O tym, jak dawna myśl może żyć współcześnie, czyli reﬂeksje na kanwie Słownika krytyki utopii czasów Oświecenia
How an old thought can live on today – reﬂections on the Dictionary of criticism of the Enlightenment’s utopias
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Today the importance of the Age of Enlightenment is undeniable. The cult of Reason and Nature not only contributed to the development of culture and science, but also to the development of the state, law and society. According to the Dictionnaire critique de l’utopie au temps des Lumières (Critical Dictionary of Utopia in the Age of Enligh- tenment), XVIII century utopian thought may carry inﬂuence in the present era. This monumental tome, published in Geneva in 2017, is written in French and has more than 1400 pages. It is the product of the joint-eﬀort of more than 50 scholars from diﬀerent countries, all gathered round the dictionary’s creator and editor, Professor Bronislav Baczko (1924–2016). In 2011, Baczko received the Balzan Prize for his studies on the works of J.J. Rousseau and Enlightenment. The dictionary is his crowning achievement and serves as a ﬁtting tribute to his lifetime contribution to philosophy. It contains some 54 terms concerning the Enlightenment’s utopia, each having been the subject of critical analysis research. The issues addressed in the dictionary may be of interest if, not value, to specialist from a wide variety of disciplines including lawyers. In this latter respect the dictionary discusses such legal expressions as: the legislation, the law, the state, the police, crime and punishment, human rights and war and peace. The interdisciplinary nature of the dictionary is not its sole attribute. This is one of the latest studies on Utopia and the Age of Enlightenment, and the message Baczco’s delivers is both humanistic and universal.
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