Democratic Enlightenment: Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights, 1750-1790

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9780199668090: Democratic Enlightenment: Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights, 1750-1790

That the Enlightenment shaped modernity is uncontested. Yet remarkably few historians or philosophers have attempted to trace the process of ideas from the political and social turmoil of the late eighteenth century to the present day. This is precisely what Jonathan Israel now does.

In Democratic Enlightenment, Israel demonstrates that the Enlightenment was an essentially revolutionary process, driven by philosophical debate. The American Revolution and its concerns certainly acted as a major factor in the intellectual ferment that shaped the wider upheaval that followed, but the radical philosophes were no less critical than enthusiastic about the American model. From 1789, the General Revolution's impetus came from a small group of philosophe-revolutionnaires, men such as Mirabeau, Sieyes, Condorcet, Volney, Roederer, and Brissot. Not aligned to any of the social groups represented in the French National assembly, they nonetheless forged "la philosophie moderne"-in effect Radical Enlightenment ideas-into a world-transforming ideology that had a lasting impact in Latin America, Canada and Eastern Europe as well as France, Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries. In addition, Israel argues that while all French revolutionary journals powerfully affirmed that la philosophie moderne was the main cause of the French Revolution, the main stream of historical thought has failed to grasp what this implies. Israel sets the record straight, demonstrating the true nature of the engine that drove the Revolution, and the intimate links between the radical wing of the Enlightenment and the anti-Robespierriste "Revolution of reason."

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About the Author :


Jonathan Israel is Professor of Modern History at the Institute for Advance Study, Princeton. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and corresponding fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. His previous books include The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall 1477-1806; Radical Enlightenment; and Enlightenment Contested.

Review :


"A magisterial study of the immediate and middle-range intellectual underpinnings of the French and subsequent democratic revolutions...[T]his trilogy is by far the most comprehensive and best study of the late 18th-century attitudinal changes that shaped modern thought and action...No serious work equals it in span...or depth...[T]his is an essential book for all who are studying the Enlightenment."--Library Journal


"Israel has turned up evidence of the Radical Enlightenment's influence in surprising places, and that labor alone should ensure that this book finds a place on every specialist's shelf."--New York Times Book Review


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Jonathan Israel
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Description du livre Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. État : New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Enlightenment shaped modernity. Western values of representative democracy and basic human rights, gender and racial equality, individual liberty, and freedom of expression and the press, form an interlocking system that derives directly from the Enlightenment s philosophical revolution. This fact is uncontested - yet remarkably few historians or philosophers have attempted to trace the process of ideas from the political and social turmoil of the late eighteenth century to the present day. This is precisely what Jonathan Israel now does. He demonstrates that the Enlightenment was an essentially revolutionary process, driven by philosophical debate. From 1789, its impetus came from a small group of philosophe-revolutionnaires, men such as Mirabeau, Sieyes, Condorcet, Volney, Roederer, and Brissot. Not aligned to any of the social groups who took the lead in the French National assembly, the Paris commune, or the editing of the Parisian revolutionary journals, they nonetheless forged la philosophie moderne - in effect Radical Enlightenment ideas - into a world-transforming ideology that had a lasting impact in Latin America and eastern Europe as well as France, Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries. Whilst all French revolutionary journals clearly stated that la philosophie moderne was the main cause of the French Revolution, the main stream of historical thought has failed to grasp what this implies. Israel sets the record straight, demonstrating the true nature of the engine that drove the Revolution, and the intimate links between the radical wing of the Enlightenment and the anti-Robespierriste Revolution of reason . N° de réf. du libraire AOP9780199668090

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Description du livre Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. État : New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Enlightenment shaped modernity. Western values of representative democracy and basic human rights, gender and racial equality, individual liberty, and freedom of expression and the press, form an interlocking system that derives directly from the Enlightenment s philosophical revolution. This fact is uncontested - yet remarkably few historians or philosophers have attempted to trace the process of ideas from the political and social turmoil of the late eighteenth century to the present day. This is precisely what Jonathan Israel now does. He demonstrates that the Enlightenment was an essentially revolutionary process, driven by philosophical debate. From 1789, its impetus came from a small group of philosophe-revolutionnaires, men such as Mirabeau, Sieyes, Condorcet, Volney, Roederer, and Brissot. Not aligned to any of the social groups who took the lead in the French National assembly, the Paris commune, or the editing of the Parisian revolutionary journals, they nonetheless forged la philosophie moderne - in effect Radical Enlightenment ideas - into a world-transforming ideology that had a lasting impact in Latin America and eastern Europe as well as France, Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries. Whilst all French revolutionary journals clearly stated that la philosophie moderne was the main cause of the French Revolution, the main stream of historical thought has failed to grasp what this implies. Israel sets the record straight, demonstrating the true nature of the engine that drove the Revolution, and the intimate links between the radical wing of the Enlightenment and the anti-Robespierriste Revolution of reason . N° de réf. du libraire AOP9780199668090

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