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Being a source of knowledge derived from science and reason, they were an implicit critique of existing notions of universal truth monopolized by monarchies, parliaments and religious authorities.
They also advanced Christian enlightenment that upheld "the legitimacy of God-ordained authority"—the Bible—in which there had to be agreement between the biblical and natural theories. Although the existence of dictionaries and encyclopedias spanned into ancient times, the texts changed from simply defining words in a long running list to far more detailed discussions of those words in 18th-century encyclopedic dictionaries.
As the 18th century progressed, the content of encyclopedias also changed according to readers' tastes.
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- kasaizenzototsurigashitai (Japanese Edition).
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- Il brevetto (Fondamenti) (Italian Edition);
- L’Intervento divino II: Una Guida alle Fiamme Gemelle, le Anime Gemelle e gli Spiriti Affini (L’Edizione speciale – Italiano) (Italian Edition);
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Volumes tended to focus more strongly on secular affairs, particularly science and technology, rather than matters of theology. Along with secular matters, readers also favoured an alphabetical ordering scheme over cumbersome works arranged along thematic lines. For Porset, the avoidance of thematic and hierarchical systems thus allows free interpretation of the works and becomes an example of egalitarianism.
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Harris' book avoided theological and biographical entries and instead it concentrated on science and technology. Published in , the Lexicon technicum was the first book to be written in English that took a methodical approach to describing mathematics and commercial arithmetic along with the physical sciences and navigation. Other technical dictionaries followed Harris' model, including Ephraim Chambers ' Cyclopaedia , which included five editions and was a substantially larger work than Harris'.
The folio edition of the work even included foldout engravings. The Cyclopaedia emphasized Newtonian theories, Lockean philosophy and contained thorough examinations of technologies, such as engraving , brewing and dyeing. In Germany, practical reference works intended for the uneducated majority became popular in the 18th century. The Marperger Curieuses Natur-, Kunst-, Berg-, Gewerkund Handlungs-Lexicon explained terms that usefully described the trades and scientific and commercial education. Jablonksi Allgemeines Lexicon was better known than the Handlungs-Lexicon and underscored technical subjects rather than scientific theory.
For example, over five columns of text were dedicated to wine while geometry and logic were allocated only twenty-two and seventeen lines, respectively. However, the prime example of reference works that systematized scientific knowledge in the age of Enlightenment were universal encyclopedias rather than technical dictionaries.
It was the goal of universal encyclopedias to record all human knowledge in a comprehensive reference work. The work, which began publication in , was composed of thirty-five volumes and over 71 separate entries. A great number of the entries were dedicated to describing the sciences and crafts in detail and provided intellectuals across Europe with a high-quality survey of human knowledge.
In d'Alembert's Preliminary Discourse to the Encyclopedia of Diderot , the work's goal to record the extent of human knowledge in the arts and sciences is outlined:. As a Reasoned Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Trades, it is to contain the general principles that form the basis of each science and each art, liberal or mechanical, and the most essential facts that make up the body and substance of each.
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- Konzernrechnungslegung: Betriebswirtschaftliche Grundlagen, internationale Standards und deutsche Rechtsvorschriften (Springer-Lehrbuch) (German Edition);
The massive work was arranged according to a "tree of knowledge". The tree reflected the marked division between the arts and sciences, which was largely a result of the rise of empiricism. Both areas of knowledge were united by philosophy, or the trunk of the tree of knowledge. The Enlightenment's desacrilization of religion was pronounced in the tree's design, particularly where theology accounted for a peripheral branch, with black magic as a close neighbour.
One of the most important developments that the Enlightenment era brought to the discipline of science was its popularization. An increasingly literate population seeking knowledge and education in both the arts and the sciences drove the expansion of print culture and the dissemination of scientific learning. The new literate population was due to a high rise in the availability of food. This enabled many people to rise out of poverty, and instead of paying more for food, they had money for education.
Sir Isaac Newton's celebrated Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica was published in Latin and remained inaccessible to readers without education in the classics until Enlightenment writers began to translate and analyze the text in the vernacular. The first significant work that expressed scientific theory and knowledge expressly for the laity, in the vernacular and with the entertainment of readers in mind, was Bernard de Fontenelle 's Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds The book was produced specifically for women with an interest in scientific writing and inspired a variety of similar works.
Charles Leadbetter's Astronomy was advertised as "a Work entirely New" that would include "short and easie [ sic ] Rules and Astronomical Tables". A similar introduction to Newtonianism for women was produced by Henry Pemberton. Extant records of subscribers show that women from a wide range of social standings purchased the book, indicating the growing number of scientifically inclined female readers among the middling class. Sarah Trimmer wrote a successful natural history textbook for children titled The Easy Introduction to the Knowledge of Nature , which was published for many years after in eleven editions.
