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The Philosophy of the Enlightenment (Classic Editions)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  129 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In this classic work of intellectual history, Ernst Cassirer provides both a cogent synthesis and a penetrating analysis of one of history's greatest intellectual epochs: the Enlightenment. Arguing that there was a common foundation beneath the diverse strands of thought of this period, he shows how Enlightenment philosophers drew upon the ideas of the preceding centuries ...more
Paperback, 366 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Princeton University Press (first published 1932)
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Nov 19, 2009 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, ideas
Cassirer argued that the Enlightenment needs to be understood in terms of depth, not breadth and unity of ideas.

He also offers an important reminder that our contemporary use of the term "reason" is far more limited than what Enlightenment thinkers meant when they discussed the concept.
Annemarie Donahue
This book was okay, it was very hard to read. Essentially what Cassirer is doing is to recreate the enlightenment train of thought to better explain what these thinkers were attempting to do for humanity and for philosophy. It is important to remember that the Enlightenment really wasn't an era of time but an activity in which people during the 17th century participated. So Cassirer, to better explain what these gentlemen were creating, recreates this activity.
It was for a class, the professor s
Dec 07, 2014 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's easy to see why this book is considered a classic today. It was originally written in 1933 and most writers and lecturers of the Enlightenment have obviously read it because it's easy to spot this book's influence in their expositions.

The author divides philosophical thought into each of its different categories such has, Science; Psychology & Epistemological; Law, State, and Society; History; Religion; and Aesthetics and then looks at how the 17th century thought about the problem from
Erik Graff
Oct 09, 2013 Erik Graff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history of philosophy/science fans
Recommended to Erik by: Cornel West
Shelves: philosophy
Cassirer's name came up so frequently in my studies, particularly in Cornel West's class on Hume and Kant, that I finally picked up his Philosophy of the Enlightenment to read on one of many weekend trips from New York to Chicago during the last semester at seminary. As a general history of ideas, the book is clear enough, but the reader ought have a general sense of the history of philosophy and of major philosophers such as Hume, Liebnitz and Kant. Lacking such, read the primary texts and an o ...more
Mohammad Mollanoori
وقتی خواندن کتاب را شروع کردم میدانستم که کتاب سختی خواهد بود، کتابی که برای حرفهایها نوشته شده است و به درد من نخواهد خورد. در پایان کتاب، دید کوچکی نسبت قرن هجدهم، عصر روشنگری، یافتم. ...more
Dec 16, 2015 Leonardo marked it as to-keep-reference  ·  review of another edition
Discutido en Imperio Pág.64
John E. Branch Jr.
Having become an admirer of the Enlightenment period and its thinkers during an undergraduate humanities survey course, I picked up this book (probably on the advice of a mentor-professor) to learn more. Ideally, anyone tackling Cassirer's study should already be decently acquainted with the thinkers discussed (as another review here says), a careful and inquisitive novice, which is what I was, can get a good deal of benefit from it. As I read it some four decades ago, I won't attempt now to say ...more
Alex Detillio
Mar 18, 2016 Alex Detillio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ernst Cassirer's writing is amazing. I read the Religion section and other parts. Very good analysis.
Sean Chick
Aug 12, 2011 Sean Chick rated it really liked it
Tough read, but worth it. Cassirer really got at the heart of the enlightenment's ideas and the grand debate over the origins of knowledge.
Sep 21, 2013 Juli marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: question
Not a review....i would like to know if someone has a copy of this book who could help me with translation problems....anyone?
Jun 15, 2007 Bittygooo is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in roots of modern thought
near the beginning...
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Goodreads Librari...: Please correct book description 2 156 Dec 11, 2012 04:02PM  
  • The Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Paganism
  • Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750
  • The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea
  • The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments
  • The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth Century Philosophers
  • The Crooked Timber of Humanity: Chapters in the History of Ideas
  • The Crisis of the European Mind
  • The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics
  • Classics of Western Philosophy
  • Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration
  • Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World (Allen Lane History)
  • The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies
  • The Enlightenment: And Why It Still Matters
  • The Portable Enlightenment Reader
  • The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View
  • The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies
  • The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century
  • Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism
Ernst Cassirer was one of the major figures in the development of philosophical idealism in the first half of the twentieth century, a German Jewish philosopher. Coming out of the Marburg tradition of neo-Kantianism, he developed a philosophy of culture as a theory of symbols founded in a phenomenology of knowledge.
More about Ernst Cassirer...

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