Enlightenment Cosmopolitanism brings together ten innovative contributions by outstanding scholars working across a wide array of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Interdisciplinary in its methodology and compass, with a strong comparative European dimension, the volume examines discourses ranging from literature, historiography, music and opera to anthropology and political philosophy. It makes an original contribution to the study of 18th-century ideas of universal peace, progress and wealth as the foundation of future debates on cosmopolitanism. At the same time, (...) it analyses examples of counter-reaction to these ideas and discusses the relevance of the Enlightenment for subsequent polemics on cosmopolitanism, including 21st-century debates in sociology, politics and legal theory. (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)
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)
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.
Jonathan Israel presents the first major reassessment of the Western Enlightenment for a generation. Continuing the story he began in the best-selling Radical Enlightenment, and now focusing his attention on the first half of the eighteenth century, he returns to the original sources to offer a groundbreaking new perspective on the nature and development of the most important currents in modern thought. Israel traces many of the core principles of Western modernity to their roots in the social, political, (...) and philosophical ferment of this period: the primacy of reason, democracy, racial equality, feminism, religious toleration, sexual emancipation, and freedom of expression. He emphasizes the dual character of the Enlightenment, and the bitter struggle between on the one hand a generally dominant, anti-democratic mainstream, supporting the monarchy, aristocracy, and ecclesiastical authority, and on the other a largely repressed democratic, republican, and 'materialist' radical fringe. He also contends that the supposedly separate French, British, German, Dutch, and Italian enlightenments interacted to such a degree that their study in isolation gives a hopelessly distorted picture.A work of dazzling and highly accessible scholarship, Enlightenment Contested will be the definitive reference point for historians, philosophers, and anyone engaged with this fascinating period of human development. (shrink)
The West has long had an ambivalent attitude toward the philosophical traditions of the East. Voltaire claimed that the East is the civilization "to which the West owes everything", yet C.S. Peirce was contemptuous of the "monstrous mysticism of the East". And despite the current trend toward globalizations, there is still a reluctance to take seriously the intellectual inheritance of South and East Asia. Oriental Enlightenment challenges this Eurocentric prejudice. J. J. Clarke examines the role played by the ideas (...) of Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism in the intellectual life of the West and how these ideas, far more than exotic distractions, or even instruments of colonial domination, have been the means towards serious self-questioning and self-renewal, used to dispute and even to undermine Western orthodoxies. (shrink)
In this magisterial survey of the Enlightenment, Jonathan Israel returns to the primary texts to offer a major new reinterpretation of the nature and development of the important currents in philosophical thinking, arguing that supposed national enlightenments are of less significance than the rift between conservative and radical thought.
Kant believed that true enlightenment is the use of reason freely in public. This book systematicaaly traces 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, non-technical language, this book will be eagerly sought out by historians of philosophy and students of the history of ideas. (shrink)
This is a bold and controversial feminist, philosophical critique of postmodernism. While providing a brief and accessible introduction to postmodernist feminist thought, Enlightened Women is also a unique defence of realism and enlightenment philosophy. The first half of the book covers an analysis of some of the most influential postmodernist theorists, such as Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler. In the second half Alison Assiter advocates a return to modernism in feminism. She argues, against the current orthodoxy, that there can (...) be a distinction between "sex" and "gender". For students trying to pick their way through the maze of literature in the area of postmodernist feminism, Enlightened Women is a concise guide to contemporary thought - as well as a radical contribution to the debate. (shrink)
Genevieve Lloyd presents a new study of the place of Enlightenment thought in intellectual history and of its continued relevance. She offers original readings of a range of key texts, which highlight the ways in which Enlightenment thinkers enacted in their writing--and reflected on--the interplay of intellect, imagination, and emotion.
