The Scottish Enlightenment (2804 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Alexander Broadie (University of Glasgow)
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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?

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. …

Citation: Broadie, Alexander. "The Scottish Enlightenment". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 August 2008 [, accessed 28 October 2020.]

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