The Enlightenment

by The Open University

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Synopsis

The unit will examine the Enlightenment. To help understand the nature and scale of the cultural changes of the time, we offer a 'map' of the conceptual territory and the intellectual and cultural climate. We will examine the impact of Enlightenment on a variety of areas including science, religion, the classics, art and nature. Finally, we will examine the forces of change which led from Enlightenment to Romanticism.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Learning outcomes
1 'The Enlightenment'
2.1 Definitions
2.2 The Encyclopédie
2.3 The pervasive influence of Enlightenment
3 Enlightenment, science and empiricism
4.1 Constant human nature
4.2 Materialism
4.3 Responses to religion
5 Enlightenment and the classics
6 The Enlightenment on art, genius and the sublime
7 The Enlightenment and nature
8.1 The forces of change: towards Romanticism
8.2 The increasing status of feeling
8.3.1 Humanity
8.3.2 Revolution
8.4 The Enlightenment and modernity
9.1 Key characteristics of the enlightenment
9.2 Cultural shifts: from Enlightenment to Romanticism, c.1780–1830
Next steps
References
Acknowledgements

 

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