Doing Enlightenment

in Placing the Enlightenment

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780226904054
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226904078 | DOI:
Doing Enlightenment

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter discusses the Enlightenment's international Republic of Letters, its networks, as “grounded”, made in place in contexts in which textual and social practices came together with, say, particular patrons, because of shared intellectual interests or from a focus on one form of knowledge more than another. In short, what others have seen as the Enlightenment's “idioms,” its “communities of discourse,” can be seen as “idioms” and “communities of practice,” as locatable sites of endeavor in and from which people corresponded, experimented, and so on. The chapter focuses not only on local sites and practices but also on the connections between the “local” and the “distributed” as Steven Harris has it, to reveal something of the relationships between ideas and practice by examining various Enlightenment sites and social spaces, where they were and how they operated.

Keywords: Enlightenment; Republic of Letters; idioms; communities of discourse; communities of practice; sites; social spaces

Chapter.  8707 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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