WikiProject Philosophy (Rated Template-class)
This template is within the scope of WikiProject Philosophy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of content related to philosophy on Wikipedia. If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the general discussion about philosophy content on Wikipedia.
 Template  This template does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.

Old talk

Gah, I'd still like this template to be "honed up" a bit more...--Jazzwick 17:48, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

There you go. Let's agree on whether we are going to use Template:Enlightenment or Template:The Enlightenment. --AVIosad 23:52, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I'd say we should keep Template:Enlightenment. Mainly because people (like me) forget the "The" at the beginning, as well as the space. Tell you what though, you've done an absolutly spiffy job here. Thank you man (or woman)!--Jazzwick 00:09, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Right. Do all the pages on which this template is use Template:Enlightenment? If yes, you can clear Template:The Enlightenment. To be fair, there still remains some work to be done on this template – possibly more concepts and people; definitely Major works, such as Candide, L'Encyclopedie, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, etc. Well done for starting the whole thing, I never would have got round to doing it : ) --AVIosad 01:40, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Why thank ye, it beats Applied IT any day ;-). I haven't really put it on that many pages involving the enlightenment, but I will over the coming days. Perhaps we should ask people on the discussion threads of the enlightenment to do the same. If anyone wants to add more, let them, but seriously, cheers for making it better. It's much appreciated *thumbs up*... --Jazzwick 18:09, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

It appears that Template: The Enlightenment has no pages linking to it and that 'Template: Enlightenment' has been editted such that the two have major differences. Can the former be deleted? --Karophyr 02:02, 26 February 2007 (UTC)Karophyr

Yes, certainly. There was initially some confusion over which template to use, but this has now been resolved (see above). --AVIosad 02:07, 26 February 2007 (UTC)


I've put the template on the pages of all the people in the original one. User:Logologist added some Poles. Could you have a look at User_talk:Logologist#Enlightenment_Template: I think we need to decide on the notability criteria for inclusion in the template – is it European-wide notoriety (which probably limits the list quite severely) or country-wide (which might inflate it to ridiculuous proportions). I'll invite Logologist to join the discussion here. As an option, we might have a more general template, and then create individual ones for separate countries – but that's a lot of hassle and I'm not convinced of its necessity.AVIosad 21:55, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Jesus man, you've done shit loads! Anything I can do?--Jazzwick 22:02, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Advance an opinion on notoriety/inclusion, for example ; ). Seriously though, there still remains a lot to be done: a list of major works, placing the template on the concepts pages, and also it might make more sense to sort people by dob rather than alphabetically, that would be very useful, although it would take some time. --AVIosad 22:31, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

I'll get to work on the concepts...--Jazzwick 22:32, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

I've now put this onto the concepts. However, should there be one on the science article? Looks awfully out of place.--Jazzwick 22:48, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, it kinda does. You can move it to either History of Science or Philosophy of Science. Or, even better, Scientific Revolution. --AVIosad 22:54, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

I'll put it on all three if that's okay. But as soon as I finish this, I have to log off. Self-control, see?--Jazzwick 23:00, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Probably no need to put it on all three, though, Scientific Revolution should be enough, may be with Philosophy of science --AVIosad 23:04, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

The 17 men now listed in the Template:Enlightenment Polish section are practically an irreducible minimum. Most (nine) are of such stature that they appear in the "History of philosophy in Poland" article's "Enlightenment" section.

