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Support Us. This second volume will be joined by a third which is unpublished as of yet and together they will survey the entire era. Israel's project is massive in scope and in total tonnage. Enlightenment Contested surveys the the movement to , and the next volume will apparently pick up from there. Here Israel further widens his discussion of the Enlightenment by incorporating such topics as slavery, Islam and colonialism, all the while placing Spinozism at the center, as always.
Along the way he turns polemical, arguing that only the radical strain of the Enlightenment, with its robust egalitarianism and rejection of divinely-authored hierarchies, offered a potent and coherent antidote to slavery and the ill treatment of women and subalterns. Seen in this light, Voltaire and Hume come off as limpwristed coddlers of bad traditions. Indeed, recentering around Spinoza places the moderate wing of the Enlightment in no pun intended a new light. In Enlightenment Contested Israel also sharpens his theoretical framework. He opens with a trenchant rejection of social and cultural history in general, and of Roger Chartier in particular.
That's pretty cheeky. He asserts that any claim that culture forms ideas is both unprovable and unfalsifiable. So he cries foul on the whole linguistic turn, striking out at any attempt to read the Enlightenment without doing intellectual history. Israel impressively rehabilitates intellectual history, and gives it a new method: focusing on controversy. This approach foregrounds tracts and articles, and gives a second place, not first, to the standard canonical writings from the period. Moderates Voltaire and Hume come away looking rather ordinary.
I can't imagine that cultural historians will simply take all this lying down. I suppose someone will step up to answer him. Jan 17, Ruud 't Sas rated it really liked it. Interesting, readable and a source. And last but not least: enjoyable. Aug 17, Phillip Welshans rated it liked it. It's incredibly dense, but if you want to get deep in the weeds on the philosophy underpinning the Enlightenment, this book, and the other two in the series, will do it in spades.
Tons of information and insight into how these men, some famous and some you'll only encounter in great detail in this book, really thought about politics, morality, and one another. Two warnings: First, a passing familiarity with French and German and Dutch will make things easier, as the author intersperses phrases from the original thinkers' works into the text. It's great for about pages and then you realize many times he's leaving key parts of the sentences in a language you may not be able to read, or may not be familiar enough with the language to grasp the translation.
At that point, it's aggravating and you have the sneaking suspicion you're missing interesting points. Second, the guy's sentences are very long. Too long, really and he should have had a better editor with the guts to tell the guy he's a scholar at IAS at Princeton On multiple occasions, an entire paragraph was a single sentence linked together by commas and semicolons in a Frankenstein's monster of a sentence.
By the time you get to the end, you've forgotten what point he was trying to make. Again, aggravating. How an editor let that pass is beyond me. Bottom line: this book is chock-a-block full of information about the Enlightenment and if this is something you've always wanted to explore inside and out, then read all 3, pages of this series.
Enlightenment Contested Philosophy Modernity And The Emancipation Of Man 1670 1752 2006
If not, it's still worth skimming the chapters you're most interested in, and leaving the rest for posterity. But be warned that the author writes firmly in the humanities tradition of "why say something with 10 words, when 30 will make it sound smarter.
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Dec 07, Nick Black marked it as to-read. Amazon Jun 11, Ted Morgan rated it it was amazing.
Jonathan Israel – Wikipédia, a enciclopédia livre
Maybe a tad polemical in outlook but not in details or scholarship. An important work. View 1 comment. Oct 13, Vitalie Sprinceana added it Shelves: philosophy. A comprehensive survey of the different and contradictory intellectual movements, fights, struggles, disputes that gave birth to what we call the Enlightenment. Israel no date ". Adam Dunn rated it it was amazing May 05, Kevin D. Johnson rated it it was amazing Jan 31, More The author presents the first major reassessment of the Western Enlightenment for a generation.
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Show Summary Details. Subscriber Login Email Address. Library Card. View: no detail some detail full detail. Part IV Intellectual Emancipation. Part V The Party of Humanity. Part VI Radical Philosophes.
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