By David Spadafora
The assumption of growth stood on the very middle of the highbrow global of eighteenth-century Britain, heavily associated with each significant part of the British Enlightenment in addition to to the commercial revolutions of the interval. Drawing on hundreds and hundreds of eighteenth-century books and pamphlets, David Spadafora the following presents the main wide dialogue ever written of this triumphing feel of old optimism.
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Extra info for The Idea of Progress in Eighteenth-Century Britain
10. Hugh Blair, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (17831,ed. Harold F. Hardin& 2 vols. In his amusing and imaginativelywritten On the Shoulders of Giants: A Shandean Postscript (New York, 1965),Robert K. Merton 28 The Modified Inheritance Still, there were basic differences between them and their predecessors. They not only avoided the polemical orientation of the past but also tended to explore the issues at hand in a more profound and analytical way. " If we are to understand precisely what this conviction meant we must first discover how they used these terms.
25 Gibbon understood full well the effect of such an education: "those impressions, engraved in our minds, before we reflect, grow up with us afterwards, and. . " Seeing through the classical lens was the "certain spirit" that the young Gibbon elsewhere praised, and that so often led even educational reformers, Scots, and Nonconformists to cite ancient texts in their writings, much like the English politicians whose speeches were studded with Modems: Wherein it is demonstrated, That om most celebrated Philosophers have, for the most part, taken what they advance from the Works of the ancients.
The liberal or polite arts, however, depended on the mind rather than the body and did not have economic or financial ends. 19 This bifurcation seems straightforward enough, but it was complicated by the question of the nature of the "polite" or "fine" arts. These terms appeared in the Encyclopaedia Britannica as synonyms for the liberal arts, and in juxtaposition to the mechanical or "useful" arts. So the polite arts overlapped with but were not identical to the liberal arts. Moreover, an influential theoretician on the arts, Campbell, muddied the waters of definition even further.