Since its inception in the 1970's, critical realism has grown to address a broad range of subjects, including economics, philosophy, science, and religion. It has also gone through a number of key evolutions that have changed its direction, and seen it develop into a complex and mature branch of philosophy. Critical Realism: A Brief Introduction, is the first book to look back over the entire field of critical realism in one concise and accessible volume. As the originator and chief exponent (...) of CR, Roy Bhaskar draws from his experience of countless introductory lectures, seminars, workshops and courses to give a definitive and compelling account of this increasingly influential, international and multi-disciplinary approach. Its eight chapters examine the following topics: Transcendental Realism and the Philosophy of Science Critical Naturalism and the Philosophy of Social Science Explanatory Critique and Ethics Language and Critical Discourse Analysis The Development of Critical Realism Interdisciplinarity and Applied Critical Realism Modernity, Theories of Science and Metacritique The Advantages of Critical Realism Everything from the definition of CR and its applicability to the social sciences, to explanations of dialectical critical realism and the philosophy of meta-reality are addressed in detail, making this the essential introduction for students of CR at all levels. (shrink)
Sudden enlightenment is awakening to be attained all at once. Hyun-Eung, a Korean Buddhist monastic, has proposed a new interpretation that sudden enlightenment is the revolutionary awakening of the dynamical and indivisible structure of cognitive subject and objects. I argue that Hyun-Eung’s ‘revolutionary enlightenment’ is achieved through a ‘paradigm shift’ in Thomas Kuhn’s sense as presented in his The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Enlightenment is obtained when one’s essentialist and realist worldview is replaced, through a revolutionary (...) change of paradigm shift, by a new perspective based on the Buddhist teaching of dependent arising and emptiness. Prior to enlightenment, each person views oneself as a separate and independent individual who has her own essence. However, when our perspective on self and the world changes with the understanding of dependent arising and emptiness, it becomes clear that no one and nothing can exist independently of conditions. Everything comes into existence, abides, and passes out of existence only in dependence on conditions. Sudden enlightenment requires a revolutionary change in one’s perspective of self and the world. I conclude that this concept of revolutionary enlightenment aptly explains the features of sudden enlightenment. (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)
What is the Enlightenment? A period rich with debates on the nature of man, truth and the place of God, with the international circulation of ideas, people and gold. But did the Enlightenment mean the same for men and women, for rich and poor, for Europeans and non-Europeans? In this fourth edition of her acclaimed book, Dorinda Outram addresses these and other questions about the Enlightenment and its place at the foundation of modernity. Studied as a global (...) phenomenon, Outram sets the period against broader social changes, touching on how historical interpretations of the Enlightenment continue to transform in response to contemporary socio-economic trends. Supported by a wide-ranging selection of documents online, this new edition provides an up-to-date overview of the main themes of the period and benefits from an expanded treatment of political economy and imperialism, making it essential reading for students of eighteenth-century history and philosophy. (shrink)
The Scottish Enlightenment shaped a new conception of history as a gradual and universal progress from savagery to civil society. Whereas women emancipated themselves from the yoke of male-masters, men in turn acquired polite manners and became civilized. Such a conception, however, presents problematic questions: why were the Americans still savage? Why was it that the Europeans only had completed all the stages of the historic process? Could modern societies escape the destiny of earlier empires and avoid decadence? Was (...) there a limit beyond which women's influence might result in dehumanization? The Scottish Enlightenment's legacy for modernity emerges here as a two-faced Janus, an unresolved tension between universalism and hierarchy, progress and the limits of progress. (shrink)
Enlightening Journey brings the life of the American philosopher, Nicholas Rescher, into the new millennium. The latest in a quartet of autobiographical works, this latest installment charts—in a single volume—the many twists and turns of Rescher's life and career. It takes the reader from Rescher's childhood in Weimar and then Nazi Germany through life as a first generation American during the Depression; as a high school student during World War II and a graduate student at Princeton; as a serviceman during (...) the Korean War to work as a Cold War warrior with the RAND Corporation during the Vietnam War. It traces the evolution of Rescher's career as a professional philosopher and his contribution of over seventy books and more than two hundred articles, many written in the construction of his signature system of pragmatic idealism. The very best in biography, Enlightening Journey offers new insight into the intellectual power and restless curiosity of an extraordinary modern scholar seeking to live out a very ordinary American life. (shrink)
