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Enlightenment I

Seminar Questions

  • What was the Enlightenment?
  • What was the purpose of Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopédie?
  • How do Voltaire and Rousseau imagine society and what impact do they attribute to the arts and sciences?

Core Reading

  • Voltaire, Letters concerning the English Nation (excerpt)
  • Diderot, the entry 'Encyclopedia' in the Encyclopédie (excerpt)
  • JJ Rousseau, 'First Discourse on the Arts and Sciences' [electronic resource]
  • R. Darnton, 'The Great Divide: Rousseau on the Route to Vincennes' in George Washington's False Teeth: An Unconventional Guide to the Eighteenth Century (New York: W.W. Norton, 2003), 107-118.
  • For background, Popkin, History of Modern France, ch 4.

Further Reading

Classic and General works

  • Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the French Revolution (1954 [orig. 1856])
  • T. Munck, ‘Enlightenment’ in W. Doyle (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Ancien Regime [e-book, library, under subheading 'Solvents?']
  • E. Cassirer, The Philosophy of the Enlightenment (1951 [orig. 1932])
  • C. Becker, The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-century Philosophers (1932)
  • R. Koselleck, Critique and Crisis: enlightenment and the pathogenesis of modern society (1988 [orig. 1954])
  • P. Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation, 2 vols. (1966, 1969); Voltaire’s Politics: The Poet as Realist (1959)
  • N. Hampson, The Enlightenment (1968)
  • J. Israel, A Revolution of the Mind (2011)
  • D. Edelstein, The Enlightenment: A Genealogy (2010)

Politics, Religion and Enlightenment

  • K. Baker, Inventing the French Revolution (1990)
  • D. Gordon, Citizens Without Sovereignty: Equality and Sociability in French Thought, 1670-1789 (1994)
  • D. Goodman, The Republic of Letters: A Cultural History of the French Enlightenment (1996)
  • H. Rosenblatt, Rousseau and Geneva. From the First Discourse to the Social Contract, 1749-1762 (2007)
  • D. McMahon, Enemies of the Enlightenment: The French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity (2001)
  • M. Linton, The Politics of Virtue in Enlightenment France (2001)
  • K. Wright, A Classical Republican in Eighteenth-Century France: The Political Thought of Mably (1997)
  • M. Vovelle, The Revolution against the Church: from Reason to the Supreme Being (1991)
  • D. Sorkin, Religious Enlightenment: Protestants, Jews and Catholics from London to Vienna (2011)
  • M. Sonenscher, Work and Wages: Natural Law, Politics and the Eighteenth-century French Trades (1988); Before the Deluge: Public Debt, Inequality, and the Intellectual Origins of the French Revolution (2007); Sans-Culottes: An Eighteenth-century Emblem in the French Revolution (2008)
  • L. Brockliss, Calvet's Web: Enlightenment and the Republic of Letters in Eighteenth-Century France (2002)
  • A. C. Kors, Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, 4 vos. (2003)
  • L. Daston, Classical Probability in the Enlightenment (1995)
  • R. Kreiser, Miracles, convulsions, and ecclesiastical politics in early eighteenth-century Paris (1978)
  • J. Merrick, The Desacralization of the French Monarchy in the Eighteenth Century (1990)
  • D. Brewer, The Discourse of Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century France: Diderot and the Art of Philosophizing (1993)
  • N. Keohane, Philosophy and the State in France from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment (1980)
  • M. Cranston, Philosophers and Pamphleteers: Political Theorists of the Enlightenment (1986)
  • A. Lilti, The World of the Salons: Sociability and Worldliness in Eighteenth-century Paris (2015)

Print and Public Opinion

  • J. Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (1989 [orig. 1962])
  • R. Darnton, The Forbidden Bestsellers of Prerevolutionary France (1996); The Literary Underground of the Old Regime (1981); The Devil in the Holy Water, or The Art of Slander from Louis XIV to Napoleon (2010)
  • R. Chartier, The Cultural Uses of Print in Early Modern France (1987)
  • T. Rigogne, Between State and Market: Printing and Bookselling in Eighteenth-century France (2007)
  • L. Rosenband, Papermaking in Eighteenth-Century France: Management, Labor, and Revolution at the Montgolfier Mill, 1761-1805 (2000)
  • J. McLeod, Licensing loyalty: printers, patrons, and the state in early modern France (2011)
  • R. Birn, The Royal Censorship of Books in Eighteenth-century France (2012); Forging Rousseau: Print, Commerce and Cultural Manipulation in the Late Enlightenment (2001)
  • G. Turnovsky, The Literary Market: Authorship and Modernity in the Old Regime (2010)
  • C. Walton (ed.), Into Print: Limits and Legacies of the Enlightenment (2011)
  • R. Darnton and D. Roche, A Revolution in Print: The Press in France, 1775-1800 (1989)
  • M. Root-Bernstein, Boulevard Theater and Revolution in Eighteenth-Century Paris (1984)
  • J. Ravel, The Contested Parterre: Public Theater and French Political Culture, 1680-1791 (1999)
  • A. Farge, Subversive Words: Public Opinion in the 18th Century (1994)
  • L. J. Graham, If the King Only Knew: Seditious Speech in the Reign of Louis XV (2000)
  • J. Censer, The French Press in the Age of Enlightenment (1994)
  • S. E. Melzer and K. Norberg (eds.), From the Royal to the Republican Body: Incorporating the Political in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century France (1998)
  • Carla Hesse, The Other Enlightenment: How French Women Became Modern (2003)
  • S. Rosenfeld, A Revolution in Language: The Problem of Signs in Late Eighteenth-century France (2001)
  • S. Maza, Private Lives and Public Affairs: The causes célèbres of pre-Revolutionary France (1993)