This major contribution to the history of philosophy provides the most comprehensive guide to modern natural law theory available, sets out the full background to liberal ideas of rights and contractarianism, and offers an extensive study of the Scottish Enlightenment. The time span covered is considerable: from the natural law theories of Grotius and Suarez in the early seventeenth century to the American Revolution and the beginnings of utilitarianism. After a detailed survey of modern natural law theory, the book (...) focuses on the Scottish Enlightenment and its European and American connections. Knud Haakonssen explains the relationship between natural law and civic humanist republicanism, and he shows the relevance of these ideas for the understanding of David Hume and Adam Smith. The result is a completely revised background to modern ideas of liberalism and communitarianism. (shrink)
This article roots Kant’s concept of disinterestedness, as he uses it in the Critique of Judgment, in Aristotle’s notion of philia by establishing a path from ethics to aesthetics and back. In this way, the third Critique turns out to be one of the main sources for a new ideal of humanity: the ideal suitable for late Enlightenment. This article argues that Kant reaches this fruitful use of disinterestedness by giving to Aristotle’s concept of philia an aesthetic turn.
In his Philosophical Inquiry concerning Human Liberty (1717), the English deist Anthony Collins proposed a complete determinist account of the human mind and action, partly inspired by his mentor Locke, but also by elements from Bayle, Leibniz and other Continental sources. It is a determinism which does not neglect the question of the specific status of the mind but rather seeks to provide a causal account of mental activity and volition in particular; it is a ‘volitional determinism’. Some decades (...) later, Diderot articulates a very similar determinism, which seeks to recognize the existence of “causes proper to man” (as he says in the Réfutation d’Helvétius). The difference with Collins is that now biological factors are being taken into account. Obviously both the ‘volitional’ and the ‘biological’ forms of determinism are noteworthy inasmuch as they change our picture of the nature of determinism itself, but my interest here is to compare these two determinist arguments, both of which are broadly Spinozist in nature – and as such belong to what Jonathan Israel called in his recent book “the radical Enlightenment,” i.e. a kind of underground Enlightenment constituted by Spinozism – and to see how Collins’ specifically psychological vision and Diderot’s specifically biological vision correspond to their two separate national contexts: determinism in France in the mid-1750s was a much more medico-biological affair than English determinism, which appears to be on a ‘path’ leading to Mill and associationist psychology. (shrink)
The Enlightenment was the age in which the world became modern, challenging tradition in favor of reason, freedom, and critical inquiry. While many aspects of the Enlightenment have been rigorously scrutinized—its origins and motivations, its principal characters and defining features, its legacy and modern relevance—the geographical dimensions of the era have until now largely been ignored. Placing the Enlightenment contends that the Age of Reason was not only a period of pioneering geographical investigation but also an age (...) with spatial dimensions to its content and concerns. Investigating the role space and location played in the creation and reception of Enlightenment ideas, Charles W. J. Withers draws from the fields of art, science, history, geography, politics, and religion to explore the legacies of Enlightenment national identity, navigation, discovery, and knowledge. Ultimately, geography is revealed to be the source of much of the raw material from which philosophers fashioned theories of the human condition. Lavishly illustrated and engagingly written, Placing the Enlightenment will interest Enlightenment specialists from across the disciplines as well as any scholar curious about the role geography has played in the making of the modern world. (shrink)
The Scottish Common Sense School of philosophy emerged during the Scottish Enlightenment of the second half of the eighteenth century. The School’s principal proponents were Thomas Reid, James Oswald, James Beattie and Dugald Stewart. They believed that we are all naturally implanted with an array of common sense intuitions and these intuitions are in fact the foundation of truth. Their approach dominated philosophical thought in Great Britain and the United States until the mid nineteenth century. In recent years philosophers (...) have renewed their appreciation of the notion of common sense. In particular, discussions of common sense intuitions are integral to contemporary epistemological foundationalism. Scottish Common Sense Philosophy: Sources and Origins is a 5-volume collection of writings by and about philosophers in the eighteenth-century Scottish Common Sense School. The writings by Thomas Reid and Dugald Stewart are readily available in recent editions and facsimile reprints so this series focuses on less accessible and less well-known items. Oswald’s Appeal appears here in print for the first time in any form since 1772. Volume 2 is the first reset printing of Beattie’s Essay in over 100 years, and is the only edition to contain annotations that trace the major changes that he made to the text. Almost all of the responses in volumes 3 and 4 appear here in print for the first time since their original publication. These include reviews, pamphlets and excerpts from books. Also included is previously unpublished discussion of Beattie’s Essay by Dugald Stewart. The final volume is a bibliography of around 80 Scottish philosophers from the early eighteenth century to the close of the nineteenth century. Unlike the 1932 bibliography of Scottish philosophers offered by T. E. Jessop, which selectively presents only the philosophical writings by the various Scottish philosophers, this volume attempts to catalogue all of the writings by these philosophers in all of their editions. (shrink)
