"'Enlightenment Aberrations' exposes an enduring French engagement with the epistemological and ontological problems of error. Bates's approach to the 'structure of error' is innovative and important. . . .'Enlightenment Abberations' stands as an ambitious and important study. . . .Bates powerfully argues that the portrait of the Enlightenment as the domain of totalizing, instrumental reason is flawed and ahistorical. This caricature can best be best transcended by recapturing the subtlety of Enlightenment error."―Joseph Zizek, Univeristy of Auckland. Canadian Journal of History XXXVIII, April 2003
"Bates makes an insightful argument for the nuances of Enlightenment thought, and he persuasively concludes that the alleged eighteenth-century penchant for universal truths was actually more prevalent among theorists in the nineteenth century. . . Bates develops these themes in a carefully written narrative that addresses present concerns at the same time that it engages the text and ideas of the past. This kind of exchange with past writers is a distinctive contribution of good intellectual history; it provokes us to rethink errors in our own knowledge, eben as we challenge and rethink the errors of others."―Lloyd Kramer, UNC-Chapel Hill, American Historical Review, Feb. 2003.
"Enlightenment Aberrations is an important and distinctive book. It is thoroughly researched and engages critically with some of the most important analyses and debates concerning Enlightenment epistemology and socio-political theory."―Daniel Brewer, University of Minnesota