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The Enlightenment Period

Counter-Enlightenment Figures

How were Joseph-Marie de Maistre’s ideas similar to Edmund Burke’s?

Joseph-Marie de Maistre (1753–1821) was a Roman Catholic political theorist who sought to restore traditional society according to Thomism (the teachings of Thomas Aquinas [c. 1225–1274]). He viewed the French Revolution as “satanic,” in his 1796 Considerations on France. However, de Maistre went beyond Burke in his belief that the Catholic Church would triumph over Enlightenment philosophy. In his 1810 Essay on the Generating Principle of Political Constitutions, he described a fundamental human and God-ordained desire for order and discipline.



Jonathan Swift, known for his satires such as Gulliver’s Travels, did not believe that humans were particularly rational creatures (iStock).
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