Antoine Lilti

teaches social and cultural history at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and is former editor of the Annales journal. He is the author of The World of the Salons: Sociability and Worldliness in Eighteenth-Century Paris, and co-editor of Penser l’Europe au XVIIIe siècle: commerce, civilisation, empire.

Le Thé à l'anglaise servi dans le salon des Quatre-Glaces au palais du Temple à Paris en 1764

How Do We Write the Intellectual History of the Enlightenment? Spinozism, Radicalism, and Philosophy

The Enlightenment is again the object of debate. We can only rejoice that traditional interpretations have been questioned. Yet it would be regrettable to replace one doxa with another by artificially constructing a homogeneous philosophical tradition and a teleology of philosophical radicalism, linking Spinoza and the French Revolution and, doubtless further, the contemporary radical left.