Towards Enlightened Communities: The Eighteenth Century

  • Henry TamEmail author


In this chapter, the author demonstrates that while there was an egoistic strand of thought that ran through the likes of Mandeville and de Sade in the eighteenth century, many of the leading Enlightenment thinkers actually argued for the development of inclusive community relations in line with mutual responsibility, cooperative enquiry, and citizen participation. His exposition covers the case made for empathic communities by Shaftesbury and Hutcheson; for critical communities by Hume and Diderot; and for democratic communities by Paine. He further brings out the interconnections of these ideas in relation to changes to societal practice in the 1700s. He concludes with a review of how these ideas were incorporated into the approaches to learning championed by leading reformists such as Condorcet, Wollstonecraft, and Jefferson.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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