Enlightenment Contested

Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man 1670-1752
Author: Jonathan I. Israel,Professor of Modern European History Jonathan I Israel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199279227
Category: History
Page: 983
View: 3822
This is a managerial survey and reinterpretation of the Enlightenment. The text offers an assessment 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.

Der Implex

Sozialer Fortschritt: Geschichte und Idee
Author: Dietmar Dath,Barbara Kirchner
Publisher: Suhrkamp Verlag
ISBN: 3518782908
Category: History
Page: 900
View: 2544
Morgen wird alles besser: An dieser Parole erkennt man seit der Aufklärung die Anhänger des sozialen Fortschritts, während die der Finsternis bellen, daß früher alles besser gewesen sei. Die einen setzen auf Wissenschaft und Technik, damit Freiheit, Wohlstand, Bildung und Schönheit sich mehren, die anderen auf Tradition, Blut, Boden, Familie, Vaterland und sonstigen Urväterhausrat, damit alles nicht noch schlimmer werde, als es ohnehin schon ist. Dieses Buch behauptet, daß jede Zeit, jede Handlung, jeder Gedanke tatsächlich mehr Möglichkeiten der Selbstverbesserung enthält, als man auf den ersten Blick sieht. Den inneren Zusammenhang dieser verborgenen Freiheitsgrade nennt das Buch »Implex«. Das Wort bezeichnet ein Modell, mit dem man erklären kann, wie Fortschritt in den Mühen tatsächlicher Menschen verwirklicht wird. Es macht verständlich, warum nur Epochen, die sich bestimmte Irrtümer erlauben, auch bestimmte Wahrheiten finden können, und es zeigt, daß die Aufklärung der Gegenwart Werkzeuge der Emanzipation vererbt hat, von denen sie selbst gar nichts wußte. Es verdeutlicht schließlich, was an dieser Lehre und anderen praktischen und theoretischen Hinterlassenschaften der historischen Linken wertvoll bleibt – bis heute. Auf dem Weg zu diesen Resultaten unternimmt das Buch Reisen durch realistische Forschung und phantastische Kunst, stellt bekannte und unbekannte Revolutionen, Kriege, Formen des Unrechts und des Widerstands dar und öffnet die Sicht auf Zeitabschnitte, von denen gar nicht so leicht zu entscheiden ist, ob sie Zukunft sind, Vergangenheit oder Gegenwart.


Author: Jonathan I. Israel,Martin Mulsow
Publisher: Suhrkamp Verlag
ISBN: 3518798103
Category: Political Science
Page: 277
View: 742
Seit einem Jahrzehnt gibt es eine intensive Forschung zur »Radikalaufklärung« – dem atheistischen, skeptischen und materialistischen Flügel des Denkens im späten 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. Vor allem Jonathan Israel hat für die aufregende These argumentiert, dass diese radikalen Aufklärer verantwortlich sind für die Errungenschaften der Moderne, für Freiheit und Menschenrechte, Gleichheit und Toleranz, und dass der Spinozismus eine zentrale Rolle bei deren Durchsetzung gespielt hat. In diesem Band setzen sich acht führende nationale und internationale Experten mit Israels These auseinander und zeigen die Vielfalt und Deutungen der Radikalaufklärung auf. Mit Beiträgen von Silvia Berti, Wiep van Bunge, Margaret C. Jacob, Anthony McKenna u. a.

How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions?

Author: Neil
Publisher: Haymarket Books
ISBN: 160846265X
Category: Political Science
Page: 840
View: 6112
A historical defense of the concept of bourgeois revolution, from the sixteenth century to the twentieth.