ABSTRACT:Central to the United Nations Framework setting out the human rights responsibilities of corporations proposed by John Ruggie is the principle that corporations have a responsibility to respect human rights in their operations whether or not doing so is required by law and whether or not human rights laws are actively enforced. Ruggie proposes that corporations should respect this principle in their strategic management and day-to-day operations for reasons of corporate (enlightened) self-interest. This paper identifies this as a serious weakness (...) and argues that identifying the responsibility to respect human rights as an explicitly ethical obligation to be respected for that reason would provide a much stronger justificatory foundation for respecting the principle seen from a corporate perspective, given that corporations are accountable to their shareholders for their deployment of the firm’s financial resources. (shrink)
Enlightenment in Scotland and France: Studies in Political Thought provides comparative analysis of the Scottish and French Enlightenments. Studies of the two Enlightenments have previously focused on the transnational, their story one of continuity between Scottish intellectuals and French philosophes and of a mutual commitment to combat fanaticism in all its forms. This book contends that what has been missing, by and large, from the scholarly literature is the comparative analysis that underscores the contrasts as well as the similarities (...) of the Enlightenments in Scotland and France. This book shows that, although the similarities of "enlightened" political thought in the two countries are substantial, the differences are also remarkable and stand out in culminating relief in the Scottish and French reactions to the American Revolution. Mark Hulliung argues that it was 1776, not 1789, that was the moment when the spokespersons for Enlightenment in Scotland and France parted company. (shrink)
Rival Enlightenments, first published in 2001, is a major reinterpretation of early modern German intellectual history. Ian Hunter approaches philosophical doctrines as ways of fashioning personae for envisaged historical circumstances, here of confessional conflict and political desacralization. He treats the civil philosophy of Pufendorf and Thomasius and the metaphysical philosophy of Leibniz and Kant as rival intellectual cultures or paideiai, thereby challenging all histories premised on Kant's supposed reconciliation and transcendence of the field. This study reveals the extraordinary historical self-consciousness (...) of the civil philosophers, who repudiated university metaphysics as inimical to the intellectual formation of those administering desacralized territorial states. The book argues that the marginalization of civil philosophy in post-Kantian philosophical history may itself be seen as a continuation of the struggle between the rival enlightenments. Combining careful and well-documented scholarship with vivid polemic, Hunter presents penetrating insights for philosophers and historians alike. (shrink)
The story of how, and why, the ideal of a universal, global, and cosmopolitan society became such a central part of the Western imagination in the ferment of the Enlightenment - and how these ideas have done battle with an inward-looking, tradition-oriented view of the world ever since.
The Enlightenment is generally painted as a movement of ideas and society lasting from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century, but this book argues that the Enlightenment is an essential component of modernity itself and in fact can be seen to have lasted from the late sixteenth century to the present day. In the course of the study, Martin Davies offers an original world-view and a critique of some recent interpretations of the Enlightenment.
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)
In the late eighteenth century, an array of European political thinkers attacked the very foundations of imperialism, arguing passionately that empire-building was not only unworkable, costly, and dangerous, but manifestly unjust. Enlightenment against Empire is the first book devoted to the anti-imperialist political philosophies of an age often regarded as affirming imperial ambitions. Sankar Muthu argues that thinkers such as Denis Diderot, Immanuel Kant, and Johann Gottfried Herder developed an understanding of humans as inherently cultural agents and therefore necessarily (...) diverse. These thinkers rejected the conception of a culture-free "natural man." They held that moral judgments of superiority or inferiority could be made neither about entire peoples nor about many distinctive cultural institutions and practices.Muthu shows how such arguments enabled the era's anti-imperialists to defend the freedom of non-European peoples to order their own societies. In contrast to those who praise "the Enlightenment" as the triumph of a universal morality and critics who view it as an imperializing ideology that denigrated cultural pluralism, Muthu argues instead that eighteenth-century political thought included multiple Enlightenments. He reveals a distinctive and underappreciated strand of Enlightenment thinking that interweaves commitments to universal moral principles and incommensurable ways of life, and that links the concept of a shared human nature with the idea that humans are fundamentally diverse. Such an intellectual temperament, Muthu contends, can broaden our own perspectives about international justice and the relationship between human unity and diversity. (shrink)
A Critical Notice on Omri Boehm's "Radikaler Universalismus. Jenseits von Identität" (Propyläen/Ullstein 2022). This article is private. If you're not a subscriber to kritik dot substack dot com, you will need to subscribe in order to be able to read it.
