The Enlightenment (roughly 1650-1800) was a politically and intellectually revolutionary period of history that defined the ideas that continue to shape the way we see ourselves and the world we live in--ideas like democracy, free speech, individualism, scientific evidence, free markets, and human rights. By examining this period, this module provides students with a crucial framework for understanding today's dominant intellectual currents--a framework that proves remarkably useful for students in their second- and third-year coursework. Indeed, graduating students often rank it among the most useful modules they've taken. Built on a spine of lectures delivered by staff from across the Faculty of Humanities and the Social Sciences, this interdisciplinary module covers the aftermath of the Scientific Revolution, the English Revolution, social contract theory, the great age of discovery and exploration, the American Revolution, the roots of capitalism, the origins of modern law and medicine, Rousseau's critique of wealth inequality, the French Revolution, Burke and Paine's debate over human rights, and Wollstonecraft's early feminism.
- Module Supervisor: Fabian Freyenhagen