5 of the Enlightenment’s Unjustly Forgotten Figures

5 of the Enlightenment’s Unjustly Forgotten Figures

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Any mention of the Enlightenment conjures the same cast of characters: Adam Smith, Voltaire, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, and the rest. But while these figures were hugely influential, their popularity can obscure many equally important men and women whose convictions radically changed the world.

Here are 5 of the most important Enlightenment figures who don’t get nearly enough attention.

1. Madame de Staël

By the time the sun set on 2 December 1805, the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte had achieved a stunning victory, a victory so decisive that it would set the course of European history for a decade. It was the Battle of Austerlitz.

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‘There are three great powers struggling against Napoleon for the soul of Europe: England, Russia, and Madame de Staël’

claimed a contemporary.

Women are often excluded from histories of the Enlightenment. But despite the social prejudices and obstacles of her time, Madame de Staël managed to exert great influence over some of the most important moments of the age.

She was present at the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Estates General of 1789. Her ‘salon’ was one of the most important talking-shops in France, hosting some of the finest minds whose ideas were reshaping society.

She published treatises on the ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Baron de Montesquieu, wrote wildly successful novels which are still in print today, and realised faster than most of her generation that Napoleon Bonaparte was an autocrat in waiting.

She journeyed across Europe, from the Habsburg Empire to Russia. She met twice with Tsar Alexander I, with whom she discussed the theories of Machiavelli.

After her death in 1817, Lord Byron wrote that Madame de Staël was

‘sometimes right and often wrong about Italy and England – but almost always true in delineating the heart’

Portrait of Mme de Staël by Marie Eléonore Godefroid (Credit: Public domain).

2. Alexander von Humboldt

Explorer, naturalist, philosopher, botanist, geographer: Alexander von Humboldt was truly a polymath.

From human-induced climate change to the theory that the universe is a single interconnected entity, he proposed many new ideas for the first time. He resurrected the word ‘cosmos’ from Ancient Greek, spotted that South America and Africa were once joined together, and published influential works on topics as diverse as zoology and astronomy.

A huge array of scientists and philosophers claimed to have been inspired by him, including Charles Darwin, Henry David Thoreau, and John Muir. Darwin made frequent references to von Humboldt in his seminal Voyage on the Beagle.

The 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, published in 1910-11, crowned von Humboldt as the father of this enlightened mutual endeavour:

‘Thus that scientific conspiracy of nations which is one of the noblest fruits of modern civilisation was by his [von Humboldt’s] exertions first successfully organised’

A huge array of scientists and philosophers claim they were inspired by Humboldt (Credit: Public domain).

3. Baron de Montesquieu

Montesquieu isn’t exactly obscure, but given his status as the most quoted author in the writings of America’s founding fathers, neither does he get enough attention.

A nobleman from the south of France, Montesquieu visited England for the first time in 1729, and the country’s political genius was to have a lasting impact on his writings.

Montesquieu synthesised a lifetime’s thinking in De l’esprit des lois (usually translated as The Spirit of the Laws), published anonymously in 1748. Three years later, it was inducted into the Catholic Church’s list of prohibited texts which did nothing to prevent the book’s vast impact.

Montesquieu’s passionate arguments for the constitutional separation of powers influenced Catherine the Great, Alexis de Tocqueville, and the Founding Fathers. Later, his arguments to end slavery were influential in the eventual outlawing of slaves in the 19th century.

The Spirit of the Laws is also credited for helping to lay the groundwork for sociology, which would coalesce into its own discipline by the end of the 1800s.

Montesquieu’s investigations helped lay the groundwork for sociology (Credit: Public domain).

4. John Witherspoon

The Scottish Enlightenment, starring David Hume and Adam Smith, is well-known. It was as a homage to these groundbreaking thinkers that Edinburgh was dubbed ‘the Athens of the North’. Many of them are well remembered, but not John Witherspoon.

A staunch Protestant, Witherspoon wrote three popular works of theology. But he was also a republican.

After fighting for the cause of republican government (and being imprisoned for it), Witherspoon eventually became one of the signatories of America’s Declaration of Independence.

But he also had a more practical impact. Witherspoon was appointed president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Under his influence, Princeton evolved from being a college to train clergymen into one of the leading institutions for educating political thinkers.

Witherspoon’s Princeton produced many students who had a hugely important role in shaping America’s development, including James Madison (who served as the United States’ 4th President), three judges of the Supreme Court, and 28 U.S. senators.

Historian Douglass Adair credited Witherspoon with shaping James Madison’s political ideology:

‘The syllabus of Witherspoon’s lectures . explains the conversion of the young Virginian [Madison] to the philosophy of the Enlightenment’

A staunch Protestant, Witherspoon wrote three popular works of theology.

5. Mary Wollstonecraft

Despite being chiefly remembered for her Vindication of the Rights of Women, Mary Wollstonecraft achieved so much more.

From an early age, she demonstrated clear-thinking, courage and strength of character. As an adult, she lived her principles in an age when it was dangerous to do so.

Dan talks to Bee Rowlatt about the life and death of the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women, Mary Wollstonecraft.

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Wollstonecraft was profoundly frustrated by the limited options available to poor women at the time. In 1786, she abandoned her life of a governess and decided that she would make a living from her writing. It was a decision that made Wollstonecraft one of the most significant figures of her era.

She learned French and German, translating numerous radical texts. She held long debates with important thinkers like Thomas Paine and Jacob Priestley. When the Duke of Talleyrand, France’s foreign minister, visited London in 1792, it was Wollstonecraft who demanded that girls in Jacobin France be given the same education as boys.

Publishing novels, children’s books, and philosophical treatises, her later marriage to the radical William Godwin also gave her a radical daughter – Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein.

Wollstonecraft is chiefly remembered for her Vindication of the Rights of Women.

The Unjustly Forgotten Crime Novels of John Sanford, Midcentury America's Radical Jewish Conscience

Ask readers of crime fiction whether they have heard of John Sanford, and the writer most likely to come to mind is John Sandford, the author of the Prey series of detective novels—as they commit the common mistake of overlooking the “d” hidden in the middle of the name. But long before John Camp chose Sandford as his pen name, there was John Sanford—author of 24 books, including two hard-boiled 1930’s masterworks that combine gut-wrenching plots with a literary flair that drew favorable comparisons with William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and James M. Cain.

Sanford, who died in 2003, is best known as a writer of non-fiction—including creative interpretations of American history, two of which were hailed as “masterpieces” by the Los Angeles Times memoirs and a five-volume autobiography. Less well-known are the crime writing origins of his craft. This is largely due to these early novels’ being out of print for over sixty years. The Cambridge Companion to Jewish American Literature calls Sanford “perhaps the most outstanding neglected novelist” in America. With Brash Books’ reissue of 1935’s The Old Man’s Place and 1939’s Make My Bed in Hell, crime writing devotees have an opportunity to end this unjustified neglect.

In the depths of the Great Depression, after a James Joyce-influenced modernist first novel that did not sell, Sanford was determined to make his second novel a popular success. He set The Old Man’s Place in the New York mountain hamlet of Warrensburg—in which he would also place his next two novels—and used as his basis a true story about a gang of poachers who had terrorized the Adirondack countryside. Sanford altered the characters to a trio of World War One veterans, who return to the family farm on which one of them grew up, unleashing a wave of mayhem. When one of the group lures a naive mail-order bride to the homestead, the plot accelerates toward its bloody climax. Sanford tells this tale in language honed to a stark, slashing edge.

When The Old Man’s Place appeared in 1935, many reviewers were put off by the violence and depravity it depicted. However, others commended Sanford’s vivid, muscular prose. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote: “Sanford is a supreme master at squeezing the last drop of terror and excitement out of a sordid, savage situation. The story sweeps along with an ugly force that will send sensitive souls in search of smelling salts.” The New York Times called the book “A first-rate piece of swift-moving and dramatic story-telling.” Other papers hailed The Old Man’s Place as “a robust tale of violence, lust, treachery, and murder,” “a good, exciting story told with menacing simplicity,” and “vivid, realistic, skillful, dramatic.” The highly influential New York Times reviewer John Chamberlain praised how Sanford captured the violence lurking beneath the nation’s pastoral surface: “the occasional flaring of brutality of the American character.”

In 1939, Sanford followed up with what I regard as his finest novel. Originally titled Seventy Times Seven, this book was reprinted in the 1950’s as a pulp paperback and called Make My Bed in Hell. Sanford set it, again, in Warrensburg. One bitterly cold winter morning, the protagonist discovers that a man has staggered into his barn and lies dying in a horse stall. He soon realizes that this man is no stranger but rather someone who had bullied him during their youth. In the intervening years, the intruder has lived a carefree vagabond lifestyle, while the farmer has broken his back trying to eke a living from the played-out fields that are his bitter patrimony.

Sanford interweaves three different voices in Make My Bed in Hell’s narrative: the farmer’s description of events the intruder’s delirious, rambling memories of his past and testimony from an inquest to determine whether the farmer should be charged over his failure to render aid. Midway through Make My Bed in Hell, Sanford adds a fourth narrative perspective in the form of a blank verse poem depicting violent episodes in American history that focus especially on Americans’ mistreatment of the native populace. Sanford aimed to depict the farmer’s callousness and the villagers’ cruelty as the natural inheritance of the bloody reign Europeans unleashed with their conquest of the continent. Although some readers may at first be taken by surprise by the unconventional structure, the overall result is an engaging and powerful narrative that combines stylistic flourish with a visceral, propulsive plot.

