A culture, like an individual, has a sense of life or, rather, the equivalent
of a sense of life—an emotional atmosphere created by its dominant philosophy,
by its view of man and of existence. This emotional atmosphere represents a
culture’s dominant values and serves as the leitmotif of a given age, setting
its trends and its style.
Thus Western civilization had an Age of Reason and an Age of Enlightenment. In
those periods, the quest for reason and enlightenment was the dominant
intellectual drive and created a corresponding emotional atmosphere that
fostered these values.