Abstract

This essay addresses Jonathan Israel’s work on the Enlightenment and his response to his critics, with a particular focus on his interpretation of the French Enlightenment figures Denis Diderot and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The essay makes the argument that the stakes of the vociferous exchange between Israel and his critics concern not just our historical interpretation of the Enlightenment, but also the place of dialogue in our search for historical and philosophical truth. In neglecting the central importance of dialogue in Enlightenment thought, Israel has attributed a static quality to the thought of the radical thinkers he seeks to champion.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3222
Print ISSN
0022-5037
Pages
pp. 637-648
Launched on MUSE
2016-11-07
Open Access
No
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