A Primer on German Enlightenment: With a Translation of Karl Leonhard Reinhold's The Fundamental Concepts and Principles of Ethics
This is the first translation into English of a work of late German enlightenment by Karl Leonhard Reinhold (1757-1823). Reinhold was an acute thinker, who is best known for his interpretations of Kant and whose writings on theoretical philosophy were decisive for the development of philosophy after Kant. This work is not a "philosophical" one in the strict sense but was written for a general audience by a philosopher concerned with public enlightenment. The book, published in 1798, is based on the principle of "common sense," a popular concept at the time as German enlightenment was nearing its end.
Roehr's extensive historical-analytical work provides the context necessary for fully appreciating Reinhold's work. She does not restrict her discussion to the immediate time of Reinhold, but details the thinking of the German enlightenment in general. She analyzes the moral, religious, political, and philosophical elements of the period, as well as the history of their development. In the course of her introduction, she illustrates that the Kantian concept of enlightenment was in no way the only one or even the most influential one at the time Reinhold wrote.
Philosophers, political theorists, historians, theologians, and eighteenth-century scholars in general will gain much insight from this valuable study and the accompanying translation.
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Basic concepts of morality and rightfulness in general
Sound natural understanding
Education of the heart
Enlightenment in general
Being enlightened about ethical matters
Some principles and maxims of political enlightenment
Some principles and maxims of religious
Freedom of the will