Communitarian social philosophy was born in opposition to some tenets of liberalism. Liberal individualism has been among its most strongly contested claims. In their criticisms, the communitarians point to the Enlightenment’s sources of the individualist vision of society and morality. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that, even if the communitarian line of argument has been justified in more than one way, it is at the same time important to remember that the greatest figure of the (...) Scottish Enlightenment, that of of David Hume, does not fit the individualistic picture too well. I shall begin with a contemporary definition of individualism, as defined by John Watkins, then I shall proceed to argue that methodological individualism is rarely an innocent philosophical position, i.e. that it is very often a preliminary step in attempts to find a solution to many other, much more important and more practically relevant issues. For methodological individualism is usually associated with ontological, as well as moral and political individualistic doctrines, and they usually go hand in hand, influencing and strengthening each other. (shrink)
Drawing on new manuscript sources, this volume offers seven contributions on Hermann Samuel Reimarus, the most significant biblical critic in eighteenth-century Germany, as well as an eminent Enlightenment philosopher, a renowned classicist ...
The World We Want compares the future world that Enlightenment intellectuals had hoped for with our own world at present. In what respects do the two worlds differ, and why are they so different? To what extent is and isn't our world the world they wanted, and to what extent do we today still want their world? Unlike previous philosophical critiques and defenses of the Enlightenment, the present study focuses extensively on the relevant historical and empirical record first, (...) by examining carefully what kind of future Enlightenment intellectuals actually hoped for; second, by tracking the different legacies of their central ideals over the past two centuries. -/- But in addition to documenting the significant gap that still exists between Enlightenment ideals and current realities, the author also attempts to show why the ideals of the Enlightenment still elude us. What does our own experience tell us about the appropriateness of these ideals? Which Enlightenment ideals do not fit with human nature? Why is meaningful support for these ideals, particularly within the US, so weak at present? Which of the means that Enlightenment intellectuals advocated for realizing their ideals are inefficacious? Which of their ideals have devolved into distorted versions of themselves when attempts have been made to realize them? How and why, after more than two centuries, have we still failed to realize the most significant Enlightenment ideals? In short, what is dead and what is living in these ideals? -/- "The author should be applauded for the manner in which he is able to successfully combine philosophical investigation with empirical research. The frequent citing of original sources, especially those of Kant, as well as a rich collection of endnotes, make this volume an important contribution to Early Modern Philosophy and Enlightenment studies. But perhaps most important, this is a text that should resonate with any member of the educated citizenry who perceives the discrepancy between Enlightenment ideals and current realities and is deeply troubled by the current state of our world."-- The Review of Metaphysics -/- "This book will interest readers seeking to familiarize themselves with Enlightenment views on the issues discussed."-- CHOICE -/- "Rich in empirical study and powerful in philosophical analysis, Louden's book belies everybody who declares the Enlightenment project dead. Once again the author of Kant's Impure Ethics presents an impressive volume."--Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. (shrink)
One of the most important debates in the field of eighteenth?century French intellectual history concerns the ideological significance of the rise of the cult of the Great Frenchmen. Taking this debate as a frame of reference, the paper attempts a close reading of Robespierre's Éloge de Gresset (written in 1784, published in 1785). Usually dismissed by Robespierre scholars, this text is, in fact, a very important document offering clues not only to Robespierre's intellectual formation, but also his appropriation of what (...) he regarded as the official and conventional rhetoric of his age. These questions engage the larger debate regarding the origins of the French Revolution, in particular its ?cultural origins?, and its intellectual origins, defined as the distillation of and interactions between competing representations of society and its relation to the public sphere. The thesis proposed is that Robespierre's eulogy of Gresset indicates that his anti?philosophical ideas came from a much broader array of sources than previously believed. Among these sources, Gresset's 1740s?1750s polemics against the philosophes pointed the way towards the type of criticism of the Enlightenment that underpinned Robespierre's cultural revolutionary politics. (shrink)
Although it encompassed a variety of positions, the Enlightenment was unified by the common belief that reason could transcend contingency to establish universal “truths” and thus guarantee progress. Yet for much of the Enlightenment, reason was still dependent on prior sources for its authoritative claims, e.g., nature or natural law, human desires, or interests. Kant broke with this by insisting that reason had to be “autonomous” if it was to claim unconditional authority. In this reformulation of the (...)Enlightenment's concept of reason, Kant argued that reason must subject itself to constant self-criticism, so as to determine the limits of its own authority and thereby provide the basis of its own legitimacy. (shrink)
