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Showing posts from June, 2015

Philosophy Thesis: Radical Enlightenment and the French Revolution

BRLSI Tuesday 23 rd June 2015 Jonathan Israel of Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Notes by William Gaskell Henry May 1976 book “American Enlightenment” first coined the term “Radical Enlightenment” which propagated the view of a democratic republic with no black slavery. Vermont which was the 14 th US state (wasn’t recognised as a state when the original 13 colonies declared independence) was the 1 st US state to abolish slavery. Then Pennsylvania, which had a sizeable black slave population, was the first major state to abolish the practice. Spinoza, 17 th century philosopher influenced Strauss who was a moderate philosopher and encouraged deference to religious and ecclesiastical authorities. Liberation from these authorities became possible because of Spinoza’s writings. Strauss did not agree with Spinoza’s atheism but remained moderate. Idiosyncrasy of religion is that it was used by political leaders to propagate their power – like King Herod