An extract on #travellolife
In the 1944 book Dialectic of Enlightenment, Frankfurt School philosophers Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno argued that:
Enlightenment, understood in the widest sense as the advance of thought, has always aimed at liberating human beings from fear and installing them as masters. Yet the wholly enlightened earth radiates under the sign of disaster triumphant.
In the 1970s, study of the Enlightenment expanded to include the ways Enlightenment ideas spread to European colonies and how they interacted with indigenous cultures, and how the Enlightenment took place in formerly unstudied areas such as Italy, Greece, the Balkans, Poland, Hungary, and Russia.
Intellectuals such as Robert Darnton and Jrgen Habermas have focused on the social conditions of the Enlightenment. Habermas described the creation of the "bourgeois public sphere" in 18th-century Europe, containing the new venues and modes of communication allowing for rational exchange. Habermas said that the public sphere was bourgeois, egalitarian, rational, and independent from the state, making it the ideal venue for intellectuals to critically examine contemporary politics and society, away from the interference of established authority. While the public sphere is generally an integral component of the social study of the Enlightenment, other historians have questioned whether the public sphere had these characteristics.
The first scientific and literary journals were established during the Enlightenment. The first journal, the Parisian Journal des Savans, appeared in 1665. However, it was not until 1682 that periodicals began to be more widely produced. French and Latin were the dominant languages of publication, but there was also a steady demand for material in German and Dutch. There was generally low demand for English publications on the Continent, which was echoed by England's similar lack of desire for French works. Languages commanding less of an international marketsuch as Danish, Spanish and Portuguesefound journal success more difficult, and more often than not, a more international language was used instead. French slowly took over Latin's status as the lingua franca of learned circles. This in turn gave precedence to the publishing industry in Holland, where the vast majority of these French language periodicals were produced.
Jonathan Israel called the journals the most influential cultural innovation of European intellectual culture. They shifted the attention of the "cultivated public" away from established authorities to novelty and innovation, and promoted the "enlightened" ideals of toleration and intellectual objectivity. 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 Biblein which there had to be agreement between the biblical and natural theories.