As with The Old Man’s Place, some reviewers felt revulsion about the violence depicted in Make My Bed in Hell. But the Los Angeles Times expressed particular appreciation for the historic section: “[Sanford] is filled with ideas and tried to get the whole of America into a brief, fast book of less than 200 pages, and those pages terse…. Sanford has injected the drama of spilled blood that made America…[in] a long blank-verse section of tremendous power.” The New York Times wrote: “The prose is fresh and energetic, the story-telling superb, and the writing comes out raw and terrifying as an exposed nerve…. This novel stands high as a piece of realistic writing…[with] stylistic variety that few authors now writing can manage.” Other reviews called Make My Bed in Hell “electrifying” and “a first-rate story of violence and congealed hate” told with “brilliant” writing.

John Sanford was born Julian Shapiro in 1904 in Harlem, New York, the child of Jewish immigrants. He died in 2003 in Santa Barbara, California. Along the way, he became a lawyer, a Hollywood screenwriter, an ardent Communist, and a victim of the McCarthy blacklist. Though Sanford began as a novelist, at the age of 63 he commenced the prolific second act of his long career, that of a non-fiction writer. In fact, Sanford published half his books after he had turned 80, an age when most writers are retired…or dead. Though his early novels were issued by America’s premiere publishing houses, in his later years he struggled to find outlets for his work. Still, despite his obscurity, Sanford maintained the vehemence of his creative vision and continued writing until shortly before his death at age 98. Sanford won a PEN award for the first installment of his superb five-volume autobiography, Scenes from the Life of an American Jew, as well as the Los Angeles Times’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Just before his death, the L. A. Times called Sanford “an authentic hero of American letters.”

Sanford’s birth name was Julian Shapiro. His father had immigrated from Russia, and his mother was born in Manhattan’s Lower East Side slums. By the time of Sanford’s 1904 birth, the father had become a lawyer, and the family was living in the fashionable Jewish neighborhood of Harlem. However, Sanford’s childhood was rocked by his father’s financial setbacks and his mother’s death, after a lengthy illness, when he was ten. In the wake of his mother’s passing, Sanford became alienated from his family and indifferent toward his education. He never graduated from high school, because he was caught cheating on an English test his senior year.

After a feckless, abortive college career, Sanford decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. In 1924, he entered Fordham Law School, from which he would obtain a law degree. Classes met on the 28th floor of the Woolworth Building in downtown Manhattan, then the tallest skyscraper in the world. One of his professors was Joseph Force Crater Judge Crater’s infamous, never-solved 1930 disappearance made him the Jimmy Hoffa of the Depression era.

The most significant event of Sanford’s law school years happened while golfing by himself in New Jersey, where he chanced upon another solo golfer whom he recognized from his Harlem days—Nathan Weinstein. However, the young man was now going by the name of Nathanael West. Sanford bragged to West that he was attending law school. West’s reply stunned Sanford: he was writing a book. From that day forward, the words writing a book dominated Sanford’s thinking, and his legal studies instantly lost their appeal.

West and Sanford frequently wandered the streets of New York together, with West lecturing his companion about art and literature. Sanford was hungry for a mentor, and West seemed pleased to have a disciple. West introduced Sanford to the work of James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway, and Sanford undertook a crash course in reading to make up for the intellectually barren years after his mother’s death. Later, the pair would spend a summer together writing in a rented hunting lodge in the Adirondacks, where West worked on Miss Lonelyhearts and Sanford completed his first novel, The Water Wheel, about a dissatisfied New York lawyer longing to be an author. Sanford would draw on the nearby hamlet of Warrensburg for the setting for his next three novels, which bored deeply into the brutality of the American psyche.

After graduation from Fordham, Sanford joined his father’s practice. His experience as a lawyer had enduring effects on his writing. During a trip to the country, Sanford was recruited to defend a minister accused of fathering an illegitimate child with an underage servant. That episode became the basis for one of his first published short stories, 1932’s “Once in a Sedan and Twice Standing Up,” whose salacious title caused it to be dropped from the highly anticipated first issue of Contact, edited by West and William Carlos Williams. And from his second novel onward, Sanford typed all his manuscripts on a manual typewriter using blue-ruled testimony bond, which became increasingly difficult to find during the computer age.

The Water Wheel (reissued in 2020 by Tough Poets) was Sanford’s only book published under his birth name. A highly experimental work heavily influenced by Joyce’s Ulysses, the novel is full of wordplay and stream-of-consciousness. Shortly after its 1933 issue, the publisher went bankrupt. While winning praise from other writers such as Williams, it failed to sell.

In the depths of the Depression, Sanford was determined to make his second novel a popular success. He set The Old Man’s Place in Warrensburg, adapting the story about poachers. On the advice of West, to avoid potential readers’ rejection of a book by a Jewish author, Sanford chose as his pen name the name of his Water Wheel protagonist—the lawyer dreaming of being a novelist, John Sanford. From then on, he would write as Sanford.

Despite some positive reviews, Sanford’s hoped-for sales did not materialize. However, The Old Man’s Place brought him to the attention of Paramount Studios, which summoned Sanford to Los Angeles in 1936 to be a screenwriter. Sanford’s year as a contract writer at Paramount did not result in a filmed script. But the New York transplant found himself caught up in the life of Hollywood. For a while, he dated starlet Jean Muir. He also was a frequent guest at Joan Crawford’s house for dinner. The most momentous event, though, was meeting in a Paramount hallway an up-and-coming screenwriter named Marguerite Roberts.

Sanford and Roberts soon became a couple, and they wed in 1938. Roberts went on to become one of the highest paid screenwriters at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, scripting films for the studio’s A-list stars. Sanford and Roberts co-wrote the 1941 comedic Western, Honky Tonk, which starred Clark Gable and Lana Turner. Toward the end of her career, Roberts wrote the screenplay for John Wayne’s Oscar-winner, True Grit.

Honky Tonk (1941)

Sanford had already begun his third novel before heading west. After failing to keep work as a screenwriter, he returned to Make My Bed in Hell, often writing in Roberts’s back yard. This novel built upon an early short story “I Let Him Die.” While working on Make My Bed in Hell, Sanford was courted by the Communist Party. The 1950s’ anti-Communist backlash and the Cold War have made contemporary Americans’ view of the extreme left much more negative than the public’s view was during the mid- to late-1930’s. Sanford arrived in Hollywood amid a major unionizing push, which was led by screenwriters. Labor strife was rampant across the country, and anti-strike violence was at a peak. In fact, a 1942 magazine poll reported that a full quarter of the American population “favored socialism.”

By the time Sanford joined the Party, Make My Bed in Hell was well under way, so its themes are more ethical than political. But Sanford’s next three novels—1943’s The People from Heaven, his last set in Warrensburg, 1951’s A Man without Shoes and 1953’s The Land that Touches Mine—were explicitly political. Sanford’s explosive radicalism was so intense that it gave even the Communist Party jitters: the Party tried to suppress publication of The People from Heaven, fearing it would lead to a premature racial revolt. And in A Man without Shoes, Sanford at times lapses into Marxist lectures, diminishing the impact of the novel as a novel.

In 1951, Sanford and Roberts were subpoenaed to appear before the Los Angeles hearings of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Sanford took the Fifth Amendment and declined to answer questions about his political affiliations. Roberts asserted that she was not a member of the Communist Party but took the Fifth when asked whether she ever had been. Both refused to name names and both were blacklisted. The impact on Roberts was catastrophic: M-G-M canceled a just-signed five-year contract. Though Sanford was not barred from writing books, he found it impossible to compose while his wife suffered through a ten-year professional banishment. Even reissuing The Old Man’s Place and Make My Bed in Hell in pulp paperbacks was complicated by the blacklisted Sanford’s name being anathema to publishers.

In 1961, Roberts was the second screenwriter to return to work after the dissolution of the blacklist. His wife’s career renewal enabled Sanford to write again. He published two more novels, the final one making clear that fiction-writing had run its course for Sanford. It was then, in 1967, that Sanford embarked on his second career—that of a non-fiction writer.

Sanford published books in eight decades. He wrote works of uncannily beautiful prose that also did not shy away from depicting the grotesque and brutal violence that is the undercurrent of American life. With Brash Books’ reissue of the first two volumes of Sanford’s Warrensburg trilogy, the reading public finally has access again to the crime writing origins of Sanford’s lengthy career. For the reader interested in vivid, entertaining crime writing, The Old Man’s Place and Make My Bed in Hell will not disappoint. For those seeking a bit more, Sanford’s language—written for how it sounds to the ear and looks on the page—will reward the reader with prose of a master craftsman, as good an any writer’s in the genre.

5 Notable Women Hanged in the Salem Witch Trials

In early 1692, during the depths of winter in Massachusetts Bay Colony, a group of young girls in the village of Salem began acting strangely. The daughter and niece of the local minister, Samuel Parris, claimed to be afflicted by invisible forces who bit and pinched them, sending their limbs flailing. By mid-February, two more girls had joined them, and the first waves of panic gripped Salem’s residents: The girls had been bewitched.