Enlightenment Shadows

Author: Genevieve Lloyd
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191648337
Category: Philosophy
Page: 192
View: 9031
The idea of the Enlightenment has become a touchstone for emotive and often contradictory articulations of contemporary western values. Enlightenment Shadows is a study of the place of Enlightenment thought in intellectual history and of its continued relevance. Genevieve Lloyd focuses especially on what is distinctive in ideas of intellectual character offered by key Enlightenment thinkers—on their attitudes to belief and scepticism; on their optimism about the future; and on the uncertainties and instabilities which nonetheless often lurk beneath their use of imagery of light. The book is organized around interconnected close readings of a range of texts: Montesquieu's Persian Letters; Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary; Hume's essay The Sceptic; Adam Smith's treatment of sympathy and imagination in Theory of Moral Sentiments; d'Alembert's Preliminary Discourse to the Encyclopedia—together with Diderot's entry on Encyclopedia; Diderot's Rameau's Nephew; and Kant's essay Perpetual Peace. Throughout, the readings highlight ways in which Enlightenment thinkers enacted in their writing—and reflected on—the interplay of intellect, imagination, and emotion. Recurring themes include: the nature of judgement—its relations with imagination and with ideals of objectivity; issues of truth and relativism; the ethical significance of imagining one's self into the situations of others; cosmopolitanism; tolerance; and the idea of the secular.

Philosophy Begins in Wonder

An Introduction to Early Modern Philosophy, Theology, and Science
Author: Michael Funk Deckard,Péter Losonczi
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1630877018
Category: Philosophy
Page: 390
View: 5958
Philosophy begins with wonder, according to Plato and Aristotle. Yet Plato and Aristotle did not expand a great deal on what precisely wonder is. Does this fact alone not raise curiosity in us as to why this passion or concept is important? What is wonder's role in science, philosophy, or theology except to end thinking or theorizing as soon as one begins? The primary purpose of this book is to show how seventeenth- and eighteenth-century developments in natural theology, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and the philosophy of science resulted in a complex history of the passion of wonder-a history in which the elements of continuation, criticism, and reformulation are equally present. Philosophy Begins in Wonder provides the first historical overview of wonder and changes the way we see early modern Europe. It is intended for readers who are curious-who wonder-about how modern philosophy and science were born. The book is for scholars and educated readers alike.

The Erosion of Biblical Certainty

Battles over Authority and Interpretation in America
Author: Michael J. Lee
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137299665
Category: History
Page: 244
View: 9279
According to conventional wisdom, by the late 1800s, the image of Bible as a supernatural and infallible text crumbled in the eyes of intellectuals under the assaults of secularizing forces. This book corrects the narrative by arguing that in America, the road to skepticism had already been paved by the Scriptures' most able and ardent defenders.

The Moral Culture of the Scottish Enlightenment

Author: Thomas Ahnert
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300153813
Category: Philosophy
Page: 224
View: 501
In the Enlightenment it was often argued that moral conduct, rather than adherence to theological doctrine, was the true measure of religious belief. Thomas Ahnert argues that this “enlightened” emphasis on conduct in religion relied less on arguments from reason alone than has been believed. In fact, Scottish Enlightenment champions advocated a practical program of “moral culture,” in which revealed religion was of central importance. Ahnert traces this to theological controversies going back as far as the Reformation concerning the conditions of salvation. His findings present a new point of departure for all scholars interested in the intersection of religion and Enlightenment.

Spinoza and the Politics of Renaturalization

Author: Hasana Sharp
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226750752
Category: Philosophy
Page: 256
View: 8912
There have been many Spinozas over the centuries: atheist, romantic pantheist, great thinker of the multitude, advocate of the liberated individual, and rigorous rationalist. The common thread connecting all of these clashing perspectives is Spinoza’s naturalism, the idea that humanity is part of nature, not above it. In this sophisticated new interpretation of Spinoza’s iconoclastic philosophy, Hasana Sharp draws on his uncompromising naturalism to rethink human agency, ethics, and political practice. Sharp uses Spinoza to outline a practical wisdom of “renaturalization,” showing how ideas, actions, and institutions are never merely products of human intention or design, but outcomes of the complex relationships among natural forces beyond our control. This lack of a metaphysical or moral division between humanity and the rest of nature, Sharp contends, can provide the basis for an ethical and political practice free from the tendency to view ourselves as either gods or beasts. Sharp’s groundbreaking argument critically engages with important contemporary thinkers—including deep ecologists, feminists, and race and critical theorists—making Spinoza and the Politics of Renaturalization vital for a wide range of scholars.

