Isaak Iselin

Iselin, Isaak

 

Born Mar. 7, 1728, in Basel; died there July 15, 1782. Swiss Enlightenment figure.

Iselin studied history and philosophy in Basel and Göttingen and helped found the Helvetic Society in 1761. His best-known work is the two-volume treatise History of Mankind, which was published in 1764. Iselin views history as a linear progression from lower to higher forms; bourgeois civilization, being the pinnacle of progress, was to guarantee mankind’s material well-being and happiness. Iselin believed that war was the main enemy of progress and that the primary goal of progress was the union of all peoples.

WORKS

Träume eines Menschenfreundes, parts 1–2. Basel, 1776.

REFERENCES

Gulyga, A. V. “Istoricheskie vzgliady nemetskikh prosvetitelei XVIII v.” Novaia i noveishaia istoriia, 1963, no. 3.
Im Hof, U. Isaak Iselin, parts 1–2. Basel [1947].
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