The afflicted girls soon accused three women: the Parris’ “Indian” slave, Tituba a local beggar woman, Sarah Good and an invalid widow, Sarah Osbourne. As local magistrates began questioning the accused, people packed into a tavern to witness the girls come face to face with the women they had accused of witchcraft.

While the other two women denied the accusations against them, Tituba told vivid stories of how Satan had revealed himself to her. She said she had signed the devil’s book with her own blood, and seen the marks of Good and Osbourne there beside her own.

Tituba, the first woman to be accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts.

Tituba’s riveting testimony helped unleash a notorious witch hunt that swept quickly beyond Salem and engulfed all of New England. Close to 200 people would be accused before the Salem Witch Trials ended the following year, and 20 of them would be executed by hanging over the summer and fall of 1692. These are five of their stories.

1. Bridget Bishop

When the special Court of Oyer and Terminer convened in Salem Town in early June, the first case it heard was against Bridget Bishop, a local widow, as the prosecutor assumed her case would be easy to win. Bishop had been accused of witchcraft more than a decade earlier, but was acquitted for lack of evidence. She also fit everyone’s idea of a witch: elderly, poor and argumentative.

Ten witnesses testified against Bishop, and she was quickly found guilty and sentenced to death. On June 10, she was taken to Proctor’s Ledge near Gallows Hill in Salem and “hanged by the neck until she was dead,” according to the report of the sheriff who escorted her.

2. Sarah Good

By then, signs of opposition to the Salem Witch Trials had begun to surface. Several ministers questioned whether the court relied too much on spectral evidence, or testimony about the ghostly figures witches supposedly sent to afflict their victims. 𠇎veryone assumed there were specters who could do it,” says Margo Burns, a New Hampshire-based historian specializing in the Salem witch trials. “That was not disputed. But what was disputed was whether the devil could send the shape of an innocent person to afflict.”

Still, when the Court of Oyer and Terminer reconvened on June 28 after its success convicting Bishop, Sarah Good was quickly convicted and sentenced to death. Several of the afflicted girls claimed Good’s specter attacked them, and Tituba and several others had named her as a fellow witch in their confessions, claiming she flew on a broomstick and attended witches’ gatherings. On July 19, Good was carted to Gallows Hill and executed along with the churchgoing grandmother, Rebecca Nurse, and three other convicted witches.


Postmodernism is an intellectual stance or mode of discourse [1] [2] defined by an attitude of skepticism toward what it describes as the grand narratives and ideologies of modernism, as well as opposition to epistemic certainty and the stability of meaning. [3] It questions or criticizes viewpoints associated with Enlightenment rationality dating back to the 17th century, [4] and is characterized by irony, eclecticism, and its rejection of the "universal validity" of binary oppositions, stable identity, hierarchy, and categorization. [5] [6] Postmodernism is associated with relativism and a focus on ideology in the maintenance of economic and political power. [4] Postmodernists are generally "skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races," and describe truth as relative. [7] It can be described as a reaction against attempts to explain reality in an objective manner by claiming that reality is a mental construct. [7] Access to an unmediated reality or to objectively rational knowledge is rejected on the grounds that all interpretations are contingent on the perspective from which they are made [8] as such, claims to objective fact are dismissed as "naive realism." [4]

Postmodern thinkers frequently describe knowledge claims and value systems as contingent or socially-conditioned, describing them as products of political, historical, or cultural discourses and hierarchies. [4] Accordingly, postmodern thought is broadly characterized by tendencies to self-referentiality, epistemological and moral relativism, pluralism, and irreverence. [4] Postmodernism is often associated with schools of thought such as deconstruction and post-structuralism. [4] Postmodernism relies on critical theory, which considers the effects of ideology, society, and history on culture. [9] Postmodernism and critical theory commonly criticize universalist ideas of objective reality, morality, truth, human nature, reason, language, and social progress. [4]

Initially, postmodernism was a mode of discourse on literature and literary criticism, commenting on the nature of literary text, meaning, author and reader, writing, and reading. [10] Postmodernism developed in the mid- to late-twentieth century across philosophy, the arts, architecture, and criticism as a departure or rejection of modernism. [11] [12] [13] Postmodernist approaches have been adopted in a variety of academic and theoretical disciplines, including political science, [14] organization theory, [15] cultural studies, philosophy of science, economics, linguistics, architecture, feminist theory, and literary criticism, as well as art movements in fields such as literature and music. As a critical practice, postmodernism employs concepts such as hyperreality, simulacrum, trace, and difference, and rejects abstract principles in favor of direct experience. [7]

Criticisms of postmodernism are intellectually diverse, and include arguments that postmodernism promotes obscurantism, is meaningless, and adds nothing to analytical or empirical knowledge. [16] [17] [18] [19] Some philosophers, beginning with the pragmatist philosopher Jürgen Habermas, say that postmodernism contradicts itself through self-reference, as their critique would be impossible without the concepts and methods that modern reason provides. [3] Various authors have criticized postmodernism, or trends under the general postmodern umbrella, as abandoning Enlightenment rationalism or scientific rigor. [20] [21]

The term postmodern was first used in 1870. [22] John Watkins Chapman suggested "a Postmodern style of painting" as a way to depart from French Impressionism. [23] J. M. Thompson, in his 1914 article in The Hibbert Journal (a quarterly philosophical review), used it to describe changes in attitudes and beliefs in the critique of religion, writing: "The raison d'être of Post-Modernism is to escape from the double-mindedness of Modernism by being thorough in its criticism by extending it to religion as well as theology, to Catholic feeling as well as to Catholic tradition." [24]

In 1942 H. R. Hays described postmodernism as a new literary form. [ citation needed ]

In 1926, Bernard Iddings Bell, president of St. Stephen's College (now Bard College), published Postmodernism and Other Essays, marking the first use of the term to describe the historical period following Modernity. [25] [26] The essay criticizes the lingering socio-cultural norms, attitudes, and practices of the Age of Enlightenment. It also forecasts the major cultural shifts toward Postmodernity and (Bell being an Anglo-Catholic priest) suggests orthodox religion as a solution. [27] However, the term postmodernity was first used as a general theory for a historical movement in 1939 by Arnold J. Toynbee: "Our own Post-Modern Age has been inaugurated by the general war of 1914–1918". [28]

In 1949 the term was used to describe a dissatisfaction with modern architecture and led to the postmodern architecture movement [29] in response to the modernist architectural movement known as the International Style. Postmodernism in architecture was initially marked by a re-emergence of surface ornament, reference to surrounding buildings in urban settings, historical reference in decorative forms (eclecticism), and non-orthogonal angles. [30]

Author Peter Drucker suggested the transformation into a post-modern world happened between 1937 and 1957 and described it as a "nameless era" characterized as a shift to a conceptual world based on pattern, purpose, and process rather than a mechanical cause. This shift was outlined by four new realities: the emergence of an Educated Society, the importance of international development, the decline of the nation-state, and the collapse of the viability of non-Western cultures. [31]

In 1971, in a lecture delivered at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, Mel Bochner described "post-modernism" in art as having started with Jasper Johns, "who first rejected sense-data and the singular point-of-view as the basis for his art, and treated art as a critical investigation". [32]

In 1996, Walter Truett Anderson described postmodernism as belonging to one of four typological world views which he identified as:

  • Postmodern-ironist, which sees truth as socially constructed.
  • Scientific-rational, in which truth is defined through methodical, disciplined inquiry.
  • Social-traditional, in which truth is found in the heritage of American and Western civilization.
  • Neo-romantic, in which truth is found through attaining harmony with nature or spiritual exploration of the inner self. [33]

The basic features of what is now called postmodernism can be found as early as the 1940s, most notably in the work of artists such as Jorge Luis Borges. [34] However, most scholars today agree postmodernism began to compete with modernism in the late 1950s and gained ascendancy over it in the 1960s. [35] Since then, postmodernism has been a powerful, though not undisputed, force in art, literature, film, music, drama, architecture, history, and continental philosophy. [ citation needed ]

The primary features of postmodernism typically include the ironic play with styles, citations and narrative levels, [36] [37] a metaphysical skepticism or nihilism towards a "grand narrative" of Western culture, [38] and a preference for the virtual at the expense of the Real (or more accurately, a fundamental questioning of what 'the real' constitutes). [39]

Since the late 1990s, there has been a growing sentiment in popular culture and in academia that postmodernism "has gone out of fashion". [40] Others argue that postmodernism is dead in the context of current cultural production. [41] [42] [43]

Structuralism and post-structuralism Edit

Structuralism was a philosophical movement developed by French academics in the 1950s, partly in response to French existentialism, [44] and often interpreted in relation to modernism and high modernism. Thinkers who have been called "structuralists" include the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser, and the semiotician Algirdas Greimas. The early writings of the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and the literary theorist Roland Barthes have also been called" structuralist". Those who began as structuralists but became post-structuralists include Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, and Gilles Deleuze. Other post-structuralists include Jacques Derrida, Pierre Bourdieu, Jean-François Lyotard, Julia Kristeva, Hélène Cixous, and Luce Irigaray. The American cultural theorists, critics and intellectuals whom they influenced include Judith Butler, John Fiske, Rosalind Krauss, Avital Ronell, and Hayden White.

