The Enlightenment Period

Counter-Enlightenment Figures

Which Counter-Enlightenment figures had lasting effects on philosophy?

Giovanni Battista (Giambattista) Vico, or Vigo (1668–1744), has in recent years been rediscovered, or discovered, as an important philosopher. Edmund Burke (1729–1797) was the most explicit conservative of modern times, although Joseph-Marie de Maistre (1753–1821) held similar views. Also, Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) deserves mention as a mordant critic of the establishment in general, and the Marquis de Sade (1740–1814) represents a kind of extreme marginality in his depravity, which marginality was later taken up by nineteenth and twentieth century progressives—he also remains genuinely outrageous!


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