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The French Enlightenment

During the 18th century there emerged in the French-speaking world a widespread movement of criticism of existing institutions and beliefs which came to be called the “Enlightenment”. The objects of enlightened criticism ranged from the established church, judicial practice, freedom of speech, art, literature and manners in general, the role of the King, and economic reform.

For more information see:

  • Kingsley Martin, French Liberal Thought in the Eighteenth Century : A Study of Political Ideas from Bayle to Condorcet, ed. J.P. Meyer (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1963.
  • Peter Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1977)
    • Vol. I: The Rise of Modern Paganism
    • Vol. II: The Science of Freedom
  • Maurice Cranston, Philosophers and Pamphleteers: Political Theorists of the Enlightenment (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986).
  • The Enlightenment, ed. David Williams (Cambridge Uiversity Press, 1999).
  • The Blackwell Companion to the Enlightenment, ed. John W. Yolton et al. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995).

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