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The Enlightenment: Reason, Tolerance, and Humanity by James Schmidt

The Enlightenment: Reason, Tolerance, and Humanity

by James Schmidt


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7 Hrs. 30 Min.
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The Enlightenment stands at the threshold of the modern age. It elevated the natural sciences to the preeminent position they enjoy in modern culture. It inaugurated a skepticism toward tradition and authority that decisively shaped modern attitudes in religion, morality, and politics. And it gave birth to a vision of history that saw man, through the unfettered use of his own reason, at last escaping that state of "immaturity" to which superstition, prejudice, and dogma had condemned him. The world in which we live is, for better or worse, in large part the result of the Enlightenment. This course will explore this remarkable period. It will discuss the work of such influential thinkers as Voltaire, John Locke, Denis Diderot, Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant, and Benjamin Franklin. It will also spend some time with less well-known, but no less influential, figures such as Joseph Priestly - a clergyman, scientist, and philosopher who was one of the most passionate defenders of the American Revolution in England - and the remarkable John Toland, a man whose writings on religion changed the way many Europeans thought about the Scriptures.

Lecture 1 The Question of Enlightenment

Lecture 2 Europe in the 1680s: The Political Origins of the Enlightenment

Lecture 3 Scientific Inquiry, Religious Controversy, and Political Dissent

Lecture 4 Voltaire and the Campaign Against Fanaticism

Lecture 5 The Emergence of the Public Sphere I: Academies and the Quest for Useful Knowledge

Lecture 6 The Emergence of the Public Sphere II: Coffeehouses and Salons

Lecture 7 The Emergence of the Public Sphere III: Secret Societies and the Clandestine Book Trade

Lecture 8 Diderot and the Encyclopédie

Lecture 9 Dreaming Philosophers and Crazy Musicians: Diderot's Later Career

Lecture 10 New Worlds, Strange Peoples, and Peculiar Customs

Lecture 11 The Scottish Enlightenment and the Origins of Social Theory

Lecture 12 Enlightenment in Germany: Lessing and Mendelssohn

Lecture 13 An Age of Revolutions

Lecture 14 The Legacies of the Enlightenment


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9781440732782