This article examines the change which occurred in discussions of cultural transmission between the Enlightenment and the liberal outlook of the nineteenth century. The former is exemplified mainly by eighteenth-century historical discussions, the latter by the thought of Alexis de Tocqueville. An interest in the influence of advanced Western cultures on seemingly inferior non-Western societies was consistent throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It was manifested mainly in discussions of the barbarian conquest of the Roman Empire on the one (...) hand, and of European colonial policies on the other. The sources discussed here evinced a clear Eurocentric chauvinism, yet were inherently non-racial in nature. While many Enlightenment intellectuals retained a generally positive view of cultural transmission, Tocqueville's post-revolutionary outlook was more pessimistic. (shrink)
Popper first developed his theory of scientific method – falsificationism – in his The Logic of Scientific Discovery, then generalized it to form critical rationalism, which he subsequently applied to social and political problems in The Open Society and Its Enemies. All this can be regarded as constituting a major development of the 18th century Enlightenment programme of learning from scientific progress how to achieve social progress towards a better world. Falsificationism is, however, defective. It misrepresents the real, problematic (...) aims of science. We need a new conception of scientific method, a meta-methodology which provides a framework for the improvement of the aims and methods of science as scientific knowledge improves. This aim-oriented empiricist idea can be generalized to form a conception of rationality – aim-oriented rationality – which helps us improve problematic aims and methods whatever we may be doing. In this way, Popper’s version of the Enlightenment programme can be much improved, indeed transformed. (shrink)
Existing interpretations of Kant’s appeal to the spontaneity of the mind focus almost exclusively on the discussion of pure apperception in the Transcendental Deduction. The risk of such a strategy lies in the considerable degree of abstraction at which the argument of the Deduction is carried out: existing interpretations fail to reconnect adequately with any ground-level perspective on our cognitive lives. This paper works in the opposite direction. Drawing on Kant’s suggestion that the most basic picture we can have of (...) our cognitive capacity already makes reference to its state of excellence, or health (“sound understanding”), I set out by assembling Kant’s normative ground-level view of our cognitive lives, and then search for the fundamental condition of its possibility. This leads me to Kant’s conception of reflection as a normative requirement of judgment. Through examination of Kant’s remarks on reflection, I connect Kant’s preoccupation with the enlightenment ideal of originality (thinking for oneself) with his central appeal to the spontaneity of the mind. (shrink)
This major addition to Ideas in Context examines the development of natural law theories in the early stages of the Enlightenment in Germany and France. T. J. Hochstrasser investigates the influence exercised by theories of natural law from Grotius to Kant, with a comparative analysis of the important intellectual innovations in ethics and political philosophy of the time. Hochstrasser includes the writings of Samuel Pufendorf and his followers who evolved a natural law theory based on human sociability and reason, (...) fostering a new methodology in German philosophy. This book assesses the first histories of political thought since ancient times, giving insights into the nature and influence of debate within eighteenth-century natural jurisprudence. Ambitious in range and conceptually sophisticated, Natural Law Theories in the Early Enlightenment will be of great interest to scholars in history, political thought, law and philosophy. Natural Law Theories in the Early Enlightenment has been selected as the winner of the annual Morris D. Forkosch Prize for the best book in intellectual history published in 2000. (shrink)
The study of natural law theories is presently one of the most fruitful areas of research in the studies of early modern intellectual history, and moral and political theory. Likewise the historical significance of the Enlightenment for the development of `modernisation' in many different forms continues to be the subject of controversy. This collection therefore offers a timely opportunity to re-examine both the coherence of the concept of an `early Enlightenment', and the specific contribution of natural law theories (...) to its formation. The works of major thinkers such as Grotius, Hobbes, Locke, Malebranche, Pufendorf and Thomasius are reassessed, and the appeal and importance of the discourse of natural jurisprudence both to those working inside conventional educational and political structures and to those outside - such as in the Huguenot diaspora - is evaluated. This volume will therefore be of importance to all those readers concerned to study the character of the debates in the period 1650-1750 surrounding moral and political agency, sovereignty and obligation, and the legitimation of religious toleration in the divergent states and patriotic contexts of Europe. (shrink)
The first major reassessment of the Western Enlightenment for a generation. Continuing the story he began in Radical Enlightenment, Jonathan Israel now focuses on the first half of the eighteenth century. He traces to their roots the core principles of Western modernity: the primacy of reason, democracy, racial equality, feminism, religious toleration, sexual emancipation, and freedom of expression.
