Democratic enlightenment : philosophy, revolution, and human rights 1750-1790


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Israel, Jonathan

In Spain, he hoped, he would at last be able to publish his hugely detailed account of the flora, fauna, and minerals of Ibero- America, as well as benefit from the recently founded royal observatory, college of surgery, and other royal institutions recently established in Cadiz to promote Enlightenment science. A man of moderation, Llano Zapata sought to reconcile upto- date science with faith, promoting Enlightenment and knowledge of the New World on both sides of the Atlantic. But his hopes were dashed and his magnum opus remained unpublished not only during his lifetime but, in its full version, until the twenty-first century.

Like the archbishop, though, Wesley saw no particular reason to single out earthquakes: all catastrophes without exception, including the wars of the age, were evident signs of divine anger. To Wesley, admonitory signs abounded everywhere. Earthquakes for Wesley were explicable only as divine punishment of some and admonition summoning the rest to submit and humble themselves before it was too late.

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A fervent believer in miraculous healings as well as providence, visions, witchcraft, and ghosts, the philosophes he considered enemies of God. Many had been terrified by the tremors and preachers had built on this fear in their sermons; Gordon, a publicist inspired in particular by Bayle and Collins, strove to calm such apprehensions.

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No one was being punished by the Almighty or was destined to be cast into the pit. Far from being indications of divine wrath or pending doom, the tremors were the outcome of purely natural causes. Do not earthquakes sweep the guilty and innocent alike, he insisted, echoing Spinoza, to destruction?

They cannot be divine vengeance because they are indiscriminate and preceded by no clear admonitions. Would it not be blasphemy to father such a diabolical ordinance upon the merciful God? For the first, they were always directed by divine providence for a purpose—to admonish and chastise; for the second, they were sometimes purely natural and sometimes divinely directed; for the third, they were always due to natural causes alone.

Democratic Enlightenment: Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights, – - Semantic Scholar

Between these three irreconcilable positions no compromise was possible, philosophically, theologically, or scientifically. There was no spectrum of intermediate positions; and of the three, the moderate mainstream certainly had to work hardest to sound coherent. It was at 9. The Spanish ambassador was crushed to death amid the ruins of his embassy. The violent tremors also started fires that inflicted more damage than the quake itself, consuming the newly finished opera house along with many luxurious noble palaces barely damaged by the shocks.

Many survivors fled inland seeking shelter in more elevated terrain. As far west as the Azores the seas were violently agitated.

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Paralysed with shock, many were greatly consoled, though, that all the royal family including the princes of the blood and leading nobles were unharmed. What better proof that divine providence was at work? Next followed chronic food and water shortage and epidemics, causing a breakdown of normality and degree of demoralization barely conceivable.

The Berlinische Nachrichten carried the story already on 11 November. At Seville, some 6 per cent of all buildings were destroyed and most larger buildings damaged. Meknes, Fez, and Tetuan too suffered the deaths of thousands. But here again there were unmistakable signs of divine providence at work, the Franciscan friars at Meknes being greatly consoled to see that while many mosques and synagogues collapsed all Christian buildings survived intact. The tremors were also felt, albeit much less strongly, in Catalonia, and parts of southern France.

The canals of Holland and lakes of Switzerland, as well as Loch Lomond, in Scotland, quivered dramatically, with the seas around western Spain, Morocco, and Ireland being whipped up all almost simultaneously, and around Jamaica some nine hours later. In Portugal, the psychological scars long lingered. Much was hard to explain.

Yet, for most, the Lisbon disaster conclusively proved both divine retribution for sins and miraculous intercession and hugely stimulated interest in wonder workings and miraculous rescue as well as cult rivalries in Portugal, Peru, and Spain alike between competing saints as protectors. As rescuers of earthquake victims, and spiritual pillars of endangered buildings, San Egmidio gained ground as, among female saints, did Santa Justa and Santa Rufina, locally reputed in Seville to have propped up the famous Giralda tower on this, as on previous occasions.

Non-Catholics were equally convinced of the directing hand of providence. Doubtless, all this was only to be expected. And though their daily experience contradicted this, and infinitely many examples showed that fortunate and unfortunate things happen indiscriminately to the pious and impious alike, men do not on that account abandon their longstanding prejudice.

It is easier for them to put this among the other unknown things whose purpose they are ignorant of, and so remain in the state of ignorance in which they were born, rather than cancel that whole construction and think up a new one. In a cosmos governed by a blind nature, human morality is transformed into something very different from what it is when based on theology. How could science and philosophy intervene without violating the terms in which the clergy and people understood matters?

A naturalist interested in earthquakes as natural phenomena, Roche published an open letter to the learned academies of which there were now several in Spain. By stressing the role of divine providence in protecting the port of Santa Maria and adducing natural factors to explain only the physical mechanics of earthquakes, carefully distinguishing this from the issue of why, when, and where they strike, he more or less plausibly reconciled science with the popular and theological standpoint.


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For him too divine providence directed the basic course of the catastrophe. Reporting from:. Your name.

Enlightenment, Reason and Critic with Philipp Blom

Your email. Send Cancel. Check system status. Toggle navigation Menu. Name of resource. Problem URL. Describe the connection issue. SearchWorks Catalog Stanford Libraries. Democratic enlightenment : philosophy, revolution, and human rights Responsibility Jonathan I. Physical description xvi, p. Online Available online. Full view. Green Library. I86 Unknown B I86 Unknown. More options. Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Jonathan Irvine , Bibliography Includes bibliographical references p. Contents 1.

Nature and Providence: Earthquakes and the Human Condition-- 3. The Encyclopedie Suppressed -- 4. Rousseau against the Philosophes-- 5. Voltaire, Enlightenment and the European Courts-- 6. Anti-Philosophes-- 7.

Hume, Scepticism, and Moderation-- 9. Scottish Enlightenment and Man's Progress-- Enlightened Despotism-- Aufklarung and the Fracturing of German Protestant Culture--

Democratic enlightenment : philosophy, revolution, and human rights 1750-1790 Democratic enlightenment : philosophy, revolution, and human rights 1750-1790
Democratic enlightenment : philosophy, revolution, and human rights 1750-1790 Democratic enlightenment : philosophy, revolution, and human rights 1750-1790
Democratic enlightenment : philosophy, revolution, and human rights 1750-1790 Democratic enlightenment : philosophy, revolution, and human rights 1750-1790
Democratic enlightenment : philosophy, revolution, and human rights 1750-1790 Democratic enlightenment : philosophy, revolution, and human rights 1750-1790
Democratic enlightenment : philosophy, revolution, and human rights 1750-1790 Democratic enlightenment : philosophy, revolution, and human rights 1750-1790
Democratic enlightenment : philosophy, revolution, and human rights 1750-1790 Democratic enlightenment : philosophy, revolution, and human rights 1750-1790

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