The Enlightenment of the long 18th century was an era of awesome intellectual and cultural transformation.
This Enlightenment Vision flowchart is pitched at a high level of abstraction, showing schematically how the philosophical revolution of the 17th century led to the 18th-century revolutions in science, technology, politics, and economics — which in turn led to the dramatic increases in health, wealth, freedom, and goods in the 19th century.
To put it another way, the chronology shows how the ideas played out as philosophy, then as an intellectual movement, then as activism, then as the working technology of culture.
I first develop the chart for my courses in philosophy and intellectual history and published a version of it in Explaining Postmodernism. It’s posted here as a PDF, as a JPEG image, or as an Excel file, in case you’d like to adapt it for your own purposes.
(Thanks to Brian Schwartz for prompting this update.)
Tags: Adam Smith, American Revolution, American Society for the Abolition of Slavery, British Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, calculus, Cesare Beccaria, Edward Jenner, Francis Bacon, French Revolution, Gottfried Leibniz, Iaac Newton, Industrial Revolution, James Watt, John Locke, Lavoisier, Mary Wollestonecraft, Rene Descartes, The Enlightenment