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The Enlightenment: A Very Short Introduction

John Robertson

September 2015

ISBN: 9780199591787

176 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £7.99

This Very Short Introduction explores the history of the 18th-century Enlightenment movement. Considering its intellectual commitments, Robertson then turns to their impact on society, and the ways in which Enlightenment thinkers sought to further the goal of human betterment, by promoting economic improvement and civil and political justice.

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Description

This Very Short Introduction explores the history of the 18th-century Enlightenment movement. Considering its intellectual commitments, Robertson then turns to their impact on society, and the ways in which Enlightenment thinkers sought to further the goal of human betterment, by promoting economic improvement and civil and political justice.

  • Offers a comprehensive and concise account of the Enlightenment intellectual movement
  • Emphasises the geographical reach of the Enlightenment, while doing justice to the central role of French thinkers
  • Places the Enlightenment in its eighteenth-century context
  • Covers key thinkers such as Franco Venturi, Pierre Bayle, Jonathan Israel, David Hume, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Part of the bestselling Very Short Introductions series - over seven million copies sold

About the Author(s)

John Robertson, Professor of the History of Political Thought, University of Cambridge

John Robertson has been Professor of the History of Political Thought at Cambridge since 2010. He covers the intellectual history of early modern and Enlightenment Europe, with particular interests in political and historical thought, and in the Enlightenment in Scotland and in Italy. His books include the comparative study The Case for the Enlightenment: Scotland and Naples 1680-1760 (Cambridge University Press, 2005), and he is now working on the uses of sacred history in political and social thought between 1650 and 1800. For many years he taught History at Oxford, as a University Lecturer in the Faculty of History and a Fellow of St Hugh's College, and he has held visiting appointments in Germany, the United States and, most recently in Paris.

Table of Contents

    1: Definitions of Enlightenment
    2: Pre-Enlightenment
    3: Enlightenment ideas
    4: Enlightening society
    5: The politics of Enlightenment
    6: The legacy of Enlightenment
    Further Reading
    Index

Reviews

"For all its concision, [this book] manages to be both wide-ranging and rigorious. In five compressed yet elegant chapters it summarizes the current state of research while also adding a series of important insights." - Times Literary Supplement

"the book does exactly what it says it will do" - Chris Pierson, Political Studies Review

"This intelligently written and informative book is more than simply a "a very short introduction". John Robertson's book provides, although concisely, a thorough and original interpretation of the Enlightenment as both a historical phenomenon and a philosophical idea." - H-Albion