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The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment)[1][note 2] was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries.[3]

The Enlightenment emerged out of a European intellectual and scholarly movement known as Renaissance humanism and was also preceded by the Scientific Revolution and the work of Francis Bacon, among others. Some date the beginning of the Enlightenment to René Descartes' 1637 philosophy of Cogito, ergo sum ("I think, therefore I Am"), while others cite the publication of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica (1687) as the culmination of the Scientific Revolution and the beginning of the Enlightenment. French historians traditionally date its beginning with the death of Louis XIV of France in 1715 until the 1789 outbreak of the French Revolution. Most end it with the beginning of the 19th century.

Philosophers and scientists of the period widely circulated their ideas through meetings at scientific academies, Masonic lodges, literary salons, coffeehouses and in printed books, journals, and pamphlets. The ideas of the Enlightenment undermined the authority of the monarchy and the Catholic Church and paved the way for the political revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries. A variety of 19th-century movements, including liberalism and neoclassicism, trace their intellectual heritage to the Enlightenment.[4]

The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centered on the sovereignty of reason and the evidence of the senses as the primary sources of knowledge and advanced ideals such as liberty, progress, toleration, fraternity, constitutional government and separation of church and state.[5][6] In France, the central doctrines of the Enlightenment philosophers were individual liberty and religious tolerance, in opposition to an absolute monarchy and the fixed dogmas of the Church. The Enlightenment was marked by an emphasis on the scientific method and reductionism, along with increased questioning of religious orthodoxy—an attitude captured by Immanuel Kant's essay Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment, where the phrase Sapere aude (Dare to know) can be found.[7]

Significant people and publications

The most famous work by Nicholas de Condorcet, Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progres de l'esprit humain, 1795.[8] With the publication of this book, the development of the Age of Enlightenment is considered generally ended.[9]

The Age of Enlightenment was preceded by and closely associated with the Scientific Revolution.[10] Earlier philosophers whose work influenced the Enlightenment included Francis Bacon and René Descartes.[11] Some of the major figures of the Enlightenment included Cesare Beccaria, Denis Diderot, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, John Locke, Montesquieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, Baruch Spinoza, and Voltaire.[12]

One particularly influential Enlightenment publication was the Encyclopédie (Encyclopedia). Published between 1751 and 1772 in thirty-five volumes, it was compiled by Denis Diderot, Jean le Rond d'Alembert, and a team of 150 other intellectuals. The Encyclopédie helped in spreading the ideas of the Enlightenment across Europe and beyond.[13] Other landmark publications of the Enlightenment included Voltaire's The Enlightenment emerged out of a European intellectual and scholarly movement known as Renaissance humanism and was also preceded by the Scientific Revolution and the work of Francis Bacon, among others. Some date the beginning of the Enlightenment to René Descartes' 1637 philosophy of Cogito, ergo sum ("I think, therefore I Am"), while others cite the publication of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica (1687) as the culmination of the Scientific Revolution and the beginning of the Enlightenment. French historians traditionally date its beginning with the death of Louis XIV of France in 1715 until the 1789 outbreak of the French Revolution. Most end it with the beginning of the 19th century.

Philosophers and scientists of the period widely circulated their ideas through meetings at scientific academies, Masonic lodges, literary salons, coffeehouses and in printed books, journals, and pamphlets. The ideas of the Enlightenment undermined the authority of the monarchy and the Catholic Church and paved the way for the political revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries. A variety of 19th-century movements, including liberalism and neoclassicism, trace their intellectual heritage to the Enlightenment.[4]

The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centered on the sovereignty of reason and the evidence of the senses as the primary sources of knowledge and advanced ideals such as liberty, progress, toleration, fraternity, constitutional government and separation of church and state.[5][6] In France, the central doctrines of the Enlightenment philosophers were individual liberty and religious tolerance, in opposition to an absolute monarchy and the fixed dogmas of the Church. The Enlightenment was marked by an emphasis on the scientific method and reductionism, along with increased questioning of religious orthodoxy—an attitude captured by Immanuel Kant's essay Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment, where the phrase Sapere aude (Dare to know) can be found.[7]

The Age of Enlightenment was preceded by and closely associated with the Scientific Revolution.[10] Earlier philosophers whose work influenced the Enlightenment included Francis Bacon and René Descartes.[11] Some of the major figures of the Enlightenment included Cesare Beccaria, Denis Diderot, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, John Locke, Montesquieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, Baruch Spinoza, and Voltaire.[12]

One particularly influential Enlightenment publication was the Encyclopédie (Encyclopedia). Published between 1751 and 1772 in thirty-five volumes, it was compiled by Denis Diderot, Jean le Rond d'Alembert, and a team of 150 other intellectuals. The Encyclopédie helped in spreading the ideas of the Enlightenment across Europe and beyond.[13] Other landmark publications of the Enlightenment included Voltaire's Letters on the English (1733) and Dictionnaire philosophique (Philosophical Dictionary; 1764); Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1740); Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws (1748); Rousseau's Discourse on Inequality (1754) and The Social Contract (1762); Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and The Wealth of Nations (1776); and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (1781).

Enlightenment thought was deeply influential in the political realm. European rulers such as Catherine II of Russia, Joseph II of Austria and Frederick II of Prussia tried to apply Enlightenment thought on religious and political tolerance, which became known as enlightened absolutism.[12] Many of the main political and intellectual figures behind the American Revolution associated themselves closely with the Enlightenment: Benjamin Franklin visited Europe repeatedly and contributed actively to the scientific and political debates there and brought the newest ideas back to Philadelphia; Thomas Jefferson closely followed European ideas and later incorporated some of the ideals of the Enlightenment into the Declaration of Independence; and James Madison incorporated these ideals into the United States Constitution during its framing in 1787.[14] The ideas of the Enlightenment also played a major role in inspiring the French Revolution, which began in 1789.