Like structuralists, post-structuralists start from the assumption that people's identities, values and economic conditions determine each other rather than having intrinsic properties that can be understood in isolation. [45] Thus the French structuralists considered themselves to be espousing relativism and constructionism. But they nevertheless tended to explore how the subjects of their study might be described, reductively, as a set of essential relationships, schematics, or mathematical symbols. (An example is Claude Lévi-Strauss's algebraic formulation of mythological transformation in "The Structural Study of Myth" [46] ).

Postmodernist ideas in philosophy and in the analysis of culture and society have expanded the importance of critical theory. They have been the point of departure for works of literature, architecture and design, as well as being visible in marketing/business and the interpretation of history, law and culture, starting in the late 20th century. These developments—re-evaluation of the entire Western value system (love, marriage, popular culture, shift from an industrial to a service economy) that took place since the 1950s and 1960s, with a peak in the Social Revolution of 1968—are described with the term postmodernity, [47] as opposed to postmodernism, a term referring to an opinion or movement. [48] Post-structuralism is characterized by new ways of thinking through structuralism, contrary to the original form. [49]

Deconstruction Edit

One of the most well-known postmodernist concerns is "deconstruction", a theory for philosophy, literary criticism, and textual analysis developed by Jacques Derrida. [50] Critics have insisted that Derrida's work is rooted in a statement found in Of Grammatology: "Il n'y a pas de hors-texte" ("there is no outside-text"). Such critics misinterpret the statement as denying any reality outside of books. The statement is actually part of a critique of "inside" and "outside" metaphors when referring to text, and is corollary to the observation that there is no "inside" of a text as well. [51] This attention to a text's unacknowledged reliance on metaphors and figures embedded within its discourse is characteristic of Derrida's approach. Derrida's method sometimes involves demonstrating that a given philosophical discourse depends on binary oppositions or excluding terms that the discourse itself has declared to be irrelevant or inapplicable. Derrida's philosophy inspired a postmodern movement called deconstructivism among architects, characterized by design that rejects structural "centers" and encourages decentralized play among its elements. Derrida discontinued his involvement with the movement after the publication of his collaborative project with architect Peter Eisenman in Chora L Works: Jacques Derrida and Peter Eisenman. [52]

Post-postmodernism Edit

The connection between postmodernism, posthumanism, and cyborgism has led to a challenge to postmodernism, for which the terms postpostmodernism and postpoststructuralism were first coined in 2003: [53] [54]

In some sense, we may regard postmodernism, posthumanism, poststructuralism, etc., as being of the 'cyborg age' of mind over body. Deconference was an exploration in post-cyborgism (i.e. what comes after the postcorporeal era), and thus explored issues of postpostmodernism, postpoststructuralism, and the like. To understand this transition from 'pomo' (cyborgism) to 'popo' (postcyborgism) we must first understand the cyborg era itself. [55]

More recently metamodernism, post-postmodernism and the "death of postmodernism" have been widely debated: in 2007 Andrew Hoberek noted in his introduction to a special issue of the journal Twentieth Century Literature titled "After Postmodernism" that "declarations of postmodernism's demise have become a critical commonplace". A small group of critics has put forth a range of theories that aim to describe culture or society in the alleged aftermath of postmodernism, most notably Raoul Eshelman (performatism), Gilles Lipovetsky (hypermodernity), Nicolas Bourriaud (altermodern), and Alan Kirby (digimodernism, formerly called pseudo-modernism). None of these new theories or labels have so far gained very widespread acceptance. Sociocultural anthropologist Nina Müller-Schwarze offers neostructuralism as a possible direction. [56] The exhibition Postmodernism – Style and Subversion 1970–1990 at the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, 24 September 2011 – 15 January 2012) was billed as the first show to document postmodernism as a historical movement.

In the 1970s a group of poststructuralists in France developed a radical critique of modern philosophy with roots discernible in Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger, and became known as postmodern theorists, notably including Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Jean-François Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard, and others. New and challenging modes of thought and writing pushed the development of new areas and topics in philosophy. By the 1980s, this spread to America (Richard Rorty) and the world. [57]

Jacques Derrida Edit

Jacques Derrida was a French-Algerian philosopher best known for developing a form of semiotic analysis known as deconstruction, which he discussed in numerous texts, and developed in the context of phenomenology. [58] [59] [60] He is one of the major figures associated with post-structuralism and postmodern philosophy. [61] [62] [63]

Derrida re-examined the fundamentals of writing and its consequences on philosophy in general sought to undermine the language of "presence" or metaphysics in an analytical technique which, beginning as a point of departure from Heidegger's notion of Destruktion, came to be known as Deconstruction. [64]

Michel Foucault Edit

Michel Foucault was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, social theorist, and literary critic. First associated with structuralism, Foucault created an oeuvre that today is seen as belonging to post-structuralism and to postmodern philosophy. Considered a leading figure of French theory [fr] , his work remains fruitful in the English-speaking academic world in a large number of sub-disciplines. The Times Higher Education Guide described him in 2009 as the most cited author in the humanities. [65]

Michel Foucault introduced concepts such as 'discursive regime', or re-invoked those of older philosophers like 'episteme' and 'genealogy' in order to explain the relationship between meaning, power, and social behavior within social orders (see The Order of Things, The Archaeology of Knowledge, Discipline and Punish, and The History of Sexuality). [66] [67] [68] [69]

Jean-François Lyotard Edit

Jean-François Lyotard is credited with being the first to use the term in a philosophical context, in his 1979 work The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. In it, he follows Wittgenstein's language games model and speech act theory, contrasting two different language games, that of the expert, and that of the philosopher. He talks about transformation of knowledge into information in the computer age, and likens the transmission or reception of coded messages (information) to a position within a language game. [3]

Lyotard defined philosophical postmodernism in The Postmodern Condition, writing: "Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity towards meta narratives. " [70] where what he means by metanarrative is something like a unified, complete, universal, and epistemically certain story about everything that is. Postmodernists reject metanarratives because they reject the concept of truth that metanarratives presuppose. Postmodernist philosophers in general argue that truth is always contingent on historical and social context rather than being absolute and universal and that truth is always partial and "at issue" rather than being complete and certain. [3]

Richard Rorty Edit

Richard Rorty argues in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature that contemporary analytic philosophy mistakenly imitates scientific methods. In addition, he denounces the traditional epistemological perspectives of representationalism and correspondence theory that rely upon the independence of knowers and observers from phenomena and the passivity of natural phenomena in relation to consciousness.

Jean Baudrillard Edit

Jean Baudrillard, in Simulacra and Simulation, introduced the concept that reality or the principle of "The Real" is short-circuited by the interchangeability of signs in an era whose communicative and semantic acts are dominated by electronic media and digital technologies. Baudrillard proposes the notion that, in such a state, where subjects are detached from the outcomes of events (political, literary, artistic, personal, or otherwise), events no longer hold any particular sway on the subject nor have any identifiable context they therefore have the effect of producing widespread indifference, detachment, and passivity in industrialized populations. He claimed that a constant stream of appearances and references without any direct consequences to viewers or readers could eventually render the division between appearance and object indiscernible, resulting, ironically, in the "disappearance" of mankind in what is, in effect, a virtual or holographic state, composed only of appearances. For Baudrillard, "simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or a reality: a hyperreal." [71]

Fredric Jameson Edit

Fredric Jameson set forth one of the first expansive theoretical treatments of postmodernism as a historical period, intellectual trend, and social phenomenon in a series of lectures at the Whitney Museum, later expanded as Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991). [72]

Douglas Kellner Edit

In Analysis of the Journey, a journal birthed from postmodernism, Douglas Kellner insists that the "assumptions and procedures of modern theory" must be forgotten. Extensively, Kellner analyzes the terms of this theory in real-life experiences and examples. [73] Kellner used science and technology studies as a major part of his analysis he urged that the theory is incomplete without it. The scale was larger than just postmodernism alone it must be interpreted through cultural studies where science and technology studies play a huge role. The reality of the September 11 attacks on the United States of America is the catalyst for his explanation. In response, Kellner continues to examine the repercussions of understanding the effects of the September 11 attacks. He questions if the attacks are only able to be understood in a limited form of postmodern theory due to the level of irony. [74]

The conclusion he depicts is simple: postmodernism, as most use it today, will decide what experiences and signs in one's reality will be one's reality as they know it. [75]

Architecture Edit

The idea of Postmodernism in architecture began as a response to the perceived blandness and failure of the Utopianism of the Modern movement. [ citation needed ] Modern Architecture, as established and developed by Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, was focused on:

  • the pursuit of a perceived ideal perfection
  • the attempted harmony of form and function [76] and,
  • the dismissal of "frivolous ornament." [77][78] [page needed]

They argued for an architecture that represented the spirit of the age as depicted in cutting-edge technology, be it airplanes, cars, ocean liners or even supposedly artless grain silos. [79] Modernist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is associated with the phrase "less is more".

