Portuguese Culture in the 17th and 18th Centuries


«From the geocentric world to the infinite universe» - this course intends to follow the development of the ‘european conscience crisis’ during the 17th and 18th centuries; how it manifested itself in the various fields of culture and the humanities; what are its specific particularities in Portugal. Considering Renaissance as the moment of the geocentric world paradigm change, it will try to accompany its consequences and evolution through different times and spaces.

a) To learn how to organise the Portuguese culture topics within the complex global context of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
b) To know how to approach the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Portuguese productions in the limelight of European Thought
c) To be able to write an oriented thematic scientific monograph on this area of the Portuguese and Comparative Studies
d) To develop independent research skills in the field of Human Sciences

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Available soon


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Descartes, René. 1990. O Discurso Do Método. Lisboa: Edições 70
Kant, I. s/d. Resposta à pergunta: “O que é o Iluminismo?” (1784). Trad. Artur Morão; http://www.lusosofia.net/textos/kant_o_iluminismo_1784.pdf
Koyré, Alexandre, 2006. Do Mundo fechado ao Universo infinito. Trad. D. M. Garschagen. Rio de Janeiro: Forense Universitária.
Kuhn, Thomas S., 1962. A Estrutura da Revoluções Científicas. Trad. VV.AA. S. Paulo: Editora Perspectiva
Marocci, Giuseppe. 2011. “A fundação da Inquisição em Portugal: um novo olhar”, Revista Lusitana Sacra, 23 (Janeiro-Junho) pp. 17-40
Silva Dias, José Sebastião, 2006. Portugal e a cultura europeia (séculos XVI a XVIII). Porto: Campo das Letras
Van den Besselaar, José. 1987. O Sebastianismo – História Sumária. Lisboa: ICLP-Biblioteca Breve
Verney, Luís António, 1949. Verdadeiro Método de Estudar. Lisboa: Sá da Costa
Voltaire, 1989. Cândido ou o optimismo. Trad. Mª. Isabel Gonçalves Tomás. Mem-Martins: Europa América

Teaching method

Lecturing with multimedia support (60%); class discussions and analysis of oral and written texts, presentation and discussion of student papers (40%)
In class teaching

Evaluation method

A critical review/commentary of one of the books from the secondary bibliography (20%); a short oriented essay / Monograph on a topic to be proposed (2,000 words 60%); oral presentation of the monograph together with interventions in class (20%). End of semester exam: the test (50%) and the scheduled exercises (50%) will contribute equally to the final grade.

Subject matter

«From the geocentric world to the infinite universe»
1. Definition of operational concepts: culture(s) vs. ´nature´, ´civilization´, ´history´ and ´science´. The emergence of the modern subject.
2. Portuguese culture. National identity and history. Myths and realities.
2.1 The Discoveries as a breakthrough for the new modern scientific culture, and its stagnation in Portugal. The role of the Inquisitions and Real Mesa Censória.
2.2. Exaltation and Fall of the Empires and its myths - Brazil´s Independence.
3. From Descartes rationalism to Kant’s Enlightenment. Contexts.
3.1.The English Civil War; the American revolution and Independence; the French Revolution.
3.2. Lisbon´s 1755 earthquake. The Távora’s affair. The Jesuits´ expulsion.
4. The Enlightenment in Portugal
4.1. The Braganza dynasty from the ´ancien régime´ to enlightened despotism.
4.2. The ‘estrangeirados´ contributions.
4.3. Pombal and the secularization of society.
4.4. From Arcadian´s Lights to scientific Academies.