Philosophy

René Descartes' rationalist philosophy laid the foundation for enlightenment thinking. His attempt to construct the sciences on a secure metaphysical foundation was not as successful as his method of doubt applied in philosophic areas leading to a dualistic doctrine of mind and matter. His skepticism was refined by John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) and David Hume's writings in the 1740s. His dualism was challenged by Spinoza's uncompromising assertion of the unity of matter in his Tractatus (1670) and Ethics (1677).

According to Jonathan Israel, these laid down two distinct lines of Enlightenment thought: first, the moderate variety, following Descartes, Locke and Christian Wolff, which sought accommodation between reform and the traditional systems of power and faith, and second, the radical enlightenment, inspired by the philosophy of Spinoza, advocating democracy, individual liberty, freedom of expression and eradication of religious authority.[15][16] The moderate variety tended to be deistic, whereas the radical tendency separated the basis of morality entirely from theology. Both lines of thought were eventually opposed by a conservative Counter-Enlightenment, which sought a return to faith.[17]

German philosopher Immanuel Kant

In the mid-18th century, Paris became the center of philosophic and scientific activity challenging traditional doctrines and dogmas. The philosophical movement was led by Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who argued for a society based upon reason as in ancient Greece[18] rather than faith and Catholic doctrine, for a new civil order based on natural law, and for science based on experiments and observation. The political philosopher Montesquieu introduced the idea of a separation of powers in a government, a concept which was enthusiastically adopted by the authors of the United States Constitution. While the Philosophes of the French Enlightenment were not revolutionaries and many were members of the nobility, their ideas played an important part in undermining the legitimacy of the Old Regime and shaping the French Revolution.[19]

Francis Hutcheson, a moral philosopher, described the utilitarian and consequentialist principle that virtue is that which provides, in his words, "the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers". Much of what is incorporated in the scientific method (the nature of knowledge, evidence, experience and causation) and some modern attitudes towards the relationship between science and religion were developed by his protégés David Hume and Adam Smith.[20] Hume became a major figure in the skeptical philosophical and empiricist traditions of philosophy.

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) tried to reconcile rationalism and religious belief, Encyclopédie (Encyclopedia). Published between 1751 and 1772 in thirty-five volumes, it was compiled by Denis Diderot, Jean le Rond d'Alembert, and a team of 150 other intellectuals. The Encyclopédie helped in spreading the ideas of the Enlightenment across Europe and beyond.[13] Other landmark publications of the Enlightenment included Voltaire's Letters on the English (1733) and Dictionnaire philosophique (Philosophical Dictionary; 1764); Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1740); Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws (1748); Rousseau's Discourse on Inequality (1754) and The Social Contract (1762); Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and The Wealth of Nations (1776); and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (1781).

Enlightenment thought was deeply influential in the political realm. European rulers such as Catherine II of Russia, Joseph II of Austria and Frederick II of Prussia tried to apply Enlightenment thought on religious and political tolerance, which became known as enlightened absolutism.[12] Many of the main political and intellectual figures behind the American Revolution associated themselves closely with the Enlightenment: Benjamin Franklin visited Europe repeatedly and contributed actively to the scientific and political debates there and brought the newest ideas back to Philadelphia; Thomas Jefferson closely followed European ideas and later incorporated some of the ideals of the Enlightenment into the Declaration of Independence; and James Madison incorporated these ideals into the United States Constitution during its framing in 1787.[14] The ideas of the Enlightenment also played a major role in inspiring the French Revolution, which began in 1789.

René Descartes' rationalist philosophy laid the foundation for enlightenment thinking. His attempt to construct the sciences on a secure metaphysical foundation was not as successful as his method of doubt applied in philosophic areas leading to a dualistic doctrine of mind and matter. His skepticism was refined by John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) and David Hume's writings in the 1740s. His dualism was challenged by Spinoza's uncompromising assertion of the unity of matter in his Tractatus (1670) and Ethics (1677).

According to Jonathan Israel, these laid down two distinct lines of Enlightenment thought: first, the moderate variety, following Descartes, Locke and Christian Wolff

According to Jonathan Israel, these laid down two distinct lines of Enlightenment thought: first, the moderate variety, following Descartes, Locke and Christian Wolff, which sought accommodation between reform and the traditional systems of power and faith, and second, the radical enlightenment, inspired by the philosophy of Spinoza, advocating democracy, individual liberty, freedom of expression and eradication of religious authority.[15][16] The moderate variety tended to be deistic, whereas the radical tendency separated the basis of morality entirely from theology. Both lines of thought were eventually opposed by a conservative Counter-Enlightenment, which sought a return to faith.[17]

In the mid-18th century, Paris became the center of philosophic and scientific activity challenging traditional doctrines and dogmas. The philosophical movement was led by Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who argued for a society based upon reason as in ancient Greece[18] rather than faith and Catholic doctrine, for a new civil order based on natural law, and for science based on experiments and observation. The political philosopher Montesquieu introduced the idea of a separation of powers in a government, a concept which was enthusiastically adopted by the authors of the United States Constitution. While the Philosophes of the French Enlightenment were not revolutionaries and many were members of the nobility, their ideas played an important part in undermining the legitimacy of the Old Regime and shaping the French Revolution.[19]

Francis Hutcheson, a moral philosopher, described the utilitarian and consequentialist principle that virtue is that which provides, in his words, "the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers". Much of what is incorporated in the scientific method (the nature of knowledge, evidence, experience and causation) and some modern attitudes towards the relationship between science and religion were developed by his protégés David Hume and Adam Smith.[20] Hume became a major figure in the Francis Hutcheson, a moral philosopher, described the utilitarian and consequentialist principle that virtue is that which provides, in his words, "the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers". Much of what is incorporated in the scientific method (the nature of knowledge, evidence, experience and causation) and some modern attitudes towards the relationship between science and religion were developed by his protégés David Hume and Adam Smith.[20] Hume became a major figure in the skeptical philosophical and empiricist traditions of philosophy.

