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Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 151, 2006 Lectures$
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P. J. Marshall

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264249

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264249.001.0001

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Condorcet and the Meaning of Enlightenment

Condorcet and the Meaning of Enlightenment

Master-Mind Lecture

Chapter:
(p.112) (p.113) Condorcet and the Meaning of Enlightenment
Source:
Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 151, 2006 Lectures
Author(s):

Lorraine Daston

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264249.003.0004

This lecture discusses the meaning of Enlightenment through Condorcet's eyes. It begins with the notion of lumières, which is a word best translated as ‘enlightenment’, but this time written in miniscule. This preserves the associations of wisdom and deeper insight that still cling to the word in English, such as in the phrase ‘spiritual enlightenment’. Next, the lecture explores the multiple senses of calculation. It also looks at how Condorcet sought to fight two variants of fear, one with lumières and the other with calculation. It finally concludes with some reflections on the Enlightenment, spiritual enlightenment, and the probability 0.999993.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, Condorcet, lumières, associations of wisdom, spiritual enlightenment, multiple senses of calculation, variants of fear

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