The nature and diffusion of the Enlightenment in later 17th and 18th century Europe. Critique of received wisdom, "daring to know", and the emergence of a new science of man in society and a new epistemology in the writings of thinkers such as Descartes, Newton, Locke, Shaftesbury, Voltaire, Pufendorf, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Diderot, Hume, d'Holbach, Condorcet, Smith and Kant. Ideas of toleration, deism, natural law and natural rights, individual and Society, liberty and equality, happiness, progress, political economy, virtuous citizenship and the role of women. The 'republic of letters' that emerged through academies, coffee houses, correspondance, salons and publication, which developed into a critical 'public sphere'. The socio-political dimensions of the Enlightenment, its relationship to the French revolution and the modern world.