Vol. 5 (2020)

Il ‘vero’ Ottantanove. Alle fonti dei «diritti dell’uomo» e della «laicità»

Paolo Quintili
Università di Roma «Tor Vergata»

Published 2020-10-12


  • Rights of Man,
  • Revolution,
  • Enlightenment,
  • Laicity,
  • Emancipation

How to Cite

Quintili, P. (2020). Il ‘vero’ Ottantanove. Alle fonti dei «diritti dell’uomo» e della «laicità». Diciottesimo Secolo, 5, 89–96. https://doi.org/10.13128/ds-12118


This essay investigates the intellectual and political filiation between the Philosophy of Human Rights, the French Revolution and the Philosophy of the Enlightenment in general. In particular, the study attempts to reconnect the links between the key texts of the great Philosophes (Montesquieu, Rousseau, Diderot, d’Holbach, Raynal etc.) and the birth of the secular and anti-religious thought of the West, also linked to the anti-colonialist struggle, in Diderot and Raynal. Finally, the genesis of the notion of «laicity» (laïcité) and its long and intricate birth after the ‘real’ Eighty-nine, the Jacobin and radical one, are investigated. The civil constitution of the clergy, the emancipation of the Jews and, finally, the abolition of slavery represent the main stages of this ‘real’ 1789.


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