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Journal of the History of Ideas

Ian Hesketh
This essay examines the publishing and reception of J. R. Seeley's Natural Religion (1882), a book that sought to bring about a reconciliation between science and religion. While Natural Religion has long been overlooked, it is argued that its reception gives us insight into changing views about the relationship between science and religion in the late Victorian period. The essay also explores how the reception of the book was conditioned by its bibliographic lineage as it was signed not by Seeley, but "by the Author of Ecce Homo...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Eliyahu Stern
This essay addresses the reception of Karl Marx's writings among Russian Jewish revolutionaries in the 1870s. It explores the way Aaron Shemuel Lieberman (1843-1880), known as "the father of Jewish socialism," interpreted Marx through a kabbalistic prism. It argues that Jews were attracted to Marx in part because of the overlaps between historical materialism and certain strands of the kabbalistic tradition. It also sheds light on the early reception of Marx and the way his theory of revolution was reinterpreted to reflect the unique socio-economic conditions of the Russian Empire...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Sandrine Bergès
I examine some of the evidence for collaboration between Condorcet and Sophie de Grouchy on the writing of the Sketch of Human Progress, but also uncover the ways in which the publication and reception of that text worked to exclude a woman who was a philosopher in her own right from a work she clearly contributed to. I show that at least one passage that was added in the 1795 edition makes the work philosophically more interesting.
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Fiore Sireci
This article details the variety of critical strategies in Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, finding strong connections with her writing as a reviewer for the Analytical Review, the literary review published by the reformer and Dissenter Joseph Johnson. In Rights of Woman, Wollstonecraft employed textual analyses and an evolving set of theoretical positions that had been introduced in the course of her career at the Analytical Review. By elucidating the importance of the reviews and the specificity of Wollstonecraft's procedures, this article contributes to a growing consensus that Rights of Woman initiated feminist literary criticism...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Minchul Kim
This article examines Volney right before and after 1789. Placed together in their intellectual historical context, his works in this period - Travels in Syria and Egypt (1787), Considerations (1788), and The Ruins (1791) - offer a valuable guide into the workings of the "Enlightenment narrative" of "European" and "Oriental" history at the critical juncture of the age of revolutions. The image of Volney as a progressive stadial historian and optimist revolutionary hereby cedes its place to that of Volney the worried republican indulged in the heroic attempt to find a way to build a free and stable polity...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Michael W Hickson
I argue that Pierre Bayle was the first modern author to re-secularize the concept of moral conscience after it had been tied to Christian theology for centuries. Bayle's first moral writings espoused a traditional, theological conception of conscience which was unfit to support his theory of toleration. Over three decades of reflection, Bayle gradually rendered conscience completely independent of theology, and therefore made it suitable as a foundation of a theory of universal toleration. We witness in Bayle's moral writings not only the emergence of the modern, secular conscience, but also the process of secularization...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Anna Corrias
In his treatise on dreams Somniorum Synesiorum Libri IIII, published in 1562, the Italian Renaissance philosopher and physician Girolamo Cardano distinguishes between idola and visiones (or visa). Historians have discussed the reasons for such a distinction without taking into account Cardano's original theory of sense-perception. In this article I shall argue that, in order to interpret the meaning of idola and visiones in Cardano's theory of dreams, one should bear in mind his view that hearing is superior to sight and that while idola are essentially based on sound, visiones depend on images...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
O Paulo Pimenta
The aim of this article is to discuss the history of the Independence of Brazil by highlighting the historiographical approaches from the so-called "History of Concepts," which in the current Brazilian historiography are related to a German intellectual branch, but often articulated to other approaches that can be referred to as intellectual history, history of languages and of political discourses. It offers a brief overview of the historiography of Independence in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, through to the diagnosis of their basic lineages, then it discusses current conceptual approaches...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Federica Morelli
The role played by free people of color in the Spanish American independence movements is at the center of this essay. Their ambiguous status makes them a privileged group to study when examining the negotiation and formation of racial identity as well as the definition of citizenship requirements in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Through an analysis of the contributions made by recent studies, this article proposes a historiographical survey of the transformation of racial and social hierarchies and of the shaping of new citizenship rights during the crisis of the Spanish Empire and the independence wars...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Elías Palti
