Rabindranath Tagore: Critic of the Enlightenment
Rabindranath Tagore was not only a poet â€“ but what else was he during his life? What is his legacy? He insisted he was not a philosopher or scholar; he was only briefly a political leader. He lectured extensively on the future of his country and the world, and with his work on alternative education and rural reconstruction demonstrated an alternative path for society. It is argued in this essay that Tagore can best be understood as a critic of the European Enlightenment, comparable to Herder. Isaiah Berlin gave a lecture on Tagore during the centenary celebrations, and concluded that Tagore â€œtried to tell the complex truth without over-simplification, and to that extent was perhaps listened to the lessâ€ (Berlin, â€œRabindranath Tagore and the Consciousness of Nationalityâ€). With the world on the edge of ecological and social collapse, it is time we listen to him now.
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