Political Science | Political Philosophy
Y675 | 10676 | Scheuerman

Topic:What Was The Enlightenment
What was the Enlightenment? Enlightenment Political Thought and its
Contemporary Significance
The intellectual legacy of the European Enlightenment remains the
object of a lively debate among contemporary social and political
thinkers. While a growing number of writers trace the sources of
many contemporary political and social ills to various facets of the
Enlightenment, others respond by claiming that Enlightenment
political thought contains critical and even utopian energies very
much worth salvaging. In this course, we try to get to the roots of
the present debate by pursuing an intensive study of several key
representatives of Enlightenment political thought (Locke,
Montesquieu, Rousseau, the Federalists, and Kant). We subsequently
turn to two of the main partisans in the ongoing battle over the
Enlightenment’s contemporary political significance (Habermas and