from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
The RavensSaturday, 18th April 2015 23:05 - BBC World Service RadioA social work student brefriends a sex worker in Sydney - but how easy is changing a life? The second of two... Read more: The Ravens: 24th International Radio Playwriting Competition winner
The RavensSunday, 19th April 2015 04:05 - BBC World Service Radio
Thinking Allowed: The Ethnography Award 'Shortlist' 2015Monday, 20th April 2015 00:15 - BBC Radio 4
Secret History Of... Deptford High StTuesday, 21st April 2015 20:00 - BBC Four
A History of Ideas - Descartes Cogito Ergo SumAvailable until Thursday, 14th April 2016 08:30Stephen Fry explains Rene Descartes argument 'Cogito Ergo Sum' - 'I think, therefore I am'. Watch now: OU on the BBC: A History of Ideas - Descartes Cogito Ergo Sum
A History of Ideas - Erving Goffman's Performed SelfAvailable until Thursday, 14th April 2016 08:15
Thinking Allowed: The Ethnography Award 'Shortlist' 2015Available until Friday, 15th April 2016 09:45
A History of Ideas - John Locke and personal memoryAvailable until Thursday, 14th April 2016 11:15
What does it mean to be me?Watch these short and snappy animations on the subject of me: the individual, memory, 'self' and... Watch now: What does it mean to be me?
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
Introduction to bookkeeping and accountingThis free course Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting provides an introduction to the... Try: Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting now
Succeed with maths – Part 1[BETA] If you feel that maths is a mystery that you want to unravel then this short 8-week course... Try: Succeed with maths – Part 1 now
Science in the Scottish Enlightenment
How is it that a small, poor country in northern Europe became one of the most dynamic...
How is it that a small, poor country in northern Europe became one of the most dynamic centres of Enlightenment thinking? This unit examines the cultural, intellectual and religious characteristics of Scotland in the eighteenth century that led to the emergence of such intellectual pioneers as James Hutton, Joseph Black and William Cullen, and briefly describes their key ideas and findings.
By the end of this section you should be able to:
- understand developments in Scotland with regard to the Enlightenment period;
- give Scottish examples from the community of philosophers and scientists from the Enlightenment period;
- describe how these Scots helped influence the Industrial Revolution and the American Revolution.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 The Enlightenment in Scotland
- 2 Origins of the Scottish Enlightenment
- 3 The Enlightenment milieu
- 4 The leading figures of the Scottish Enlightenment
- 5 James Hutton
- 6 Joseph Black
- 7 Conclusion
Science in the Scottish Enlightenment
Inspired by the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century, the intellectuals of eighteenth-century Europe launched a dazzling programme for the extension of knowledge and for the promotion of human welfare. Their programme has become known as the ‘Enlightenment’ and their age is often called the ‘Age of Enlightenment’.
This unit is concerned with science in Scotland, one of the most dynamic centres of Enlightenment thinking. Writers speak of the mid-eighteenth century as Scotland's ‘Golden Age’. In order to get the flavour of this age, it is necessary to take a very broad view of what we mean by ‘science’. If we stay within the boundaries recognised by modern science faculties, we will miss most of what is distinctive about eighteenth-century Scotland. The interconnections and cross-fertilisation between disciplines that we now regard as having little to do with each other is one of the remarkable features of the Scottish scene. Geologists associated with historians, economists with chemists, philosophers with surgeons, lawyers with farmers, church ministers with architects.
This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from The Rise of Scientific Europe, 1500-1800 (AS208) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free History of Science, Technology and Medicine course units or view the range of currently available OU History of Science, Technology and Medicine courses.