25 Mart 2009 Çarşamba

ENLIGHTENMENT/Girardelli-March 23,2009

-Scientific and rational methods for improving government and society. Critique of absolutism of traditional social order(clergy, aristocracy and their privileges)

Critiques of the Ancien Régime

Fragonard, The Swing, 1766

-Universal laws (Locke &Montesquieu), Principles of tolerance, human rights. Reason is universal and equality is the natural condition.
-To enforce the new privileges in practice Enlightened despotism (Catherine the Great in Russia,
Frederick the Great in Prussia etc.) or Revolution

-A.Smith-free market and competition-wealth produced by circulation of goods
-Scientific improvement of agriculture (new corps-increased productivity) and industry
-Capitalism as rational investment in material and human commodities
(labor force as market commodity)-colonial trade increasingly affecting everyday life.

The Royal Academy in 1787

Social and cultural behaviours:
-famial order:new vision of childhood-Gender relations (Mary Wollestonecraft)

-Beginning of mass consumerism. Paid entertainment-leisure-cultural consumption.

Critiques of the Ancien Régime

F.Boucher, La Toilette, 1742-frivolous and wasteful manners of the aristocratic society.

-Birth of public sphere (newspapers-cafes-public reading).
-Taste is democratized with Persian salon, exposing art to a broader public.
Democratizing Knowledge

Diderot - D’Alembert, Encyclopedie, 1751-72

-Universalism, accessibility of knowledge. Democratizing knowledge implies political democracy.

-Taxonomy, classification of all knowledge. Moral value of the commitment to science. Neglect of science as a sign of inferiority.

-On one hand, reason belongs to all peoples and every cultural production has its values and peculiartities (beginning of ethnography)

-On the other hand, the enlightened European intellectual sees himself as the only subject entitled to categorize and judge the rest of the world (Eurocentrism - ideological premises of colonialism)