The problem, I think, is not that this template's Polish section contains too many individuals, but that some of the other national sections contain too few. logologist|Talk 10:18, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree the template should be kept to a small number, or it will soon get blown out of proportions. I can think of three solutions. First, we keep the numbers to a small arbitrary number (5?). Second, we implement 'show/hide' functionality for each country, or for each person above 5. Third, we go with the first option but create national Englightment templates with would have many more names but be included only in national people/things, as an add-on to the general Enlightment templates. Bottom line is, as fond I am of the Polish Enlightnment, if we go with 17 Poles, we will have to include at least that many French, German, Italian, English and so on people... we will get a template with a hundred or more names and it will get TfD soon (with my support...).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  17:35, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Some good ideas here. logologist|Talk 19:40, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Whatever the technical solutions, Wikipedia needs, I think, to be not less but more inclusive. If only to counter the ignorance that feeds chauvinism. logologist|Talk 21:24, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Another point, alluded to by AVIosad in an exchange with me: many biographical articles on Poles need improvement in content and English usage. logologist|Talk 21:29, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Keeping the same number for all countries would be unfair on those which were more involved in the Enlightenment. For example, French philosophers were obviously more important for the Enlightenment than those of Russia (shame, really, but true). I think we should keep some of the most notorious people and create separate national templates (and may be put a link to them from the main template, but that's something to think about later). That would not mean limiting numbers to a certain number, but rather agreeing on the most important persons (I shouldn't think this would be very had, although no doubt will cause a debate). And, by the way, User:Piotrus, could you possibly add a 'show/hide' thing on this whole template? I couldn't figure out how to do this. --AVIosad 01:51, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Removal of Hugo Grotius

I'm afraid Hugo Grotius is a bit too early to be included in the Enlightenment proper (or we would have to include Descartes as well, they lived at aroung the same time. I added George Berkeley to the American section – he was Irish, and live in London a lot, but also in America and I wanted to expand the American section a bit. Tell me if you disagree. Also, what's the consensus on the inclusion of people in the Template? --AVIosad 03:48, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Bishop Berkeley looks very out of place in the U.S. rubric. But David Rittenhouse should make a good replacement. logologist|Talk 05:33, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I noticed that someone had added the Enlightenment template to the Grotius page, so I added him to the Netherlands list. Then, of course, I checked here and realized that it was a recent matter of discussion (guess I should have checked first!). I'm fine with removing Grotius from the template, in which case we'll just remove the template from the Grotius page, too. Grotius is a very significant founding figure for the Enlightenment (in political theory especially), but there is a case to be made that his own thought is along more traditional renaissance-humanist-scholastic lines even though it lays the roots for something more. I am actually surprised not to find Descartes on the list. He is chronologically the contemporary of Grotius, but in his work, Enlightenment ideas (individualism, scientism, etc.) are well underway. I'll follow the discussion. Sarvodaya 19:17, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Both Hugo Grotius and Descartes may be considered as belonging in the Enlightenment, if the 17th-century Age of Reason is construed as being the early part of the Enlightenment. logologist|Talk 22:08, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
The inclusion of Descartes within the ranks of the Enlightenment thinkers is, I am given to understand, a matter of considerable debate among academics. Personally, I would say that while his ideas are fundmental to the Enlightenment thinking, they are not strictly speaking "Enlightenment philosophy". I think in this particular case the debate can be resolved by adding a list of precursors to the Enlightenment. This would include Grotius. Does that sound like a good idea? --AVIosad 15:42, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
That sounds like a fine idea. Perhaps the list does not even need to be on the template, but just be linked from there to a separate 'list' page. Any thoughts on the pros/cons? Sarvodaya 16:31, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Removal of Romantics

Goethe is not an Enlightenment figure; he is wholly a Romantic. But the Romantics were counter-Enlightenment. Therefore, Goethe ought not to be listed. The same argument could be made for Herder. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:27, 4 March 2007 (UTC).