Kant believed that true enlightenment is the use of reason freely in public. This is the first book to trace systematically the philosophical origins and development of the idea that the improvement of human understanding requires public activity. Michael Losonsky focuses on seventeenth-century discussions of the problem of irresolution and the closely connected theme of the role of volition in human belief formation. This involves a discussion of the work of Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Spinoza, and Leibniz. Challenging the traditional (...) views of seventeenth-century philosophy and written in a lucid, nontechnical language, this book will be eagerly sought out by historians of philosophy and students of the history of ideas. (shrink)
European philosophy from the late seventeenth century through most of the eighteenth is broadly conceived as the "Enlightenment," a period of empricist reaction to the great seventeeth century Rationalists. This volume begins with Herbert of Cherbury and the Cambridge Platonists and with Newton and the early English Enlightenment. Locke is a key figure, as a result of his importance both in the development of British and Irish philosophy and because of his seminal influence in the Enlightenment as (...) a whole. British Philosophy and the Age of the Enlightenment includes discussion of the Scott Enlightenment and its influence on the German Aufklaring , and consequently on Kant. The French Enlightenment, which in turn affected the late radical Enlightenment, especially Bentham, is also considered here. This survey brings together clear, authorative chapters from leading experts and provides a scholarly introduction to this period in the history of philosophy. It includes a glossary of technical terms and a chronological table of important political, philosophical, scientific and other cultural events. (shrink)
There were two prevailing sentiments in Europe after the Reformation: One opposing papal authority and one advocating individual freedom. This paper analyzes these two sentiments and finds that the concept of conscience is crucial in understanding them. The issue of conscience is about judging truth and good, and in initiating the Reformation, Martin Luther heavily appealed to his conscience while countering Catholic attacks. With the wide dispersal of the Reformation, Luther’s notion of conscience was well received among his supporters throughout (...) Europe. Descartes later transformed Luther’s conscience into an epistemological being (the cogito ), and argued that its existence was the only valid thing that survived his thorough skepticism — and as such is the foundation of human knowledge. Rousseau continued this line of thinking, which we call subjectivism, and re-employed the term conscience as a replacement for cogito , holding that conscience is the final authority in judging good and bad; that, as the starting point of human existence, it cannot be withheld from any human being; and that it therefore constitutes an inalienable human right. This paper argues that the Enlightenment was a subjectivist movement propelled by this conscience- cogito -conscience conceptualization, and that it sought to enlighten this inalienable conscience. (shrink)
Are human beings linked by a common nature, one that makes them see the world in the same moral way? Or are they fragmented by different cultural practices and values? These fundamental questions of our existence were debated in the Enlightenment by Locke, Shaftesbury, and Hutcheson. Daniel Carey provides an important new historical perspective on their discussion. At the same time, he explores the relationship between these founding arguments and contemporary disputes over cultural diversity and multiculturalism. Our own conflicting (...) positions today reflect long-standing differences that emerged during the Enlightenment. (shrink)
In the wake of the Scientific Revolution, the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the complete demolition of traditional structures of authority, scientific thought, and belief by the new philosophy and the philosophes, including Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. The Radical Enlightenment played a part in this revolutionary process, which effectively overthrew all justification for monarchy, aristocracy, and ecclesiastical power, as well as man's dominance over woman, theological dominance of education, and slavery. Despite the present day interest in the revolutions (...) of the eighteenth century, the origins and rise of the Radical Enlightenment have received limited scholarly attention. The greatest obstacle to the movement finding its proper place in modern historical writing is its international scope: the Racial Enlightenment was not French, British, German, Italian, Jewish or Dutch, but all of these at the same time. In this wide-ranging volume, Jonathan Israel offers a novel interpretation of the Radical Enlightenment down to La Mettie and Diderot, two of its key exponents. Particular emphasis is placed on the pivotal role of Spinoza and the widespread underground international philosophical movement known before 1750 as Spinozism. (shrink)
Critics have long treated the most important intellectual movement of modern history--the Enlightenment--as if it took shape in the absence of opposition. In this groundbreaking new study, Darrin McMahon demonstrates that, on the contrary, contemporary resistance to the Enlightenment was a major cultural force, shaping and defining the Enlightenment itself from the moment of inception, while giving rise to an entirely new ideological phenomenon-what we have come to think of as the "Right." McMahon skillfully examines the Counter- (...) class='Hi'>Enlightenment, showing that it was an extensive, international, and thoroughly modern affair. (shrink)
