The Portable Enlightenment Reader

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Overview

The Age of Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, also called the Age of Reason, was so named for an exultant intellectual movement that shook the foundations of Western civilization. In championing radical ideas such as individual liberty and an empirical appraisal of the universe through rational inquiry and natural experience, Enlightenment philosophers in Europe and America planted the seeds for modern liberalism, cultural humanism, science and technology, and laissez-faire capitalism. This volume brings ...

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The Portable Enlightenment Reader

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Overview

The Age of Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, also called the Age of Reason, was so named for an exultant intellectual movement that shook the foundations of Western civilization. In championing radical ideas such as individual liberty and an empirical appraisal of the universe through rational inquiry and natural experience, Enlightenment philosophers in Europe and America planted the seeds for modern liberalism, cultural humanism, science and technology, and laissez-faire capitalism. This volume brings together the era's classic works, with more than a hundred selections from a broad range of sources—including works by Kant, Diderot, Voltaire, Newton, Rousseau, Locke, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, and Paine—that demonstrate the pervasive impact of Enlightenment views on philosophy and epistemology as well as on political, social, and economic institutions. Included are seminal discourses on science and religion, on the social contract, on the equality (and inequality) of the sexes and the races, and on economics and markets, as well as homages to nature and sexual pleasure, and poetry and opera librettos that embody the movement's social ideals.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140245660
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/1995
  • Series: Portable Library Series
  • Pages: 704
  • Sales rank: 153,828
  • Product dimensions: 5.27 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Isaac Kramnick was born in 1938 and educated at Harvard University, where he received a B.A. degree in 1959 and a Ph.D. in 1965, and at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He has taught at Harvard, Brandeis, Yale and Cornell, where he is now Professor of Government. He is married to Miriam Brody Kramnick and lives in Ithaca, New York. Among his publications are Bolingbroke and His Circle, The Rage of Edmund Burke and numerous articles on eighteenth century topics. He has edited William Godwin’s Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, The Federalist Papers by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay and, with Michael Foot, The Thomas Paine Reader for the Penguin Classics. Most recently he is the author, with Barry Sheerman, MP, of Laski: A Lift on the Left.

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Table of Contents

Notes to Introduction
Suggestions for Further Reading
Chronological Table

Part One: The Enlightenment Spirit: An Overview

What is Enlightenment?
Kant
The Human Mind Emerged from Barbarism
d’Alembert
“Encyclopédie”
Diderot
Definition of a Philosophe
Dumarsais
Le mariage de Figaro
Beaumarchais
The Magic Flute
Mozart
The Future Progress of the Human Mind
Condorcet

Part Two: Reason and Nature

The New Science
Bacon
Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
Newton
The New Physics
Cotes
On Bacon and Newton
Voltaire
The Rat
Buffon
The Utility of Science
Condorcet
The Organization of Scientific Research
Priestley
Letter to Joseph Priestley
Franklin

Part Three: Reason and God

On Superstition and Tolerance
Bayle
A Letter Concerning Toleration
Locke
On Enthusiasm
Shaftesbury
The Argument for a Deity
Newton
A Discourse of Free-Thinking
Collins
“If there is a God…;”

Montesquieu
Of Miracles and the Origin of Religion
Hume
Reflections on Religion
Voltaire
Profession of Faith of a Savoyard Vicar
Rousseau
“No need of theology…;only of reason…;”
d’Holbach
The Progress of Superstition
Gibbon
Unitarianism

Priestley
“Religion…;my views of it…;”
Jefferson
“Something of my religion…;”
Franklin
The Temple of Reason

The Age of Reason
Paine

Part Four: Reason and Humanity

The Mind and Ideas

“I think, therefore I am…;”
Descartes
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
Locke
New Essays on Human Understanding
Leibnitz
On Mr. Locke
Voltaire
A Treatise of Human Nature
Hume
Man a Machine
la Mettrie
Of Ideas, Their Generation and Associations

Hartley
The Philosophy of Common Sense
Reid
Treatise on the Sensations
Condillac

Education and Childhood

Some Thoughts Concerning Education
Locke
Children and Civic Education
Rousseau
Education for Civil and Active Life
Priestley

Manners and Morals

The Fable of the Bees
Mandeville
An Essay on Man
Pope
Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure
Cleland
Enjoyment and Tahiti
Diderot
Concerning the Moral Sense
Hutcheson
The Impartial Spectator
Smith
A Treatise on Man

Helvétius
Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals
Kant
The Principle of Utility
Bentham

Taste and Art

On Wit
Addison
Ideas of Beauty and Virtue
Hutcheson
Discourse on Style
Buffon
Of the Standard of Taste
Hume
The Sublime
Burke
On Theater and Morals
Rousseau
On Custom and Fashion
Smith
The Beautiful and Sublime

Kant
Discourse on Art
Reynolds

Part Five: Reason and Society

Progress and History

The New Science
Vico
The Utility of History
Bolingbroke
History as Guide
Hume
On Progress
Turgot
A Critique of Progress
Rousseau
In Defense of Modernity
Voltaire
The Four-Stage Theory of Development
Smith
The Progressive Character of Human Nature
Ferguson
“How glorious, then, is the prospect…;”

Priestley
The Perfectibility of Man
Condorcet

Politics and the State

The Second Treatise of Civil Government
Locke
The Spirit of the Laws
Montesquieu
Political Essays
Voltaire
Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
Rousseau
The Social Contract
Rousseau
Common Sense
Paine
The American Declaration of Independence
Benevolent Despotism
Frederick the Great
Federalist No. 10
Madison
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen
The Rights of Man

Paine
Enquiry Concerning Political Justice
Godwin

The Economy and Markets

The Royal Exchange
Addison
Industry and the Way to Wealth
Franklin
Of Luxury
Hume
The Physiocratic Formula

Quesnay
Economic Liberty
Turgot
The Wealth of Nations
Smith

Crime and Punishment

The Severity of Criminal Laws
Montesquieu
An Essay on Crimes and Punishments
Beccaria
On Torture and Capital Punishment
Voltaire
The State of Prisons
Howard
“Cases unmeet for punishment…;”
Bentham

War and Peace

Splendid Armies
Voltaire
“There never was a good war…;”
Franklin
Perpetual Peace
Kant

Gender and Race

Some Reflections upon Marriage
Astell
Duties of Women
Rousseau
The Fair Sex
Kant
Women, Adored and Oppressed
Paine(attr.)
“A woman…;gossips much…;”
Mozart
Women’s Education
Macaulay
On the Equality of the Sexes

Constantia
The Rights of Woman
de Gouges
Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Wollstonecraft
“Negroes…;naturally inferior to the whites…;”
Hume
Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes
Woolman
The Difference between the Races
Kant
“Who are you, then, to make slaves…;”

Diderot
“Bestial manners, stupidity, and vices…;”

Long
African Slavery in America
Paine
Of Empires and Savages
Gibbon
On Indians and Negroes
Jefferson
“Negro”
Encylopaedia Britannica
The End of Empire
Priestley

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    Excellent collection of some of the best enlightenment writings

    Wonderful reading for those interested in politics. A little history of the evolution of some of the terms that get kicked around on the TV might put some things in better perspective.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Enlightenment and Romanticism Class required book

    Contained in this book is all the essays from the Enlightenment period. Excerpts of letters and writings that the philosophes wrote at the time on their feelings, opinions, to each other, in response to contemporaries works. Very, Very difficult to get through with out background information on what was going on at the time the essay's were written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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