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) tried to reconcile rationalism and religious belief, individual freedom and political authority, as well as map out a view of the public sphere through private and public reason.[21] Kant's work continued to shape German thought and indeed all of European philosophy, well into the 20th century.[22]

Mary Wollstonecraft was one of England's earliest feminist philosophers.[23] She argued for a society based on reason and that women as well as men should be treated as rational beings. She is best known for her work A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1791).[24]

Science played an important role in Enlightenment discourse and thought. Many Enlightenment writers and thinkers had backgrounds in the sciences and associated scientific advancement with the overthrow of religion and traditional authority in favour of the development of free speech and thought. Scientific progress during the Enlightenment included the discovery of carbon dioxide (fixed air) by the chemist Joseph Black, the argument for deep time by the geologist James Hutton and the invention of the condensing steam engine by James Watt.[25] The experiments of Lavoisier were used to create the first modern chemical plants in Paris and the experiments of the Montgolfier Brothers enabled them to launch the first manned flight in a hot-air balloon on 21 November 1783 from the Château de la Muette, near the Bois de Boulogne.[26]

The wide-ranging contributions to mathematics of Leonhard Euler (1707–1783) included major results in analysis, number theory, topology, combinatorics, graph theory, algebra, and geometry (among other fields). In applied mathematics, he made fundamental contributions to mechanics, hydraulics, acoustics, optics, and astronomy. He was based in the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg (1727–1741), then in Berlin at the Royal Prussian Academy of S

The wide-ranging contributions to mathematics of Leonhard Euler (1707–1783) included major results in analysis, number theory, topology, combinatorics, graph theory, algebra, and geometry (among other fields). In applied mathematics, he made fundamental contributions to mechanics, hydraulics, acoustics, optics, and astronomy. He was based in the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg (1727–1741), then in Berlin at the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences and Belles Lettres (1741–1766), and finally back in St. Petersburg at the Imperial Academy (1766–1783).[27]

Broadly speaking, Enlightenment science greatly valued empiricism and rational thought and was embedded with the Enlightenment ideal of advancement and progress. The study of science, under the heading of natural philosophy, was divided into physics and a conglomerate grouping of chemistry and natural history, which included anatomy, biology, geology, mineralogy and zoology.[28] As with most Enlightenment views, the benefits of science were not seen universally: Rousseau criticized the sciences for distancing man from nature and not operating to make people happier.[29] Science during the Enlightenment was dominated by scientific societies and academies, which had largely replaced universities as centres of scientific research and development. Societies and academies were also the backbone of the maturation of the scientific profession. Another important development was the popularization of science among an increasingly literate population. Philosophes introduced the public to many scientific theories, most notably through the Encyclopédie and the popularization of Newtonianism by Voltaire and Émilie du Châtelet. Some historians have marked the 18th century as a drab period in the history of science.[30] However, the century saw significant advancements in the practice of medicine, mathematics and physics; the development of biological taxonomy; a new understanding of magnetism and electricity; and the maturation of chemistry as a discipline, which established the foundations of modern chemistry.

Scientific academies and societies grew out of the Scientific Revolution as the creators of scientific knowledge in contrast to the scholasticism of the university.[31] During the Enlightenment, some societies created or retained links to universities, but contemporary sources distinguished universities from scientific societies by claiming that the university's utility was in the transmission of knowledge while societies functioned to create knowledge.[32] As the role of universities in institutionalized science began to diminish, learned societies became the cornerstone of organized science. Official scientific societies were chartered by the state in order to provide technical expertise.[33] Most societies were granted permission to oversee their own publications, control the election of new members and the administration of the society.[34] After 1700, a tremendous number of official academies and societies were founded in Europe and by 1789 there were over seventy official scientific societies. In reference to this growth, Bernard de Fontenelle coined the term "the Age of Academies" to describe the 18th century.[35]

The influence of science also began appearing more commonly in poetry and literature during the Enlightenment. Some poetry became infused with scientific metaphor and imagery, while other poems were written directly about scientific topics. Sir Richard Blackmore committed the Newtonian system to verse in Creation, a Philosophical Poem in Seven Books (1712). After Newton's death in 1727, poems were composed in his honour for decades.[36] James Thomson (1700–1748) penned his "Poem to the Memory of Newton", which mourned the loss of Newton, but also praised his science and legacy.[37]

Hume and other Scottish Enlightenment thinkers developed a "science of man",[38] which was expressed historically in works by authors including James Burnett, Adam Ferguson, John Millar and William Robertson, all of whom merged a scientific study of how humans behaved in ancient and primitive cultures with a strong awareness of the determining forces of modernity. Modern sociology largely originated from this movement[39] and Hume's philosophical concepts that directly influenced James Madison (and thus the U.S. Constitution) and as popularised by Dugald Stewart, would be the basis of classical liberalism.[40]

In 1776, Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations, often considered the first work on modern economics as it had an immediate impact on British economic policy that continues into the 21st century.[41] It was immediately preceded and influenced by Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot, Baron de Laune drafts of Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth (Paris, 1766). Smith acknowledged indebtedness and possibly was the original English translator.[42]

Cesare Beccaria, a jurist, criminologist, philosopher and politician and one of the great Enlightenment writers, became famous for his masterpiece Of Crimes and Punishments (1764), later translated into 22 languages,[43] which condemne

In 1776, Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations, often considered the first work on modern economics as it had an immediate impact on British economic policy that continues into the 21st century.[41] It was immediately preceded and influenced by Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot, Baron de Laune drafts of Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth (Paris, 1766). Smith acknowledged indebtedness and possibly was the original English translator.[42]

Cesare Beccaria, a jurist, criminologist, philosopher and politician and one of the great Enlightenment writers, became famous for his masterpiece Of Crimes and Punishments (1764), later translated into 22 languages,[43] which condemned torture and the death penalty and was a founding work in the field of penology and the Classical School of criminology by promoting criminal justice. Another prominent intellectual was Francesco Mario Pagano, who wrote important studies such as Saggi Politici (Political Essays, 1783), one of the major works of the Enlightenment in Naples; and Considerazioni sul processo criminale (Considerations on the criminal trial, 1787), which established him as an international authority on criminal law.[44]

