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Enlightenment

Counter-enlightenment, Fractured Enlightenment, The New Cultural History, Bibliography

In the years since the publication of the first Dictionary of the History of Ideas, the Enlightenment has become an increasingly fragmented and decreasingly coherent historical rubric. In fact that fragmentation began in the Dictionary of the History of Ideas itself, in an article titled "Counter-Enlightenment," written by Isaiah Berlin and categorized out of alphabetical order, appearing as an appendix to the main entry on "Enlightenment," written by H. O. Pappe.

Pappe defined the Enlightenment as a historical period extending from the late seventeenth century (the Glorious Revolution, the era of John Locke [1632–1704] or Pierre Bayle [1647–1706]) to the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century (American Revolution, French Revolution, or the defeat of Napoleon and the Romantic reaction against the Enlightenment). The Enlightenment was also a mood emphasizing individualism, toleration, and cosmopolitanism. The Enlightenment was a social philosophy with common basic conceptions about humanity and society and a common methodological approach involving the search for laws that govern nature and society and commonly held values directed toward social reform. By this definition the Enlightenment was monolithic, but it was not all-encompassing. It was an avant-garde "movement" involving a relatively small number of thinkers. The movement began in England and reached its climax in mid-eighteenth-century Paris and Scotland, while the "Italian and German Enlightenment, though distinguished by outstanding contributors, was derivative."

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Electrophoresis (cataphoresis) to Ephemeral