Free eBooks by Darrin M. McMahon

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Genius as a historical concept, rather than as a presumed trans-historical fact, is surprisingly underexamined, even as millions of daily decisions personal, institutional, and governmental are made according to unexamined assumptions about it. The essays in this book show that the origins and uses of concepts of genius warrant careful examination.
Genius. With hints of madness and mystery, moral license and visionary force, the word suggests an almost otherworldly power: the power to create, to divine the secrets of the universe, even to destroy. Yet the notion of genius has been diluted in recent times. Today, rock stars, football coaches, and entrepreneurs are labeled ‘geniuses,’ and the word is applied so widely that it has obscured the sense of special election and... more...
Critics have long treated the most important intellectual movement of modern history--the Enlightenment--as if it took shape in the absence of opposition. In this groundbreaking new study, Darrin McMahon demonstrates that, on the contrary, contemporary resistance to the Enlightenment was a major cultural force, shaping and defining the Enlightenment itself from the moment of inception, while giving rise to an entirely new ideological phenomenon-what... more...
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