This, most unfortunately, untenable dichotomy in Goethe's case is not particularly helpful with regard to determining his inclusionary value, for Goethe's thinking, which was heavily based upon German Classicism (which had itself grown to fruition under the behests of the Enlightenment), does not completely stand contrariwise in relation to the Enlightenment, for he rather attempted to illustrate its disadvantages as among other such thinkers during this turbulent period. Briefly, I am no advocate for eliminating him, nor the "Romantics" of other stripes (and here I must add, in Germany, a German Romantic was very different from a German Classicist, but within the broader purview of Europe, both were considered "Romantic" in nature), at all for it would do much damage to informing others of the various modes of thought that were also current during Enlightenment times, that is, were influenced by the Enlightenment as any successive instance would have to be properly considered as being—but I do not hereby wish to imply any "romantic" is acceptable here.— ignis scripta 21:00, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

As observed by Richard Tarnas, Goethe's worldview represented in many ways an opposite direction to the Enlightenment, even though both movements were born under the same zeitgeist. "From the complex matrix of the Renaissance had issued forth two distinct streams of culture, two temperaments or general approaches to human existence characteristic of the Western Mind. One emerged in the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment and stressed rationality, empirical science, and a sceptical secularism. The other was its polar complement, sharing common roots in the Renaissance and classical Greco-Roman culture (and in the Reformation as well), but tending to express just those aspects of human experience suppressed by the Enlightenment's overriding spirit of rationalism. First conspicuously present in Rousseau, then in Goethe, Schiller, Herder, and German Romanticism, this side of the Western Sensibility fully emerged in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and has not ceased to be a potent force in Western culture and consciousness – from Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Holderlin, Schelling, Keats, Byron, Hugo, Pushkin, Carlyle, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, and onward via its diverse forms to their many descendants, countercultural and otherwise, of the present era."[1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:09, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

Greek enlightenment

I thnik the template should also include a reference to neogreek enlightenment and it's main figures (Korais, Rigas Fereos, Iosipos Moisiodakas etc). 15:36, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

British Isles; and criteria for inclusion

I have split the former 'Great Britain' category into England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Scotland has clearly a sufficiently distinct and significant intellectual history in this period to be separately listed (and this permits a proper link to the Scottish Enlightenment). I have more hesitation in the case of Ireland; Burke and Swift (who I have added) spent much of their lives in England and might be regarded as better placed in the English list; but their background and their cast of thought is Irish rather than English. I have further added Hutton, Ferguson, and Kames to the Scottish list.

The criteria for listing in this template seem rather unclear. If Grotius, Hobbes, and Spinoza are to be included, the assumption is that the Enlightenment extends back over the sevententh century. Arbitrarily, I would have thought that cut-off dates for contributions might be about 1730 and 1800. But this is just to add my tuppence worth to the debate; I see there is no consensus for any cut-off by date. It is even more unclear what, if any, criteria for significance are being used; if Poniatowski is included, why not another dozen kings? Ariwara 20:54, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for reviving the "Criteria for inclusion" debate! It was quite active a few months ago, but has somewhat stalled since then. You might notice we have kind of reached a decision to try and limit the numbers a bit, as well as to create a separate list of early thinkers which arguably belong to the Enlightenment. I personally do not think that we should have a "cut-off date", because this would create problems such as whether it refers to the date of birth (excluding Voltaire, for example), or of death, &c. But I definitely agree that the debate should be revived
As for splitting the British list, I'm not sure it is a very good idea. A user with preliminary knowledge of the Enlightenment would look for David Hume in the English section, and the distinct role of Scotland in the Enlightenment movement is explored in a separate article, to which the template links. As far as I see it, the template's main role is to provide an easy way of exploring various Enlightenment thinkers and concepts (and there is a plan to add a short list of main works, too), not to provide information that can be found in specific articles. Feel free to argue your case, though, I'd be interested to hear your view. --AVIosad(talk) 12:24, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I added Thomas Reid to the Scottish Enlightenment section. I hope this wasn't a controversial decision. --Ian. 10 June 2007


This template is getting a bit bulky. Any chance we can make it collapsable? Kaldari 15:21, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

I would, if only I knew how. --AVIosad(talk) 16:16, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Yet another inclusion

Can Eugenio Espejo be added to the template? Dalobuca 16:49, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

It has been a week since I left my last message, and there have been no replies. So I will assume that I can add his name to the template. Dalobuca 16:25, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Anders Chydenius - Swedish?

