The Enlightenment
Winter Semester 1998

Frank Luttmer
108 Classic Hall
M W F: 8-9, T R: 10-11

Course Description and Objectives

This course is a seminar on the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, focusing especially on the history of ideas. Readings include numerous works by the philosophes and a recent interpretive essay that addresses the social and political context of the Enlightenment and historiographical themes. The course is designed not only to promote a historical understanding of the Enlightenment but also to encourage the development of the skills of historical research and writing. Seminar members will be expected to analyze primary documents carefully and thoughtfully, develop and defend their own interpretations, and write a substantive research paper.


Dorinda Outram, The Enlightenment
Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishments
David Hume, Treatise of Human Nature
Montesquieu, Selected Political Writings
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Essential Rousseau
Adam Smith, The Essential Adam Smith
Voltaire, Candide, Zadig, and Selected Stories
Primary texts taken from the Internet or on reserve in the library.

Joseph Williams, Style (recommended)


Final grades will be based on an evaluation of the following.

1. Two mid-term exams (15% each) and a final exam (20%)

2. A Research paper submitted in two drafts (15% for the first draft and 20% for the second)

3. Class participation and daily writing assignments (15%)


Jan. 7:
Historiography and Social Context
Outram, 1-30

Jan. 9:
"The Reasonableness of Christianity"
Outram, 31-46; Locke, Christianity

Jan 12:
"The Reasonableness of Christianity"
Locke, Essay; Locke, Miracles; Blount

Jan. 14:
"Modern Pagans"
Voltaire; d’Holbach

Jan. 16:
The Scientific Outlook
Outram, 47-62; Newton; Smith, 27-36

Jan. 19:
David Hume
Hume, xiii-xix, 1-15, 69-94, 124-142

Jan. 21:
David Hume
Hume, 173-179, 225-231, 263-274

Jan. 23:
David Hume
Hume; Hume

Jan. 26:
Voltaire, 173-191, 329-346, 15-41

Jan. 28:
Voltaire, 41-101

Jan. 30:
Voltaire, 102-136, 164-172

Feb. 2:

Feb. 4:
Human Nature: Unity and Diversity
Outram, 63-95

Feb. 6:
Human Nature: Unity and Diversity
Montesquieu, 55-83; Diderot

Feb. 9:
Human Nature: Unity and Diversity
Voltaire, 255-318

Feb. 11:
Government and Political Theory
Outram, 96-113; Montesquieu, 85-105

Feb. 13:
Government and Political Theory
Montesquieu, 106-160

Feb. 16:
Government and Political Theory
Montesquieu, 161-229

Feb. 18:
Government and Political Theory
Montesquieu, 230-242; Beccaria, 1-33

Feb. 20:
Goverment and Political Theory
Beccaria, 33-81

Mar. 2:
David Hume
Hume, 275-279, 329-332, 366-368, 455-484

Mar. 4:
David Hume
Hume, 484-534

Mar. 5:

Mar. 6:
David Hume
Hume, 534-591

Mar. 9:
David Hume
Hume, 592-621

Mar. 11:

Mar. 13:
Adam Smith
Smith, 65-109

Mar. 16:
Adam Smith
Smith, 109-147

Mar. 18:
Adam Smith
Smith, 159-210

Mar. 20:
Adam Smith
Smith, 210-269

Mar. 23:
Adam Smith
Smith, 269-320

Mar. 25:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rousseau, 127-172

Mar. 27:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rousseau, 173-230

Mar. 30:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rousseau, 233-292

Apr. 1:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rousseau, 8-66

Apr. 3:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rousseau, 66-114

Apr. 6:
Enlightenment and Revolution
Outram, 114-127; Madison

Apr. 8:
Enlightenment and Revolution
Madison; Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen; Robespierre

Apr. 10:
Enlightenment and Revolution

Apr. 13-17:

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