As an epoch in the cultural and intellectual history of Europe and the global space with which it became entangled in the era itself, the Enlightenment is distinctive. The philosophical ideas and moral values, socio-cultural practices and institutions, and political agendas associated with it continue to serve as an indispensable frame of reference in the public domain, both for those who blame on it all the woes of modernity, and for those who regard it as a fountainhead of every achievement of modernity worth defending (and in need of defense today). However, the understanding of what is meant by this label and the corresponding and associated names in different languages is often impoverished and ahistorical. At the same time, historians disagree profoundly on virtually every aspect of the Enlightenment, from its scope and nature to its chronology and geography, and much beyond. These controversies will be addressed and assessed during the course, without the intention of taking sides in them. Nor is it an aim of the course to help resolve the complexity of the Enlightenment as a historical phenomenon into a finite number of old or new generalizations. Rather, it endeavors – via an exploration of major themes in eighteenth-century thought, and the testimonies of lived experience into which such thought was converted by contemporaries – to put it into relief as a series of debates about a largely shared set of questions, pursued with a shared spirit of critical inquiry (albeit with different approaches, methodologies and ideologies), in novel and specifically tailored cultural and institutional settings.