Weaving together ancient Greek texts and postmodernist theory, Christopher Rocco addresses the debate between modernity and postmodernity that dominates contemporary theory. Interpreting Greek drama within a critical framework informed by contemporary theorists Foucault, Habermas, Horkheimer and Adorno, _Tragedy and Enlightenment_ makes a sophisticated argument for the continuing relevance of the classical past, focusing on the subject of democracy. The starting point for Rocco's analysis is the impasse in contemporary political and cultural theory over the possibility and desirability of democracy in (...) a postmodern world. After explaining the competing positions in the current debate, Rocco argues that ancient Greek tragedy and dialogue—specifically Sophocles' _Oedipus_, Plato's _Republic_ and_ Gorgias_, and Aeschylus' _Oresteia_—suggest alternate constructions for this and other postmodern problems. Rocco gives a detailed analysis of the contemporary divide over the theories of Jürgen Habermas and Michel Foucault and provides a provocative reading of Horkheimer and Adorno's _Dialectic of Enlightenment._ This original contribution to political and cultural discourse brings us to a new understanding of familiar texts and will alter the grounds of debate for students and scholars of the classical and the contemporary worlds. (shrink)
Arguably the most decisive shift in the history of ideas in modern times was the complete demolition during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries - in the wake of the Scientific Revolution - of traditional structures of authority, scientific thought, and belief by the new philosophy and the philosophes, culminating in Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. In this revolutionary process which effectively overthrew all justicfication for monarchy, aristocracy, and ecclesiastical power, as well as man's dominance over woman, theological dominance of education, (...) and slavery, substituting the modern principles of equality, democracy, and universality, the Radical Enlightenment played a crucially important part. Despite the present day interest in the revolutions of the late eighteenth century, the origins and rise of the Radical Enlightenment have been astonishingly little studied doubtless largely because of its very wide international sweep and the obvious difficulty of fitting in into the restrictive conventions of 'national history' which until recently tended to dominate all historiography. The greatest obstacle to the Radical Enlightenment finding its proper place in modern historical writing is simply that it was not French, British, German, Italian, Jewish or Dutch, but all of these at the same time. In this novel interpretation of the Radical Enlightenment down to La Mettie and Diderot, two of its key exponents, particular stress is placed on the pivotal role of Spinoza and the widespread underground international philosophical movement known before 1750 as Spinozism. (shrink)
The Enlightenment and its legacy are still actively debated, with the Enlightenment acting as a key organizing concept in philosophy, social theory and the history of ideas. Counter-Enlightenments is the first full-length study to deal with the history and development of the Counter-Enlightenment thought from its inception in the eighteenth century right through to the present. Engaging in a critical dialogue with Isiah Berlin's work, this book analyses the concept of Counter-Enlightenment and some of the most (...) important conceptual issues and problems it raises. Graeme Garrard explores the diverse forms of Counter-Enlightenment thought, with a wide-ranging review of the principle figures of the past two hundred and fifty years, and he assesses the persuasiveness of the most common and important criticisms of the Enlightenment. (shrink)
The Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment series, previously known as SVEC (Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century), has published over 500 peer-reviewed scholarly volumes since 1955 as part of the Voltaire Foundation at the University of Oxford. International in focus, Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment volumes cover wide-ranging aspects of the eighteenth century and the Enlightenment, from gender studies to political theory, and from economics to visual arts and music, and are published in English (...) or French. (shrink)
ENLIGHTENMENT AND POLITICAL FICTION: -/- THE EVERYDAY INTELLECTUAL -/- (New York/London: Routledge, 2016). -/- Abstract -/- Advanced, theoretical ideas can be found in the most unlikely books. A handful of books—sometimes surprising ones—not only entertain the reader but also contribute to new ways of seeing the world. Indeed, some theorists explicitly cite literature. Adam Smith, for example, makes repeated references to Voltaire, and Marx later claims numerous literary sources, including Don Quixote. Why, though, should an historian of ideas direct (...) sustained scholarly attention to literature? And what, exactly, beyond high entertainment, should anyone not in literary studies expect when reading great fiction? -/- To address these questions, I examine the particular textures and peculiarities of thought in five famous works of fiction, written from 1600-1850. I have found a web of text-based, interrelated ideas that are attributed to the Enlightenment, and yet that existed considerably before the early-modern period, and, in many cases, that lasted well into our own time. Ideas ascribed to later thinkers—for example, John Locke, in the late seventeenth century, on private property—can be found in much earlier works of fiction. In this case, however, Locke himself acknowledged his debt to Cervantes, but this has been forgotten, as few modern readers read both the theory and the fiction of the past. The five works of fiction examined here, from five different languages, therefore, not only reflect European Enlightenment thinking, but in some cases they helped to create it. -/- Overall I argue that access to political and economic theory by way of fiction made it possible for any person, even someone beyond traditional scholarly circles, to become part of an ongoing, vital academic debate. Enlightenment and Political Fiction: The Everyday Intellectual is designed as an homage to E. P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class (1963) by telling the story of the making of the everyday intellectual. The stress here is on the abstract theory to be found in a few famous works of fiction, ideas presented in a format highly attractive to contemporary (and later) readers, yet also exhibited in a manner that showed respect for the intelligence of the average