The Structure and Form of the French Enlightenment, Volume 1
Esprit Philosophique
Ira O. Wade


The author describes the influence on the Enlightenment of the intellectual currents that had been active in France, particularly the historical and humanistic esprit critique and the scientific esprit modern. In the first volume he traces the transformation they brought about in religion, ethics, aesthetics, science, politics, economics, and self-knowledge. His analysis of works by Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau—including the Encyclopedic—defines their organic unity and clarifies contradictions that appear to threaten the coherence, consistency, and logical continuity of the esprit philosophique.

First published in 1977.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.