Edinburgh's Moment of the Mind

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Ich sah den neuen Menschen. Ich sage Ihnen ein Geheimnis. Der neue Mensch, furchtlos und grausam. «81 Und wer an solches glaubt, hat, wie auch Crowley es verlangt, alle bis dahin gültigen Moralvorstellun­ gen über Bord geworfen. Sie haben auf diesem fremden Stern keine Gültigkeit. Das Leben des Menschen, des einzelnen Individuums, »dieser Gattung im Stadium biologischer Verkümmerung«, bedeutet weniger als nichts. Allmählich begreift man, warum es ein Auschwitz geben konnte. Hermann Keyserling, Indienreisender um die Jahrhundertwende, wußte, wie so etwas funktionierte, und hatte es in seinen Reisetagebüchern beschrieben: »Wenn das Psychische das Primäre ist, wenn Einbildungen dem Beweisbaren gegenüber als Wirklicheres gelten, dann schaffen Vorurteile genauso scharfe Grenzen, wie solche in der materiellen Welt eine Gattung von der anderen abschneiden; dann sind Angehörige ver­ schiedener Kasten unzweifelhaft Wesen verschiedener Art.

Allerorten machte sich eine Neigung zum Übernatürlichen. Okkulten und Mystischen breit. Selbst die Wissenschaft befaßte sich am Ende des vergangenen und zu Beginn dieses Jahrhunderts mit dem »Übernatürlichen« - es begannen die Anfänge dessen, was man heute Parapsychologie nennt. Man denke nur an den englischen Arzt Dr. Walter J. Kilner, der den sogenannten KiInerschirm erfand, um die menschliche Aura sichtbar zu machen, oder an den Arzt Albert Freiherr von Schrenck-Notzing, der durch seine Materialisations-Experimente im Beisein von Thomas Mann bekannt wurde.

Denn sie fühlen nicht. « Des weiteren: »Huldige mir mit Feuer und Blut, huldige mir mit Schwertern und Speeren. Lasset Blut fließen in meinem Namen. «61 Soweit einige bemerkenswerte Auszüge aus dem Gesetz von Thelema. Hermann Rauschning will aus Hitlers Mund ähnliche Ansichten gehört haben: »Ohne Willen zur Grausamkeit geht es nicht. «62 »Das Schwache muß weggehämmert werden. In meinen Ordensbur­ gen wird eine Jugend heranwachsen, vor der die Welt erschrecken wird. Eine gewalttätige, herrische, unerschrockene, grausame Jugend will ich.

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Crowded with Genius: The Scottish Enlightenment: Edinburgh's Moment of the Mind by James Buchan


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