Thinking about the Enlightenment looks beyond the current parameters of studying the Enlightenment, to the issues that can be understood by reflecting on the period in a broader context. Each of the thirteen original chapters, by an international and interdisciplinary team of contributors, illustrates the problematic legacy of the Enlightenment and the continued ramifications of its thinking since the eighteenth century. Together, they consider whether modernity can see its roots in the intellectual revolution of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
The collection is divided into six sections, preceded by a comprehensive introduction to the field and the most recent scholarship on the period. Across the sections, the contributors consider modern day encounters with Enlightenment thinking, including Kant’s moral philosophy, the conflict between reason and faith, the significance of the Enlightenment of law and the gender inequality that persisted throughout the eighteenth century. By examining specific encounters with the problematic results of Enlightenment concerns, the contributors are able to illuminate and offer new perspectives on topics such as human nature, race, politics, gender and rationality.
Drawing from history, philosophy, literature and anthropology, this book enables students and academics alike to take a fresh look at the Enlightenment and its legacy in the modern world.
Table of Contents
Preface List of contributors Introduction: The Enlightenment: something to think about Martin L. Davies 1. What does thinking about the Enlightenment mean? 2. Enlightenment finality 3. The demise of a ‘great truth’ Thinking about Kant and the Enlightenment 1. Kant’s Concept of Enlightenment: its Individual and Universal Dimensions Olga Poznjakova 2. Rethinking Kant's Immaturity in Arendt’s Post-Totalitarian Reflection Tatiana Weiser Thinking about Enlightenment and Politics 3. The Enlightenment, Encyclopedism and the Natural Rights of Man: The Case of the Code of Humanity (1778) Luigi Delia 4. Deliberative Democrats as the Heirs of Enlightenment: Between Habermas and Dewey John Min Thinking about Enlightenment and Religion 5. Christianity and Enlightenment: Two hermeneutical Approaches to their Relationship Salvatore Muscolino 6. The Enlightenment Legacy and European Identity. Reflections on the Cartoon-Controversy Carsten Meiner Thinking about Enlightenment and Gender 7. Between Shadow and Light: Women’s Education Christophe Regina 8. "Race", "Sex", and "Gender": Intersections, Naturalistic Fallacies, and the Age of Reason Carina Pape Thinking about Enlightenment and its Limits 9. Adoption as a Limit-Case for Enlightenment: Lessing’s Nathan der Weise and Kleist’s Der Findling David D. Kim 10. From Unsocial Sociability to Antagonistic Society (and back again): The historical role and social-scientific presence of an anthropological trope Tilman Reitz Postscripts: Thinking about Enlightenment thinking 11. Multiple Counter-Enlightenments: The Genealogy of a Polemics from the Eighteenth Century to the Present Theo Jung 12. ‘The Proper Study of Mankind’: Enlightenment and Tautology Martin L. Davies Index
Martin L. Davies is Emeritus Reader in History at the University of Leicester. His publications include Historics: Why History Dominates Contemporary Society (Routledge, 2006) and How History Works (Routledge, 2016).