In this template, Anders Chydenius is listed under Sweden. However, he was born in Finland, and in his article, he is considered to be Finnish throughout the text. Of course, Finland was part of Sweden during his entire lifetime, but shouldn't there still be a row for Finns as well, where he could be listed instead? For instance, Scotland and England are kept separate, too.

I'm not saying this just because I'm Finnish, it's just something that caught my eye. If you decide to keep him Swedish in the template, I won't cry myself to sleep over it. :P 00:15, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Template discussion (again)

Oh dear, this template is now completely out of control, it's a behemoth. I think there can be very little argument that it needs to be reined in a bit (or maybe a lot). So, if anyone is watching this page, I call on you to participate actively in the discussion.

What needs to be made, first and foremost, is the decision on notability. As I see it, the main problem with the template at the moment is the amount of Enlightenment philosophers, who, thoough undoubtedly influential and important in their own countries, are often not very well known otherwise. In my opinion, the best way to solve that is to decide on a fixed list of the most notable personae. All others would then be moved to lists, linked from the template (see Template:Philosophy topics for an example of how this could be done). This will also leave space for concepts and major works, &c. This is my proposal; if you disagree, advance your own.

If anyone is still watching, please contribute to the discussion. If no-one responds within a week, I'll assume no-one is, in which case I will be bold and change it all by myself. --AVIosad(talk) 13:26, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

The idea is perfectly sensible - but how do you propose to measure notability? Ben MacDui (Talk) 16:35, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
One solution is just to link 'Enlightenment in country' (ex. Enlightenment in Poland) articles and nothing else. Another - to limit each country entries to a fixed number (3?). Last but not least - we should implement Template:Hidden.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  16:36, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Any or all of the Proconsul's ideas will help.
As for Polish notables, I nominate for inclusion in any abbreviated list: Ignacy Krasicki, Hugo Kołłątaj, Stanisław Staszic, Jan Śniadecki and Jędrzej Śniadecki. Nihil novi 18:30, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Note that if you go for the 'Enlightenment in country' solution, you could use a modified version of Template:Europe topic. Ben MacDui (Talk) 08:30, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Ok, here are my two cents. I think a combination of AVIosad's and Prokonsul's ideas would trim the template while keeping it useful. It is excessive to have a section on the template for every country where the Enlightenment flourished. This information is better kept on the pages specific to each country (e.g., Enlightenment in Poland), to be linked from the template. Where no such article exists we could link it to a category or list of figures from that country (on the model of, e.g., Category:Scottish Enlightenment).
However, the template will not be very useful if people have to navigate to each country page to get a sense of who some of the most notable Enlightenment figures were. Tricky and debatable as it may be to do, I agree with AVIosad that we should come up with a short list of "most notable" figures for the Age of Enlightenment as a trans-national phenomenon. The criteria can be a matter for continuing discussion, but I think we can identify figures whose influence spread broadly across national boundaries, especially those who also are widely discussed today. Off the top of my head, I would nominate Kant, Hobbes, Adam Smith, Pierre Bayle, for example. There are surely more, but I think we should err on the side of keeping the list short and uncontroversial. Inevitably some beloved figures (like my Grotius) won't make the list, but they can be featured elsewhere.
In the end, perhaps we'll have a leaner template with sections like this:
By country
Notable people (5-10?)
Major works
Hopefully this will keep this thing useful as an overview and a navigational tool. Further thoughts? Sarvodaya 22:36, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
A huge number of people on this template have virtually no intellectual or international cultural importance, while many missing do have this. England and France are comparatively under-represented, while ... Poland and other countries have too many ... and the Georgian figures are nonsense. There's no problem IMHO with this template having loads of names ... it just needs balanced with the addition of more important names. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 00:46, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Also, the template needs to be expanded beyond the group20 capacity. Currently, due to this limitation, Switzerland, USA and Venezuela are missing. Nihil novi (talk) 03:22, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I believe this template was created as a philosophy/intellectual history template. But for certain countries its full of political figures. And why is nationality important? I've heard of the German, French and Scottish enlightenments as individual movements, but otherwise its just the Enlightenment, Having separate sections for places like Georgia, Swizerland and Venezuela is going too far. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 11:31, 27 January 2008 (UTC)


