Radical Enlightenment  

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"Ceremonial and symbolic occurrences of the more radical phases of the Revolution invoked Rousseau and his core ideas. Thus the ceremony held at the site of the demolished Bastille, organized by the foremost artistic director of the Revolution, Jacques-Louis David, in August 1793 to mark the inauguration of the new republican constitution, an event coming shortly after the final abolition of all forms of feudal privilege, featured a cantata based on Rousseau's democratic pantheistic deism as expounded in the celebrated "Profession de foi d'un vicaire savoyard" in book four of Émile."--Radical Enlightenment (2001) by Jonathan Israel

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750 (2001) is a treatise on radical enlightenment thinking by Jonathan Israel who offers a novel interpretation of the Radical Enlightenment down to Julien Offray de La Mettrie and Denis Diderot, two of its key exponents.

Particular emphasis is placed on the pivotal role of Baruch Spinoza and the widespread underground international philosophical movement known before 1750 as Spinozism.

On Spinoza:

"No historian has tracked Spinoza’s influence so thoroughly as does Israel, who identifies its impact in British deism, on Vico’s historicism, and French materialism as well as its more obvious influence in Germany during the 1780s." -- Ann Talbot

From the publisher:

In the wake of the Scientific Revolution, the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the complete demolition of traditional structures of authority, scientific thought, and belief by the new philosophy and the philosophers, including Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. The Radical Enlightenment played a part in this revolutionary process, which effectively overthrew all justification for monarchy, aristocracy, and ecclesiastical power, as well as man's dominance over woman, theological dominance of education, and slavery. Despite the present day interest in the revolutions of the eighteenth century, the origins and rise of the Radical Enlightenment have received limited scholarly attention. The greatest obstacle to the movement finding its proper place in modern historical writing is its international scope: the Racial Enlightenment was not French, British, German, Italian, Jewish or Dutch, but all of these at the same time.

Table of contents

Part I: The Radical 'Enlightenment.' 1. Introduction. Radical Thought in the Early Enlightenment -- The 'Crisis of the European Mind' -- 2. Government and Philosophy. The Advent of Cartesianism -- Cartesianism in Central Europe -- The New Philosophy conquers Scandinavia and the Baltic -- France : Philosophy and Royal Absolutism -- Reaction in the Italian States -- 3. Society, Institutions, Revolution. Philosophy and the Social Hierarchy -- Shaftesbury, Radicati, Vauvenargues -- The Revolutionary Impulse -- 4. Women, Philosophy, and Sexuality. The Emancipation of Women -- Conversational Freedom; Sexual Freedom -- 5. Censorship and Culture. French Royal Censorship -- Philosophy and Censorship in Central Europe -- Philosophy and Censorship in Southern Europe -- Freedom of Thought, Expression, and of the Press -- 6. Libraries and Enlightenment. The Universal Library -- The Crisis of the Universities -- Shelving the Two Enlightenments -- Lexicons and Dictionnaires -- The Early Enlightenment in National Context -- 7. The Learned Journals. Changing Europe's Intellectual Culture -- The Journals and the Radical Enlightenment. Part II: The Rise of Philosophical Radicalism. 8. Spinoza -- 9. Van den Enden : Philosophy, Democracy, and Egalitarianism. Democratic Republicanism -- Revolutionary Conspiracy -- 10. Radicalism and the People : The Brothers Koerbagh. The Theologian-Philosopher, Johannes Koerbagh (1634-1672) -- The Bloemhof -- The Trial of the Brothers Koerbagh -- 11. Philosophy, the Interpreter of Scripture. Lodewijk Meyer (1629-1681) -- The Philosophia -- The Wolzogen Disputes -- The 'New Religion' of Philosophy -- The Philosophia in England-- German and Scandinavian Reverberations -- 12. Miracles Denied -- 13. Spinoza's System -- 14. Spinoza, Science, and the Scientists. Radical Thought and the Scientific Revolution -- Spinoza and Huygens -- Spinoza Versus Boyle -- 15. Philosophy, Politics, and the Liberation of Man. In Search of 'Freedom' -- Monarchy Overturned -- Spinoza, Locke, and the Enlightenment Struggle for Toleration -- Equality and the Quest for 'Natural Man' -- 16. Publishing a Banned Philosophy. The Tractatus Theologico-Politicus -- The Battle of the Ethics -- 17. The Spread of a Forbidden Movement. The Death of a Philosopher -- Lucas, Saint-Glain, and The Hague Coterie -- The Rise of Dutch Sponozism -- Philopater -- Dutch Radicalism in the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century. Part III: Europe and the 'New' Intellectual Controversies (1680-1720). 18. Bayle and the 'Virtuous Atheist' -- 19. The Bredenburg Disputes -- 20. Fontenelle and the War of the Oracles -- 21. The Death of the Devil. From Van Dale to Bekker -- The Public Furore -- Churches Divided -- The European Diffusion -- 22. Leenhof and the 'Universal Philosophical Religion'. Frederik van Leenhof (1647-1713) -- Heaven on Earth -- The Politics of Philosophy-- The Leenhof Controversy in the Netherlands, Germany, and the Baltic -- 23. The 'Nature of God' Controversy (1710-1720). Part IV: The Intellectual Counter-Offensive. 24. New Theological Strategies. Theology and the Revolution in Bible Criticism -- Physico-Theology -- Le Clerc, Limborch, and Locke -- From the 'Rationalization' to the 'Irrationalization' of Religion -- 25. The Collapse of Cartesianism. Empiricism -- Deadlock in France -- Régis and the Failure of French Cartesianism -- 26. Leibniz and the Radical Enlightenment. Early Encounters -- Leibniz, Steno, and the Radical Challenge (1676-1680)-- Leibniz and the 'War of Philosophies' -- 27. Anglomania : the 'Triumph' of Newton and Locke. Europe Embraces English Ideas -- Locke, Newtonianism, and Enlightenment -- 28. The Intellectual Drama in Spain and Portugal -- 29. Germany and the Baltic : the 'War of the Philosophers' -- Deepening Philosophical Crisis -- The Wolffian Controversies (1723-1740) -- Wolff and the Rise of German Deism -- Wolffianism versus Newtonianism in the Baltic. Part V: The Clandestine Progress of the Radical Enlightenment (1680-1750). 30. Boulainvilliers and the Rise of French Deism -- 31. French Refugee Deists in Exile. The Flight to Holland -- Gueudeville and Lahontan -- Antagonist of Voltaire : Saint-Hyacinthe (1684-1746) -- The Marquis d'Argens (1703-1771) -- 32. The Spinozistic Novel in French -- 33. English Deism and Europe. The Deist Challenge -- John Toland (1670-1722) -- Anthony Collins (1676-1729) -- Matthew Tindal (c.1657-1733) -- Bernard Mandeville (1670-1733) -- 34. Germany : The Radical Aufklärung. Initial Reaction -- Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus (1651-1708) -- Friedrich Wilhelm Stosch (1648-1704) -- Spinoza and Cabbala : Wachter and Spaeth -- Theodor Ludwig Lau (1670-1740) -- Schmidt and the Maturing of German Spinozism -- Johann Christian Edelmann (1698-1767) -- 35. The Radical Impact in Italy. Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) -- Paolo Mattia Doria (1662-1746) -- Pietro Giannone (1676-1748) -- Radical Thought in Venice -- 36. The Clandestine Philosophical Manuscripts. Categories -- L'Esprit de Spinosa -- Despotism, Islam, and the Politicization of Superstition -- 37. From La Mettrie to Diderot. Materialism -- Diderot -- 38. Epilogue: Rousseau, Radicalism, Revolution.



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