The Scottish Enlightenment

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Alexander Broadie (University of Glasgow)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

During the eighteenth century the cultural movement known as the Enlightenment manifested itself in many parts of Europe, and nowhere with greater vigour or success than in Scotland. This prompts three questions. What was it about the Scottish Enlightenment that made it an Enlightenment? What was the content of that national movement? What made it Scottish?

What is Enlightenment?

What is Enlightenment?

The question “What is Enlightenment?” was asked by Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), greatest of the philosophers of the European Enlightenment, and of the many answers proposed his is the most authoritative. One essential element in Enlightenment is people thinking for themselves rather than assenting to what authorities have declared. The “argument from authority”, though a major

2804 words

Citation: Broadie, Alexander. "The Scottish Enlightenment". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 August 2008 [, accessed 12 June 2024.]

5540 The Scottish Enlightenment 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.