Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für die Erforschung der Europäischen Aufklärung

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg Siegel

Interdisciplinary Centre for European Enlightenment Studies

The IZEA was founded in 1990 as a central scientific institution of the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. As a research institution for the history of culture and ideas, it explores the foundation of modern Western societies through the study of ideas and cultural patterns developed in the 18th century.

18th century studies

The research program includes research and publishing projects dedicated to a wide variety of themes, such as the history of universities, societies and communication; anthropology, aesthetics, culture and knowledge transfer, scholarly culture and literary forms of representation in the 18th century; the development of cultural patterns; the Enlightenment in global networks; and the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz.

Connected with the region's research institutions

The IZEA is located in the Red School, built in 1896, which was formerly the Higher School for Girls of the Francke Foundations. The IZEA houses a public library containing primary sources and research literature related to the Enlightenment in regional and European contexts. The Alexander von Humboldt Chair of Modern Written Culture and European Knowledge Transfer and the Immanuel-Kant-Forum also have their offices in the building.

Enlightenment studies in international networks

Thanks to its outstanding library, its publishing projects, its geographic proximity to important historic sites related to the Enlightenment (including extensive archives, libraries and art collections), and its partnerships with major cultural and scientific institutions,  the IZEA is now one of the most important international research institutes dedicated to the study of the Enlightenment, and is an essential meeting point for scientists from around the world.

Work profiles. Philosophers and Writers of the 17th and 18th Centuries

Ed. by Frank Grunert and Gideon Stiening

The series “Work profiles” gathers interpretations as faithful to the text as possible and annotated editions of comprehensive works by individual philosophers, scientists and writers of the 17th and 18th centuries.

The focus is on writers who have encouraged innovation in the discussions of their time or made syntheses, whose importance has so far not sufficiently been acknowledged by the scholarship. The analyses published in the series establish work profiles, that is, provide an accurate reconstruction of the internal structure of a work as well as an examination of its theoretical merits in the context of the relevant contemporary sets of issues.

Depending on the bibliographical status of the text, the analyses are supplemented by annotated source editions. A dual perspective offering both an internal and an external vantage point reveals new objective problems and illuminates the genesis as well as the productivity of the theoretical context of the Enlightenment. The series, published by Walter de Gruyter (Berlin, Boston) thus creates a new basis for the interpretation of the intellectual culture of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Previously Published

  • Johann Georg Sulzer (1720-1779): Aufklärung zwischen Christian Wolff und David Hume. Edited by Frank Grunert and Gideon Stiening. (WP 1). Berlin, Boston 2011.
  • Michael Hißmann (1752-1784): ein materialistischer Philosoph der deutschen Aufklärung. Edited by Heiner Klemme, Gideon Stiening and Falk Wunderlich. (WP 2). Berlin, Boston 2012.
  • Michael Hißmann: Ausgewählte Werke. Edited by Udo Roth and Gideon Stiening. (WP 3). Berlin, Boston 2012.
  • Johann Christoph Gottsched (1700-1766): Philosophie, Poetik und Wissenschaft. Edited by Eric Achermann,  in collaboration with Nadine Lenuweit and Vincenz Pieper. (WP 4). Berlin, Boston 2014.
  • Johann Nikolaus Tetens (1736-1807). Philosophie in der Tradition des europäischen Empirismus. Edited by Gideon Stiening and Udo Thiel. (WP 6). Berlin, Boston 2014.
  • Johann Nikolaus Tetens: Philosophische Versuche über die menschliche Natur und ihre Entwicklung. Edited by Udo Roth and Gideon Stiening. (WP 6). Berlin, Boston 2014.
  • Georg Friedrich Meier (1718-1777): Philosophie als „wahre Weltweisheit“. Edited by Frank Grunert and Gideon Stiening. (WP 7). Berlin, Boston 2015.
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