04 Mar Restoration of Reason – Book Review
Restoration of Reason:
The Eclipse and Recovery of Truth Goodness and Beauty.
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006, 272, $24.00; Paper
Reviewed by Gary B. MacDonald,
Director of Advanced Ministerial Studies
Southern Methodist University
Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, Texas
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Francis Bacon had it wrong. So claims Montague Brown, the Richard L. Bready Professor of Ethics, Economics and the Common Good at New Hampshire's St. Anselm College in Restoration of Reason.
Brown, who also chairs the philosophy department at St. Anselm, sees in Bacon’s reliance on the scientific method the beginning of a failed modern philosophical project to liberate reason, which now, in the 21st century, needs rescuing once again.
Brown argues that while the modern project to understand reality sought to restore reason to its privileged place apart from metaphysics, instead, through its reliance on a unified method, it has proved to cripple our intelligence, moved us to reject freedom and responsibility, and has blinded us to beauty. Brown’s project seeks to rescue reason from the restrictions placed upon it by modern philosophy’s search for unified theories by returning to the premodern sources of Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas and Augustine, where he finds “the rich diversity of reason” that can help us find the true, the good and the beautiful.