"Greece" is out of alphabetical sequence in the template. Could someone please put it in its place? Nihil novi 06:15, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Thank you. Nihil novi (talk) 20:51, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Please prod

This template is useless clutter. Hugo Grotius died in 1645, for crying out loud. --Ghirla-трёп- 20:52, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Chronological order

I propose that, within each country, the individuals be listed chronologically by birth order, from earlier to later. Currently, in England, the 17th-century Lord Shaftesbury follows the 18th-century Mary Wollstonecraft. Nihil novi 21:38, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

"USA," "Venezuela" and "Related concepts"

The "USA," "Venezuela" and "Related concepts" sections, at the end of the template, have gotten lost in the visible text (they are still present in the "edit" format). They were last visible to readers in the 14:25, 1 November 2007, version. Perhaps someone with technical expertise could restore them? Nihil novi (talk) 04:12, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

I've brought back "USA," "Venezuela" and "Related concepts," but I can't stuff them back into the Template box. Nihil novi (talk) 05:15, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that {{Navbox}} only supports up to group20. Later groups are ignored because the template parameter is not recognized. I have commented out 3 groups [1] until somebody else finds a better solution. The problem started after November 1 when group21 was added.[2] PrimeHunter (talk) 15:27, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. It will prevent further loss of time in trying to stuff the three excess groups into the box. I had a suspicion there might be a limit, but I didn't know. Thanks! Nihil novi (talk) 02:35, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

This list needs some consensus as to the criteria for inclusion

I've just deleted Pitt the Elder from the English section and the Old and Young Pretenders (to use a POV term) from the Scottish section. They have no connection with the subject matter other than living in the same period of history; a connection which, with the inclusion of Grotius who died in 1645, doesn't even seem to be necessary! Agreeing with an earlier editor, this is clearly supposed to be a "a philosophy/intellectual history template" I appreciate that 'importance' is necessarily subjective, and that there will always be issues on the margin, but I can't see that the mere fact of political notability can be enough. ariwara (talk) 14:21, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree, and I think a big part of the problem with this template is the attempt to break it down by country. Every contributor who sees the template understandably wants their own country represented, and so we start piling up figure upon figure whether their relevance is intellectual, political or otherwise. The result is that the template is utterly unhelpful as "a philosophy/intellectual history template." I suggest we either revamp it along the kinds of lines indicated above (under Template Discussion (again)) or we remove it altogether. Sarvodaya (talk) 15:10, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Something like that needs to be done. The Age of Enlightenment is definitely incomplete without the inclusion of the American Enlighteners, especially insofar as the U.S. is one of the few nations that is a *product* of the Enlightenment. Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Jonathan Edwards, Witherspoon, Paine, Rush, et al, were far more representative of the Age of Enlightenment than many others who are included in this template. Hilltoppers —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hilltoppers (talkcontribs) 20:48, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

This list is entirely ridiculous. It needs to be said.

