The 18th-Century Enlightenment and the Problem of Public Misery

In the Salon of Madame Geoffrin in 1755. (Anicet-Charles-Gabriel Lemonnier, 1812; Public Domain)
In the Salon of Madame Geoffrin in 1755. (Anicet-Charles-Gabriel Lemonnier, 1812; Public Domain)

Many people today think of the 18th-century Enlightenment as an exciting season of reason, a black swan moment when new energies flowed, when the early...

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