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Right from the Introduction, it is clear that Blom has a hobby horse to ride and it nearly ruins the book. I assume Philipp Blom used Holbach’s dinner table as an organizing principle to talk about dispirit characters related to a movement peligrisa was more in debate with itself than affecting an agenda on society. At times repetitive, this book by Austrian social historian Phillip Blom is nevertheless a terrific read.
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Other times it is seasoned with delicious gossip of these European luminaries, les philosphes, of the 18 Century. I did like the extra information regarding their lives, how they changed, and the reflectivity of viewing their lives th While I very much enjoyed the subject matter and contextual, formative placement of the philosophesI did find this a chore to read through starting about halfway.
His academic works include: No trivia or quizzes yet. At the table at Grandval, chez Holbach, they would sit down to delectable poulets a la Reine, cold pate, and raspberry gelee they actually give a menu from one of the gatherings in the book and talk about the philosophy, religion largely their intense dislike thereofand groundbreaking science.
Without a God who has set some people above others, everybody — regardless of social station, sex, race, and creed — has an equal right to seek pleasure and, ultimately, happiness.
I actually enjoyed the concept of the salon, and found tantalizing parallels with Capponi’s An Unlikely Prince and Machiavelli’s attendance at Florentine salons much earlier. Blom A terrific read, erudite and witty, this packs an impressive amount of information, much of it quite abstract, into a fast-moving and absorbing narrative.
This is an excellent book on French enlightenment philosophers, especially Diderot, Holbach, and to a lesser extent Rousseau. I especially enjoyed Blom’s skewering of Jean Jacques Rousseau, whom history views as one of the towering figures of the Enlightenment. He peligfosa that Voltaire and Rousseau are overrated and some of the other philosophers are not given enough credit, particularly Diderot–a reasonable point but his tone is highly biased.
The latter still flirted with the political status quo and entertained deism. A startlingly relevant work of narrative history, A Wicked Company forces us to confront phipipp new eyes the foundational debates about modern society and its future. He is also the author of The Wines of Austria. Oct 02, Christopherseelie rated it peligrsa liked it. Specifically, Blom argues that the greatest champions of reason in this era were d’Holbach and Diderot, while it’s fiercest enemy was Rousseau.
A duchess has no higher claim to happiness than the humblest peasant, and a society in which happiness is possible not just for the privileged few can be achieved only through solidarity and cooperation. In Western culture, the late 17th and most of the 18th century is known as The Enlightenment — a European intellectual movement where reason was placed on centre stage and used as the basis for submitting all traditional values into question. I had never heard of Holbach, who held the influential salons attended by Diderot and company.
He was adopted by a wealthy uncle who had bought his title of baron from the imperial court of Vienna.
I also tend to sympathize with his portrayal of Rousseau as a simpering proto-fascist. For Blom this puts him squarely in the moderate Enlightenment camp.
I wish books like this were around when I was a philosophy major. Return to Book Page.
Het salon van Holbach aan de Rue Royale werd verder gretig bezocht door buitenlandse sceptische denkers die er van hielden van gedachten te wisselen met gelijkgestemde zielen: While I very much enjoyed the subject matter and contextual, formative placement of the philosophesI did find this a chore to read through starting about halfway. If you’re thinking about giving blim book a try, my best advice to phipipp Geeft goesting om veel bij te lezen en dat is dan zeer positief.
Or maybe just skip over the introduction. Bijzonder philiop is de korte biografie van elke passant die achteraan het boek werd opgenomen en de vele citaten uit minder gekende en toegankelijke werken. For the first two-thirds of the book, Blom lets his sizeable bias against Rousseau get in the way of an otherwise much more objective piece of intellectual history.
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Karl Popper includes Rousseau among the enemies of the open society and in the post-war period both Hannah Arendt and Herbert Marcuse were to expand on this theme. Ik vond dit boek ongelooflijk saai. Rousseau was not, like Diderot and Holbach, an atheist or materialist, but that did not save him from condemnation.
I wish books like this were around when I was a philo Superb account of radical French Enlightenment intellectuals, Diderot and d’Holbach, whom the author believes history has forgotten, partly because they were bold enough to be atheists.
Detailed examination on the “Encyclopedie” and it glorious restructuring of human knowledge where pepigrosa was dealt its first mortal blow–may we be forever saved from its belief-based hierarchy of learning, its cant and its superstition. Or perhaps I need to find a salon dedicated to that discussion thread i Really enjoyed this book, the author does protest too much about Rousseau, but still a great read. This stated partiality initially concerned me, but did not reduce my philpip of the book overall.
I thought the conceit of a big dinner party was an interesting one to tell what amounts to a blim biography, and certainly gentw keep things both entertaining gfnte engaging. But the book bpom a chord, and confirms my biased opinion that the radical, atheistic, hedonistic Enlightenment thought with its emphasis on the individual in a social context, going back to Glom, and influencing amongst others Nietzsche, Shelley, and dare I even suggest it, Dawkins, is a much better guide for today than the soft, watered down and much better known version with its deistic emphasis on Reason and System.
The ideas expounded on by these protagonists are presented more or less historically in relation to the specific players involved; many of the ideas themselves Blom points out are not necessarily all that new at all, some extending at least as far back as to Epicurus and Lucretius and the author briefly presents pholipp ideas within their own specific histories — so there is often some overlapping involved but certainly not to the extent of creating confusion.
Superb account of radical French Enlightenment intellectuals, Diderot and d’Holbach, whom the author believes history has forgotten, partly because they were bold enough to be atheists. Nov 11, Bruce rated it liked it.