I completely agree with you on all your points. The list must not be diluted lest it become useless. - User:Palthrow
Since in 24 hrs I have one supportive vote and no one speaking up against, I'm going to start making changes in line with the three criteria listed above (chronology, intellectual rather than purely political or artistic significance, and consistent noteability). I won't change the organization from country-of-origin to language-of-origin before there is more discussion, though, and I'll try not to remove any borderline cases. Please, if you disagree with these changes, come here and discuss with us what standards you would like to see applied to this template before reverting any changes. This will make less bother for everyone. (talk) 19:09, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Changes made. The level of notability, chronology, and connection to the Enlightenment that are in the French and Scottish sections seem to me to be the models on which the other sections should be modeled. Should Espejo, Gauss, Krasicki, Swift, Black, and Swedenborg be kept? Espejo and Krasicki fit the chronology and literary output of the Enlightenment relatively well, but I am not familiar with them so have doubts about their notability relative to many figures who do not make the cut. Gauss was a great mathematician of the Enlightenment, but I am not sure whether he should be included but not Bernoulli, Euler, or Lagrange, and we cannot lard up the list with mathematicians. Swift is the earliest figure whom I left on the list... I'm inclined to leave him on the grounds that Gulliver's Travels is 1727, other works were published in the right period, and he shares the sensibility of other Enlightenment figures. Black is not necessarily more notable than many 18th c. scientists not on the list, but he was one of the central three or four figures in the Scottish Enlightenment. Swedenborg is surely influential, but I doubt that just any influential 18th c. writer should count as part of the Enlightenment, and it isn't clear to me that Swedenborg is usefully understood as in communication with the currents of the Enlightenment. (talk) 21:04, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
After four days w/ no further discussion, I took out all the people I was unsure of except Black (on reflection, he is structurally parallel to D'Alembert), and also Burke (on reflection, Burke's "enlightenment" work isn't really what he's well-known for). Again, if you object to the program of winnowing this down to a manageable number of extremely central members of the Enlightement, let's discuss it here before adding anyone back in. Now that the list is a manageable size, I may experiment with unifying the "region" boxes. This would make the box more useful and pretty. (talk) 07:04, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

One further thought - While I wouldn't want to do this on my own to avoid rocking the boat too much, I wonder if we could cut down on the misplaced patriotism by switching from "by region and country" to "by language." So Americans, Scots, and Irish would become English, Paine would get cross-listed, or solely listed, under "French," and if (a big if!!) they stayed, Frederick, Catherine, and Spinoza would become, French, French, and Latin, respectively. (This would also cure the silliness of having "Holy Roman Empire" instead of "German.") (talk) 20:51, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

OK, I consolidated the regions. Much easier to use now. Hopefully I'm done, although I'll keep checking to see if anyone has more ideas. (talk) 20:52, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

"Eastern Europe"

The current table is based on mistaken geographical premises. Poland, for example, is not in Eastern but in Central Europe. Nihil novi (talk) 20:30, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Oh come on, give us a break. ;) Poland is in Eastern Europe. Even the the UN says so! Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 23:57, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you should change the entry on Poland then to reflect this? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 02:36, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Why? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 02:48, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Piotrus here, user Calcagus (now under the name Deacon of Pndapetzim) picks a very outdated definition. They are more in description of the title and it is obvious that Poland should be in Central Europe.--Molobo (talk) 12:28, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

"Central Europe" (again)

The template does only mention Eastern and Central Europe, then jumps to Great Britain. When I read the first sentence of Central Europe it says: somewhere between East and West. And that looks right to me. Unfortunately, for this template, the only "West-European" country would be the Netherlands (as Great Britain has its own section, and France is part of Latin Europe). But still it is quite strange to find the Netherlands as a Central European country..... Dick Bos (talk) 22:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Navbars and . . .

Now that the template has been purged, Cesare Beccaria once again looks quite alone in the Italian list. So I'm wondering about the possible inclusion of Bernardo Tanucci, who seems to be a notable figure of the Italian enlightenment. If no one objects to his inclusion, I shall add him in a few days.

Also, I'm wondering if thought has been given to the removal of this navbar from the articles that were deleted from it? If the navbars are not removed, this might confuse future readers and editors, and the navbar will start filling up again with the removed articles?

