All major writers of the Enlightenment enjoyed royal or aristocratic patronage, often denying their financial dependency and claiming to live by the labours of their pens or by the expanding readership of the eighteenth century, thereby maintaining the ideal of intellectual autonomy.
InPatrons of Enlightenment, Edward G. Andrew examines the conditions in which the central idea of Enlightenment was fabricated; intellectual autonomy was constructed while patronage was being transformed by a commercial print culture. Andrew further argues that since an Enlightenment depends on a relationship of plebeian genius and patrician taste, England could not have had one - as the French and Scots did - because after the English civil war, plebeians did not contribute to the intellectual culture of England.
Patrons of Enlightenmentemphasizes the dependency of thinkers upon patrons and compares the patron-client relationships in the French, English, and Scottish republics of letters. Andrew challenges philosophers to rethink the Platonic distinction between philosophers and sophists and the Aristotelian view of philosophers as godlike in their self-sufficiency.
Table of Contents
You are viewing the table of contents
You do not have access to this
on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access.