The Philosophy of the Enlightenment

The Philosophy of the Enlightenment

ISBN-10:
0691071500
ISBN-13:
9780691071503
Pub. Date:
10/21/1951
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
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Overview

The Philosophy of the Enlightenment

In this classic work of intellectual history, Ernst Cassirer provides both a cogent synthesis and a penetrating analysis of one of history's greatest intellectual epochs: the Enlightenment. Arguing that there was a common foundation beneath the diverse strands of thought of this period, he shows how Enlightenment philosophers drew upon the ideas of the preceding centuries even while radically transforming them to fit the modern world. In Cassirer's view, the Enlightenment liberated philosophy from the realm of pure thought and restored it to its true place as an active and creative force through which knowledge of the world is achieved.

In a new foreword, Peter Gay considers The Philosophy of the Enlightenment in the context in which it was written—Germany in 1932, on the precipice of the Nazi seizure of power and one of the greatest assaults on the ideals of the Enlightenment. He also argues that Cassirer's work remains a trenchant defense against enemies of the Enlightenment in the twenty-first century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691071503
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 10/21/1951
Pages: 384

Table of Contents

FOREWORD vii
PREFACE xi
Chapter I. THE MIND OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT 3
Chapter II. NATURE AND NATURAL SCIENCE 37
Chapter III. PSYCHOLOGY AND EPISTEMOLOGY 93
Chapter IV. RELIGION 134
I. The Dogma of Original Sin and the Problem of Theodicy 137
II. Tolerance and the Foundation of Natural Religion 160
III. Religion and History 182
Chapter V. THE CONQUEST OF THE HISTORICAL WORLD 197
Chapter VI. LAW, STATE, AND SOCIETY 234
I. Law and the Principle of Inalienable Rights 234
II. The Contract and the Method of the Social Sciences 253
Chapter VII. FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEMS OF AESTHETICS 275
I. The Age of Criticism 275
II. Classical Aesthetics and the Objectivity of the Beautiful 278
III. Taste and the Trend toward Subjectivism 297
IV. Intuitional Aesthetics and the Problem of Genius 312
V. Reason and the Imagination: Gottsched and the Swiss Critics 331
VI. The Foundation of Systematic Aesthetics: Baumgarten 338
INDEX 361

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