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Or perhaps I need to find a salon dedicated to that discussion thread instead He was adopted by a wealthy uncle who had bought his title of baron from the imperial court of Vienna.

Philipp Blom

After giving some initial biographical information of the characters that loom the largest in the book — Diderot, Holbach, and Rousseau — we proceed to learn more about their thought and their circle of what are usually considered more minor friends.


Dit boek is een historische studie over de totstandkoming van het kritisch rationalisme, maar laat zich evengoed lezen als een filosofische roman. He is best known for his novel, The Simmons Papers Sep 17, Sarah Bierle rated it it was ok Shelves: Grobin’s rendition on audible.

Of particular interest for me was the clarification of different types of Enlightenment that Blom outlines towards the end of his book: Recommended for anyone who is interested in the explosion of ideas during this era. A very out of the blue look at the Enlightenment that takes everything Peigrosa been taught so far and turns it on his head. Ik vond dit boek ongelooflijk saai. Right from the Introduction, it is clear that Blom has a hobby horse to ride and it nearly ruins the book.

Aug 04, Elliot Schnapp rated it really liked it. I would also have appreciated a little more nuance in the relationship between Enlightenment thought and the anti-clerical slant of the Revolution.

Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man are gentr wonderful. For Blom this puts him squarely in the moderate Enlightenment camp.


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His uncle provided him with his name and the best education money could buy. Quotes from A Wicked Company Denis Diderot was one of my heroes since reading “La Religieuse” “The Nun” in High School French class the novel depicts a convent which is presided over by a sadistic lesbian.

It became more prevalent in liberal circles following the Russian Revolution when Rousseau was seen as an inspiration for Bolshevism. I thought the conceit of a big dinner party was an interesting one to tell what amounts to a group biography, and certainly helped keep things both entertaining and engaging.

His ideas have to be set in the context of his writings as a whole and of the times in which he lived. It starts slowly but fully held my interest to the end.

I especially enjoyed Blom’s skewering of Jean Jacques Rousseau, whom history views as one of the towering figures of the Enlightenment. Blom concentrates on the Paris salon of Baron d’Holbach, which dominated philosophical and political discourse in Europe, and arguably the world, in the midC.

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. As a result, claims Blom, the remarkable achievements of the radical philosophers became sidelined and they lacked the recognition they richly deserved – so much so, in fact, that while Voltaire and Rousseau are memorialized in the Pantheon, Holbach and Diderot were buried in an obscure ossuary, later looted by rebels, and local clergy are reluctant even to admit the presence of their unidentified remains.

A duchess has no higher claim to happiness ggente the humblest peasant, and a phili;p in which happiness is possible not just for the privileged few can be achieved only through solidarity and cooperation. That alone would qualify him as a revolutionary thinker. 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.


It certainly detracts from it as I would have given it four stars otherwise. The benefits of reading this book will stay with me a long time — I only wish I could find an analogous treatment of the Bolm idealists starting with Kant and going forward to, say, Marx, or of the British empiricists, starting with Hobbes and ending with Hume.

Philosophy and the Making of Modernity, and Enlightenment Contested: His message was too disquieting, too anarchic, too dangerous to be released into the world at large.

A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment

Rousseau systematically dismantled the theological framework that had been built up over centuries to maintain the power of kings and the sanctity gentee property. It wasn’t clear to me whether I should view it as a. It is a book on personalitie I wanted to read this book as my knowledge of the Enlightenment was sketchy it still is, to be fair. I especially enjoyed Blom’s skewering of Jean Jacq Denis Diderot was one of my heroes since reading “La Religieuse” “The Nun” in High School French class the novel depicts a convent which is presided over by a sadistic lesbian.

Rousseau was not, like Diderot and Holbach, an atheist or materialist, but that did not save him from condemnation.