The Cambridge Companion to the French Enlightenment

Overview

The Enlightenment has long been seen as synonymous with the beginnings of modern Western intellectual and political culture. As a set of ideas and a social movement, this historical moment, the 'age of reason' of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, is marked by attempts to place knowledge on new foundations. The Cambridge Companion to the French Enlightenment brings together essays by leading scholars representing disciplines ranging from philosophy, religion and literature, to art, medicine, anthropology and...

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Overview

The Enlightenment has long been seen as synonymous with the beginnings of modern Western intellectual and political culture. As a set of ideas and a social movement, this historical moment, the 'age of reason' of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, is marked by attempts to place knowledge on new foundations. The Cambridge Companion to the French Enlightenment brings together essays by leading scholars representing disciplines ranging from philosophy, religion and literature, to art, medicine, anthropology and architecture, to analyse the French Enlightenment. Each essay presents a concise view of an important aspect of the French Enlightenment, discussing its defining characteristics, internal dynamics and historical transformations. The Companion discusses the most influential reinterpretations of the Enlightenment that have taken place during the last two decades, reinterpretations that both reflect and have contributed to important re-evaluations of received ideas about the Enlightenment and the early modern period more generally.

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Meet the Author

Daniel Brewer, Department of French and Italian, University of Minnesota, has published widely in the area of eighteenth-century French literature and culture. He is author of The Enlightenment Past: Reconstructing Eighteenth-Century French Thought (Cambridge, 2008) and Co-Editor of L'Esprit Créateur an international journal of French and Francophone literature and culture.

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Table of Contents

Chronology; 1. The Enlightenment today? Daniel Brewer; 2. Private lives, public space: a new social history of the Enlightenment Antoine Lilti; 3. Anthropology Andrew Curran; 4. Commerce Paul Cheney; 5. Science J. B. Shank; 6. Political thought Dan Edelstein; 7. Sex and gender, feeling and thinking: imagining women as intellectuals Julie Candler Hayes; 8. Religion Charly Coleman; 9. Art and aesthetic theory: claiming Enlightenment as viewers and critics Jennifer Milam; 10. Enlightenment literature Thomas DiPiero; 11. Philosophe/philosopher Stéphane Van Damme; 12. Music Downing A. Thomas; 13. Architecture and the Enlightenment Anthony Vidler; 14. Medicine and the body in the French Enlightenment Anne Vila; 15 Space, geography, and the global French Enlightenment Charles W. J. Withers; Guide to further reading.

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