The Enlightenment has long been hailed as the foundation of modern Western political and intellectual culture.[45] The Enlightenment brought political modernization to the West, in terms of introducing democratic values and institutions and the creation of modern, liberal democracies. This thesis has been widely accepted by Anglophone scholars and has been reinforced by the large-scale studies by Robert Darnton, Roy Porter and most recently by Jonathan Israel.[46][47]

Theories of government

England

The very existence of an English Enlightenment has been hotly debated by scholars. The majority of textbooks on British history make little or no mention of an English Enlightenment. Some surveys of the entire Enlightenment include England and others ignore it, although they do include coverage of such major intellectuals as Joseph Addison, Edward Gibbon, John Locke, Isaac Newton, Alexander Pope, Joshua Reynolds and Jonathan Swift.[91] Roy Porter argues that the reasons for this neglect were the assumptions that the movement was primarily French-inspired, that it was largely a-religious or anti-clerical, and that it stood in outspoken defiance to the established order.[92] Porter admits that, after the 1720s, England could claim thinkers to equal Diderot, Voltaire or Rousseau. However, its leading intellectuals such as Edward Gibbon,[93] Edmund Burke and Samuel Johnson were all quite conservative and supportive of the standing order. Porter says the reason was that Enlightenment had come early to England and had succeeded so that the culture had accepted political liberalism, philosophical empiricism, and religious toleration of the sort that intellectuals on the continent had to fight for against powerful odds. Furthermore, England rejected the collectivism of the continent and emphasized the improvement of individuals as the main goal of enlightenment.[94]

One leader of the Scottish Enlightenment was Adam Smith, the father of modern economic science

[95] The Scottish network was "predominantly liberal Calvinist, Newtonian, and 'design' oriented in character which played a major role in the further development of the transatlantic Enlightenment".[96] In France, Voltaire said that "we look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization".[97] The focus of the Scottish Enlightenment ranged from intellectual and economic matters to the specifically scientific as in the work of William Cullen, physician and chemist; James Anderson, an agronomist; Joseph Black, physicist and chemist; and James Hutton, the first modern geologist.[20][98]

Anglo-American colonies

Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, played a major role in bringing Enlightenment ideas to the New World and in influencing British and French thinkers.[99] Franklin was influential for his political activism and for his advances in physics.[100][101] The cultural exchange during the Age of Enlightenment ran in both directions across the Atlantic. Thinkers such as Paine, Locke and Rousseau all take Native American cultural practices as examples of natural freedom.[102] The Americans closely followed English and Scottish political ideas, as well as some French thinkers such as Montesquieu.[103] As deists, they were influenced by ideas of John Toland (1670–1722) and Matthew Tindal (1656–1733). During the Enlightenment there was a great emphasis upon liberty, republicanism and religious tolerance. There was no respect for monarchy or inherited political power. Deists reconciled science and religion by rejecting prophecies, miracles and Biblical theology. Leading deists included Thomas Paine in The Age of Reason and by Thomas Jefferson in his short Jefferson Bible – from which all supernatural aspects were removed.[104]

German states

Prussia took the lead among the German states in sponsoring the political reforms that Enlightenment thinkers urged absolute rulers to adopt. There were important movements as well in the smaller states of Bavaria, Saxony, Hanover and the Palatinate. In each case, Enlightenment values became accepted and led to significant political and administrative reforms that laid the groundwork for the creation of modern states.[105] The princes of Saxony, for example, carried out an impressive series of fundamental fiscal, administrative, judicial, educational, cultural and general economic reforms. The reforms were aided by the country's strong urban structure and influential commercial groups and modernized pre-1789 Saxony along the lines of classic Enlightenment principles.[106][107]

Prussia took the lead among the German states in sponsoring the political reforms that Enlightenment thinkers urged absolute rulers to adopt. There were important movements as well in the smaller states of Bavaria, Saxony, Hanover and the Palatinate. In each case, Enlightenment values became accepted and led to significant political and administrative reforms that laid the groundwork for the creation of modern states.[105] The princes of Saxony, for example, carried out an impressive series of fundamental fiscal, administrative, judicial, educational, cultural and general economic reforms. The reforms were aided by the country's strong urban structure and influential commercial groups and modernized pre-1789 Saxony along the lines of classic Enlightenment principles.[106][107]

The Enlightenment) had transformed German high culture in music, philosophy, science and literature. Christian Wolff (1679–1754) was the pioneer as a writer who expounded the Enlightenment to German readers and legitimized German as a philosophic language.[108]

Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744–1803) broke new ground in philosophy and poetry, as a leader of the Sturm und Drang movement of proto-Romanticism. Weimar Classicism (Weimarer Klassik) was a cultural and literary movement based in Weimar that sought to establish a new humanism by synthesizing Romantic, classical and Enlightenment ideas. The movement (from 1772 until 1805) involved Herder as well as polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) and Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805), a poet and historian. Herder argued that every folk had its own particular identity, which was expressed in its language and culture. This legitimized the promotion of German language and culture and helped shape the development of German nationalism. Schiller's plays expressed the restless spirit of his generation, depicting the hero's struggle against social pressures and the force of destiny.[109]

German music, sponsored by the upper classes, came of age under composers Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744–1803) broke new ground in philosophy and poetry, as a leader of the Sturm und Drang movement of proto-Romanticism. Weimar Classicism (Weimarer Klassik) was a cultural and literary movement based in Weimar that sought to establish a new humanism by synthesizing Romantic, classical and Enlightenment ideas. The movement (from 1772 until 1805) involved Herder as well as polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) and Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805), a poet and historian. Herder argued that every folk had its own particular identity, which was expressed in its language and culture. This legitimized the promotion of German language and culture and helped shape the development of German nationalism. Schiller's plays expressed the restless spirit of his generation, depicting the hero's struggle against social pressures and the force of destiny.[109]

German music, sponsored by the upper classes, came of age under composers Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750), Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791).[110]

