Last Updated 14 Apr 2020

Building a Bridge to the 18th C

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Chapter one and two of the book “Building a bridge to the 18th Century” by Postman Neil is talking about the progress of man through the time he has inhabited the earth and what has been the catapulting force to great heights that has seen him achieve much in little time.

Progress is described as a brainchild of enlightment which then releases vitality and inspiring confidence like the one that is seen in the 18th century. Much of what is seen as great achievement of 20th century is as a result of great work and thinking of people in the middle ages. This then transfers enormous credit to the philosophers and scientists in middle ages for starting the progress back then.

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The 18th century has been depicted as a period of great thinkers who invented things virtually in all spheres of life and for mankind to progress; the answer does not lie in the future or the current times but going back to that great century.

The progress being advocated for is scientific or technological advancement which requires no moral authority as opposed to moral progress that can be attributed to enlightment coupled with poetic imagination.

The two forms of progress happen concurrently and it is hard to separate them throughout the ages that man has sought to tread in footsteps of enlightment.

The idea of rationality, materialism and deconstruction have been discussed at length but not well understood owing to the fact they are mainly articulated from a Christian perspective of philosophers who were mainly Christians.

Therefore their fundamental understanding of rationality is through idealism advanced in those times of insurgency and revolt against the orthodox running of the Christian faith. It follows that rationality has radical expression through progress.


Postman, N. (1999). Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century: Ideas from the Past That Can Improve Our Future. New York: Alfred A. Knopf Incorporated

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Building a Bridge to the 18th C. (2016, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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