Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750 / Edition 1

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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 philosophers, 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.

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Editorial Reviews

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

From The Critics
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199254569
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 832
  • Sales rank: 629,214
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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Table of Contents

I. The 'Radical Enlightenment'
1. Introduction
2. Government and Philosophy
3. Society, Institutions, Revolution
4. Women, Philosophy, and Sexuality
5. Censorship and Culture
6. Libraries and Enlightenment
7. The Learned Journals
II. The Rise of Philosophical Radicalism
8. Spinoza
9. Van den Enden: Philosophy, Democracy, and Egalitarianism
10. Radicalism and the People: The Brothers Koerbagh
11. Philosophy, the Interpreter of Scripture
12. Miracles Denied
13. Spinoza's System
14. Spinoza, Science, and the Scientists
15. Philosophy, Politics, and the Liberation of Man
16. Publishing a Banned Philosophy
17. The Spread of a Forbidden Movement
III. Europe and the 'New' Intellectual Controversies 1680-1720
18. Bayle and the 'Virtuous Atheist'
19. The Bredenburg Disputes
20. Fontenelle and the War of the Oracles
21. The Death of the Devil
22. Leenhof and the 'Universal Philosophical Religion'
23. The 'Nature of God' Controversy
IV. The Intellectual Counter-Offensive
24. New Theological Strategies
25. The Collapse of Cartesianism
26. Leibniz and the Radical Enlightenment
27. Anglomania: The 'Triumph' of Newton and Locke
28. The Intellectual Drama in Spain and Portugal
29. Germany and the Baltic: 'The 'War of the Philosophers'
V. The Clandestine Progress of the Radical Enlightenment 1680-1750
30. Boulainvilliers and the Rise of French
31. French Refugee Deists in Exile
32. The Spinozistic Novel in French
33. English Deism and Europe
34. Germany: The Radical Aufklaerung
35. The Radical Impact in Italy
36. The Clandestine Philosophical Manuscripts
37. From La Mettrie to Diderot
38. Epilogue: Rousseau, Radicalism, Revolution

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2002

    A real masterpiece

    If you're interested in this subject. This is the book for you!!! It offers a new interpretation of a significant era in European history. Particular emphasis is placed on the pivotal role of Spinoza and the widespread underground international philosophical movement known before 1750 as Spinozism. Radical Enlightenment is undoubtedly one of the truly great historical works of the decade.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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