reader. Extrapolating from Thompson, I argue that it was not passive reception but active participation of readers—including those who listened to the book read out loud—that fostered Enlightenment from below. The decision to engage in this intellectual debate, grounded in ideas often first found in fiction, and much of it featuring less-than-gifted central characters, allowed everyday people—the vast majority of whom were wholly removed from both salons and universities—to participate in the questioning and eventually the decision-making of their own states. This led to greater political participation, which is often cited as one of the indicators of the shift to the modern age. -/- Looking at fiction alongside philosophy, political theory, and the history of economic thought enriches our notion of theorizing, and shifts our understanding about which texts should be addressed. Authors, in the midst of developing theories, take their source materials from ideas in their own cultures and then systematize particular concepts. In some cases, nascent political and economic ideas appear first in literature, as in Cervantes’s Don Quixote, and, in other cases, theorists deliberately used literature to propound their theories to a much wider audience, as in Voltaire’s Candide, which might be considered a novelization of moral theory. It is not that the former case—abstract ideas breaking through first in fiction—is the rule in this period, and the latter—theorists manipulating fiction for their own purposes—the exception, but rather that there is a dialectical relationship between fiction and theory in the long eighteenth century. -/- See: http://www.amazon.com/Enlightenment-Political-Fiction-Intellectual-Routledge/dp/1138954179 AND https://www.routledge.com/products/9781138954175. (shrink)
Turning his back on neoliberalism, voicing 'the end of history' and the unstoppable spread of liberal values across the globe, Gray's was a lone voice of scepticism. The thinking he criticised would lead to the invasion of Iraq. Today, its folly might seem obvious, but Gray has been trying to warn us for years.
Issues relating to diversity and pluralism continue to permeate both social and political discourse. Of particular contemporary importance and relevance are those issues raised when the demands associated with forms of pluralism clash with those of the liberal state. These forms of pluralism can be divided into two subcategories: thin and thick pluralism. Thin pluralism refers to forms of pluralism that can be accommodated by the existing liberal framework, whereas thick pluralism challenges this liberal framework. -/- This thesis is an (...) examination of four forms of political association that may be able to accommodate and support the demands of pluralism. These four models are Rawls’ political liberalism, Crowder’s value pluralism, Rorty’s post-foundational liberalism, and Mouffe’s radical democratic project. What unites these four forms of political association is their capacity to avoid the exclusionary effects of a form of liberalism that I, following Gaus, refer to as Enlightenment liberalism. As the name suggests, this conception of liberalism is anchored in the Enlightenment, and in particular with what may be considered as the Enlightenment view of reason. As such, therefore, Enlightenment liberalism is both universal and perfectionist. In this context, I argue that Enlightenment liberalism is a species of what Berlin refers to as ‘moral monism’. -/- These four forms of political association are ordered in such a way as to chart an intellectual trajectory. Rawls and Crowder are both situated firmly within the liberal tradition, whereas Rorty and Mouffe move beyond this, and embrace a form of post-foundational politics. It is in this trajectory that the second theme of this thesis emerges. This is centred on a paradox: in order to avoid the exclusionary effect of Enlightenment liberalism and embrace a form of political association that meets the demands of pluralism and diversity, the models examined still promote autonomy as the dominant virtue. (shrink)
After Enlightenment: Hamann as Post-Secular Visionary is a comprehensive introduction to the life and works of eighteenth-century German philosopher, J. G. Hamann, the founding father of what has come to be known as Radical Orthodoxy. Provides a long-overdue, comprehensive introduction to Haman's fascinating life and controversial works, including his role as a friend and critic of Kant and some of the most renowned German intellectuals of the age Features substantial new translations of the most important passages from across Hamann's (...) writings, some of which have never been translated into English Examines Hamann's highly original views on a range of topics, including faith, reason, revelation, Christianity, biblical exegesis, Socrates, theological aesthetics, language, sexuality, religion, politics, and the relationship between Judaism and Christianity Presents Hamann as the 'founding father' of a distinctly post-modern, post-secular theology and, as such, as an alternative to the 'postmodern triumvirate' of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida Considers Hamann's work as a touchtone of modern Jewish-Christian dialogue, in view of debates with his friend Moses Mendelssohn Explores Hamann's role as the visionary founder of a 'metacritical' movement that radically calls into question the basic principles of modern secular reason, and thus reprises the debate between those defending Hamann's views and those labeling him the bête noir of the Enlightenment. (shrink)
This paper provides a defense of the ethical/political dimensions of Kant’s liberalism by gauging the strength of the critique of one of its most acerbic contemporary critics, Richard Rorty. Rorty’s dissatisfaction with Kant’s position can be traced back to a narrative of the coming to age of our culture, which bears surprising similarities to Kant’s account of the Enlightenment. Yet, in Rorty’s version of the story, Kant’s philosophy is mistakenly assimilated to a form of “Platonism.” This is due, I (...) argue, to the fact that Rorty confuses the “transcendental” with the “transcendent” in Kant. To set the score straight, I present a “de-Platonized” reading of Kant’s 1784 Enlightenment essay, whose goal is to protect the achievements of liberalism against Rorty’s poetic excesses. (shrink)
The prelims comprise: From Modernity to Enlightenment: The Historical Emergence of Liberalism A Genealogy of Race and its Intersections with Early Expressions of Liberalism Contemporary Egalitarian Liberalism and the Marginalization of Race The New Enlightenment: Race Consciousness in the Service of Social Justice Notes Bibliography.
