The end of Enlightenment and after
MWP, Video Lecture, 2019/07
WHATMORE, Richard, The end of Enlightenment and after, MWP, Video Lecture, 2019/07 - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/69104
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
The major claim of this lecture is that a central fact has been missed by generations of historians and commentators. It is that in the final decades of the eighteenth century many contemporaries believed that they had failed the challenge of maintaining Enlightenment and were set fair for an era of civil and likely international war, the growth of intolerance, and possibly political apocalypse, in the sense of the collapse of existing constitutions and governments. Some have argued that such fears for the future were a commonplace response to the French Revolution. The problems identified as likely to cause the end of enlightenment occurred much earlier in actuality. The French Revolution was more a response to anticipations of imminent crisis than their cause. The view became widespread after the end of the Seven Years’ War that new forms of fanaticism were abroad. Traditionally associated with religious extremism, as societies across Europe became polarized, frightening forms of superstition and enthusiasm were being translated from religion into politics. These terms - superstition, enthusiasm and fanaticism - were of fundamental importance in any understanding of eighteenth-century thought. They need to be defined as they identify worries about the likely future for numerous philosophers who died between Hume (1776) or Rousseau (1778) and Paine (1809).
Lecture delivered at the European University Institute in Florence on 20 November 2019; A video interview with the presenter was recorded on 20 November 2019
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/69104
External link: https://youtu.be/tKdKD10qy0Y
Series/Number: MWP; Video Lecture; 2019/07
Publisher: European University Institute
Files associated with this item
- MW Lecture with Prof. Richard ...
- MPEG-4 video
- Video Lecture