Critics of Modernism have:

  • argued that the attributes of perfection and minimalism are themselves subjective
  • pointed out anachronisms in modern thought and,
  • questioned the benefits of its philosophy. [80] [full citation needed]

The intellectual scholarship regarding postmodernism and architecture is closely linked with the writings of critic-turned-architect Charles Jencks, beginning with lectures in the early 1970s and his essay "The Rise of Post Modern Architecture" from 1975. [81] His magnum opus, however, is the book The Language of Post-Modern Architecture, first published in 1977, and since running to seven editions. [82] Jencks makes the point that Post-Modernism (like Modernism) varies for each field of art, and that for architecture it is not just a reaction to Modernism but what he terms double coding: "Double Coding: the combination of Modern techniques with something else (usually traditional building) in order for architecture to communicate with the public and a concerned minority, usually other architects." [83] In their book, "Revisiting Postmodernism", Terry Farrell and Adam Furman argue that postmodernism brought a more joyous and sensual experience to the culture, particularly in architecture. [84]

Art Edit

Postmodern art is a body of art movements that sought to contradict some aspects of modernism or some aspects that emerged or developed in its aftermath. Cultural production manifesting as intermedia, installation art, conceptual art, deconstructionist display, and multimedia, particularly involving video, are described as postmodern. [85]

Graphic design Edit

Early mention of postmodernism as an element of graphic design appeared in the British magazine, "Design." [86] A characteristic of postmodern graphic design is that "retro, techno, punk, grunge, beach, parody, and pastiche were all conspicuous trends. Each had its own sites and venues, detractors and advocates." [87]

Literature Edit

In 1971, the Arab-American scholar Ihab Hassan published The Dismemberment of Orpheus: Toward a Postmodern Literature, an early work of literary criticism from a postmodern perspective that traces the development of what he calls "literature of silence" through Marquis de Sade, Franz Kafka, Ernest Hemingway, Samuel Beckett, and many others, including developments such as the Theatre of the Absurd and the nouveau roman.

In Postmodernist Fiction (1987), Brian McHale details the shift from modernism to postmodernism, arguing that the former is characterized by an epistemological dominant and that postmodern works have developed out of modernism and are primarily concerned with questions of ontology. [92] McHale's second book, Constructing Postmodernism (1992), provides readings of postmodern fiction and some contemporary writers who go under the label of cyberpunk. McHale's "What Was Postmodernism?" (2007) [93] follows Raymond Federman's lead in now using the past tense when discussing postmodernism.

Music Edit

Jonathan Kramer has written that avant-garde musical compositions (which some would consider modernist rather than postmodernist) "defy more than seduce the listener, and they extend by potentially unsettling means the very idea of what music is." [94] The postmodern impulse in classical music arose in the 1960s with the advent of musical minimalism. Composers such as Terry Riley, Henryk Górecki, Bradley Joseph, John Adams, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman, and Lou Harrison reacted to the perceived elitism and dissonant sound of atonal academic modernism by producing music with simple textures and relatively consonant harmonies, whilst others, most notably John Cage challenged the prevailing narratives of beauty and objectivity common to Modernism.

Author on postmodernism, Dominic Strinati, has noted, it is also important "to include in this category the so-called 'art rock' musical innovations and mixing of styles associated with groups like Talking Heads, and performers like Laurie Anderson, together with the self-conscious 'reinvention of disco' by the Pet Shop Boys". [95]

Urban planning Edit

Modernism sought to design and plan cities which followed the logic of the new model of industrial mass production reverting to large-scale solutions, aesthetic standardisation and prefabricated design solutions. [96] Modernism eroded urban living by its failure to recognise differences and aim towards homogeneous landscapes (Simonsen 1990, 57). Jane Jacobs' 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities [97] was a sustained critique of urban planning as it had developed within Modernism and marked a transition from modernity to postmodernity in thinking about urban planning (Irving 1993, 479).

The transition from Modernism to Postmodernism is often said to have happened at 3:32pm on 15 July in 1972, when Pruitt–Igoe, a housing development for low-income people in St. Louis designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki, which had been a prize-winning version of Le Corbusier's 'machine for modern living,' was deemed uninhabitable and was torn down (Irving 1993, 480). Since then, Postmodernism has involved theories that embrace and aim to create diversity. It exalts uncertainty, flexibility and change (Hatuka & D'Hooghe 2007) and rejects utopianism while embracing a utopian way of thinking and acting. [98] Postmodernity of 'resistance' seeks to deconstruct Modernism and is a critique of the origins without necessarily returning to them (Irving 1993, 60). As a result of Postmodernism, planners are much less inclined to lay a firm or steady claim to there being one single 'right way' of engaging in urban planning and are more open to different styles and ideas of 'how to plan' (Irving 474). [96] [98] [99] [100]

The study of postmodern urbanism itself, i.e. the postmodern way of creating and perpetuating the urban form, and the postmodern approach to understanding the city was pioneered in the 1980s by what could be called the "Los Angeles School of Urbanism" centered on the UCLA's Urban Planning Department in the 1980s, where contemporary Los Angeles was taken to be the postmodern city par excellence, contraposed to what had been the dominant ideas of the Chicago School formed in the 1920s at the University of Chicago, with its framework of "urban ecology" and its emphasis on functional areas of use within a city and the "concentric circles" to understand the sorting of different population groups. [101] Edward Soja of the Los Angeles School combined Marxist and postmodern perspectives and focused on the economic and social changes (globalization, specialization, industrialization/deindustrialization, Neo-Liberalism, mass migration) that lead to the creation of large city-regions with their patchwork of population groups and economic uses [101] [102]

Criticisms of postmodernism are intellectually diverse, including the argument that postmodernism is meaningless and promotes obscurantism.

In part in reference to post-modernism, conservative English philosopher Roger Scruton wrote, "A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is 'merely relative,' is asking you not to believe him. So don't." [103] Similarly, Dick Hebdige criticized the vagueness of the term, enumerating a long list of otherwise unrelated concepts that people have designated as "postmodernism", from "the décor of a room" or "a 'scratch' video", to fear of nuclear armageddon and the "implosion of meaning", and stated that anything that could signify all of those things was "a buzzword". [104]

The linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky has said that postmodernism is meaningless because it adds nothing to analytical or empirical knowledge. He asks why postmodernist intellectuals do not respond like people in other fields when asked, "what are the principles of their theories, on what evidence are they based, what do they explain that wasn't already obvious, etc. If [these requests] can't be met, then I'd suggest recourse to Hume's advice in similar circumstances: 'to the flames'." [105]

Christian philosopher William Lane Craig has said "The idea that we live in a postmodern culture is a myth. In fact, a postmodern culture is an impossibility it would be utterly unliveable. People are not relativistic when it comes to matters of science, engineering, and technology rather, they are relativistic and pluralistic in matters of religion and ethics. But, of course, that's not postmodernism that's modernism!" [106]

American academic and aesthete Camille Paglia has said:

The end result of four decades of postmodernism permeating the art world is that there is very little interesting or important work being done right now in the fine arts. Irony was a bold and creative posture when Duchamp did it, but it is now an utterly banal, exhausted, and tedious strategy. Young artists have been taught to be "cool" and "hip" and thus painfully self-conscious. They are not encouraged to be enthusiastic, emotional, and visionary. They have been cut off from artistic tradition by the crippled skepticism about history that they have been taught by ignorant and solipsistic postmodernists. In short, the art world will never revive until postmodernism fades away. Postmodernism is a plague upon the mind and the heart. [107]

German philosopher Albrecht Wellmer has said that "postmodernism at its best might be seen as a self-critical – a sceptical, ironic, but nevertheless unrelenting – form of modernism a modernism beyond utopianism, scientism and foundationalism in short a postmetaphysical modernism." [108]

A formal, academic critique of postmodernism can be found in Beyond the Hoax by physics professor Alan Sokal and in Fashionable Nonsense by Sokal and Belgian physicist Jean Bricmont, both books discussing the so-called Sokal affair. In 1996, Sokal wrote a deliberately nonsensical article [109] in a style similar to postmodernist articles, which was accepted for publication by the postmodern cultural studies journal, Social Text. On the same day of the release he published another article in a different journal explaining the Social Text article hoax. [110] [111] The philosopher Thomas Nagel has supported Sokal and Bricmont, describing their book Fashionable Nonsense as consisting largely of "extensive quotations of scientific gibberish from name-brand French intellectuals, together with eerily patient explanations of why it is gibberish," [112] and agreeing that "there does seem to be something about the Parisian scene that is particularly hospitable to reckless verbosity." [113]

A more recent example of the difficulty of distinguishing nonsensical artifacts from genuine postmodernist scholarship is the Grievance Studies affair. [114]

The French psychotherapist and philosopher, Félix Guattari, often considered a "postmodernist", rejected its theoretical assumptions by arguing that the structuralist and postmodernist visions of the world were not flexible enough to seek explanations in psychological, social and environmental domains at the same time. [115]

Zimbabwean-born British Marxist Alex Callinicos says that postmodernism "reflects the disappointed revolutionary generation of '68, and the incorporation of many of its members into the professional and managerial 'new middle class'. It is best read as a symptom of political frustration and social mobility rather than as a significant intellectual or cultural phenomenon in its own right." [116]

Christopher Hitchens in his book, Why Orwell Matters, writes, in advocating for simple, clear and direct expression of ideas, "The Postmodernists' tyranny wears people down by boredom and semi-literate prose." [117]

Analytic philosopher Daniel Dennett said, "Postmodernism, the school of 'thought' that proclaimed 'There are no truths, only interpretations' has largely played itself out in absurdity, but it has left behind a generation of academics in the humanities disabled by their distrust of the very idea of truth and their disrespect for evidence, settling for 'conversations' in which nobody is wrong and nothing can be confirmed, only asserted with whatever style you can muster." [118]

