Enlightenment Period

Enlightening Philosophy

A little course in the philosophical ideas that gave us the modern world.

Many of the freedoms and ideas that we all take for granted can be traced back to that period known as the Enlightenment. Head to Laneway Learnings website for more information and to book your seats. Maximum class size 24.


The intellectual ideas of the early and late Enlightenment periods, early 1600s to early 1800s, permeate all aspects of modern life and politics. Embiggen Books and Laneway Learnings have teamed up to bring Melburnians a special series of lectures of the philosophy and philosophers of that time. With the aid of some of Australia’s finest philosophers we will focus on one area per month, covering thinkers such as Voltaire, Hume, Wollstonecraft, and Kant. We will explore some of the fundamental ideas that underpin modern society. What are they? Why were they considered important at the time? How did it revolutionise the way we think? Ideas such as freedom of speech; Questions such as what is the best way to govern society? All this and more developed an almost irresistible tide of change.

“Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!” — German philosopher Immanuel Kant in his eassy “What Is Enlightenment?” (1784)


Our first session kicks off on the 22nd of March with an introduction to the whole period with Ian Robinson, President Emeritus of The Rationalist Society of Australia and former philosophy tutor at the University of Melbourne. Book with Laneway Learnings.




Here’s how the year looks over the coming months:

1) Intro to philosophy of the Enlightenment with Ian RobinsonMarch
2) Mill with Patrick Stokes in April
3) Voltaire with Ian Robinson in May
4) Hume with Damon Young in June
5) Kant with Graham Oppy in August
6) Wollstonecraft with Beth Matthews in September
7) Mary Astell with Jacqueline Broad on the Tuesday 25th of October
8) Hobbes with Meredith DoigNovember

Classes will be held at Embiggen Books.

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