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atmospheric phenomena to be explained? Does the weather exhibit regular patterns over the long run, or will it always re- main unpredictable? How frequently do violent storms occur, or extremes of heat and cold? Are popular sayings and beliefs about the weather worth attention, or should they be dismissed as simple superstition? How does the weather affect people’s health or mood? The diarist could not have known, { i n t r o d u c t i o n } Weather and Enlightenment The weather is the primary sign of the inextricability of culture and nature. j o n at h a n b at

1 Enlightenment is Man emerging from his self-incurred immaturity [selbst verschuldeten Unmündigkeit]. —Immanuel Kant, “What Is Enlightenment?” (1784) Taking the late eighteenth century as a very roughly defi ned starting point, Orientalism can be discussed and analyzed as the corporate in- stitution for dealing with the Orient—dealing with it by making state- ments about it, authorizing views of it, describing it, by teaching it, settling it, ruling over it: in short, Orientalism as a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the

3 The Piratical Enlightenment 41 The Glorious Revolution ruined the prospects for an absolutist culture of print in England. After 1688, the idea that the medium itself was the prop- erty of the Crown, which might administer it through a caste of gentlemen patentees employing printers as their servants, came to seem outlandish. Instead, the book trade’s autonomy was reinforced. The trade concen- trated on rights in particular works, which a cadre of major booksellers administered as commercial speculations. And the historical tale advanced to promote the

o o 301 o T H E PI R AT IC A L E N L IG H T E N M E N T oa d r i a n j o h n s o The term Enlightenment carries connotations of a certain kind of informa- tion dispersal. The association is with illumination itself—of light spread- ing equally in all directions from a central source. The image is a powerful one, but it was not universally invoked in the eighteenth century itself, and when it was, it was attended by problems and contradictions. Those prob- lems and contradictions become apparent as soon as practical questions are posed about enlightening as

1 THE ENLIGHTENMENT PERIOD The Rent Reforms The economic system based on compulsory labor spread through- out Poland during the sixteenth century. It began to show signs of crisis in the seventeenth century, it began to disintegrate in the eighteenth century, and it was eventually suppressed in the nineteenth century. The first visible signs of a crisis consisted in a steady decline of Polish agriculture. Between 1620 and 1720 the population of the Polish state dropped more than 30 percent, and the tilled area at least 20 percent. The output of

136 C h a p t e r F i v e Organic Enlightenment Antoine Lavoisier, best known for his work on the chemical composi-tion of air, left behind several portraits of himself. These portraits tend to show him indoors: directing experiments in his laboratory, gazing at the viewer, or collaborating with his wife Marie- Anne. These are the images of Lavoisier that we know best. In 1788, however, he argued that savants must also pursue their work outside the confi nes of the laboratory. “It is not only in our studies that we must research political economy,” he

climate through the widespread adoption of new instruments. In the course of the eighteenth century, thousands of barometers, thermometers, and hygrometers were set up in prosperous homes, while wind and rain gauges were placed outside. The novel artifacts captivated the attention of their owners and demanded in- terpretation of their meanings. They had originated among the leading { 4 } Barometers of Enlightenment For the rising in the B A R O M E T E R is not effected by pressure but by sympathy . . . For it cannot be separated from the creature with which it

substances have also been given the name of cobalt.”1 In this simple and straightforward way, Rinman dis- missed not only the existence of the kobolder, but he also dismissed the miners who believed in them. Maybe the connections between ghostly underground denizens, poi- Elements of Enlightenment C H A P T E R 5 100 sonous fumes, and enchanted ore were lost on him. In any case, he ig- nored them. To Rinman, kobolder were simply figments of imagination, and cobalt- metal was simply a fact of nature. Just like, for example, platinum, silver, lead, and zinc, it was

Selected Bibliography for the Enlightenment primary sources (limited to one emblematic text per author, preferably in translation) d’Alembert, Jean-le-Rond. “Preliminary Discourse to the Encyclo- pédie.” 1751. Translated by Richard Schwab. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. Algarotti, Francesco. Th e Lady’s Philosophy: or Sir Isaac Newton’s Th eory of Light and Colours, and His Principle of Attraction, Made Familiar to the Ladies in Several Entertainments. 1738. London: F. Newbery, 1772. Bayle, Pierre. Miscellaneous Refl ections, Occasion’d by the