Reassessing the Radical Enlightenment (Paperback) book cover

Reassessing the Radical Enlightenment

By Steffen Ducheyne

© 2017 – Routledge

318 pages

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pub: 2017-02-21
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About the Book

Reassessing the Radical Enlightenment comprises fifteen new essays written by a team of international scholars. The collection re-evaluates the characteristics, meaning and impact of the Radical Enlightenment between 1660 and 1825, spanning England, Ireland, the Dutch Republic, France, Germany and the Americas. In addition to dealing with canonical authors and celebrated texts, such as Spinoza and his Tractus theologico-politicus, the authors discuss many less well-known figures and debates from the period. Divided into three parts, this book:

  • Considers the Radical Enlightenment movement as a whole, including its defining features and characteristics and the history of the term itself.
  • Traces the origins and events of the Radical Enlightenment, including in-depth analyses of key figures including Spinoza, Toland, Meslier, and d’Holbach.
  • Examines the outcomes and consequences of the Radical Enlightenment in Europe and the Americas in the eighteenth century. Chapters in this section examine later figures whose ideas can be traced to the Radical Enlightenment, and examine the role of the period in the emergence of egalitarianism.

This collection of essays is the first stand-alone collection of studies in English on the Radical Enlightenment. It is a timely and comprehensive overview of current research in the field which also presents new studies and research on the Radical Enlightenment.

Table of Contents

List of figures

Notes on contributors

Introduction

Steffen Ducheyne

PART I THE BIG PICTURE

1. ‘Radical Enlightenment’ – A Game-Changing Concept

Jonathan I. Israel

2. The Radical Enlightenment: A Heavenly City with Many Mansions

Margaret C. Jacob

3. Of Radical and Moderate Enlightenment

Harvey Chisick

4. The Emergence of the ‘Radical Enlightenment’ in Humanist Scholarship

Frederik Stjernfelt

 

PART II ORIGINS AND FATE OF THE RADICAL ENLIGHTENMENT, CA. 1660–1720

5. Spinoza the Radical

Nancy Levene

6. Spinoza on Natural Inequality and the Fiction of Moral Equality

Beth Lord

7. John Toland’s Origines Judaicae: Speaking for Spinoza?

Ian Leask

8. Radical Atheism: Jean Meslier in Context

Charles Devellennes

9. The Waning of the Radical Enlightenment in the Dutch Republic

Wiep van Bunge

PART III: THE RADICAL ENLIGHTENMENT IN EUROPE AND THE NEW WORLD AFTER CA. 1720

10. Less Radical Enlightenment: A Christian Wing of the French Enlightenment

Eric Palmer

11. Materialism at the University of Göttingen: Between Moderate and Radical Enlightenment

Falk Wunderlich

12. Radical Enlightenment and Revolution in Late Eighteenth-Century Ireland

Ultán Gillen

13. De Sade – An Heir to the Radical Enlightenment?

Winfried Schröder

14. Empathy, Equality, and the Radical Enlightenment

Devin Vartija

15. The Radical Enlightenment and Movements for Women’s Equality in Europe and the Americas (1715–1825)

Jennifer J. Davis

General Index

About the Author

Steffen Ducheyne is Research Professor at the Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He is the author of “The Main Business of Natural Philosophy”: Isaac Newton’s Natural-Philosophical Methodology (2012).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS000000
HISTORY / General