The most traditional way of looking at the European Enlightenment is to see it almost exclusively as a major change in the world of ideas. Starting with either Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, or Locke, this approach focuses on how the scientific and philosophical developments of ideas led to the prominent figures of the movement such as Rousseau, Montesquieu, Hume, and Smith. The corollary usually is that a few “individual minds may, at crucial moments, through their thoughts and writings, lend decisively formative expression to rising impulses across an entire continent” (Israel 2001: 160). The question is, Are these ideas enough to understand what the Enlightenment was (and is)? Maybe the conversion of these ideas, beliefs, and values into institutions is a step required to define and understand the Enlightenment. Could it be possible to understand the European Enlightenment without the Bank of England or the Académie des sciences? If your...
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Book Review| February 01 2023
A Unifying Enlightenment: Institutions of Political Economy in Eighteenth-Century Spain (1700–1808)
A Unifying Enlightenment: Institutions of Political Economy in Eighteenth-Century Spain (1700–1808). By Jesús Astigarraga.
José Manuel Menudo
History of Political Economy (2023) 55 (1): 195–199.
José Manuel Menudo; A Unifying Enlightenment: Institutions of Political Economy in Eighteenth-Century Spain (1700–1808). History of Political Economy 1 February 2023; 55 (1): 195–199. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182702-10213709
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