Eighteenth-century Epicureanism is often viewed as radical, anti-religious, and politically dangerous. But to what extent does this simplify the ancient philosophy and underestimate its significance to the Enlightenment? Through a pan-European analysis of Enlightenment centres from Scotland to Russia via the Netherlands, France and Germany, contributors argue that elements of classical Epicureanism were appropriated by radical and conservative writers alike. They move beyond literature and political theory to examine the application of Epicurean ideas in domains as diverse as (...) physics, natural law, and the philosophy of language, drawing on the work of both major figures (Diderot, Helvétius, Smith and Hume) and of lesser-known but important thinkers (Johann Jacob Schmauss and Dmitrii Anichkov). -/- Table of Contents -/- Neven Leddy and Avi S. Lifschitz, Epicurus in the Enlightenment: an introduction -/- Elodie Argaud, Bayle’s defence of Epicurus: the use and abuse of Malebranche’s Méditations chrétiennes -/- Hans W. Blom, The Epicurean motif in Dutch notions of sociability in the seventeenth century -/- Thomas Ahnert, Epicureanism and the transformation of natural law in the early German Enlightenment -/- Charles T. Wolfe, A happiness fit for organic bodies: La Mettrie’s medical Epicureanism -/- Natania Meeker, Sexing Epicurean materialism in Diderot -/- Pierre Force, Helvétius as an Epicurean political theorist -/- Andrew Kahn, Epicureanism in the Russian Enlightenment: Dmitrii Anichkov and atomic theory -/- Matthew Niblett, Man, morals and matter: Epicurus and materialist thought in England from John Toland to Joseph Priestley -/- James A. Harris, The Epicurean in Hume -/- Neven Leddy, Adam Smith’s critique of Enlightenment Epicureanism -/- Avi S. Lifschitz, The Enlightenment revival of the Epicurean history of language and civilisation -/- Bibliography -/- Index. (shrink)
That the Enlightenment shaped modernity is uncontested. Yet remarkably few historians or philosophers have attempted to trace the process of ideas from the political and social turmoil of the late eighteenth century to the present day. This is precisely what Jonathan Israel now does. In Democratic Enlightenment , Israel demonstrates that the Enlightenment was an essentially revolutionary process, driven by philosophical debate. The American Revolution and its concerns certainly acted as a major factor in the intellectual ferment (...) that shaped the wider upheaval that followed, but the radical philosophes were no less critical than enthusiastic about the American model. From 1789, the General Revolution's impetus came from a small group of philosophe-revolutionnaires , men such as Mirabeau, Sieyes, Condorcet, Volney, Roederer, and Brissot. Not aligned to any of the social groups represented in the French National assembly, they nonetheless forged " la philosophie moderne "--in effect Radical Enlightenment ideas--into a world-transforming ideology that had a lasting impact in Latin America, Canada and eastern Europe as well as France, Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries. In addition, Israel argues that while all French revolutionary journals powerfully affirmed that la philosophie moderne was the main cause of the French Revolution, the main stream of historical thought has failed to grasp what this implies. Israel sets the record straight, demonstrating the true nature of the engine that drove the Revolution, and the intimate links between the radical wing of the Enlightenment and the anti-Robespierriste "Revolution of reason." Acclaim for earlier volumes in the trilogy: "His vast--and vastly impressive--book sets out to redefine the intellectual landscape of early modern Europe. Magnificent and magisterialwill undoubtedly be one of the truly great historical works of the decade." -- Sunday Telegraph "The scholarship is breathtaking. Israel has read everything, absorbed every nuance, followed up every byway." -- New Statesman "An enormously impressive piece of scholarship. The breadth and depth of the author's reading are breathtaking and Enlightenment Contested is set to become the definitive work for philosophers as well as historians on this extraordinary period." -- Tribune. (shrink)
Interpreting the Enlightenment: on methods -- A map of the Enlightenment: whither France? -- The spirit of the moderns: from the new science to the Enlightenment -- Society, the subject of the modern story -- Quarrel in the Academy: the ancients strike back -- Humanism and Enlightenment: the classical style of the philosophes -- The philosophical spirit of the laws: politics and antiquity -- An ancient god: pagans and philosophers -- Post tenebras lux: Begriffsgeschichte or regime (...) d'historicité? -- Ancients and the Orient: translatio imperii -- Enlightened institutions (i): the royal academies versus the Republic of Letters -- Enlightened institutions (ii): universities, censorship, and public instruction -- Worldliness, politeness, and the importance of not being too radical -- From Enlightenment to Revolution: a shared history? -- France and the European Enlightenment -- Modern myths. (shrink)