American historian Richard Wolin traces the origins of postmodernism to intellectual roots in fascism, writing "postmodernism has been nourished by the doctrines of Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Blanchot, and Paul de Man—all of whom either prefigured or succumbed to the proverbial intellectual fascination with fascism." [119]

Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry criticised postmodernism for reducing the complexity of the modern world to an expression of power and for undermining truth and reason:

If the modern era begins with the European Enlightenment, the postmodern era that captivates the radical multiculturalists begins with its rejection. According to the new radicals, the Enlightenment-inspired ideas that have previously structured our world, especially the legal and academic parts of it, are a fraud perpetrated and perpetuated by white males to consolidate their own power. Those who disagree are not only blind but bigoted. The Enlightenment's goal of an objective and reasoned basis for knowledge, merit, truth, justice, and the like is an impossibility: "objectivity," in the sense of standards of judgment that transcend individual perspectives, does not exist. Reason is just another code word for the views of the privileged. The Enlightenment itself merely replaced one socially constructed view of reality with another, mistaking power for knowledge. There is naught but power. [120]

Richard Caputo, William Epstein, David Stoesz & Bruce Thyer consider postmodernism to be a "dead end in social work epistemology." They write:

Postmodernism continues to have a detrimental influence on social work, questioning the Enlightenment, criticizing established research methods, and challenging scientific authority. The promotion of postmodernism by editors of Social Work and the Journal of Social Work Education has elevated postmodernism, placing it on a par with theoretically guided and empirically based research. The inclusion of postmodernism in the 2008 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards of the Council on Social Work Education and its 2015 sequel further erode the knowledge-building capacity of social work educators. In relation to other disciplines that have exploited empirical methods, social work's stature will continue to ebb until postmodernism is rejected in favor of scientific methods for generating knowledge. [121]

H. Sidky pointed out what he sees as several "inherent flaws" of a postmodern antiscience perspective, including the confusion of the authority of science (evidence) with the scientist conveying the knowledge its self-contradictory claim that all truths are relative and its strategic ambiguity. He sees 21st-century anti-scientific and pseudo-scientific approaches to knowledge, particularly in the United States, as rooted in a postmodernist "decades-long academic assault on science:"

Many of those indoctrinated in postmodern anti-science went on to become conservative political and religious leaders, policymakers, journalists, journal editors, judges, lawyers, and members of city councils and school boards. Sadly, they forgot the lofty ideals of their teachers, except that science is bogus. [122]

What is Enlightenment?

Samuel Fleischacker, What is Enlightenment?, Routledge, 2013, 235pp., $31.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780415497817.

Reviewed by James Schmidt, Boston University

Samuel Fleischacker argues that Immanuel Kant's discussion of the question "What is Enlightenment?" provides "both the notion of enlightenment that has been criticized for its arrogant aspiration to replace all traditional ways of life with liberal individualism and a much more open, flexible ideal that can help us resist our arrogant aspirations" (1). The former, which Fleischacker dubs "maximum enlightenment" (hereafter, MaxE), is antagonistic towards most forms of religious belief, convinced of the beneficence of science, and suspicious of tradition. In contrast, the "minimalist Enlightenment" (hereafter, MinE) is more modest: it is concerned with "how one holds one's views, not what views one holds" and requires only that "one holds one's belief as a result of thinking responsibly for oneself, rather than as dogma . . . seeks reasons for one's beliefs, opens them to correction by others, and recognizes the strengths and weaknesses of one's reasons" (169).

What is Enlightenment? traces the history of these two conceptions of enlightenment and argues for the virtues of the minimalist conception. Chapters 1 and 2 lay out the contesting versions of enlightenment (MinE and MaxE) found in Kant. Chapters 3 and 4 discuss the critique of MaxE in Hamann, Burke, Novalis, Schelling, and Hegel. Chapter 5 explores how Kant's maximalist conception was taken up in the works of the left-Hegelians and Karl Marx. Subsequent chapters examine the critiques of MaxE mounted by Nietzsche and Heidegger (Chapter 6), Horkheimer, Adorno, and Foucault (Chapter 7), and by the diverse group of thinkers (including Emmanuel Eze, Charles Mills, Carol Gilligan, Robin Schott, Linda Nicholson, Lucius Outlaw, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Hans-Georg Gadamer) whom the author dubs "difference critics" (Chapter 8). A brief discussion of the rehabilitation of Kant's MinE undertaken by John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas, and (in his later works) Foucault follows (Chapters 9), and the book ends with two chapters assessing this rehabilitation (Chapter 10) and suggesting how its shortcomings might be remedied (Chapter 11).

The book has much to recommend it. It ranges widely and discusses a variety of thinkers, both familiar and somewhat less familiar. It is attentive to discussions of the concept of enlightenment that Kant provided in texts other than the now-familiar essay from 1784 (e.g., his 1786 contribution to the Pantheism Dispute "What is Orientation in Thinking?") and examines the implications of Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason (1793), which Fleischacker sees as articulating the "maximalist" tendencies in Kant's concept of enlightenment. Though book's treatment of Foucault as both a critic of MaxE and a defender of MinE is, at first, somewhat puzzling, it nevertheless captures something of the complexity of Foucault's relationship with both Kant and the idea of enlightenment.

It also has a few minor, though in most cases understandable, shortcomings. The book would have benefitted from a consideration of "maximalists" of a more recent vintage than the brief account of Marx and his left-Hegelian predecessors in Chapter 5. At least a passing discussion of the way in which Karl Popper framed his critical rationalism along self-consciously Kantian lines might have been welcome, especially given Popper's affection for Kant's 1784 essay. The chapter on "difference critics" merges lines of criticism that do easily blend together. Critics who see Kant -- and, more generally, the Enlightenment -- as insufficiently attentive to the categories of race and gender generally work within different traditions than either Gadamer or MacIntyre, and these differences are only partly bridged by the brief discussion of the concept of "horizon" on pages 126-127. Disentangling these lines of argument would allow for a contrast between neo-Aristotelean critiques of the Enlightenment and the variety of post-modernist criticisms that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s (along with Popper, Derrida and Lyotard are also missing in action). Finally, one might quibble with the treatment of Kant's response to the question "What is enlightenment?" as somehow analogous to the quartet of questions ("What can I know?, What ought I to do?, What may I hope?, and What is man?") that Kant posed in his Lectures on Logic. [1] While Kant may have written the most famous answer to the question "What is enlightenment?" the question itself (as Fleischacker notes at the outset) was posed by the clergyman Johann Friedrich Zöllner in an article in the Berlinische Monatsschrift. To give credit where it is due, the question that this book is exploring is Zöllner's, not Kant's.

Somewhat more problematic is the assumption that the various thinkers who appear in the book were, in fact, wrestling with the implications of the set of ideas that Fleischacker sees as fundamental to "Kantian enlightenment." While Hamann (who puts in a brief appearance on pp. 43-44) provided a detailed, albeit difficult, critique of Kant's 1784 essay, Burke -- who figures much more prominently in the book (see pp. 50-57) -- did not. Burke's German followers August Rehberg and Friedrich von Gentz seem to have been familiar with Kant's answer, but they are mentioned only in passing (see 46-47). The young Hegel was a reader of the Berlinische Monatsschrift, but while it is hard to see how he could not have been familiar with Kant's responses, all that survives in his Nachlass is a transcription of Moses Mendelssohn's response to Zöllner's question. [2]

Marx and the left Hegelians figure in the book as the principal heirs of the "maximalist" version of "Kantian enlightenment." But the evidence for their debts to Kant is also rather slim. Fleischacker describes Feuerbach as "clearly a representative of the maximalist version of Kantian enlightenment," but concedes that Feuerbach's familiarity with Kant does not seem to have gone beyond firstCritique (76-77). The case for Kant's influence on Marx is not much stronger: Fleischacker cites an 1837 letter from Marx to his father mentioning that he has been reading Kant, notes a passing use of the phrase "categorical imperative" in one of Marx's early writings, and observes that Marx frequently used the word "critique" (81). Why assume, then, that Kant's account of enlightenment -- important though it may be today -- had much influence on nineteenth-century "maximalists"? It was not as if they were at a loss for other thinkers on whom they could draw. The left-Hegelian Edgar Bauer's edition of texts by "German enlighteners of the eighteenth century" included works by Karl Friedrich Bahrdt, Johann August Eberhard, Johann Heinrich Schulz, Andreas Riem, and other now-forgotten figures, but nothing by Kant. [3] And Marx, of course, was quite familiar with the works of the French philosophes and Scottish moralists.