In remote Königsberg, philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) tried to reconcile rationalism and religious belief, individual freedom and political authority. Kant's work contained basic tensions that would continue to shape German thought – and indeed all of European philosophy – well into the 20th century.[111]

The German Enlightenment won the support of princes, aristocrats and the middle classes and it permanently reshaped the culture.[112] However, there was a conservatism among the elites that warned against going too far.[113]

In the 1780s, Lutheran ministers Johann Heinrich Schulz and Karl Wilhelm Brumbey got in trouble with their preaching as they were attacked and ridiculed by Immanuel Kant, Wilhelm Abraham Teller and others. In 1788, Prussia issued an "Edict on Religion" that forbade preaching any sermon that undermined popular belief in the Holy Trinity and the Bible. The goal was to avoid skepticism, deism and theological disputes that might impinge on domestic tranquility. Men who doubted the value of Enlightenment favoured the measure, but so too did many supporters. German universities had created a closed elite that could debate controversial issues among themselves, but spreading them to the public was seen as too risky. This intellectual elite was favoured by the state, but that might be reversed if the process of the Enlightenment proved politically or socially destabilizing.[114]

The Enlightenment played a distinctive, if small, role in the history of Italy.[115][116] Although most of Italy was controlled by conservative Habsburgs or the pope, Tuscany had some opportunities for reform. Leopold II of Tuscany abolished the death penalty in Tuscany and reduced censorship. From Naples, Antonio Genovesi (1713–1769) influenced a generation of southern Italian intellectuals and university students. His textbook "Diceosina, o Sia della Filosofia del Giusto e dell'Onesto" (1766) was a controversial attempt to mediate between the history of moral philosophy on the one hand and the specific problems encountered by 18th-century commercial society on the other. It contained the greater part of Genovesi's political, philosophical and economic thought – guidebook for Neapolitan economic and social development.[117] Science flourished as Alessandro Volta and Luigi Galvani made break-through discoveries in electricity. Pietro Verri was a leading economist in Lombardy. Historian Joseph Schumpeter states he was "the most important pre-Smithian authority on Cheapness-and-Plenty".[118] The most influential scholar on the Italian Enlightenment has been Franco Venturi.[119][120] Italy also produced some of the Enlightenment's greatest legal theorists, including Cesare Beccaria, Giambattista Vico and Francesco Mario Pagano. Beccaria in particular is now considered one of the fathers of classical criminal theory as well as modern penology.[121] Beccaria is famous for his masterpiece On Crimes and Punishments (1764), a treatise (later translated into 22 languages) that served as one of the earliest prominent condemnations of torture and the death penalty and thus a landmark work in anti-death penalty philosophy.[43]

Spain and Spanish America

The enlightenment in Portugal (iluminismo) was marked by the rule of the Prime Minister Marquis of Pombal under King Joseph I of Portugal from 1756 to 1777. Following the 1755 Lisbon earthquake which destroyed great part of Lisbon, the Marquis of Pombal implemented important economic policies to regulate commercial activity (in particular with Brazil and England), and to standardise quality throughout the country (for example by introducing the first integrated industries in Portugal). His reconstruction of Lisbon's riverside district in straight and perpendicular streets, methodically organized to facilitate commerce and exchange (for example by assigning to each

The enlightenment in Portugal (iluminismo) was marked by the rule of the Prime Minister Marquis of Pombal under King Joseph I of Portugal from 1756 to 1777. Following the 1755 Lisbon earthquake which destroyed great part of Lisbon, the Marquis of Pombal implemented important economic policies to regulate commercial activity (in particular with Brazil and England), and to standardise quality throughout the country (for example by introducing the first integrated industries in Portugal). His reconstruction of Lisbon's riverside district in straight and perpendicular streets, methodically organized to facilitate commerce and exchange (for example by assigning to each street a different product or service), can be seen as a direct application of the Enlightenment ideas to governance and urbanism. His urbanistic ideas, also being the first large-scale example of earthquake engineering, became collectively known as Pombaline style, and were implemented throughout the kingdom during his stay in office. His governance was as enlightened as ruthless, see for example the Távora affair.

In literature, the first Enlightenment ideas in Portugal can be traced back to the diplomat, philosopher, and writer António Vieira (1608-1697)[citation needed], who spent a considerable amount of

In literature, the first Enlightenment ideas in Portugal can be traced back to the diplomat, philosopher, and writer António Vieira (1608-1697)[citation needed], who spent a considerable amount of his life in colonial Brazil denouncing discriminations against New Christians and the Indigenous peoples in Brazil. His works remain today as one of the best pieces of Portuguese literature[citation needed]. During the 18th century, enlightened literary movements such as the Arcádia Lusitana (lasting from 1756 until 1776, then replaced by the Nova Arcádia in 1790 until 1794) surfaced in the academic medium, in particular involving former students of the University of Coimbra. A distinct member of this group was the poet Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage.

The ideas of the enlightenment also influenced various economists and anti-colonial intellectuals throughout the Portuguese Empire, such as José de Azeredo Coutinho, José da Silva Lisboa, Cláudio Manoel da Costa, and Tomás de Antônio Gonzaga.

As with the Napoleonic invasion of Spain, his invasion of Portugal had consequences for the Portuguese monarchy. With the aid of the British navy, the Portuguese royal family was evacuated to Brazil, its most important colony. Even though Napoleon had been defeated, the royal court remained in Brazil. The Liberal Revolution of 1820 forced the return of the royal family to Portugal. The terms by which the restored king was to rule was a constitutional monarchy under the Constitution of Portugal. Brazil declared its independence of Portugal in 1822, and became a monarchy.

