Head to Head Philosophy

Terry Eagleton at The Guardian:

The history of philosophy usually tells us how one set of ideas gave birth to another. What it tends to overlook are the political forces and social upheavals that shaped them. Witcraft, by contrast, sees philosophy itself as a historical practice. For much of its career, it was never easy to distinguish from political conflict, religious strife and scientific controversy. For some 17th-century Puritans, philosophy was a satanic pursuit, an impious meddling with sacred truths. There was a battle between the church and the universities on the one hand, with their reverence for Aristotle and the schoolmen, and on the other the humanists, scientists, atheists and radicals. It is the stuffy old university of Wittenberg versus the humanistic Hamlet and his sceptical friend Horatio.

Rée is too subtle a thinker to reduce this quarrel to Reason versus Superstition, but AC Grayling has no such qualms. His The History of Philosophy (note the authoritative “The”) sees no dark side to the cult of Reason. And if reason can do little wrong, religion can do nothing right.

more here.