The Enlightenment

Readings for Today include:

497-505 from the textbook.

Please note: you can read this in either Volume 1 or Volume 2, as the two texts overlap for about 100 pages.

These readings will be the basis of our second jigsaw exercise, which is an activity that requires you to present your learning to a small group of people. Everyone will present the material one time, to a maximum of six or seven listeners. The activity has six steps that span two classes.

Step One: Read the reading


Group 1: jean-jacques-rousseau-inequality

Rousseau response wordle.png

Group 2: montesquieu-the-spirit-of-the-laws

Montesquieu wordle.png

Group 3: jj-rousseau-the-social-contract

Rousseau response wordle.png

Group 4: adam-smith-wealth-of-nations

Smith Wordle.png

Group 5: voltaire-on-locke

Voltaire on Locke wordle.png

Group 6: immanuel-kant-what-is-enlightenment

Kant Response Wordle.png

Step Two: Ensure that everyone in the group has signed up for Turnitin.

Step Three: Do the reading, and write a free-write response on dalite under “Preparation for Enlightenment Jigsaw.” This is where your individual marks for this assignment come from.

Step Four: Come to class with an annotated, physical (paper) copy of the reading. 

Step Five: Create a Presentation.  In class, you will put together a presentation that you’ll use for the following day. You may continue to work on this presentation outside of class as well. Please note: this presentation is part of your booklet mark. Missing either the preparation day or the presentation day will affect your grade.

Step Six: Prior to coming to class, everyone in the group must upload the Presentation to their own account on Turnitin. This means that prior to the presentation, everyone has a digital copy. The deadline for this will be half an hour prior to class beginning. (Be warned: it often takes a while for Turnitin to “process” files, so uploading it earlier is better).

Please ensure that your assignment is titled with the Enlightenment philosopher…all group submissions must have the same title, ie, “Voltaire”

Step Seven: On presentation day, present your group’s chapter to a group.

Key Ideas of the Enlightenment

  • The importance of Reason (How does this contrast with previous eras?)
  • David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Adam Smith, John Locke
  • Reason can discover the laws of human nature
  • Religion and Morality – unlike the personal, intervening God of the Middle Ages, the Enlightenment era God was more remote. This was due, in part, to the discovery that the universe was of an unfathomable size. Deism saw God as a playwright, not a director; a watchmaker, not a puppeteer. God had set the universe in motion, and now stood back to see what we would or would not do with it.
  • Progress and Reform Prior to the 18th Century, any reform program was always designed to return society to a previous glorious state. Now, reform started to be associated with a new vision for society.

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