Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 February 2020
This chapter argues that ‘prejudice’ was both the enemy and alter-ego of enlightenment in Ireland. While many enlightened figures choose to condemn prejudice as an irrational and malign force, others would query both the possibility and desirability of a world without prejudice. Indeed, the war against prejudice, it was argued, bred a bigotry of its own. The chapter shows how the question of prejudice had a key bearing on debates about reason, religious toleration, and economic improvement in eighteenth-century Ireland.