Maurizio Valsania

The Limits of Optimism

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Valsania's reading of Jefferson and negativity makes sense of many paradoxes typically associated with that 18th century thinker, while correcting the common though mistaken equation of Enlightenment thought with rationalism and optimism. Valsania says that this conflicted approach is typical of Enlightenment thought, not exceptional. Looks at U.S. history in a non-exceptionalist way. Uses Jefferson as a lens into Enlightenment thought.
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383 printed pages
Original publication



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