DISCUSSION ON OUTRAM

1. What is the tension between the idea of enlightenment in Kant or M. 
Mendelssohn and the threat to public order? In what sense was 
enlightenment an uncompleted process?

2. Is the Enlightenment definable? If not a canon of great thinkers, what is it? 
Why is there no interest in defining it as a consistent intellectual program 
among historians? Did such definitions exclude the social history of ideas? Is 
the Enlightenment confidence in rationality? Attack on religious orthodoxy?  
Why does Outram think Rousseau doesn't fit if it is defined as liberal reform? 
How can her argument be challenged?
How and why do definitions of the Enlightenment exclude women? Was it 
ever incompatible with an Atlantic Enlightenment thesis?

3. Where was the Enlightenment not opposed to churches? Is there more 
continuity between Enlightenment rationality and French Revolution 
irrationality than previously supposed?

4. What was the critique of Enlightenment by Adorno and Horkheimer? Does 
power over nature encourage power over other human beings?  Do single 
correct rational answers to human problems lead to force and terror? Is the 
Enlightenment responsible for totalitarianism in European political culture? 
How does rational organization lead to "management," with people as 
objects? How does knowledge become detached from wisdom in becoming a 
commodity?

5. Why is the Enlightenment emancipating for Habermas even now? What 
does he mean by the creation of public opinion in the public sphere? Did the 
consumer society create the public sphere?

6. What were some of the new institutions conveying the spirit of 
enlightenment? In what kind of economic atmosphere did they flourish? 
What was the impact of literacy? What was the status of the writer? What is 
meant by Grub Street? Why were women seen as a threat or inappropriate as 
writers? What was the influence of Masonic lodges and provincial academies 
(and their prize contests?)
Did the Enlightenment affect popular literature? Is there one clear answer?

7. In what sense was Peter Gay correct about the Enlightenment being the rise 
of modern paganism? Why was Hegel convinced the Enlightenment had 
erred? What folk religious phenomena occurred in the eighteenth century in 
Britain, the American colonies, in the German states, among east European 
Jews?

8. What were the arguments for toleration in central Europe? From Locke? 
How did Voltaire and Hume view God and Design? What were the 
competing religious viewpoints in the eighteenth century?

9. How did natural philosophy mesh with the argument from Design? Is 
"science" then separate from "religion"? Was scientific knowledge less perfect 
because it was empirical? Was causality defensible as a principle? What was 
the difference between Newton's view of the universe and Voltaire's 
popularization?

10. What were eighteenth-century debates in natural history about species and 
their development over time? What kinds of science were "popular"?

11. To what extent did eighteenth-century authors and explorers idealize 
newly discovered peoples such as Tahitians and use exotic peoples to 
relativize European practices?  How did they portray them through classical 
imagery?  What was the Rousseauist attitude toward the corruptions of 
civilization? Did these attitudes affect European colonization or did they 
delay exploitation of resources?

12. How did notions of human rights affect ideas about slavery? What was the 
relationship between racial theory and slavery?

13. Why was there a decline of primitivism? How did Herder challenge 
universalist progress theories?  How did the Enlightenment fail to deal with 
"difference"?

14. How did a universal human nature deal with gender differences? How 
could women remain subjected given the attack on tyranny and slavery? 
How was anatomy destiny for women? How were stereotypes of femininity 
related to class?  How did the consumer society relate to the "private sphere" 
for women? How were women agents of civilization in the French salons? 
How in the Revolution did all women suffer because of images of aristocratic 
women?

15. What does the  Enlightenment have to do with "enlightened 
absolutism?" How did Joseph II treat the Church in the Habsburg Empire? 
What kind of monarchic reform programs existed in the late eighteenth 
century? How were they derailed by the French Revolution in the German 
states? Did critical intellectuals outside of politics judge governments by 
utopian standards, as Koselleck maintains?  Which Enlightenment 
representatives were actually in power or close to power?  What is the 
meaning of Cameralism in the German-speaking world?

16. What groups advocated free market doctrines?

17. What is the relationship between the Enlightenment and the Revolution?  
What was Barruel's conspiracy theory? What was Tocqueville's theory of the 
relationship between intellectuals and revolution? Was Grub Street more 
revolutionary than the more famous authors?  Were the social form and 
institutions of the Republic of Letters more important than the content? Was 
either the Enlightenment or Revolution unified? Was there an age of 
Atlantic democratic revolution? Was a central category of Enlightenment 
thought the exclusion of many people from rights?

18. Was there revolt and revolution throughout the late eighteenth century 
regardless of the Enlightenment (Hungary, Austrian Netherlands, Tuscany)? 
Were revolts there protest against too ambitious reforms? Do regional 
differences make it impossible to see just one Enlightenment-Revolution 
relationship? Was there a remobilization of elites justifying Kant's concerns 
with criticism? Were critiques of the French monarchy the result of political 
and fiscal problems rather than the cause of discontent? Did the attack on 
religion imply the violence of the Jacobins?
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