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Sunday, May 19, 2019

On The Three Enlightenments

Gertrude Himmelfarb on the three Enlightenments (The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments):

"The British Enlightenment represents “the sociology of virtue,” the French “the ideology of reason,” the American “the politics of liberty.” The British moral philosophers were sociologists as much as philosophers; concerned with man in relation to society, they looked to the social virtues for the basis of a healthy and humane society. The French had a more exalted mission: to make reason the governing principle of society as well as mind, to “rationalize, as it were, the world. The Americans, more modestly, sought to create a new “science of politics” that would establish the new republic upon a sound foundation of liberty."

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