This book offers the first full-length study of philosophical dialogue during the English Enlightenment. It explains why important philosophers - Shaftesbury, Mandeville, Berkeley and Hume - and innumerable minor translators, imitators and critics wrote in and about dialogue during the eighteenth century; and why, after Hume, philosophical dialogue either falls out of use or undergoes radical transformation. Philosophical Dialogue in the British Enlightenment describes the extended, heavily coded, and often belligerent debate about the nature and proper management of (...) dialogue; and it shows how the writing of philosophical fictions relates to the rise of the novel and the emergence of philosophical aesthetics. Novelists such as Fielding, Sterne, Johnson and Austen are placed in a philosophical context, and philosophers of the empiricist tradition in the context of English literary history. (shrink)
Why is postmodernist discourse so biased against the Enlightenment? Indeed, postmodern theory challenges the validity of the rational basis of modern historical scholarship and the Enlightenment itself. Rather than avoiding this conflict, the contributors to this vibrant collection return to the philosophical roots of the Enlightenment, and do not hesitate to look at them through a postmodernist lens, engaging issues like anti-Semitism, Utopianism, colonial legal codes, and ideas of authorship. Dismissing the notion that the two camps are (...) ideologically opposed and thus incompatible, these essays demonstrate an exciting new scholarship that confidently mixes the empiricism of Enlightenment thought with a strong postmodernist skepticism, painting a subtler and richer historical canvas. (shrink)
This chapter examines a foundational democratic practice by considering how it expresses concepts of the Enlightenment. The practice is that of the vote or plebiscite as it appears in governance. The leading enlightenment concept is rationality as it is expounded by Kant. Kant did not participate in national democratic processes. He expected decisions of any consequence to be made in Berlin and thrived when his City was invaded by the Russians and their officers became his students, until they (...) left suddenly in 1762 (Kuehn, 2001, p.126). Kant participated in political debate where the issues were in the main constitutional and about the processes of government reform. He became known for his theory of natural law and the justification of positive law. He advocated the separation of powers, but denied the right of revolution. This latter onclusion was in apparent contradiction of his support for republicanism, including the French, English, and American revolutions (Beck, 1971, p.413). The term “republican” in Kant’s writings is sometimes interpreted to mean “parliamentary democracy”. This is probably a mistake, and Reiss suggests Kant’s term does not carry the “connotation” of modern Western democracy (Reiss's "Introduction" in Kant, 1991a, p.25). Kant himself wrote that he wanted to prevent “the republican constitution from being confused with the democratic one, as commonly happens” (Kant, 1991a, .100). So it is that, whilst Kant wrote about the interaction of morality and politics, he did not write on the topic of the present chapter which focuses on those mechanisms or mechanics that democracy displays when it works. (shrink)
Modernity and the other: a story of inequality -- Locating the other in the political debates of early modernity -- Thinking and rethinking the equality of the other: Vitoria, Sepúlveda and the true barbarians -- Las Casas and the other: the tension between equality and cultural othercide -- From the civilizing mission to irreconcilable alterity: the changing perception of the Indians in the French Enlightenment -- The other side of modernity: legitimizing the transition from cultural othercide to physical othercide (...) -- Looking to the future. (shrink)
Linguistics, Anthropology and Philosophy in the French Enlightenment treats the development of linguistic thought from Descartes to Degerando as both a part of and a determining factor in the emergence of modern consciousness. Through his careful analyses of works by the most influential thinkers of the time, author Ulrich Ricken demonstrates that the central significance of language in the philosophy of the enlightenment is how it reflected and acted upon contemporary understanding of humanity as a whole. Although primarily (...) focused on French thought between 1650 and 1800, the author discusses contemporary developments in England, Germany and Italy and covers an unusually broad range of writers and ideas, including Leibniz, Wolff, Herder and Humboldt. This study places the history of language philosophy within the broader context of the history of ideas, aesthetics and historical anthropology and will be of interest to scholars working in these disciplines. (shrink)
The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment offers a philosophical perspective on an eighteenth-century movement that has been profoundly influential on western culture. A distinguished team of contributors examines the writings of David Hume, Adam Smith, Thomas Reid, Adam Ferguson, Colin Maclaurin and other Scottish thinkers, in fields including philosophy, natural theology, economics, anthropology, natural science and law. In addition, the contributors relate the Scottish Enlightenment to its historical context and assess its impact and legacy in Europe, America (...) and beyond. The result is a comprehensive and accessible volume that illuminates the richness, the intellectual variety and the underlying unity of this important movement. It will be of interest to a wide range of readers in philosophy, theology, literature and the history of ideas. (shrink)
