Book review: The Age of Genius by AC Grayling

By Alex Dean   April 2016

Bloomsbury, £17.99grayling

The 17th century was “the epoch in the history of the human mind.” This is the bold claim put forward by AC Grayling in his new book The Age of Genius. Grayling, a Prospect columnist, argues that during this era the worldview of the leading thinkers changed from being “medieval” to “modern.” The influence of religion began to be supplanted by a more rational, scientific approach. Though the transition wasn’t completely clean—he describes the fascinating endeavours undertaken by proto-scientific medieval magicians—once it got going, it took place at breakneck speed.

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