Enlightenment and Statistics: Mitigation and Adaptation in Eighteenth-Century Habsburg Monarchy

Jour fixe Culture Studies with Tibor Bodnár-Király (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

Rephrasing Jeffrey Burson’s definition, Enlightenment can be framed not only as a set of constantly evolving values, ideas and practices that dynamically intersect and dialectically constitute one another, but also as a process of knowledge accumulation creates new research fields. Despite its multiple sources and manifestations, the history of statistical studies is unquestionably related to this formative period. This paper approaches from the angles of intellectual history and history of science scholarship and it explores how Staatenkunde was domesticated in eighteenth-century Habsburg Monarchy. First, it examines the historiographical trends, then it identifies the incentives that set limits on the process of adaptation. Finally, it highlights the congruities and discrepancies that made the temperate character of statistics in Habsburg Monarchy. Investigating Austrian and Hungarian experiences, the paper argues that reconsidering statistical account in eighteenth-century context can be especially valuable to glimpse the plurality in Enlightenment scientific discourse.







Mai 6th 2021, 4.30-6.00 p.m. CET

The Jour fixe will be helt via Zoom, registration is open until May 4. Please register via email: juliane.fink@oeaw.ac.at