The difficulty of taking Kant's account of enlightenment as the standard against which all later discussions are to be measured is perhaps nowhere clearer than in the brief discussion of Nietzsche (94-98). After observing that Nietzsche rarely engaged in a detailed discussion of Kant's work and instead limited himself to "broad caricature" and "Sneering remarks" (95), Fleischacker suggests, "If we stress Nietzsche's talk of the need for courageous thought, which shatters illusions, Nietzsche can be understood as a maximalist heir to Kantian enlightenment, whatever he thought of Kant himself" (97). But, while Nietzsche may well, at various points in his career, have championed positions that resemble those associated with MaxE, does this justify our viewing him as Kant's heir? When Nietzsche discussed the Enlightenment, he tended to focus on French thinkers and, when he sought eighteenth-century predecessors, he opted for Voltaire -- for him, the great defender of an "aristocratic" enlightenment -- rather than Kant, whom he saw as having been "bitten by the moral tarantula Rousseau." [4]

It would be misguided, however, to view What is Enlighenment? as a reception history of Kant's essay. Fleischacker 's chief concern is philosophical, not historical, and Kant has pride of place in this account not because his answer to Zöllner's question has been particularly influential (though, over the last century, it has been), but rather because the tensions found in Kant's account allegedly recur in later thinkers, whether Kant's answer mattered to them (as is clearly the case with Foucault and Habermas) or not (as would appear to be the case with the various nineteenth-century thinkers discussed in the book). As Fleischacker explains at the close of the second of his two chapters on Kant,

Kant is simply torn between a view on which enlightenment provides the minimal constraints on reasonable conversation, and a view on which it leads to a very specific set of results, on which all reasonable conversationalists should converge. Because Kant was torn on this, he bequeathed an ambiguous legacy on the question of enlightenment to his successors. (39)

For this reason, "the distinction between maximalist and minimalist Kantian enlightenments" is used "to organize the history" that unfolds in the chapters that follow (39).

Characterizing Kant as "torn" between MinE and MaxE implies that he was both aware of the conflict between maximalist and minimalist concepts of enlightenment and unable to commit himself to one concept or the other. Fleischacker argues that Kant articulated a "minimalist" conception in his 1784 answer to Zöllner and in "What is Orientation in Thinking?" but went on to embrace a "maximalist" conception in Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason and The Conflict of the Faculties (1798). While Kant's "minimalist" conception "identified enlightenment with an opened-process of reasoning, structured on general principles" that would be "compatible with a wide variety of views," his "maximalist" conception assumed that the process of "thinking for oneself" would rule out certain beliefs, including (1) religions that privilege ritual or conformity to scripture over moral principles (Fleischacker notes the critique of "Priestcraft" in Religion §3) and (2) philosophical positions that lapse into "enthusiasm" by failing to recognize the limits of reason. He argues that the critique of ritual and scripture is reflected in Kant's "notorious hope that Jews, if they turn to pure moral religion and 'throw off the garb of [their] ancient cult,' can bring about 'the euthanasia of Judaism'" (32) and that his definition of "enthusiasm" capacious enough to encompass such thinkers as John Locke, Johann Heinrich Schulz, and Francis Hutcheson. While conceding that Kant was "no pluralist about either scientific or moral conclusions," Fleischacker finds it hard to see how Kant could maintain that it was impossible to "be both enlightened and a devout religious believer, like [his] friends Moses Mendelssohn and Friedrich Jacobi" (34) or that he "really regarded Locke, Schulz, and Hutcheson as unenlightened" (36).

What led Kant to these puzzling conclusions, Fleischacker suggests, was Kant's commitment (as laid out in the Critique of the Power of Judgment (Ak 5:294)) to both the principle of "unprejudiced" thinking (i.e., "to think for oneself") and the principle of "broad-minded" thinking (i.e., thinking from a "universal standpoint"). This dual commitment drove Kant from the MinE of the 1784 essay to the MaxE of his later works:

the cognitive universalization principle seems to demand that I expect others to hold the same beliefs that I do. Of course, I may have made mistakes in my reasoning, but that just means that I should be sure to check it carefully before reaching any conclusions. What I can't do reasonably . . . is to think simultaneously that I have reasoned properly and that you, if you reason properly, could reach a different conclusion. And this would seem to mean that enlightenment should lead us all to one set of beliefs. (37-38)

For Fleischacker, one of the more lamentable implications of Kant's commitment to the universalization principle is that "The minimalist enlightenment would seem to be incoherent if enlightenment is an employment of reason, it is inherently a maximalist project" (38). Though both Rawls and Habermas would later introduce premises that "block this slide towards maximalism," he sees little evidence that Kant sought to do the same. Nevertheless, he insists that, Kant "needs to do something of the sort if he wants to hold onto the broadly respectful attitudes he often demonstrates towards his intellectual opponents" (38).

Laying aside the question of just how "respectful" Kant actually was towards Schulz and Jacobi, it is unclear why Fleischacker sees a contradiction between Kant's commitment to a conception of enlightenment that harbored "maximalist" tendencies and Kant's capacity to treat individuals who hold unreasonable positions with a certain measure of respect. Kant, of course, was well aware that moral worth did not hinge on intellectual accomplishments. As for Kant's "notorious" comment that Judaism might eventually find its "euthanasia" in a "pure moral religion, freed from all the ancient statutory teachings," it bears noting that Kant also emphasized that these same "ancient teachings" had been retained in another "messianic faith" -- Christianity. The comment on Judaism had been immediately preceded by a characterization of the diversity of religious sects as "desirable" insofar as it was "a good sign -- a sign, namely that people are allowed freedom of belief." But Kant went on to stress that "it is only the government that is to be commended here." That "enlightened Catholics and Protestants" might come to see one another as "brothers in faith" was, for him, but a preliminary step towards an eventual overcoming of the various sectarian differences in a "pure moral religion" (Ak 7:52). It would seem, then, that Judaism was not the only faith that Kant saw as facing the prospect of "euthanasia" in a "pure moral religion."

This, I suppose, is MaxE with a vengeance, but it is hard to see how it was not already present in the critique of the establishment of fixed religious (or, to use Kant's terminology, "sectarian") doctrines that Kant mounted in the allegedly "minimalist" account of enlightenment from 1784. The "maximalist" tendencies of that essay already prefigure the difficulties that Prussian authorities would later have with Kant's religious writings: the "minimalist" Kant was, as Ian Hunter has argued, already engaged in "a radical transformation of the topography of political legitimacy." [5] If Kant strikes us as "torn" between such alternatives, it is perhaps because later commentators on "What is Enlightenment?" -- including John Rawls, Onora O'Neill, and Jürgen Habermas -- have focused on the implications of his account of "public use of reason" and left his discussion of moral religion (and its political implications) to others.

There would seem, then, little reason to assume that Kant equivocated between -- or, indeed, was even aware of -- the alternatives of MinE and MaxE. But while What is Enlightenment? may bemisguided in seeing Kant as "torn," its consideration of the diverging projects associated with the "Kantian enlightenment" reminds us how contested the concept of enlightenment has been and, perhaps, still remains. It would seem that Zöllner's question still stands.

[1] Immanuel Kant, Lectures on Logic, ed. J. Michael Young, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992) 538.

[2] Johannes Hoffmeister, Dokumente zu Hegels Entwicklung (Stuttgart: Frommann, 1936) 140-143.

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Galileo Galilei’s Trial

In 1616 the Catholic Church placed Nicholas Copernicus’s � Revolutionibus,” the first modern scientific argument for a heliocentric (sun-centered) universe, on its index of banned books. Pope Paul V summoned Galileo to Rome and told him he could no longer support Copernicus publicly.

In 1632 Galileo published his 𠇍ialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems,” which supposedly presented arguments for both sides of the heliocentrism debate. His attempt at balance fooled no one, and it especially didn’t help that his advocate for geocentrism was named “Simplicius.”

Galileo was summoned before the Roman Inquisition in 1633. At first he denied that he had advocated heliocentrism, but later he said he had only done so unintentionally. Galileo was convicted of “vehement suspicion of heresy” and under threat of torture forced to express sorrow and curse his errors.

Nearly 70 at the time of his trial, Galileo lived his last nine years under comfortable house arrest, writing a summary of his early motion experiments that became his final great scientific work. He died in Arcetri near Florence, Italy on January 8, 1642 at age 77 after suffering from heart palpitations and a fever.

1 The Crisis of the European Mind by Paul Hazard

The first book you’ve chosen, Paul Hazard’s The Crisis of the European Mind: 1680-1715 is not only much the earliest of the books you’ve chosen — it was published in 1935 — it’s also written in a style that’s different from most academic studies. It’s packed with learning but it’s also sometimes florid, and not afraid of using exclamation marks. It’s quite conversational, and has reached a wider audience than the history of ideas usually does. Why do you think this book is so popular, and what do you like about it?

Effects of the Great Awakening

The Great Awakening notably altered the religious climate in the American colonies. Ordinary people were encouraged to make a personal connection with God, instead of relying on a minister.

Newer denominations, such as Methodists and Baptists, grew quickly. While the movement unified the colonies and boosted church growth, experts say it also caused division among those who supported it and those who rejected it.

Many historians claim that the Great Awakening influenced the Revolutionary War by encouraging the notions of nationalism and individual rights.

The revival also led to the establishment of several renowned educational institutions, including Princeton, Rutgers, Brown and Dartmouth universities.

The 100 Most Important People In History

Stony Brook University computer science professor Steven Skiena and Google software engineer Charles B. Ward take on this ambitious task in a book published this fall: "Who's Bigger: Where Historical Figures Really Rank . "

Just as Google ranks web pages, the researchers created an algorithm that ranks historical figures by Wikipedia PageRank, article length, and readership, as well as achievement and celebrity.

Their conclusions have not come without controversy. The top 100 significant figures are overwhelming white and male. For example, Nelson Mandela, who helped end Apartheid in South Africa, ranked only 356 . And just three women broke the top 100.

