The light of freedom in the age of enlightenment - part 1: The Netherlands
Baruch de Spinoza
Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
DOAJ:Philosophy and Religion
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AbstractThe central topic of the article is the importance of the freedom for the Age of Enlightenment, as well as ties connecting philosophy of Enlightenment and political liberalism. Furthermore, the author’s central thesis is that the light that began to enlightened the reason in the Age of Enlightenment had nothing to do with God or nature, but solely with human freedom. As Anthony Ashley Cooper, third Earl of Shaftsbury, noted in one of his letters, freedom shed the light on two countries at first: the Netherlands and England. The author is also disputing the thesis developed by Jonathan Irving Israel in his recent books Radical Enlightenment and Enlightenment Contested that the movement of radical Enlightenment in 18. century was almost exclusevly inspired by the political and religious philosophy of the Dutch Baruch de Spinoza. Although Spinoza’s contribution to the radical Enlightenment is clear and evident, he could be also perceived as a thinker who inspired some currents of moderate Enlightenment and counter-Enlightenment as well.