Tag Archives: Ngrams

Rights, “Unalienable” or “Inalienable”?: A Concluding Philological Postscript

[This version has been revised since it was initially posted;  see below] Since my posting of Bentham’s critique of the “Declaration of Independence” last Thursday, traffic on this blog has increased dramatically. While I appreciate the attention, I suspect that it will … Continue reading

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Tracking the Reception of Kant’s Answer to the Question “What is Enlightenment?”

As Dan Edelstein once observed, scholars have gotten into the habit of using Kant’s 1784 to the question “What is enlightenment?” as a convenient “one-stop shop for defining the Enlightenment.”1 There is a tendency to assume that because Kant was … Continue reading

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Enlightenment and Ngram Wild Card Searches

A link on my Twitter feed this morning alerted me to Ben Zimmer’s article in the Atlantic on a new (and welcome) feature that Google has added to the Ngram:  wild card searches. Naturally, I thought I’d try it out with … Continue reading

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Making Sense of “Aufklärung” – Translating Kant, Part III

I began this series of posts more or less as a lark, thinking that I’d look at how my fellow translators of Kant’s response to the question “What is enlightenment?” handled the opening sentence. But this exercise turned out to … Continue reading

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Revisiting the “Enlightenment Project,” Inspired by Anthony Pagden and Armed with Some Ngrams

I turned in the last of my grades for the semester at the start of the week and was reminded, once again, that if April is the cruelest month, May — at least for academics — must be the kindest: … Continue reading

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Why It Wouldn’t Have Mattered if Isaiah Berlin used nGrams

I’d been planning on posting the final part of my discussion of the exchange of letters between Isaiah Berlin and Karl Popper on liberty and enlightenment, but various commitments have conspired to delay my posting of that discussion until later … Continue reading

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Pursuing the “Shallow Enlightenment” (Part I: Nineteenth-Century Trash-Talk)

In my efforts to make sense of the various pejoratives hurled at the Enlightenment, the one whose depths I’ve yet to plumb is (oddly enough) “shallow.” The term surfaces in a number of places and there’s a lot to be … Continue reading

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