London’s Enlightenment Coffeehouses of the 17th and 18th Centuries

The London coffeehouses of the 17th and 18th centuries were the engines of creation that helped drive the Enlightenment. By David GurteenIndependent Knowledge Management Consultant Introduction Modern-day coffee shops such as Starbucks, Costa Coffee, and Caffè Nero have their roots in the coffeehouses of 17th and 18th century London. Still, those old coffeehouses were quite[…]

Dogs and Their Collars in the Age of Enlightenment

Dog collars, which were previously utilitarian devices for controlling the animals, became ornate works of art. Introduction In medieval and Renaissance Europe, dogs were considered little more than ‘machines’ which performed certain tasks, such as guarding a home or tracking game, but this view changed significantly during the Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age[…]

English Coffeehouses, French Salons, and the Age of Enlightenment

A heterogeneous group of people came together to engage in rational debate without regard to rank. Abstract In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the London coffeehouse and the Parisian salon functioned as what Jürgen Habermas has identified as the public sphere: a place for social interaction outside the private sphere (the home) and the sphere[…]

Enlightenment Jewish Style: The Haskalah Movement, 18th- and 19th-Century Europe

Moses Mendelssohn (left) discusses theology with Johann Kaspar Lavater and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, c.1800 / Wikimedia Commons The Maskilim tried to harmonize the adherence to the Jewish religion and tradition with integration into the European societies. By Dr. Marie Schumacher-Brunhes / 04.19.2012 Professor of German and Scandinavian Languages and Literature Université de Lille Introduction[…]

Criticism of Western Civilization Isn’t New – It Was Part of the Enlightenment

Jean-Baptiste Belley, Deputy of Saint-Domingue and French National Convention member (1793-97) with a bust of Abbé Raynal Some today declare that “Western civilization” is something we should all be simply “for”. But the enlightenment, central to this civilization, shows how things are rarely so simple. By Dr. Matthew Sharpe / 10.18.2018 Associate Professor of Philosophy Deakin University The duelling sides in[…]

The Age of Enlightenment: An Intellectual Movement of Reason

The Scholar with His Student, Anonymous Flemish painter (circle of Gerard Thomas and Balthasar van den Bossche) / Wikimedia Commons The Enlightenment advocated reason as a means to establishing an authoritative system of aesthetics, ethics, government, and even religion, which would allow human beings to obtain objective truth about the whole of reality. Edited by[…]

Meet the Real François-Thomas Germain, Sculptor-Silversmith of the Enlightenment

Centerpiece for a Table, 1754, François-Thomas Germain. Silver, 8 1/4 × 14 1/2 × 9 1/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2005.43. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program Germain’s artistic achievements are more amazing than his radical schemes in a video game. By Charissa Bremer-David / 07.23.2018 Associate Curator, Department of Sculpture[…]

‘Enlightened Despots’ in the Early Modern World

Equestrian portrait of Catherine in the Preobrazhensky Regiment’s uniform. / Wikimedia Commons Enlightened despotism, also called benevolent despotism, was a form of government in the 18th century in which absolute monarchs pursued legal, social, and educational reforms inspired by the Enlightenment. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 06.12.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Frederick the Great and[…]

It Wasn’t Just the Philosophers Like Diderot Who Invented the Enlightenment

Presocratic Natural Philosophers from History of Science – Science in Ancient Egypt and the Aegean By Dr. Paola Bertucci / 03.04.2018 Associate Professor of History and History of Medicine Yale University The Greek philosopher Plato tells in his Theaetetus that the astronomer and early philosopher Thales was looking at the sky on a starry night, when he stumbled[…]

Studying Sculpture by Learning How to Draw It in the Renaissance and Enlightenment

The Apollo Belvedere, 1726–32, Edme Bouchardon. Red chalk, 22 1/2 x 16 7/8 in. Paris, Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts graphiques, INV. 23999. © Musée du Louvre, dist. RMN – Grand Palais / Laurent Chastel Beginning in the Renaissance, painters and sculptors learned their craft by sketching from the sculpture of the past. By[…]