Three Deaths and Enlightenment Thought: Hume, Johnson, Marat

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Bucknell University Press, 2001 - 219 Seiten
"The book also looks at the response of James Boswell, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, and Edward Gibbon to the deathbed projects of Hume and Johnson, and it discusses how their political thought differs from Johnson's and Hume's. It also considers the complex relations between reformist and transformist thought in Britain during the last three decades of the century, showing how the views of the two reformist groups and of such transformist writers as Richard Price, Joseph Priestley, and Thomas Paine were affected by a number of political events, from the Wilkes crisis to the French Revolution. Though the book focuses on Anglo-Scottish Enlightenment thought, it often refers to the French Enlightenment, and the chapter on Marat looks at the connection between transformist thought in Britain and France."--BOOK JACKET.

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Inhalt

The Cult of the Deathbed Scene
21
The Death of Hume
44
The Death of Johnson
86
The Death of Marat
123
The Varieties of Enlightenment Thought
162
Notes
179
Works Cited
203
Index
211
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Seite 88 - To my question, whether we might not fortify our minds for the approach of death, he answered, in a passion, "No, Sir, let it alone. It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.
Seite 89 - For surely, nothing can so much disturb the passions, or perplex the intellects of man, as the disruption of his union with visible nature ; a separation from all that has hitherto delighted or engaged him ; a change not only of the place, but the manner of his being ; an entrance into a state not simply which he knows not, but which perhaps he has not faculties to know ; an immediate and perceptible communication with the supreme Being, and, what is above all distressful and alarming, the final...
Seite 83 - The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful.
Seite 102 - Though it should be granted that those who are born to poverty and drudgery should not be deprived by an improper education of the opiate of ignorance, — even this concession will not be of much use to direct our practice, unless it be determined who are those that are born to poverty. To entail irreversible poverty upon generation after generation, only because the ancestor happened to be poor, is in itself cruel, if not unjust...
Seite 66 - ... with the opinion of Divine illuminations, and with a contempt for the common rules of reason, morality, and prudence. It is thus enthusiasm produces the most cruel disorders in human society; but its fury is like that of thunder and tempest, which exhaust themselves in a little time, and leave the air more calm and serene than before.
Seite 94 - Treating your adversary with respect, is giving him an advantage to which he is not entitled. The greatest part of men cannot judge of reasoning, and are impresssed by character; so that, if you allow your adversary a respectable character, they will think, that though you differ from him, you may be in the wrong. Sir, treating your adversary with respect, is striking soft in a battle.
Seite 147 - I have lived to it; I could almost say, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation. — I have lived to see a diffusion of knowledge, which has undermined superstition and error. — I have lived to see the rights of men better understood than ever; and nations panting for liberty which seemed to have lost the idea of it. — I have lived to see thirty millions of people, indignant and resolute, spurning at slavery, and demanding liberty with an irresistible...
Seite 109 - Party is a body of men united, for promoting by their joint endeavours the national interest, upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed.
Seite 59 - While he remains in a country village his conduct may be attended to, and he may be obliged to attend to it himself. In this situation, and in this situation only, he may have what is called a character to lose.
Seite 167 - You see, Sir, that in this enlightened age I am I bold enough to confess that we are generally men of untaught feelings : that, instead of casting away all our old prejudices, we cherish them to a very considerable degree...

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