Show Summary Details
Page of

date: 02 December 2021

p. 1195. The Enlightenment in philosophy and historylocked

p. 1195. The Enlightenment in philosophy and historylocked

  • John Robertson


‘The Enlightenment in philosophy and history’ assesses the Enlightenment’s legacy—and why it is contested—by returning to the different ways in which philosophers and historians have portrayed the Enlightenment. Recently, historians have been determined to assert the Enlightenment’s ‘modernity’, and to affirm that it ‘still matters’; but it is also important to understand why so many philosophers have differed, and have made Enlightenment the subject of critique rather than celebration. Enlightenment thought was willing to engage with change in this world independent of the next, to think about what might constitute ‘progress’. Precisely because so much human catastrophe lies between it and our 21st-century world, this commitment to progress, to human betterment, challenges our comprehension.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.