The Phoenix

St. Paul's Cathedral And The Men Who Made Modern London
Author: Leo Hollis
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 178022110X
Category: History
Page: 400
View: 9574
*Perfect for fans of ITV's epic drama series, THE GREAT FIRE* Opening in the 1640s, as the city was gripped in tumult leading up to the English Civil War, THE PHOENIX charts the lives and works of five extraordinary men, who would grow up in the chaos of a world turned upside down: the architect, Sir Christopher Wren; gardener and virtuosi, John Evelyn; the scientist, Robert Hooke; the radical philosopher, John Locke and the builder, Nicholas Barbon. At the heart of the story is the rebuilding of London's iconic cathedral, St Paul's. Interweaving science, architecture, history and philosophy, THE PHOENIX tells the story of the formation of the first modern city.

A Book Forged in Hell

Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age
Author: Steven Nadler
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400839513
Category: Philosophy
Page: 304
View: 4752
When it appeared in 1670, Baruch Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise was denounced as the most dangerous book ever published--"godless," "full of abominations," "a book forged in hell . . . by the devil himself." Religious and secular authorities saw it as a threat to faith, social and political harmony, and everyday morality, and its author was almost universally regarded as a religious subversive and political radical who sought to spread atheism throughout Europe. Yet Spinoza's book has contributed as much as the Declaration of Independence or Thomas Paine's Common Sense to modern liberal, secular, and democratic thinking. In A Book Forged in Hell, Steven Nadler tells the fascinating story of this extraordinary book: its radical claims and their background in the philosophical, religious, and political tensions of the Dutch Golden Age, as well as the vitriolic reaction these ideas inspired. It is not hard to see why Spinoza's Treatise was so important or so controversial, or why the uproar it caused is one of the most significant events in European intellectual history. In the book, Spinoza became the first to argue that the Bible is not literally the word of God but rather a work of human literature; that true religion has nothing to do with theology, liturgical ceremonies, or sectarian dogma; and that religious authorities should have no role in governing a modern state. He also denied the reality of miracles and divine providence, reinterpreted the nature of prophecy, and made an eloquent plea for toleration and democracy. A vivid story of incendiary ideas and vicious backlash, A Book Forged in Hell will interest anyone who is curious about the origin of some of our most cherished modern beliefs.

States of War

Enlightenment Origins of the Political
Author: David William Bates
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231528663
Category: Political Science
Page: 272
View: 4100
We fear that the growing threat of violent attack has upset the balance between existential concepts of political power, which emphasize security, and traditional notions of constitutional limits meant to protect civil liberties. We worry that constitutional states cannot, during a time of war, terror, and extreme crisis, maintain legality and preserve civil rights and freedoms. David Williams Bates allays these concerns by revisiting the theoretical origins of the modern constitutional state, which, he argues, recognized and made room for tensions among law, war, and the social order. We traditionally associate the Enlightenment with the taming of absolutist sovereign power through the establishment of a legal state based on the rights of individuals. In his critical rereading, Bates shows instead that Enlightenment thinkers conceived of political autonomy in a systematic, theoretical way. Focusing on the nature of foundational violence, war, and existential crises, eighteenth-century thinkers understood law and constitutional order not as constraints on political power but as the logical implication of that primordial force. Returning to the origin stories that informed the beginnings of political community, Bates reclaims the idea of law, warfare, and the social order as intertwining elements subject to complex historical development. Following an analysis of seminal works by seventeenth-century natural-law theorists, Bates reviews the major canonical thinkers of constitutional theory (Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau) from the perspective of existential security and sovereign power. Countering Carl Schmitt's influential notion of the autonomy of the political, Bates demonstrates that Enlightenment thinkers understood the autonomous political sphere as a space of law protecting individuals according to their political status, not as mere members of a historically contingent social order.

