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How is it that a small, poor country in northern Europe became one of the most dynamic centres of Enlightenment thinking? This unit examines the cultural, intellectual and religious characteristics of Scotland in the eighteenth century that led to the emergence of such intellectual pioneers as James Hutton, Joseph Black and William Cullen, and briefly describes their key ideas and findings. This study unit is just one of many that can be found on LearningSpace, part of OpenLearn, a collection of open educational resources from The Open University. Published in ePub 2.0.1 format, some feature such as audio, video and linked PDF are not supported by all ePub readers.