By Jonathan I. Israel
Democracy, unfastened proposal and expression, non secular tolerance, person liberty, political self-determination of peoples, sexual and racial equality--these values have firmly entered the mainstream within the a long time seeing that they have been enshrined within the 1948 U.N. announcement of Human Rights. but when those beliefs now not appear radical at the present time, their beginning used to be very radical indeed--far extra so than so much historians were keen to acknowledge. In A Revolution of the Mind, Jonathan Israel, one of many world's prime historians of the Enlightenment, strains the philosophical roots of those principles to what have been the least first rate strata of Enlightenment thought--what he calls the unconventional Enlightenment.
Originating as a clandestine circulation of rules that was once nearly fullyyt hidden from public view in the course of its earliest part, the novel Enlightenment matured towards the average mainstream Enlightenment dominant in Europe and the USA within the eighteenth century. in the course of the progressive many years of the 1770s, 1780s, and 1790s, the novel Enlightenment burst into the open, basically to impress a protracted and sour backlash. A Revolution of the Mind indicates that this energetic competition was once more often than not a result of robust impulses in society to guard the rules of monarchy, aristocracy, empire, and racial hierarchy--principles associated with the upholding of censorship, church authority, social inequality, racial segregation, spiritual discrimination, and far-reaching privilege for ruling groups.
In telling this interesting heritage, A Revolution of the Mind unearths the mind-blowing foundation of our such a lot loved values--and is helping clarify why in yes circles they're often disapproved of and attacked even today.
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Extra resources for A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy
It is because representatives have this discretion that descriptive representatives need to be present where political decisions are being made. To uphold standards of “strict accountability” – that is, to require descriptive representatives of historically disadvantaged groups to follow a particular policy agenda, such as requiring female representatives to endorse prochoice policies – is, for Phillips, to neglect what is the primary reason for requiring that certain historically disadvantaged groups have representatives from those groups; namely, that democratic representatives are not mere puppets of their constituents, but must exercise their own judgment.
Rather, it helps to motivate it. Just as the fact of pluralism partially justiﬁes the adoption of democratic institutions, so too the fact that citizens disagree about what makes for a good representative justiﬁes appealing to democratic norms and values to help negotiate such disagreements. This appeal to distinctively democratic norms and values yields standards of good democratic representation that should be used not just by democratic citizens in their selection and support of representatives, but also by those representatives themselves.
1 However, for the purposes of this book, I shall adopt this 28 Suzanne Dovi broad understanding of the term, unless explicitly stated otherwise. 2 In this chapter, I explore the literature on descriptive representation of historically disadvantaged groups in order to identify arguments for why it matters who represents. I then propose that these arguments can be generalized to show why all democratic citizens should worry about who acts and advocates in their name. Historically disadvantaged groups might be particularly vulnerable to having bad representatives inﬂicted on them.
A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy by Jonathan I. Israel