Transformations of Religion and the Public Sphere

Postsecular Publics
Author: R. Braidotti,B. Blaagaard,T. Graauw,E. Midden,Tobijn de Graauw
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137401141
Category: Social Science
Page: 281
View: 5504
Religion-fuelled terrorism and attacks on freedom of expression have recently drawn headlines across Europe, either in protest or in support of extreme political or religious persuasions. This books explores interdisciplinary perspectives on public discussions of liberal-secular freedoms and their implications in a postsecular world.

The Undiscovered Dewey

Religion, Morality, and the Ethos of Democracy
Author: Melvin L. Rogers
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231516169
Category: Philosophy
Page: 352
View: 5148
The Undiscovered Dewey explores the profound influence of evolution and its corresponding ideas of contingency and uncertainty on John Dewey's philosophy of action, particularly its argument that inquiry proceeds from the uncertainty of human activity. Dewey separated the meaningfulness of inquiry from a larger metaphysical story concerning the certainty of human progress. He then connected this thread to the way in which our reflective capacities aid us in improving our lives. Dewey therefore launched a new understanding of the modern self that encouraged intervention in social and natural environments but which nonetheless demanded courage and humility because of the intimate relationship between action and uncertainty. Melvin L. Rogers explicitly connects Dewey's theory of inquiry to his religious, moral, and political philosophy. He argues that, contrary to common belief, Dewey sought a place for religious commitment within a democratic society sensitive to modern pluralism. Against those who regard Dewey as indifferent to moral conflict, Rogers points to Dewey's appreciation for the incommensurability of our ethical commitments. His deep respect for modern pluralism, argues Rogers, led Dewey to articulate a negotiation between experts and the public so that power did not lapse into domination. Exhibiting an abiding faith in the reflective and contestable character of inquiry, Dewey strongly engaged with the complexity of our religious, moral, and political lives.

Rousseau and Hobbes

Nature, Free Will, and the Passions
Author: Robin Douglass
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191038032
Category: Philosophy
Page: 240
View: 4248
Robin Douglass presents the first comprehensive study of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's engagement with Thomas Hobbes. He reconstructs the intellectual context of this engagement to reveal the deeply polemical character of Rousseau's critique of Hobbes and to show how Rousseau sought to expose that much modern natural law and doux commerce theory was, despite its protestations to the contrary, indebted to a Hobbesian account of human nature and the origins of society. Throughout the book Douglass explores the reasons why Rousseau both followed and departed from Hobbes in different places, while resisting the temptation to present him as either a straightforwardly Hobbesian or anti-Hobbesian thinker. On the one hand, Douglass reveals the extent to which Rousseau was occupied with problems of a fundamentally Hobbesian nature and the importance, to both thinkers, of appealing to the citizens' passions in order to secure political unity. On the other hand, Douglass argues that certain ideas at the heart of Rousseau's philosophy—free will and the natural goodness of man—were set out to distance him from positions associated with Hobbes. Douglass advances an original interpretation of Rousseau's political philosophy, emerging from this encounter with Hobbesian ideas, which focuses on the interrelated themes of nature, free will, and the passions. Douglass distances his interpretation from those who have read Rousseau as a proto-Kantian and instead argues that his vision of a well-ordered republic was based on cultivating man's naturally good passions to render the life of the virtuous citizen in accordance with nature.


The Creation of Hierarchy
Author: Adrian Pabst
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 0802864511
Category: Philosophy
Page: 521
View: 5173
"This book does nothing less than to set new standards in combining philosophical with political theology. Pabst s argument about rationality has the potential to change debates in philosophy, politics, and religion." (from the foreword) This comprehensive and detailed study of individuation reveals the theological nature of metaphysics. Adrian Pabst argues that ancient and modern conceptions of "being" or individual substance fail to account for the ontological relations that bind beings to each other and to God, their source. On the basis of a genealogical account of rival theories of creation and individuation from Plato to postmodernism, Pabst proposes that the Christian Neo-Platonic fusion of biblical revelation with Greco-Roman philosophy fulfills and surpasses all other ontologies and conceptions of individuality.