In Russia, the government began to actively encourage the proliferation of arts and sciences in the mid-18th century. This era produced the first Russian university, library, theatre, public museum and independent press. Like other enlightened despots, Catherine the Great played a key role in fostering the arts, sciences and education. She used her own interpretation of Enlightenment ideals, assisted by notable international experts such as Voltaire (by correspondence) and in residence world class scientists such as Leonhard Euler and Peter Simon Pallas. The national Enlightenment differed from its Western European counterpart in that it promoted further modernization of all aspects of Russian life and was concerned with attacking the institution of serfdom in Russia. The Russian enlightenment centered on the individual instead of societal enlightenment and encouraged the living of an enlightened life.[127][128] A powerful element was prosveshchenie which combined religious piety, erudition and commitment to the spread of learning. However, it lacked the skeptical and critical spirit of the Western European Enlightenment.[129]

Poland

Enlightenment ideas (oświecenie) emerged late in Poland, as the Polish middle class was weaker and szlachta (nobility) culture (Sarmatism) together with the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth political system (Golden Liberty) were in deep crisis. The political system was built on republicanism, but was unable to defend itself against powerful neighbors Russia, Prussia and Austria as they repeatedly sliced off regions until nothing was left of independent Poland. The period of Polish Enlightenment began in the 1730s–1740s and especially in theatre and the arts peaked in the reign of King Stanisław August Poniatowski (second half of the 18th century). Warsaw was a main centre after 1750, with an expansion of schools and educational institutions and the arts patronage held at the Royal Castle.[130] Leaders promoted tolerance and more education. They included King Stanislaw II Poniatowski and reformers Piotr Switkowski, Antoni Poplawski, Josef Niemcewicz and Jósef Pawlinkowski, as well as Baudouin de Cortenay, a Polonized dramatist. Opponents included Florian Jaroszewicz, Gracjan Piotrowski, Karol Wyrwicz and Wojciech Skarszewski.[131]

The movement went into decline with the Third Partition of Poland (1795) – a national tragedy inspiring a short period of sentimental writing – and ended in 1822, replaced by Romanticism.[132]

Historiography

The Enlightenment has always been contested territory. According to Keith Thomas, its supporters "hail it as the source of everything that is progressive about the modern world. For them, it stands for freedom of thought, rational inquiry, critical thinking, religious tolerance, political liberty, scientific achievement, the pursuit of happiness, and hope for the future."[133] Thomas adds that its detractors accuse it of shallow rationalism, naïve optimism, unrealistic universalism and moral darkness. From the start, conservative and clerical defenders of traditional religion attacked materialism and skepticism as evil forces that encouraged immorality. By 1794, they pointed to the Terror during the French

The movement went into decline with the Third Partition of Poland (1795) – a national tragedy inspiring a short period of sentimental writing – and ended in 1822, replaced by Romanticism.[132]

The Enlightenment has always been contested territory. According to Keith Thomas, its supporters "hail it as the source of everything that is progressive about the modern world. For them, it stands for freedom of thought, rational inquiry, critical thinking, religious tolerance, political liberty, scientific achievement, the pursuit of happiness, and hope for the future."[133] Thomas adds that its detractors accuse it of shallow rationalism, naïve optimism, unrealistic universalism and moral darkness. From the start, conservative and clerical defenders of traditional religion attacked materialism and skepticism as evil forces that encouraged immorality. By 1794, they pointed to the Terror during the French Revolution as confirmation of their predictions. As the Enlightenment was ending, Romantic philosophers argued that excessive dependence on reason was a mistake perpetuated by the Enlightenment because it disregarded the bonds of history, myth, faith, and tradition that were necessary to hold society together.[134]

Definition

The term

The term "Enlightenment" emerged in English in the later part of the 19th century,[135] with particular reference to French philosophy, as the equivalent of the French term Lumières (used first by Dubos in 1733 and already well established by 1751). From Immanuel Kant's 1784 essay "Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?" ("Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?"), the German term became Aufklärung (aufklären = to illuminate; sich aufklären = to clear up). However, scholars have never agreed on a definition of the Enlightenment, or on its chronological or geographical extent. Terms like les Lumières (French), illuminismo (Italian), ilustración (Spanish) and Aufklärung (German) referred to partly overlapping movements. Not until the late nineteenth century did English scholars agree they were talking about "the Enlightenment".[134][136]

Enlightenment historiography began in the period itself, from what Enlightenment figures said about their work. A dominant element was the intellectual angle they took. D'Alembert's Preliminary Discourse of l'Encyclopédie provides a history of the Enlightenment which comprises a chronological list of developments in the realm of knowledge – of which the Encyclopédie forms the pinnacle.[137] In 1783, Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn referred to Enlightenment as a process by which man was educated in the use of reason.[138] Immanuel Kant called Enlightenment "man's release from his self-incurred tutelage", tutelage being "man's inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another".[139] "For Kant, Enlightenment was mankind's final coming of age, the emancipation of the human consciousness from an immature state of ignorance".[140] The German scholar Ernst Cassirer called the Enlightenment "a part and a special phase of that whole intellectual development through which modern philosophic thought gained its characteristic self-confidence and self-consciousness".[141] According to historian Roy Porter, the liberation of the human mind from a dogmatic state of ignorance, is the epitome of what the Age of Enlightenment was trying to capture.[142]

Bertrand Russell saw the Enlightenment as a phase in a progressive development which began in antiquity and that reason and challenges to the established order were constant ideals throughout that time.[143] Russell said that the Enlightenment was ultimately born out of the Protestant reaction against the Catholic counter-reformation and that philosophical views such as affinity for democracy against monarchy originated among 16th-century Protestants to justify their desire to break away from the Catholic Church. Although many of these philosophical ideals were picked up by Catholics, Russell argues that by the 18th century the Enlightenment was the principal manifestation of the schism that began with Martin Luther.[143]

Jonathan Israel rejects the attempts of postmodern and Marxian historians to understand the revolutionary ideas of t

Bertrand Russell saw the Enlightenment as a phase in a progressive development which began in antiquity and that reason and challenges to the established order were constant ideals throughout that time.[143] Russell said that the Enlightenment was ultimately born out of the Protestant reaction against the Catholic counter-reformation and that philosophical views such as affinity for democracy against monarchy originated among 16th-century Protestants to justify their desire to break away from the Catholic Church. Although many of these philosophical ideals were picked up by Catholics, Russell argues that by the 18th century the Enlightenment was the principal manifestation of the schism that began with Martin Luther.[143]