Most work on the Enlightenment emphasizes the ideals discussed by intellectuals, rather than the actual state of education at the time. Leading educational theorists like England's John Locke and Switzerland's Jean Jacques Rousseau both emphasized the importance of shaping young minds early. By the late Enlightenment, there was a rising demand for a more universal approach to education, particularly after the American and French Revolutions.
The predominant educational psychology from the s onward, especially in northern European countries was associationism, the notion that the mind associates or dissociates ideas through repeated routines. In addition to being conducive to Enlightenment ideologies of liberty, self-determination and personal responsibility, it offered a practical theory of the mind that allowed teachers to transform longstanding forms of print and manuscript culture into effective graphic tools of learning for the lower and middle orders of society.
These universities, especially Edinburgh, produced professors whose ideas had a significant impact on Britain's North American colonies and later the American Republic. Within the natural sciences, Edinburgh's medical school also led the way in chemistry, anatomy and pharmacology. In France, the major exception was the medical university at Montpellier. The history of Academies in France during the Enlightenment begins with the Academy of Science , founded in in Paris.
It was closely tied to the French state, acting as an extension of a government seriously lacking in scientists. It helped promote and organize new disciplines and it trained new scientists. It also contributed to the enhancement of scientists' social status, considering them to be the "most useful of all citizens". Academies demonstrate the rising interest in science along with its increasing secularization, as evidenced by the small number of clerics who were members 13 percent. They perceived themselves as "interpreters of the sciences for the people".
For example, it was with this in mind that academicians took it upon themselves to disprove the popular pseudo-science of mesmerism.
These academic contests were perhaps the most public of any institution during the Enlightenment. However, by roughly this subject matter had radically expanded and diversified, including "royal propaganda, philosophical battles, and critical ruminations on the social and political institutions of the Old Regime". Topics of public controversy were also discussed such as the theories of Newton and Descartes, the slave trade, women's education and justice in France. More importantly, the contests were open to all and the enforced anonymity of each submission guaranteed that neither gender nor social rank would determine the judging.
Indeed, although the "vast majority" of participants belonged to the wealthier strata of society "the liberal arts, the clergy, the judiciary and the medical profession" , there were some cases of the popular classes submitting essays and even winning. Of a total of 2, prize competitions offered in France, women won 49—perhaps a small number by modern standards, but very significant in an age in which most women did not have any academic training.
Indeed, the majority of the winning entries were for poetry competitions, a genre commonly stressed in women's education. In England, the Royal Society of London also played a significant role in the public sphere and the spread of Enlightenment ideas. It was founded by a group of independent scientists and given a royal charter in This is where the Royal Society came into play: witnessing had to be a "collective act" and the Royal Society's assembly rooms were ideal locations for relatively public demonstrations.
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Two factors were taken into account: a witness's knowledge in the area and a witness's "moral constitution". In other words, only civil society were considered for Boyle's public. It was the place in which philosophes got reunited and talked about old, actual or new ideas. Salons were the place where intellectual and enlightened ideas were built. Coffeehouses were especially important to the spread of knowledge during the Enlightenment because they created a unique environment in which people from many different walks of life gathered and shared ideas.
They were frequently criticized by nobles who feared the possibility of an environment in which class and its accompanying titles and privileges were disregarded. Such an environment was especially intimidating to monarchs who derived much of their power from the disparity between classes of people. If classes were to join together under the influence of Enlightenment thinking, they might recognize the all-encompassing oppression and abuses of their monarchs and because of their size might be able to carry out successful revolts.
Monarchs also resented the idea of their subjects convening as one to discuss political matters, especially those concerning foreign affairs—rulers thought political affairs to be their business only, a result of their supposed divine right to rule. Coffeehouses represent a turning point in history during which people discovered that they could have enjoyable social lives within their communities.
Coffeeshops became homes away from home for many who sought, for the first time, to engage in discourse with their neighbors and discuss intriguing and thought-provoking matters, especially those regarding philosophy to politics. Coffeehouses were essential to the Enlightenment, for they were centers of free-thinking and self-discovery. Although many coffeehouse patrons were scholars, a great deal were not. Coffeehouses attracted a diverse set of people, including not only the educated wealthy but also members of the bourgeoisie and the lower class.
While it may seem positive that patrons, being doctors, lawyers, merchants, etc. One of the most popular critiques of the coffeehouse claimed that it "allowed promiscuous association among people from different rungs of the social ladder, from the artisan to the aristocrat" and was therefore compared to Noah's Ark, receiving all types of animals, clean or unclean. Together, Steele and Addison published The Spectator , a daily publication which aimed, through fictional narrator Mr. Spectator, both to entertain and to provoke discussion regarding serious philosophical matters.
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The first English coffeehouse opened in Oxford in Brian Cowan said that Oxford coffeehouses developed into " penny universities ", offering a locus of learning that was less formal than structured institutions.