Browse Items (27 total)

  • Tags: 18th century

Natural Disasters and the Debate on the Unity or Plurality of Enlightenments,

Discusses eighteenth-century views of natural portents and disasters, mainly in the thought of Edward Gibbon and Adam Smith, and claims, vis-à-vis Jonathan Israel's thesis regarding the Radical Enlightenment, that in fact the Moderate Enlightenment…

Ariel's Ecology: Plantations, Personhood, and Colonialism in the American Tropics

Allewaert uncovers the enmeshment of persons in places-- and the imbrication of the nonhuman and the human-- in eighteenth-century American plantations (and the literature, culture, and thought circulating around and through them). Her book imagines…

Enlightenment and Pathology

Vila's study is now a classic, not only for its revealing interdisciplinary treatment of sensibility but also for its precise methodology and the clarity of its prose.

The Great Cat Massacre

Translated into 18 languages to date, this work is delightful read and also gets one thinking about the many ways in which we impose our own cultural assumptions, inaccurately, on previous eras; very useful as a pedagogical tool to get students out…

The Republic of Letters

A ground-breaking consideration of the social history of gender in the Enlightenment. As well as an invaluable source on the social history of the Enlightenment overll, this study gave rise to a meaningful and revaling debate about the lack of…

Mapping the Republic of Letters

This website provides interactive, visual tools that depict the vast networks of people and information during the Enlightenment. Using archived letters, travel logs, and other resources, it depicts visually the routes traveled by letters, people,…

“Liberté, Égalité, Sororité: The Regime of the Sister in Graffigny's Lettres
d'une Péruvienne.”

Discusses 18th-century author Françoise de Graffigny's important novel (Lettres d'une Péruvienne), focusing on the form of the letters in the novel, which are constructed first in quipos (a peruvian form of communication involving knotted cords),…

Re-Thinking Colonialism to Prepare for the Impacts of Rapid Environmental Change

Reo and Parker discuss how landscape change similar to what people are concerned about with climate change today has a long history in certain regions. In what is now called the Eastern U.S., colonialism enacted environmental changes such as massive…

A Temperate Empire: Making Climate Change in Early America

European encountered climates in northern North America that were harsher and more variable than their notions about weather and geography led them to expect. In A Temperate Empire, Anya Zilberstein reveals how colonial conditions generated…

Selected Philosophical and Scientific Writings

Brings together a collection of Du Châtelet's writing and shows that she was much more than Voltaire's mistress; she was a philosophe in her own right. This volume not only provides a good introduction to Du Châtelet but shows how ambitious…

Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794) and His Wife (Marie Anne Pierrette Paulze, 1758-1836)

Reveals the gendered division of labor in many scientific households. Antoine, seated, is at work on a chemistry treatise; his wife, Marie-Anne, takes a break from her drawing board to look over his shoulder. Whereas Antoine is famous for his…

An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump

Captures the complicated attitude towards science during the Enlightenment. A man is suffocating a bird in an air pump, while (most of) his audience looks on in wonder and fear. Shows that scientific demonstrations could attract a considerable…

The Wild Girl, Natural Man, and the Monster: Dangerous Experiments in the Age of Enlightenment

Explores Enlightenment optimism about the perfectibility of mankind by looking at efforts to educate and "civilize" children. Chapters consider reactions to so-called "wild children"; utopian pedagogical schemes (including efforts to apply…

Emile, or on Education

Outlines a program for educating children according to the precepts of Nature. Heavily influenced by Locke's philosophy of human understanding, this 1762 treatise argues that parents should pursue a "negative education": avoid formal schooling and…

"Aesthetics and Civil Society: Theories of Art and Society, 1640–1790"

Shows how Kant wrote his Critique of Judgment as a synthesis of English theories of “taste” and civil society and German theories of “aesthetic.” Writers since Hobbes have used theories of art to advance theories of society. Kant sought a…

On the Aesthetic Education of Man

Deserves as much credit as any source for bringing the political implications of Kant’s Critique of Judgment into contemporary discourse. Despondent over the perceived failure of the French Revolution, Schiller asks, “Why are we still…

Critique of the Faculty of Judgment [Urteilskraft]

Received most often as Kant’s aesthetic treatise, but also understood as his mature political treatise (cf., Hannah Arendt’s “ectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy). Unlike most aesthetic treatises before and since, this one privileges…

Nature in the History of Economic Thought: How Natural Resources Became an Economic Concept

Outlines how natural resources came to be considered as economic resources in European intellectual history, with an emphasis on developments in the long eighteenth century.