Jonathan Israel rejects the attempts of postmodern and Marxian historians to understand the revolutionary ideas of the period purely as by-products of social and economic transformations.[144] He instead focuses on the history of ideas in the period from 1650 to the end of the 18th century and claims that it was the ideas themselves that caused the change that eventually led to the revolutions of the latter half of the 18th century and the early 19th century.[145] Israel argues that until the 1650s Western civilization "was based on a largely shared core of faith, tradition and authority".[146]

There is little consensus on the precise beginning of the Age of Enlightenment, though several historians and philosophers argue that it was marked by Descartes' 1637 philosophy of Cogito, ergo sum ("I think, therefore I Am"), which shifted the epistemological basis from external authority to internal certainty.[147][148][149] In France, many cited the publication of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica (1687),[150] which built upon the work of earlier scientists and formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation.[151] The middle of the 17th century (1650) or the beginning of the 18th century (1701) are often used as epochs.[citation needed] French historians usually place the Siècle des Lumières ("Century of Enlightenments") between 1715 and 1789: from the beginning of the reign of Louis XV until the French Revolution.[152] Most scholars use the last years of the century, often choosing the French Revolution of 1789 or the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars (1804–1815) as a convenient point in time with which to date the end of the Enlightenment.[153]

Modern study In the 1947 book Dialectic of Enlightenment, Frankfurt School philosophers Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno argued:

Enlightenment, understood in the widest sense as the advance of thought, has always aimed at liberating human beings from fear and installing them as masters. Yet the wholly enlightened earth radiates under the sign of disaster triumphant.Enlightenment, understood in the widest sense as the advance of thought, has always aimed at liberating human beings from fear and installing them as masters. Yet the wholly enlightened earth radiates under the sign of disaster triumphant.[154]

Extending Horkhei

Extending Horkheimer and Adorno's argument, intellectual historian Jason Josephson-Storm has argued that any idea of the Age of Enlightenment as a clearly defined period that is separate from the earlier Renaissance and later Romanticism or Counter-Enlightenment constitutes a myth. Josephson-Storm points out that there are vastly different and mutually contradictory periodizations of the Enlightenment depending on nation, field of study, and school of thought; that the term and category of "Enlightenment" referring to the scientific revolution was actually applied after the fact; that the Enlightenment did not see an increase in disenchantment or the dominance of the mechanistic worldview; and that a blur in the early modern ideas of the humanities and natural sciences makes it hard to circumscribe a Scientific Revolution.[155] Josephson-Storm defends his categorization of the Enlightenment as "myth" by noting the regulative role ideas of a period of Enlightenment and disenchantment play in modern Western culture, such that belief in magic, spiritualism, and even religion appears somewhat taboo in intellectual strata.[156]

In the 1970

In the 1970s, study of the Enlightenment expanded to include the ways Enlightenment ideas spread to European colonies and how they interacted with indigenous cultures and how the Enlightenment took place in formerly unstudied areas such as Italy, Greece, the Balkans, Poland, Hungary and Russia.[157]

Intellectuals such as Robert Darnton and Jürgen Habermas have focused on the social conditions of the Enlightenment. Habermas described the creation of the "bourgeois public sphere" in 18th-century Europe, containing the new venues and modes of communication allowing for rational exchange. Habermas said that the public sphere was bourgeois, egalitarian, rational and independent from the state, making it the ideal venue for intellectuals to critically examine contemporary politics and society, away from the interference of established authority. While the public sphere is generally an integral component of the social study of the Enlightenment, other historians[note 3] have questioned whether the public sphere had these characteristics.

In contrast to the intellectual historiographical approach of the Enlightenment, which examines the various currents or discourses of intellectual thought within the European context during the 17th and 18th centuries, the cultural (or social) approach examines the changes that occurred in European society and culture. This approach studies the process of changing sociabilities and cultural practices during the Enlightenment.

One of the primary elements of the culture of the Enlightenment was the rise of the public sphere, a "realm of communication marked by new arenas of debate, more open and accessible forms of urban public space and sociability, and an explosion of print culture", in the late 17th century and 18th century.[158] Elements of the public sphere included that it was egalitarian, that it discussed the domain of "common concern," and that argument was founded on reason.[159] Habermas uses the term "common concern" to describe those areas of political/social knowledge and discussion that were previously the exclusive territory of the state and religious authorities, now open to critical examination by the public sphere. The values of this bourgeois public sphere included holding reason to be supreme, considering everything to be open to criticism (the public sphere is critical), and the opposition of secrecy of all sorts.[160]

public sphere, a "realm of communication marked by new arenas of debate, more open and accessible forms of urban public space and sociability, and an explosion of print culture", in the late 17th century and 18th century.[158] Elements of the public sphere included that it was egalitarian, that it discussed the domain of "common concern," and that argument was founded on reason.[159] Habermas uses the term "common concern" to describe those areas of political/social knowledge and discussion that were previously the exclusive territory of the state and religious authorities, now open to critical examination by the public sphere. The values of this bourgeois public sphere included holding reason to be supreme, considering everything to be open to criticism (the public sphere is critical), and the opposition of secrecy of all sorts.[160]

The creation of the public sphere has been associated with two long-term historical trends: the rise of the modern nation state and the rise of capitalism. The modern nation state, in its consolidation of public power, created by counterpoint a private realm of society independent of the state, which allowed for the public sphere. Capitalism also increased society's autonomy and self-awareness, as well as an increasing need for the exchange of information. As the nascent public sphere expanded, it embraced a large variety of institutions and the most commonly cited were coffee houses and cafés, salons and the literary public sphere, figuratively localized in the Republic of Letters.[162] In France, the creation of the public sphere was helped by the aristocracy's move from the King's palace at Versailles to Paris in about 1720, since their rich spending stimulated the trade in luxuries and artistic creations, especially fine paintings.[163]