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)
The ERC-funded ModERN project is investigating 18th-century authorship practices using data-rich computational techniques to examine the digital archive of the Enlightenment period. This paper explores the use of new large-scale text reuse detection and network analysis to identify intertextual 'influencers' in a large heterogeneous collection of 18th-century French texts.
The Enlightenment has often been written about as a sequence of disembodied 'great ideas'. The aim of this book is to put the beliefs of the Enlightenment firmly into their social context, by revealing the national soils in which they were rooted and the specific purposes for which they were used. It brings out the regional divergences of the Enlightenment experience, shaped by different local intellectual and economic priorities. At the same time it also shows how central (...) concerns were shared everywhere, and how the writings of certain key areas came to be influential elsewhere. The thirteen essays, each written by a historian specialising in the particular country, examine national contexts from Sweden to Italy, from Russia to North America. As well as focusing attention on the interplay of thought and action, ideology and society, the book offers important insights into the place of the intelligentsia in the modern world. (shrink)
This is the first comprehensive analysis of the royal and princely courts of Europe as important places of Enlightenment. The households of European rulers remained central to politics and culture throughout the eighteenth century, and few writers, artists, musicians, or scholars could succeed without establishing connections to ruling houses, noble families, or powerful courtiers. Covering case studies from Spain and France to Russia, and from Scandinavia and Britain to the Holy Roman Empire, the contributions of this volume examine how (...)Enlightenment figures were integrated into the princely courts of the Ancien Régime, and what kinds of relationships they had with courtiers. Dangers and opportunities presented by proximity to court are discussed as well as the question of what rulers and courtiers gained from their interactions with Enlightenment men and women of letters. The book focusses on four areas: firstly, the impact of courtly patronage on Enlightenment discourses and the work as well as careers of Enlightenment writers; secondly, the court as an audience to be catered for by Enlightenment writers; thirdly, the function of Enlightenment narratives and discourses for the image-making of rulers and courtiers; and fourthly, the role the interaction of courtiers and Enlightenment writers played for the formulation of reform policies. (shrink)
An eminent scholar of modern culture argues that the Enlightenment—the importance of which has been vigorously debated in recent years—was a more complex phenomenon than either its detractors or advocates assume. “Ranging as it does over art, morality, religion, science, philosophy, social theory, and a good deal besides, [Dupré’s book] is a marvel of scholarly erudition.... Formidably well-researched,... [this] would make an excellent introduction to Enlightenment ideas for the general reader.”—Terry Eagleton, _Harper’s Magazine _“This immensely readable book will (...) cause readers to rethink the Enlightenment and to see its positive aspects. It will also add crucial historical perspective to current discussions of modernity.”—Donald Verene, Emory University. (shrink)
The subject of the paper is the crisis of the concept of enlightenment examined at three levels: polemic-rhetorical, historical-descriptive, and philosophical-normative. The author argues that the inconsistency of substantive definitions of enlightenment does not necessarily result in rejection of this concept but rather in its continuous transformation. By way of conclusion, the author stresses that the normative revival of the concept of enlightenment may be rendered more viable by making a distinction between Enlightenment, as a particular (...) historical period and intellectual legacy, and enlightenment, as a continuous process. He argues that the former is not the only possible form of the latter, but just one of its historical manifestations and one among many agents in the complex and uncertain history of modern process of enlightening. (shrink)