Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750

Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750

by Jonathan I Israel
     
 

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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 philosophies, culminating in Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. In

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Overview

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 philosophies, culminating in Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. In this revolutionary process which effectively overthrew all justification for monarchy, aristocracy,slavery, and ecclesiastical authority, as well as mans asendancy over woman and theologys domination over education and study, substituting the modern principles of equality, democracy, and universality, the Radical Enlightenment played a crucially important part. Despite the present-day interest in therevolutions of the late eighteenth century, the origins and rise of the Radical Enlightenment have been astonishingly little studied, doubtless largely because if its very wide international sweep and the obvious difficulties of fitting it 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 Mettrie and Diderot, two of its key exponents, particular stress is placed on the pivotal role of Spinoza and the widespread underground internationalphilosophical movement known before 1750 as Spinozism.

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Editorial Reviews

In Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy And The Making Of Modernity, 1650-1750, Jonathan Israel (Professor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton) has created an impressive, benchmark work revealing how the decisive shift in the history of modern ideas by such original thinkers as Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, and others, occurring in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries resulted in the complete demolition of traditional European structures of authority, scientific thought, and belief which collectively came to be called "The Age Of Enlightenment". Radical Enlightenment is an 810 pp. volume with major sections devoted to the role of philosophy's evolution to government, society, institutions, revolution, women's roles, sexuality, censorship, culture, libraries, publishing, religion, law, science, and more. Enhanced for scholarship with an extensive bibliography and index, Radical Enlightenment will prove to be an indispensable and welcome addition to the study of both European civilization, history, and philosophy.
From the Publisher
"His vast—and vastly impressive—book sets out to redefine the intellectual landscape of early modern Europe....Magnificent and magisterial, Radical Enlightenment will undoubtedly be one of the truly great historical works of the decade."—John Adamson, Sunday Telegraph

"[A] magnificent...study of the impact of Spinoza and his philosophy on European cultural history at the hinge of the 17th and 18th centuries....Sumptuous in the energy, clarity and breadth of its scholarship."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Mr. Israel's lucid, engrossing account of the Enlightenment's formative period explains why we want our intellectual histories rewritten for every generation, for this Enlightenment overflows with our favorite things."—The Scriblerian

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780191622878
Publisher:
OUP Oxford
Publication date:
02/08/2001
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
11 MB
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Meet the Author

Jonathan Israel is a professor in the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

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