Cass Sunstein of "The New Republic" wrote a sprawling analysis of their findings. She questions not only if we can measure historical significance, but whether we should and certainly why the authors relied solely on the English-language version of Wikipedia. On that note, perhaps we could call these the most important figures in Western history.

1. Jesus: central figure of Christianity (7 B.C. - A.D. 30)

2. Napoleon: Emperor of France, involved in the Battle of Waterloo (1769 - 1821)

3. Muhammad: prophet and founder of Islam (570 - 632)

4. William Shakespeare: English playwright, wrote "Hamlet" (1564 - 1616)

5. Abraham Lincoln: 16th U.S. president, involved in the Civil War (1809 - 1865)

6. George Washington: 1st U.S. president, involved in the American Revolution (1732 - 1799)

7. Adolf Hitler: Fuehrer of Nazi Germany, involved in World War II (1889 - 1945)

8. Aristotle: Greek philosopher and polymath (384 - 322 B.C.)

9. Alexander the Great: Greek king and conqueror of the known world (356 - 323 B.C.)

10. Thomas Jefferson: 3rd U.S. president, co-wrote the Declaration of Independence (1743 - 1826)

11. Henry VIII: King of England, had six wives (1491 - 1547)

12. Charles Darwin: scientist, created the Theory of Evolution (1809 - 1882)

13. Elizabeth I: Queen of England, known as "The Virgin Queen" (1533 - 1603)

14. Karl Marx: philosopher, wrote the "Communist Manifesto" (1818 - 1883)

15. Julius Caesar: Roman general and statesmen, said "Et tu, Brute?" (100 - 44 B.C.)

16. Queen Victoria: Queen of Britain, Victorian Era (1819 - 1901)

17. Martin Luther: Protestant Reformation, wrote the "95 Theses" (1483 - 1546)

18. Joseph Stalin: Premier of USSR, involved in World War II (1878 - 1953)

19. Albert Einstein: theoretical physicist, created the Theory of Relativity (1879 - 1955)

20. Christopher Columbus: explorer, discoverer of the New World (1451 - 1506)

21. Isaac Newton: scientist, created the Theory of Gravity (1643 - 1727)

22. Charlemagne: first Holy Roman Emporer, considered the "Father of Europe" (742 - 814)

23. Theodore Roosevelt: 26th U.S. president, Progressive Movement (1858 - 1919)

24. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Austrian composer, wrote "Don Giovanni" (1756 - 1791)

25. Plato: Greek philosopher, wrote "The Republic" (427 - 347 B.C.)

26. Louis XIV: King of France, known as The Sun King (1638 - 1715)

27. Ludwig Von Beethoven: German composer, wrote "Ode to Joy" (1770 - 1827)

28. Ulysses S. Grant: 18th U.S. president and Civil War general (1822 - 1885)

29. Leonardo da Vinci: Italian artist and polymath, painted the "Mona Lisa" (1452 - 1519)

30. Augustus: First Emporer of Rome, Pax Romana (63 B.C. - A.D. 14)

31. Carl Linnaeus: Swedish biologist, father of Taxonomy (1707 - 1778)

32. Ronald Reagan: 40th U.S. president, Conservative Revolution (1911 - 2004)

33. Charles Dickens: English novelist, wrote "David Copperfield" (1812 - 1870

34. Paul the Apostle: Christian apostle and missionary (A.D. 5 - A.D. 67)

35. Benjamin Franklin: Founding father, scientist, captured lightning (1706 - 1790)

36. George W. Bush: 43rd U.S. president during the Iraq War (1946 - )

37. Winston Churchill: Prime Minister of Britain, involved in World War II (1874 - 1965)

38. Genghis Khan: Founder of the Mongol Empire (1162 - 1227)

39. Charles I: King of England, involved in the English Civil War (1600 - 1649)

40. Thomas Edison: Inventor of the light bulb and phonograph (1847 - 1931)

41. James I: King of England, responsible for the King James Bible (1566 - 1625)

42. Friedrich Nietzsche: German philosopher, "God is dead" (1844 - 1900)

43. Franklin D. Roosevelt: 32nd U.S. President, responsible for the New Deal (1882 - 1945)

44. Sigmund Freud: neurologist and creator of psychoanalysis (1856 - 1939)

45. Alexander Hamilton: U.S. Founding Father, National Bank (1755 - 1804)

46. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: Indian nationalist leader, instrumental in non-violence (1869 - 1948)

47. Woodrow Wilson: 28th U.S. president, involved in World War I (1856 - 1924)

48. Johann Sebastian Bach: Classical composer, wrote the "Well Tempered Clavier" (1685 - 1750)

49. Galileo Galilei: Italian physicist and astronomer (1564 - 1642)

50. Oliver Cromwell: Lord Protector of England, involved in the English Civil War (1599 - 1658)

51. James Madison: 4th U.S. president, involved in the War of 1812 (1751 - 1836)

52. Guatama Buddha: central figure of Buddhism (563 - 483 B.C.)

53. Mark Twain: American author, wrote "Huckleberry Finn" (1835 - 1910)

54. Edgar Allen Poe: American author, wrote "The Raven" (1809 - 1849)

55. Joseph Smith: American religious leader, founded Mormonism (1805 - 1844)

56. Adam Smith: Economist, wrote "The Wealth Of Nations" (1723 - 1790)

57. David: Biblical King of Israel, founded Jerusalem (1040 - 970 B.C.)

58. George III: King of England, involved in the American Revolution (1738 - 1820)

59. Immanuel Kant: German philosopher, wrote "Critique Of Pure Reason" (1724 - 1804)

60. James Cook: Explorer and discoverer of Hawaii and Australia (1728 - 1779)

61. John Adams: Founding Father and 2nd U.S. president (1735 - 1826)

62. Richard Wagner: German composer, wrote "Der Ring Des Nibelungen" (1813 - 1883)

63. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Russian composer, wrote the "1812 Overture" (1840 - 1893)

64. Voltaire: French Enlightenment philosopher, wrote "Candidate" (1694 - 1778)

65. Saint Peter: Early Christian leader (?-?)

66. Andrew Jackson: 7th U.S. president, also known as "Old Hickory" (1767 - 1845)

67. Constantine the Great: Emperor of Rome, first Christian emperor (272-337)

68. Socrates: Greek philosopher and teacher, sentenced to death by hemlock (469 - 399 B.C.)

69. Elvis Presley: The "king of rock and roll" (1935 - 1977)

70. William the Conqueror: King of England, Norman Conquest (1027 - 1087)

71. John F. Kennedy: 35th U.S. president, Cuban Missile Crisis (1917 - 1963)

72. Augustine of Hippo: Early Christian theologian, wrote "The City of God" (354 - 430)

73. Vincent Van Gogh: Post-impressionist painter, painted "Starry Night" (1853 - 1890)

74. Nicolaus Copernicus: Astronomer, theorized a heliocentric cosmology (1473 - 1543)

75. Vladimir Lenin: Soviet revolutionary and Premier of USSR (1870 - 1924)

76. Robert E. Lee: Confederate General during the U.S. Civil War (1807 - 1870)

77. Oscar Wilde: Irish author and poet, wrote "The Picture of Dorian Grey" (1854 - 1900)

78. Charles II: King of England, post-Cromwell (1630 - 1685)

79. Cicero: Roman statesman and orator, wrote "On the Republic" (106 - 43 B.C.)

80. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: philosopher, wrote "On the Social Contract" (1712 - 1778)

81. Francis Bacon: English scientist, created the Scientific Method (1561 - 1626)

82. Richard Nixon: 37th U.S. president, involved in Watergate (1913 - 1994)

83. Louis XVI: King of France, executed in the French Revolution (1754 - 1793)

84. Charles V: Holy Roman Emporer during the Counter-Reformation (1500 - 1558)

85. King Arthur: Mythical 6th-century King of Britain (? - ?)

86. Michelangelo: Italian sculptor and Renaissance man, sculpted "David" (1475 - 1564)

87. Philip II: King of Spain, organized the Spanish Armada (1527 - 1598)

88. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: German writer and polymath, wrote "Faust" (1749 - 1832)

89. Ali: Early Caliph and a central figure of Sufism (598 - 661)

90. Thomas Aquinas: Italian theologian, "Summa theologiae" (1225 - 1274)

91. Pope John Paul II: 20th-century Polish Pope, Solidarity (1920 - 2005)

92. Rene Descartes: French philosopher, coined "I think, therefore I am" (1596 - 1650)

93. Nikola Tesla: Inventor, discovered alternating current (1856 - 1943)

94. Harry S. Truman: 33rd U.S. president, involved in the Korean War (1884 - 1972)

95. Joan of Arc: French military leader and saint (1412 - 1431)

96. Dante Alighieri: Italian poet, wrote the "Divine Comedy" (1265 - 1321)

97. Otto von Bismarck: 1st chancellor and unifier of modern Germany (1815 - 1898)

98. Grover Cleveland: 22nd and 24th U.S. president (1837 - 1908)

99. John Calvin: French Protestant theologian, founded Calvinism (1509 - 1564)

100. John Locke: English Enlightenment philosopher, theorized "tabula rasa" (1632 - 1704)

Watch the video: The Jackalope, a Mythical Animal Forgotten Figures: Episode 2 audio only (June 2022).


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