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

Paperback | January 17, 2013

byJonathan Israel

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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 socialgroups 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 Americaand 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 theRevolution, and the intimate links between the radical wing of the Enlightenment and the anti-Robespierriste 'Revolution of reason'.

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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...

Jonathan Israel taught successively at the universities of Newcastle, Hull, and at University College London from 1970 to 2000. Since 2001 he has been 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. H...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:1088 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.07 inPublished:January 17, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199668094

ISBN - 13:9780199668090

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Table of Contents

1. IntroductionPart I: The Radical Challenge2. Nature and Providence: Earthquakes and the Human Condition3. The Encyclopedie Suppressed (1752-60)4. Rousseau against the Philosophes5. Voltaire, Enlightenment, and the European Courts6. Anti-Philosophes7. Central Europe: Aufklarung dividedPart II: Rationalizing the Ancien Regime8. Hume, Scepticism, and Moderation9. Scottish Enlightenment and Man's Progress10. Enlightened Despotism11. Aufklarung and the Fracturing of German Protestant Culture12. Catholic Enlightenment: the Papacy's Retreat13. Society and the Rise of the Italian revolutionary Enlightenment14. Spain and the Challenge of ReformPart III: Europe and the Re-Making of the World15. The Histoire Philosophique, or Colonialism Overturned16. The American Revolution17. Europe and the Amerindians18. Philosophy and Revolt in Ibero-America (1765-92)19. Commercial Despotism: Dutch Colonialism in Asia20. China, Japan, and the West21. India and the Two Enlightenments22. Russia's Greeks, Poles, and SerfsPart IV: Spinoza Controversies in the Later Enlightenment23. Rousseau, Spinoza and the 'General Will'24. Radical Break-Through25. The Pantheismusstreit (1780-87)26. Kant and the Radical Challenge27. Goethe, Schiller and the new "Dutch Revolt against Spain"Part V: Revolution28. 1788-9: the "General Revolution" begins29. The Diffusion30. 'Philosophy' as the Maker of Revolutions31. Aufklarung and the Secret Societies (1776-92)32. Small State Revolution in the 1780s33. The Dutch Democratic Revolution of the 1780s34. The French Revolution: from 'Philosophy' to Basic Human Rights (1788-90)35. Epilogue: 1789 as an Intellectual Revolution

Editorial Reviews

"a brave and ambitious historian...Israel has found a way of dramatising the debates and attitudes which eventually lay the foundations for something we can call modernity." --BBC History Magazine 01/12/2011