Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Enlightenment” as Want to Read:
The Enlightenment
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Enlightenment

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  68 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
Armed with the insights of the scientific revolution, the men of the Enlightenment set out to free mankind from its age-old cocoon of pessimism and superstition and establish a more reasonable world of experiment and progress. Yet by the 1760s, this optimism about man and society had almost evaporated. In the works of Rousseau, Kant and Goethe, there was discernible a new ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 28th 1990 by Penguin (first published 1968)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Enlightenment, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Enlightenment

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
The best thing, I felt, about this book is the sense of a long conversation unfurling across time between many people.

Hampson's argument is that the Enlightenment was marked first by a shift from seeing existence as governed by a wrathful God to a more cheerful, relaxed sense of Providence shaping our lives for the best. This in turn gave way to pessimism and determinism. After the French Revolution there were in Hapson's view,two distinct reactions to Enlightenment thought - one to deny it and
Oct 12, 2015 Amy rated it liked it
Did not really enjoy this one. Flicked though about half of it. Also read for history degree.
Gareth Evans
May 07, 2011 Gareth Evans rated it it was amazing

I came to this book with no knowledge of philosophy or much background in 18th century European history. My interest being piqued by a radio programme on Hume. Hampon's synthesis is stunning, clear, well written and thought provoking. As a novice, I found it helpful to have my iPad by my side to distinguish between deists and material determinists. It is not a book written for the novice. Nevertheless, I found it to be an excellent introduction to a fascinating subject. Hampson's in
Jude Brigley
Jude Brigley rated it it was ok
May 31, 2011
Tiffany rated it liked it
Oct 31, 2014
George Law
George Law rated it really liked it
Feb 08, 2017
Peter Geyer
Peter Geyer rated it really liked it
Jan 08, 2016
Patrick rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2016
Helen rated it liked it
Jan 22, 2017
Ivarbjoe rated it liked it
Feb 09, 2012
Truji rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2014
Susan rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2015
William Young
William Young rated it really liked it
Jul 25, 2011
Alma rated it liked it
Mar 27, 2017
Jeremy Kwok
Jeremy Kwok rated it really liked it
May 22, 2017
Denmark Cristobal
Denmark Cristobal rated it it was amazing
May 29, 2014
V rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2010
Andy rated it it was ok
Mar 27, 2011
Liam Tondeur
Liam Tondeur rated it liked it
Jun 10, 2013
imngrer rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2012
Toby rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2014
Chen Xiongjie
Chen Xiongjie rated it really liked it
Oct 24, 2009
Aziz Morfeq
Aziz Morfeq rated it liked it
Jun 11, 2015
John Gair
John Gair rated it really liked it
Apr 30, 2014
Guillaume rated it it was ok
May 12, 2012
Tom Cracroft
Tom Cracroft rated it liked it
Apr 19, 2016
Margaret rated it liked it
Feb 10, 2011
Steve Garner
Steve Garner rated it really liked it
Apr 05, 2015
Tina rated it really liked it
Feb 20, 2011
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Norman Hampson was the Professor of History at the University of York from 1974 to 1989 and fellow of the British Academy in 1980. He specialised in the French Revolution and European Enlightenment. During the Second World War Hampson's service in the Royal Navy included two years as liaison officer with the Free French Navy.
More about Norman Hampson...

Share This Book