Another suggestion might be to note prominently at the top of this talk page, or even on the main Template page if appropriate, for editors to check the Discussions before adding more names. Otherwise, over time, there will be future loading of the template, perhaps even edit wars. Prominent notice of the deletions with links to the discussions where the deletions were talked about might help to alleviate future editorial problems.  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  04:43, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Dear Paine... to address some points you bring up here and on your own discussion page... (i) I agree that this page is messy and that hinders discussion, but I don't know the procedure for moving a lot of this material to "old discussion." Can we do that without getting an admin's permission? (ii) One of the criteria that I suggested above was the Enlightenment figures be known primarily as thinkers (since there many, many "Enlightenment" politicians, as well as mathematicians and musicians and so on). On those grounds I would nix Bernardo Tanucci. It's a slippery slope! But if you want to insist... I would just ask that you read all of the other figures on the list first and get a sense of whether you really think Tanucci ranks up there with them. It doesn't bother me for "Italy" to only have one entry, although I agree with you that the "by country" set up isn't ideal. Most other templates don't do that. (iii) I think it's okay for there to be a category template on an entry even if that entry isn't on the template. Other templates work this way, don't they? There is also a more promiscuous list on the actual "Age of Enlightenment" page, which many of these figures are still on. ---- It's good to have someone else interested in making this template accurate and useful! (talk) 22:19, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean by moving this material to "old discussion, 134. Do you mean archiving? Archiving is easy; the tricky part is linking or relinking to discussions in the archives that might come up again and again.
I think that Tanucci is an interesting AoE rags-to-riches story. And back then, much thought had to go into anybody's actions in conflict with the Church. Tanucci appears to have been a profound thinker and doer. Why would anyone not think so?
Again, the only thing I have against leaving Navbars in articles that are not represented in the Navbar is the liklihood of a future editor questioning why and then adding the subject to the Navbar. This helps to reload Navbars and undo a lot of good work such as you are doing now.
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  15:25, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Template:The Enlightenment

I redirect this orphaned template here. This is how it looked like before. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 18:50, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Rename template

This template should be renamed to Template:Figures of Age of Enlightenment, as this is what it covers. This is not just a technicality, as we do need a proper Template:Age of Enlightenment template, one with concepts (which should be kept from the current template and not moved). Most crucially, I think the new main section of this template should be "by country", i.e. list articles such as American Enlightenment, Enlightenment Spain, Enlightenment in Poland, Russian Enlightenment, Scottish Enlightenment. I also think we desperatly need more "Enl. by country" articles (it is shocking we don't have British, French, Italian). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 16:51, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Purging again

Three years after I last purged the list, I see that all the crap has crept back onto it, with absolutely no attempt to engage with the long discussion on the Talk page about which figures are suitable for inclusion. As a result, I will purge the list again. I strongly hope that the next person who wants to add their pet historical figure will engage in discussion before changing the template.

