By Dorothea E. von Mücke
Rethinking the connection among eighteenth-century Pietist traditions and Enlightenment proposal and perform, The Practices of Enlightenment unravels the complicated and sometimes missed spiritual origins of contemporary secular discourse. Mapping amazing routes of trade among the spiritual and aesthetic writings of the interval and recentering matters of authorship and viewers, this ebook revitalizes scholarship at the Enlightenment.
By attractive with 3 serious categories--aesthetics, authorship, and the general public sphere--The Practices of Enlightenment illuminates the connection among non secular and aesthetic modes of reflective contemplation, autobiography and the hermeneutics of the self, and the discursive production of the general public sphere. Focusing principally on German highbrow lifestyles, this severe engagement additionally extends to France via Rousseau and to England via Shaftesbury. Rereading canonical works and lesser-known texts through Goethe, Lessing, and Herder, the publication demanding situations universal narratives recounting the increase of empiricist philosophy, the assumption of the "sensible" person, and the suggestion of the fashionable writer as superstar, bringing new point of view to the Enlightenment recommendations of intuition, force, genius, and the general public sphere.
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Additional info for The Practices of the Enlightenment: Aesthetics, Authorship, and the Public
And yet, for this study, the fields of pedagogy and didactics are not of major relevance. Instead I shall be turning to religious practices, on the one hand, and the study of nature, on the other hand, as the domains that provide both a background and a foil for those new habits of independent thought that are at the core of this book. For I hope to show that, in spite of the radical novelty of the conceptual implications of these Enlightenment practices, they have their formative predecessors in these rather unexpected and, until now, less examined discursive sites.
Certainly the eighteenth century was the century of pedagogy and didactics, a century marked by a tremendous increase in literacy, increasingly compulsory school attendance, a century that paid much attention to the importance of childhood and the practices of parenting. And yet, for this study, the fields of pedagogy and didactics are not of major relevance. Instead I shall be turning to religious practices, on the one hand, and the study of nature, on the other hand, as the domains that provide both a background and a foil for those new habits of independent thought that are at the core of this book.
The last and third part of my book, the part devoted to the Enlightenment ideal of a critical public, can be considered a contribution to the debates and studies inspired by Jürgen Habermas’s by now classic Transformation of the Public Sphere. First published in German in 1962 and in English only in 1989, this book might owe its staying power to some of its fundamental ambiguities. For “the bourgeois public sphere” (“bürgerliche Öffentlichkeit”), whose emergence Habermas describes with references to England, France, and Germany in the eighteenth century, holds a dual status in Habermas’s book.
The Practices of the Enlightenment: Aesthetics, Authorship, and the Public by Dorothea E. von Mücke