Browse Items (27 total)

  • Tags: 18th century

"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 middle way…

“De la percepción popular a la reflexión erudite: La transmisión de la ‘cultura de la catástrofe’ en la España del siglo XVIII”

In this article, Alberola argues that while the first formal reflections on the physical nature of disasters appeared in the philosophical and scientific works of the Classical era, it was in the eighteenth century that these environmental ideas took…

“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), and…

“The Morality of Plagiarism: Voltaire, Diderot and the Legacy of Graffigny’s Cénie.”

Explains how Graffigny’s play, which was a great success from its first performance until the end of the author’s life, later falls into oblivion due to evolving attitudes toward plagiarism. Kelley argues that accusations of plagiarism in reviews…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 natural over…

Dreadful Visitations: Confronting Natural Catastrophe in the Age of Enlightenment

Edited collection of six articles that explore eighteenth-century catastrophes around the globe. Studies consider questions of risk, vulnerability, resilience, colonialism, and the human role in creating "disasters."

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…

Enlightenment and Pathology: Sensibility in the Literature and Medicine of Eighteenth-Century France

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.

Hurricanes and Society in the British Greater Caribbean, 1624-1783

This text surveys the British Caribbean from 1624 through the calamitous hurricane season of 1780. Mulcahy examines the various natural hazards that the region was prone to, including food shortages and disease, but focuses his attention on…

L’invention de la catastrophe au xviiie siècle: du châtiment au désastre naturel

In the spirit of Starobinski's L'invention de la liberté, 1700-1789, essays in this edited volume consider the invention of "catastrophe" in the eighteenth century, i.e. the idea of catastrophe as a natural event and an aesthetic object was born in…

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,…

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…

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.

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 barbarians?” He…