Extremely engaging

David Wootton’s extremely engaging account of the rise of power, pleasure, and profit as desires that can be pursued without limit, opens by announcing that it will follow in the footsteps of After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre’s seminal critique of ‘the Enlightenment project’, whilst at the same time aiming to build up a much more complex picture of what this project may actually entail. Given that this is a relatively short book (the main body of the text is just short of 250 pages), Wootton is remarkably successful in achieving this aim.” Anthony Morgan reviews Power, Pleasure, and Profit for The Philosopher.

Gripping…the book has a fascinating story to tell

The Enlightenment spawned a series of assumptions about what human beings are, why they do what they do, and what the good life looks like. We’re still hostage to those assumptions, whether we know it or not, and Wootton’s book asks us to consider the consequences. I spoke with him recently about why he thinks the Enlightenment produced a civilization obsessed with consumption and self-gratification“.