In this work, Henry Vyverberg traces the evolution and consequences of a crucial idea in French Enlightenment thought--the idea of human nature. Human nature was commonly seen as a broadly universal, unchanging entity, though perhaps modifiable by geographical, social, and historical factors. Enlightenment empiricism suggested a degree of cultural diversity that has often been underestimated in studies of the age. Evidence here is drawn from Diderot's celebrated Encyclopedia and from a vast range of writing by such Enlightenment (...) notables as Voltaire, Rousseau, and d'Holbach. Vyverberg explains not only the age's undoubted fascination with uniformity in human nature, but also its acknowledgment of significant limitations on that uniformity. He shows that although the Enlightenment's historical sense was often blinkered by its notions of a uniform human nature, there were also cracks in this concept that developed during the Enlightenment itself. (shrink)
This collection of new papers on Scottish philosophy in the age of Hutcheson and Hume pays close attention to the study of context and the use of original historical sources as a key to philosophical interpretation. The book includes revolutionary new research on Hume's early reading in science and religion and its impact of his thought.
Eighteenth-century France witnessed the rise of matter itself—in forms ranging from atoms to anatomies—as a privileged object of study. Voluptuous Philosophy redefines what is at stake in the emergence of an enlightened secular materialism by showing how questions of figure—how should a body be represented? What should the effects of this representation be on readers?—are tellingly and consistently located at the very heart of 18th-century debates about the nature of material substance. French materialisms of the Enlightenment are crucially invested (...) not only in the development of a sophisticated theoretical apparatus around the notion of matter but in the production of specific relationships between readers and the "matter" of the texts that they consume. How, the book asks, did the period's fascination with a markedly immaterial and ephemeral event—the reading of works of fiction—come to coincide with what appears to be a gradual materialization of human subjects: men and women who increasingly manage to envision themselves transfigured, as the century wears on, into machines, animals, and even, in the work of the Marquis de Sade, tables and chairs? In what way did the spread of new philosophies of matter depend upon the ability of readers to perceive certain figures of speech as literally and immediately true—to imagine themselves as fully material bodies even as they found themselves most deeply compelled by disembodied literary forms? More broadly, in what sense does the act of reading literature alter and transfigure our perceptions of what is, and can be, real? Voluptuous Philosophy articulates the gradual coming into being of literature as a distinct arena of textual production with the rise of an enlightened reader who remains abstracted from the bodily symptoms that any given piece of writing may induce in him. The very definition of "the literary" as an autonomous field, this book suggests, may, ironically, be dependent upon the simultaneous construction of a material world that remains fully immune to its effects. (shrink)
In the later Indian Yogācāra school, yogipratyakṣa, the cognition of yogins is a key concept used to explain the Buddhist goal of enlightenment. It arises through the practice of meditation upon the Four Noble Truths. The method of the practice is to contemplate their aspects with attention (sādara), without interruption (nairantarya), and over a long period of time (dīrghakāla). A problem occurs in this position since Buddhists hold the theory of momentariness: how is possible that a yogin attains yogipratyakṣa (...) even when everything arises and perishes moment by moment. It is not possible for the momentary mind to fix on the object. Neither is the intensification of the practice possible in a stream composed of cognitions different at each moment. To provide a solution of this problem, a renown eleventh century Buddhist logician, Jñānaśrīmitra, assures us that momentariness is incompatible with duration (sthāyitā), but not with the occurrence of dissimilarity (visadṛśotpāda). Even if cognitions are momentary, the vividness of an object continues to intensify in the course of each preceding cognition-moment producing, in turn, its following moment. Jñānaśrīmitra discusses the attainment of yogipratyakṣa in terms of Buddhist ontological distinctions of moment (kṣaṇa) and continuum (santāna). At the level of the continuum, the process of enlightenment is considered gradual. By retaining a strict adherence to the final moment of the practice, on the other hand, the process is considered sudden. (shrink)
Prologue -- Introduction -- The virtuous atheist -- The oral and written public sphere -- Books and pamphlets -- Periodicals -- The philosophe response -- Institutional reactions in France -- The Christian Enlightenment? -- Beyond the Christian Enlightenment -- Appendices. D'Holbach's publications, 1752-1789 -- Responses in French to d'Holbach's publications, 1752-1789 -- The corpus of periodical press articles produced in reaction to d'Holbach's publications.
