In recent years the historical relationship between scientific experts and the state has received increasing scrutiny. Such experts played important roles in the creation and regulation of environmental organizations and functioned as agents dispatched by politicians or bureaucrats to assess health-related problems and concerns raised by the public or the judiciary. But when it came to making public policy, scientists played another role that has received less attention. In addition to acting as advisers and assessors, some scientists were democratically elected (...) members of local and national legislatures. In this essay I draw attention to this phenomenon by examining how liberal politicians and intellectuals used Darwinian cognitive science to conceptualize the education of children in Victorian Britain. (shrink)
The ArgumentIn 1787 an anonymous student of the Perth Academy spent countless hours transforming his rough classroom notes into a beautifully inscribed notebook. Though this was an everyday practice for many Enlightenment students, extant notebooks of this nature are extremely rare and we know very little about how middle class children learned to inscribe and visualize knowledge on paper. This essay addresses this lacuna by using recently located student notebooks, drawings, and marginalia alongside textbooks and instructional literature to identify the (...) graphic tools and skills that were taught to Scottish children in early modern classrooms. I show that, in addition to learning the facts of the curriculum, students participated in educational routines that enabled them to learn how to visually package knowledge into accessible figures and patterns of information, thereby making acts of inscription and visualization meaningful tools that benefitted both the self and society. (shrink)
In the nineteenth century, natural theology was ‘natural’ because the evidence was taken from direct observation of the natural world, or from observations made in the increasingly specialised settings of science. It was ‘theological’ because such evidence was interpreted in light of the attributes of God laid out in the Bible and in Christian doctrine. However, the extent to which the evidence of revelation was augmented or superseded by the facts provided by reason varied between authors. This chapter discusses how (...) different authors structured their design arguments, and shows that design arguments were increasingly recalibrated to incorporate new scientific evidence. But the basic premise of a theistically designed world also remained widely accepted by scientists and the reading public alike at the dawn of the twentieth century. (shrink)
Nearly one-quarter of Costa Rica's export earnings derive from an expanding tourist sector, one that is increasingly diversified in a mix of tourist niches. Ecotourism is the fastest growing niche and its promises are featured in a range of sites and practices, including the largest multinational hospitality and hotel corporations. These companies promote a vision of sustainability that relies on expanding consumption of ‘environmental' amenities through profit-driven global corporations – a vision that is, to some, antithetical to the very meaning (...) of ecotourism. Our study explores the historical evolution of tourist development in Costa Rica, specifically large-scale coastal development, as a means for national development. Amid pressures to attract foreign direct investment in a neoliberal era, Costa Rica has struggled to maintain its developmentalism, which includes social welfare, environmental protection, and public goods, including coastal preservation and public access. We argue Costa Rica's simult.. (shrink)
Reason is often thought of as a fixed entity, as a definitive body of facts that do not change over time. But during the Enlightenment reason was also seen as a process, as a set of skills enacted on a daily basis. How, why, and where were these skills learned? Concentrating on the notebooks created by Scottish students over the course of the long eighteenth century, Matthew Eddy argues that notekeeping was a mode of writing and rewriting reason. He reveals (...) it as a capability-building exercise that enabled students to mobilize everyday forms of material culture in a way that empowered them to judge and enact the enlightened principles they encountered in the classroom. The cognitive skills required to make and use notebooks were not simply aids to reason-they were part of reason itself. The book begins by problematizing John Locke's comparison of the mind to a blank piece of paper, the tabula rasa. Although it is one of the most recognizable metaphors of the British Enlightenment, scholars seldom consider why it was so successful for those who used it. Eddy makes a case for using the material culture of early modern manuscripts to expand the meaning of the metaphor in a way that offers a clearer understanding of the direct relationship that notekeepers learned to draw between reasoning and notekeeping. Starting in the home, moving to schools, and then ending with universities, the rest of the book explores this argument by reconstructing the relationship from the bottom up. Media and the Mind will prove useful to those interested in book history, manuscript culture, history of education, history of childhood, Scottish Enlightenment philosophy, and the Enlightenment broadly understood. (shrink)
1. Set Sources - The first sources that you need to consult are those mentioned in your set question. (Note: If you are a first year undergraduate, your primary task is to master the sources listed for your set question. Once you have done this, you may wish to dabble in the sources listed below).