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Advanced Seminar: Enlightenment, Then

History 48AD - Fall 2019

The Enlightenment. The word is laden with polemical meaning, at once celebrated as the beginnings of modernity - whatever that may mean. -- and charged with everything wrong with it. Its main intellectual figures - Adam Smith, Kant, Voltaire, Beccaria - are frequently celebrated, sometimes reviled. But can one even speak of The Enlightenment? Was there a program, a goal, a hidden five-year plan devised by a central committee? Was it truly dedicated to Reason, Liberty, and Human Rights? If so, why did so many of its thinkers championed and embraced inequality, slavery, racism, and despotism? Is it a movement, or a set of ideas? Did it emancipate, or exclude? And, if there was no core tenet, why has the label stuck? Could we not say that something changed in the eighteenth-century? And if so, what? What were the hopes, and the critiques, that people, then and now, have invested in the idea of the Enlightenment? That's a lot of questions. If nothing else, the Enlightenment was all about providing answers.
Course Attributes: BU HumAS HUMAS LCDFA HUMAR HUMAS SC

Section 01

Advanced Seminar: Enlightenment, Then
INSTRUCTOR: Dube
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