The Enlightenment

by The Open University

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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

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
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