The context for the rise of the public sphere was the economic and social change commonly associated with the Industrial Revolution: "Economic expansion, increasing urbanization, rising population and improving communications in comparison to the stagnation of the previous century".[164] Rising efficiency in production techniques and communication lowered the prices of consumer goods and increased the amount and variety of goods available to consumers (including the literature essential to the public sphere). Meanwhile, the colonial experience (most European states had colonial empires in the 18th century) began to expose European society to extremely heterogeneous cultures, leading to the breaking down of "barriers between cultural systems, religious divides, gender differences and geographical areas".[165]

The word "public" implies the highest level of in

The context for the rise of the public sphere was the economic and social change commonly associated with the Industrial Revolution: "Economic expansion, increasing urbanization, rising population and improving communications in comparison to the stagnation of the previous century".[164] Rising efficiency in production techniques and communication lowered the prices of consumer goods and increased the amount and variety of goods available to consumers (including the literature essential to the public sphere). Meanwhile, the colonial experience (most European states had colonial empires in the 18th century) began to expose European society to extremely heterogeneous cultures, leading to the breaking down of "barriers between cultural systems, religious divides, gender differences and geographical areas".[165]

The word "public" implies the highest level of inclusivity – the public sphere by definition should be open to all. However, this sphere was only public to relative degrees. Enlightenment thinkers frequently contrasted their conception of the "public" with that of the people: Condorcet contrasted "opinion" with populace, Marmontel "the opinion of men of letters" with "the opinion of the multitude" and d'Alembert the "truly enlightened public" with "the blind and noisy multitude".[166] Additionally, most institutions of the public sphere excluded both women and the lower classes.[167] Cross-class influences occurred through noble and lower class participation in areas such as the coffeehouses and the Masonic lodges.

Because of the focus on reason over superstition, the Enlightenment cultivated the arts.[168] Emphasis on learning, art and music became more widespread, especially with the growing middle class. Areas of study such as literature, philosophy, science, and the fine arts increasingly explored subject matter to which the general public, in addition to the previously more segregated professionals and patrons, could relate.[169]

Handel, for example, epitomized this with his highly public musical activities in London. He gained considerable fame there with performances of his operas and oratorios. The music of Haydn and Mozart, with their Viennese Classical styles, are usually regarded as being the most in line with the Enlightenment ideals.[170]

The desire to explore, record and systematize knowledge had a meaningful impact on music publications. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Dictionnaire de musique (published 1767 in Geneva and 1768 in Paris) was a leading text in the late 18th century.[170] This widely available dictionary gave short definitions of words like genius and taste and was clearly influenced by the Enlightenment movement. Another text influenced by Enlightenment values was Charles Burney's A General History of Music: From the Earliest Ages to the Present Period (1776), which was a historical survey and an attempt to rationalize elements in music systematically over time.[171] Recently, musicologis

The desire to explore, record and systematize knowledge had a meaningful impact on music publications. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Dictionnaire de musique (published 1767 in Geneva and 1768 in Paris) was a leading text in the late 18th century.[170] This widely available dictionary gave short definitions of words like genius and taste and was clearly influenced by the Enlightenment movement. Another text influenced by Enlightenment values was Charles Burney's A General History of Music: From the Earliest Ages to the Present Period (1776), which was a historical survey and an attempt to rationalize elements in music systematically over time.[171] Recently, musicologists have shown renewed interest in the ideas and consequences of the Enlightenment. For example, Rose Rosengard Subotnik's Deconstructive Variations (subtitled Music and Reason in Western Society) compares Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (1791) using the Enlightenment and Romantic perspectives and concludes that the work is "an ideal musical representation of the Enlightenment".[171]

As the economy and the middle class expanded, there was an increasing number of amateur musicians. One manifestation of this involved women, who became more involved with music on a social level. Women were already engaged in professional roles as singers and increased their presence in the amateur performers' scene, especially with keyboard music.[172] Music publishers begin to print music that amateurs could understand and play. The majority of the works that were published were for keyboard, voice and keyboard and chamber ensemble.[172] After these initial genres were popularized, from the mid-century on, amateur groups sang choral music, which then became a new trend for publishers to capitalize on. The increasing study of the fine arts, as well as access to amateur-friendly published works, led to more people becoming interested in reading and discussing music. Music magazines, reviews and critical works which suited amateurs as well as connoisseurs began to surface.[172]

The philosophes spent a great deal of energy disseminating their ideas among educated men and women in cosmopolitan cities. They used many venues, some of them quite new.

Pierre Bayle in his journal Nouvelles de la Republique des Lettres. Towards the end of the 18th century, the editor of Histoire de la République des Lettres en France, a literary survey, described the Republic of Letters as being:

In the midst of all the governments that decide the fate of men; in the bosom of so many states, the majority of them despotic ... there exists a certain realm which holds sway only over the mind ... that we honour with the name Republic, because it preserves a measure of independence, and because it is almost its essence to be free. It is the realm of talent and of thought.[173]

The Republic of Letters was the sum of a number of Enlightenment ideals: an egalitarian realm governed by knowledge that could act across political boundaries and rival state power.[173] It was a forum that supported "free public examination of questions regarding religion or legislation".[174] Immanuel Kant considered written communication essential to his conception of the public sphere; once everyone was a part of the "rea

In the midst of all the governments that decide the fate of men; in the bosom of so many states, the majority of them despotic ... there exists a certain realm which holds sway only over the mind ... that we honour with the name Republic, because it preserves a measure of independence, and because it is almost its essence to be free. It is the realm of talent and of thought.[173]

The Republic of L

The Republic of Letters was the sum of a number of Enlightenment ideals: an egalitarian realm governed by knowledge that could act across political boundaries and rival state power.[173] It was a forum that supported "free public examination of questions regarding religion or legislation".[174] Immanuel Kant considered written communication essential to his conception of the public sphere; once everyone was a part of the "reading public", then society could be said to be enlightened.[175] The people who participated in the Republic of Letters, such as Diderot and Voltaire, are frequently known today as important Enlightenment figures. Indeed, the men who wrote Diderot's Encyclopédie arguably formed a microcosm of the larger "republic".[176]