The Young Spinoza

A Metaphysician in the Making
Author: Yitzhak Y. Melamed
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199971684
Category: Philosophy
Page: 320
View: 3150
Ex nihilo nihil fit. Philosophy, especially great philosophy, does not appear out of the blue. In the current volume, a team of top scholars-both up-and-coming and established-attempts to trace the philosophical development of one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Featuring twenty new essays and an introduction, it is the first attempt of its kind in English and its appearance coincides with the recent surge of interest in Spinoza in Anglo-American philosophy. Spinoza's fame-or notoriety-is due primarily to his posthumously published magnum opus, the Ethics, and, to a lesser extent, to the 1670 Theological-Political Treatise. Few readers take the time to study his early works carefully. If they do, they are likely to encounter some surprising claims, which often diverge from, or even utterly contradict, the doctrines of the Ethics. Consider just a few of these assertions: that God acts from absolute freedom of will, that God is a whole, that there are no modes in God, that extension is divisible and hence cannot be an attribute of God, and that the intellectual and corporeal substances are modes in relation to God. Yet, though these claims reveal some tension between the early works and the Ethics, there is also a clear continuity between them. Spinoza wrote the Ethics over a long period of time, which spanned most of his philosophical career. The dates of the early drafts of the Ethics seem to overlap with the assumed dates of the composition of the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect and the Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well Being and precede the publication of Spinoza's 1663 book on Descartes' Principles of Philosophy. For this reason, a study of Spinoza's early works (and correspondence) can illuminate the nature of the problems Spinoza addresses in the Ethics, insofar as the views expressed in the early works help us reconstruct the development and genealogy of the Ethics. Indeed, if we keep in mind the common dictum "nothing comes from nothing"-which Spinoza frequently cites and appeals to-it is clear that great works like the Ethics do not appear ex nihilo. In light of the preeminence and majesty of the Ethics, it is difficult to study the early works without having the Ethics in sight. Still, we would venture to say that the value of Spinoza's early works is not at all limited to their being stations on the road leading to the Ethics. A teleological attitude of such a sort would celebrate the works of the "mature Spinoza" at the expense of the early works. However, we have no reason to assume that on all issues the views of the Ethics are better argued, developed, and motivated than those of the early works. In other words, we should keep our minds open to the possibility that on some issues the early works might contain better analysis and argumentation than the Ethics.

Spinoza and Dutch Cartesianism

Author: Alexander X. Douglas
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191046353
Category: Philosophy
Page: 176
View: 1079
Alexander X. Douglas offers a new understanding of Spinoza's philosophy by situating it in its immediate historical context. He defends a thesis about Spinoza's philosophical motivations and then bases an interpretation of his major works upon it. The thesis is that much of Spinoza's philosophy was conceived with the express purpose of rebutting a claim about the limitations of philosophy made by some of his contemporaries. They held that philosophy is intrinsically incapable of revealing anything of any relevance to theology, or in fact to any study of direct practical relevance to human life. Spinoza did not. He believed that philosophy reveals the true nature of God, and that God is nothing like what the majority of theologians, or indeed of religious believers in general, think he is. The practical implications of this change in the concept of God were profound and radical. As Douglas shows, many of Spinoza's theories were directed towards showing how the separation his opponents endeavoured to maintain between philosophical and non-philosophical (particularly theological) thought was logically untenable.

Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland, Volume 2

Enlightenment and Expansion 1707-1800
Author: Stephen W Brown
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 0748650954
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 688
View: 9396
The first thorough study of the book trade during the age of Fergusson and Burns.

Prescribing Ovid

The Latin Works and Networks of the Enlightened Dr Heerkens
Author: Yasmin Haskell
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 0715637231
Category: History
Page: 268
View: 2536
Explores the politics of Latin language use in the Enlightenment 'Republic of Letters' via the figure of Gerard Nicolaas Heerkens (1728-1801).