Do We Still Need The Eighteenth Century?


Do We Still Need The Eighteenth Century?



The 18th century was a time of great change, both philosophically and politically. Yet many people reject its ideals, calling out the hypocrisy of Thomas Jefferson and the oppression that comes from being committed to Truth rather than the downtrodden. On this episode of Why?, we take another look at this exciting period of time and ask whether the enlightenment and its philosophers still have a place in today’s intellectual and political debate.

Ryan Patrick Hanley is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Marquette University. His research in the history of political philosophy focuses on the Scottish Enlightenment. He is the author of Adam Smith and the Character of Virtue (Cambridge University Press, 2009), and co-editor, with Darrin M. McMahon, of The Enlightenment: Critical Concepts in History, 5 vols. (Routledge, 2010). In addition, Professor Hanley is the editor of the Penguin Classics edition of Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments (Penguin, 2010), the editor of the forthcoming Adam Smith: A Princeton Guide (Princeton University Press), and current President of the International Adam Smith Society. His recent articles have appeared or are forthcoming in American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Political Theory, European Journal of Political Theory, Review of Politics, History of Political Thought and Journal of the History of Philosophy, among others. He is also the recipient of Fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Arête Initiative, and is currently at work on a study of love and wisdom in Enlightenment moral and political philosophy.


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Institute for Philosophy in Public Health


Grand Forks, ND





Do We Still Need The Eighteenth Century?