The world in which the Scottish Enlightenment took shape -- Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll (1682-1761) : patronage and the creation of the Scottish Enlightenment -- How many Scots were enlightened? -- What did eighteenth-century Scottish students read? -- Our excellent and never to be forgotten friend : David Hume (26 April 1711- 25 August 1776) -- Hume's intellectual development : part II, 1711-1762 -- Hume's histories -- Hume's economics -- Numbering the medics -- Numbers and money (...) -- Who were they? -- The émigrés as they appear in the American sample. (shrink)
How may progressive political theorists advance the Enlightenment after Darwin shifted the conversation about human nature in the nineteenth century, the Holocaust displayed barbarity at the historical center of the Enlightenment, and 9/11 showed the need to modify the ideals and strategies of the Enlightenment? Kantian Courage considers how several figures in contemporary political theory--including John Rawls, Gilles Deleuze, and Tariq Ramadan--do just this as they continue Immanuel Kant's legacy.
Machine generated contents note: -- Reid and Hume on the Possibility of Character--James A. Harris * Adam Smith's Rhetorical Art of Character--Stephen McKenna * The Moral Education of Mankind: Character and Religious Moderatism in the Sermons of Hugh Blair--Thomas Ahnert * The Not-So-Prodigal Son: James Boswell and the Scottish Enlightenment--Anthony La Vopa * Character, Sociability and Correspondence: Elizabeth Griffith and The Letters between Henry and Frances--Eve Tavor Bannet * Smellie's Dreams: Character and Consciousness in the Scottish Enlightenment--Phyllis Mack (...) William * Aspects of Character and Sociability in Scottish Enlightenment Medicine--Neil Vickers * The 'Peculiar Colouring of the Mind': Character and Painted Portraiture in the Scottish Enlightenment--Viccy Coltman * National Characters and Race: A Scottish Enlightenment Debate--Silvia Sebastiani * Character and Cosmopolitanism in the Scottish-American Enlightenment--Hannah Spahn * Historical Characters: Biography, the Science of Man, and Romantic Fiction--Susan Manning * Necessity, Freedom, and Character Formation from the Eighteenth Century to the Nineteenth--Jerrold Seigel. (shrink)
For all their differences, the many varieties of thinking commonly known as postmodernism share at least one salient characteristic: they all depend upon a stereotyped account of the Enlightenment. Postmodernity requires a 'modernity' to be repudiated, and the tenets of this modernity have invariably been identified with the Enlightenment Project. This volume aims to explore critically the opposition between Enlightenment and Postmodernity and question some of the conclusions drawn from it. The authors focus on three general areas. (...) Part I, Enlightenment or Postmodernity?, reflects on the way in which contemporary discussion characterizes the two movements as radical alternatives. Part II, Critical Confrontations, charts a series of critical engagements by those who have affirmed or demeaned Enlightenment values in the twentieth century. Part III, A Postmodern Enlightenment?, complicates the perceived dichotomy between Enlightenment and Postmodernity by pointing to the existence within the Enlightenment of elements frequently seen as characteristic of Postmodernity. (shrink)