I remind you, this is Wikipedia, not the Special Olympics. We don't put historical figures on our templates to make them feel good about themselves, we do it so that people interested in a topic have an excellent research tool at their disposable. We cannot include every person born between 1650 and 1850; we cannot include everyone who ever wrote a book; we cannot include everyone to the left of Attila the Hun. For a more detailed discussion of the criteria for inclusion, look earlier on the talk page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:13, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, but how is Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Marquess of Pombal not a notable Enlightenment figure? You know, he rebuilt a whole city after an earthquake and applied Enlightenment principles to the administration of Portugal.Faunas (talk) 17:35, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Probably a majority of the politicians and administrators of the 18th century have a good claim to be inspired by the Enlightenment or to apply some Enlightenment ideas to public administration. They can't all be on the list without making the list completely useless. (And many of them, unlike your Marquess, were actually actively corresponding with and financially supporting Enlightenment philosophers.) That is why I proposed several years ago (and others agreed) that the "Notable figures of the Enlightenment" must be primarily renowned for their intellectual oeuvre, rather than for political offices. (Similarly, we agreed that mathematicians and musicians can't be counted. There are dozens of mathematicians and musicians with equally good claims to have been doing ground-breaking work during this period, but it would just make the list useless.)
As a reminder, the Enlightenment as an intellectual phenomena centered around the circles of Diderot in France and Hume in Scotland. Already, to keep the list manageable and useful, we have declined to include several quite important philosophers who were active in those core circle (for example, De La Mettrie.) We cannot include figures from the peripheries of the Enlightenment who are less intellectually momentous and influential than excluded figures from the core. (talk) 21:14, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Once again, someone has added a large number of marginal figures to the template without any discussion on the talk page or engagement with the principle that we need to limit the "notable figures" to the truly notable, rather than allowing each country in the European Union to add several dozen of their own intellectual heroes. I will delete them while awaiting some sort of fruitful dialogue here. (talk) 15:31, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Actually, Spain has something that most other entries lack of: a "Enlightenment in..." page. It proves that the Enlightenment was indeed a strong movement in Spain, and not just one or two wise men preaching in the desert. Cambalachero (talk) 15:46, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
That's an interesting point, but (i) Enlightenment in Spain is not a separate page about the progress of Enlightenment in Spain, a la the pages on the Scottish Enlightenment or the Enlightenment in America. It's just the part of the series on Spanish history that comes in between "Golden Age" and "Independence Movement." As you would expect, the page is exclusively about the political, military, and diplomatic history of Spain from the War of Succession to the Peninsular War. There is one section on reformist ministers appointed by the Bourbon monarchs. Any country in Europe could similarly rename its page on the mid-18th century "Enlightenment in X". So I don't think that there is any reason to think that "Enlightenment in Spain" is an intellectual moment comparable to the Enlightenment in Scotland or France. (ii) We could easily double the length of the list of Enlightenment thinkers for France or Scotland, but we have not because the list would be essentially useless if it became a general catalogue of people alive during the 18th century. Several quite significant people with very long articles and clear ties to the Enlightenment have been omitted from this template; any Spanish thinker you want to add should be more important that the omitted figures of other nationalities. (iii) Practically every statesman of this period went through at least a period of receptivity to Enlightenment ideas. We simply cannot include "Enlightened" politicians, bureaucrats, ministers, brigadier generals, etc., unless they were known primarily for their ideas rather than their profession (as e.g. Descartes was a famous philosopher and an obscure soldier). (Likewise, no mathematicians or musicians; there are just too many - although I don't think you included any on your list.) (iv) Even if we restrict ourselves to the figures whom you added who were not primarily political, several of them are not even clearly figures of the Enlightenment, as opposed to e.g. the neo-classical moment in Spanish literary and poetry. Compare this to Cesare Beccaria, for example. He was not part of a particularly important intellectual network in Italy, but (a) he had close personal ties to the Paris philosophes, (b) the agenda for his intellectual development was clearly set by a shared set of Enlightenment influences, (c) he wrote the single outstanding work of Enlightenment legal theory, which (d) influenced both the theory and practice of everyone interested in "Enlightened" legal reform across Europe, both before and after the Revolution, and (e) was one of the major routes for transmission of Enlightenment ideas to post-Enlightenment legal and political theory (e.g., utilitarianism, academic jurisprudence). I think you can offer a similar defense for everyone on this list (although I'd be happy to discuss it if you think some should come off), and some who aren't on this list, to prevent it from getting cluttered and useless. (talk) 20:04, 24 August 2012 (UTC)


Montesquieu, one of the greatest representatives of the enlightenment in France, did not at all support secularism, and neither did a host of other important enlightenment thinkers; there is therefore no justifiable basis for grouping it under "Age of Enlightenment". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:22, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Link to deleted portal removed

The Age of Enlightenment portal was recently deleted. I've removed the red link from the template. BlackcurrantTea (talk) 07:08, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

  1. ^ Richard Tarnas,1991. The Passion of the Western Mind.New York: Random House Publishing Group, p.366.