Useful Lies: The Limits of Enlightening the Common Man. Frederick the Great and Franco-German Cultural Transfer

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/152639
Title: Useful Lies: The Limits of Enlightening the Common Man. Frederick the Great and Franco-German Cultural Transfer
Author: Treuherz, Nicholas
Publisher: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
Date: 2014-12
Language: en
Belongs to series: 16
ISBN: 978-951-51-0539-4
ISSN: 1796-2986
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/152639
Abstract: This article asks if the role of the Enlightenment philosopher was, as understood by contemporaries, to work against elites, or to underpin them. Concentrating particularly on the arch-elitist Frederick the Great and his court philosophers, we will track the notion of the elite and their position as holders of truth and enlighteners. The central tenet of the debate will concern the notion of lying to the masses and the utility of truth. It will be shown that advocacy of absolute truth was rare and often dissimulated by philosophers keen to avoid censure. This dividing line will be used to show the cultural transfer of Francophone debates to the German intellectual sphere.
Subject: Enlightenment
Frederick the Great
Elite
Eighteenth-Century
Philosophy
Rights: Author and Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies


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