The Enlightenment is often seen as a movement which bypassed the moribund universities. This is a plausible view for England and France, but should be challenged for other countries. In Scotland, Holland, and Italy, for example, it was university professors who developed and taught enlightened ideas. This chapter emphasizes the beginnings of reform in Germany, notably at Göttingen, from which innovation spread to other parts of Germany and to the Habsburg empire. ‘Enlightened absolutism’ there, and in countries like Italy and Portugal, remodelled universities with the aim of producing an efficient bureaucracy, recruited to some extent on grounds of merit rather than birth. Curricula were reformed to incorporate modern and utilitarian subjects. In Spain, however, the efforts of reforming rulers and enlightened intellectuals had more limited results. We should be cautious, in any case, about linking enlightened reform with ‘bourgeois’ social interests.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.