This paper analyzes how Latin American historiography has addressed the issue of "the ideological origins of the revolution of independence," and how the formulation of that topic implies assumptions proper to the tradition of the history of ideas and leads to anachronistic conceptual transpositions. Halperín Donghi's work models a different approach, illuminating how a series of meaningful torsions within traditional languages provided the ideological framework for a result incompatible with those languages...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Gabriel Entin
The crisis of the Spanish Catholic monarchy paved the way for the creation of more than twenty republics in Latin America between 1810 and 1825. This paper analyzes early nineteenth-century Spanish American republican experiences, which have been generally neglected in the historiography, as constitutive parts of Atlantic republicanism. It focuses on the theologico-political considerations of the res publica from the seventeenth century onwards, the articulation of a patriotic discourse in the American colonies of Spain during the eighteenth century, and how Spanish-American revolutionaries used republican languages based on Roman references, natural rights, and Catholicism to create new political legitimacy...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Francisco A Ortega
The idea that Spanish American countries experienced colonialism was well accepted for most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The independence movements in the early nineteenth century were viewed as the result of struggles by oppressed nations against the metropole's tyranny. Recent historiography views the collapse of the monarchy as the result of the political and legal crisis brought about by the Napoleonic invasion and the illegal abdications in Bayonne in March 1808. Colonial and post-colonial theories and categories have been brought under scrutiny...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Jeremy Adelman
This essay examines the ways in which the age of revolutions expanded the repertoire of political ideas and identities available to new and old political subjects. It questions the traditional narrative that replaces a model of old regimes and empires with a new one of imagined unitary nation-states. Instead, it argues that the nature of the political crisis of the Iberian empires gave rise to a reinvention of familiar categories, like monarchy and empire, and sired a wider range of new ones that did not fit the national mold...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Elías Palti
Introduction to the symposium on the bicentennial of the Latin American revolutions of independence.
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins, Kevin Brookes
The French philosopher Serge Audier has perhaps become the leading authority on the history of liberalism in France. However, he is largely unknown in the United States. This article attempts to provide the first critical overview of Audier's work in English. It does so by suggesting that the major aim of Audier's work is to revive a forgotten strand of social liberalism in France. The article illustrates this by looking at Audier's writings on the works of Léon Bourgeois and Raymond Aron and also his critical studies on the history of neoliberalism in France and beyond...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Albert Gootjes
This article examines the immediate Dutch reception of the Tractatus theologico-politicus. Using newfound archival sources it demonstrates that the anti-Spinoza activity of the Cartesians in Utrecht extends far beyond the well-known writings of Lambertus van Velthuysen and Regnerus van Mansveld. Their Cartesian network not only produced the very first public refutation to appear, but also formed a center for coordinating much of the Dutch response to Spinoza. This engagement, it is argued in closing, must be accounted for in Spinoza reception history, and forms the background to the mysterious visit Spinoza paid to Utrecht in the summer of 1673...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Tricia M Ross
Approximately thirty almost entirely overlooked books appeared in Europe between 1500 and 1700 that include the word anthropologia in their titles. At first glance, the content of these works bears no resemblance to anthropology as we think of it. They present a combination of medieval traditions, cutting-edge medical practices, and evolving natural philosophical and theological systems found in universities of all confessions across Europe. But these largely overlooked sources reveal that the disciplines we use to study ourselves may have developed from an intertwined natural philosophical and religious system...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Sasha Handley
A young man of a cholerick constitution lying asleep upon his bed, rose up thence on the sudden, took a sword, opened the doors, and muttering much to himself went into the street, where he quarrelled alone, and fancying that he was in fight with his enemies, he made divers passes, till at length he fell down, and through an unhappy slip of his sword, he gave himself a dangerous wound upon the breast. Hereupon being awaked and affrighted, and dreading lest such his night-walkings might at some time or other create him as great dangers, he sent for me to be his physician, and was accordingly cured...
July 2017: Journal of the History of Ideas
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2017: Journal of the History of Ideas
Jared Holley
This article reconstructs Leo Strauss's reading of Rousseau's Epicureanism to argue that his work is unified by an abiding concern with the problem of theory and practice. Strauss sought to clarify the distinction between theory and practice he considered a fundamental precondition of any properly philosophical reflection on political life, and he explained the pernicious obscuring of that distinction through a narrative tracing the modern modifications of classical Epicureanism. Strauss's critical history of modern political thought is thus part of his attempt to restore the classical distinction between theory and practice to the status of a philosophical problem in modernity...
2017: Journal of the History of Ideas
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