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The idea of the Enlightenment has become a touchstone for emotive and often contradictory articulations of contemporary western values. Enlightenment Shadows is a study of the place of Enlightenment thought in intellectual history and of its continued relevance. Genevieve Lloyd focuses especially on what is distinctive in ideas of intellectual character offered by key Enlightenment thinkers--on their attitudes to belief and scepticism; on their optimism about the future; and on the uncertainties and instabilities which nonetheless often lurk beneath their use of imagery of light. The book is organized around interconnected close readings of a range of texts: Montesquieu's Persian Letters; Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary; Hume's essay The Sceptic; Adam Smith's treatment of sympathy and imagination in Theory of Moral Sentiments; d'Alembert's Preliminary Discourse to the Encyclopedia--together with Diderot's entry on Encyclopedia; Diderot's Rameau's Nephew; and Kant's essay Perpetual Peace. Throughout, the readings highlight ways in which Enlightenment thinkers enacted in their writing--and reflected on--the interplay of intellect, imagination, and emotion. Recurring themes include: the nature of judgement--its relations with imagination and with ideals of objectivity; issues of truth and relativism; the ethical significance of imagining one's self into the situations of others; cosmopolitanism; tolerance; and the idea of the secular.
Genevieve Lloyd graduated with honours in Philosophy from the University of Sydney and holds BPhil and DPhil degrees from the University of Oxford. She was a Lecturer, and later a Senior Lecturer, in Philosophy at the Australian National University in Canberra, between 1967 and 1987, before holding the Chair of Philosophy at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, from 1987 to 2000. She is now an Emeritus Professor in Philosophy at the University of New South Wales. Her research has been mainly in history of philosophy--especially seventeenth and eighteenth century philosophy; feminist philosophy; and on the relations between philosophy and literature.