Democratic Enlightenment Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights, 1750-1790

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-02-07
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $36.21 Save up to $3.62
  • Rent Book $32.59
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


The Enlightenment shaped modernity. Western values of representative democracy and basic human rights, gender and racial equality, individual liberty, and freedom of expression and the press, form an interlocking system that derives directly from the Enlightenment's philosophical revolution. This fact is uncontested - yet remarkably few historians or philosophers have attempted to trace the process of ideas from the political and social turmoil of the late eighteenth century to the present day. This is precisely what Jonathan Israel now does. He demonstrates that the Enlightenment was an essentially revolutionary process, driven by philosophical debate. From 1789, its impetus came from a small group ofphilosophe-revolutionnaires, men such as Mirabeau, Sieyes, Condorcet, Volney, Roederer, and Brissot. Not aligned to any of the social groups who took the lead in the French National assembly, the Paris commune, or the editing of the Parisian revolutionary journals, they nonetheless forged 'la philosophie moderne' -- in effect Radical Enlightenment ideas -- into a world-transforming ideology that had a lasting impact in Latin America and eastern Europe as well as France, Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries. Whilst all French revolutionary journals clearly stated that la philosophie moderne was the main cause of the French Revolution, the main stream of historical thought has failed to grasp what this implies. Israel sets the record straight, demonstrating the true nature of the engine that drove the Revolution, and the intimate links between the radical wing of the Enlightenment and the anti-Robespierriste 'Revolution of reason'.

Author Biography

Jonathan Israel is Professor of Modern History at the Institute for Advance Study, Princeton. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and corresponding fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. His previous books include The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall 1477-1806; Radical Enlightenment; and Enlightenment Contested.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
Part 1: The Radical Challenge
2. Nature and Providence: Earthquakes and the Human Condition
3. The Encyclopedie Suppressed (1752-60)
4. Rousseau against the Philosophes
5. Voltaire, Enlightenment, and the European Courts
6. Anti-Philosophes
7. Central Europe: Aufklarung divided
Part II: Rationalizing the Ancien Regime
8. Hume, Scepticism, and Moderation
9. Scottish Enlightenment and Man's Progress
10. Enlightened Despotism
11. Aufklarung and the Fracturing of German Protestant Culture
12. Catholic Enlightenment: the Papacy's Retreat
13. Society and the Rise of the Italian revolutionary Enlightenment
14. Spain and the Challenge of Reform
Part III: Europe and the Re-Making of the World
15. The Histoire Philosophique, or Colonialism Overturned
16. The American Revolution
17. Europe and the Amerindians
18. Philosophy and Revolt in Ibero-America (1765-92)
19. Commercial Despotism: Dutch Colonialism in Asia
20. China, Japan, and the West
21. India and the Two Enlightenments
22. Russia's Greeks, Poles, and Serfs
Part IV: Spinoza Controversies in the Later Enlightenment
23. Rousseau, Spinoza and the 'General Will'
24. Radical Break-Through
25. The Pantheismusstreit (1780-87)
26. Kant and the Radical Challenge
27. Goethe, Schiller and the new "Dutch Revolt against Spain"
Part V: Revolution
28. 1788-9: the "General Revolution" begins
29. The Diffusion
30. 'Philosophy' as the Maker of Revolutions
31. Aufklarung and the Secret Societies (1776-92)
32. Small State Revolution in the 1780s
33. The Dutch Democratic Revolution of the 1780s
34. The French Revolution: from 'Philosophy' to Basic Human Rights (1788-90)
35. Epilogue: 1789 as an Intellectual Revolution

Rewards Program

Write a Review