Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man, 1670-1752

By Jonathan I. Israel | Go to book overview

16

The Overthrow of Humanist Criticism

1. ARS CRITICA

Of the three main components identified by Paul Hazard, in 1935, as generating the 'crise de conscience européenne'—the New Philosophy, the 'Scientific Revolution', and the new text criticism—the last, perhaps better called the 'new scholarship', has generally received the least emphasis from later historians. Hardly anyone today would wish to deny that Cartesianism, and the New Philosophy more generally, with its systematically mechanistic conception of the world had a profoundly innovative and permanently transforming effect on European thought. If many nowadays would question whether there really was a 'Scientific Revolution' of actual practice and procedures of the sort scholars used to assume, it can scarcely be doubted that in the Early Enlightenment, intellectual leaders like Fontenelle, Maupertuis, and d'Alembert, and equally the Newtonians, were convinced such a 'revolution' had occurred and that its discoveries, perspectives, and criteria exerted a vast influence on the science and thought of their age.

By contrast, the 'revolution' real and perceived in scholarship has received much less recognition despite being integrally linked to both the other revolutions, in philosophy and science, and, arguably, of comparable importance. Certain specific aspects, of course, have been explored. The new Bible criticism of Spinoza, Le Clerc, and Richard Simon (1638–1712) has long been acknowledged as a pivotal development in the history of learning. Likewise, Le Clerc's efforts to reform the rules of text criticism have not gone unnoticed, any more than the new craft of close critical analysis of historical documents of Dom Jean Mabillon, or Bayle's introduction of a new kind of critical historical encyclopedism. Recently, historians have also begun to investigate the beginnings of the modern study of history of philosophy reaching back to the researches of Jakob Thomasius, Buddeus, Heumann, and Gundling, leading on to the first great 'critical' history of philosophy, that of Johann Jakob Brucker (1696–1770) published in 1744.1 But these various strands are not usually brought together and considered as a wider phenomenon, the general transformation of European erudition between the 1660s and the 1720s which, from the perspective of many Early Enlightenment thinkers and scholars, in fact occurred.

1 Kelley, Descent ofIdeas, 148–50, 164–8; Hochstrasser, Natural Law Theories, 11–12, 14, 18–20.

-409-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man, 1670-1752
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 1000

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.