Ordering the World in the Eighteenth Century

  • Diana Donald
  • Frank O’Gorman

Part of the Studies in Modern History book series (SMH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction: Concepts of Order in the Eighteenth Century — Their Scope and Their Frailties

  3. The Ordering of the World and of Human Affairs

  4. The Ordering of Knowledge: Bridging Nature and Culture

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 245-251

About this book


The Eighteenth century is often represented, applying Tom Paine's phrase, as 'The Age of Reason': an age when progressive ideals triumphed over autocracy and obscurantism, and when notions of order and balance shaped consciousness in every sphere of human knowledge. Yet the debates which surrounded the development of Eighteenth-century thought were always open to troubling doubts. Was nature itself truly an ordered entity, as Newton had argued, or was it a mass of chaotic, randomly moving atoms, as some materialist thinkers believed? This book explores the tensions and conflicts in these debates through a series of interdisciplinary essays from leading international scholars, each challenging the idea that the Eighteenth century was an age of order.


Britain eighteenth century enlightenment kingdom revolution

Editors and affiliations

  • Diana Donald
    • 1
  • Frank O’Gorman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of History of Art and DesignManchester Metropolitan UniversityUK
  2. 2.University of ManchesterUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2006
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave History Collection
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-51923-1
  • Online ISBN 978-0-230-51888-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site