The Scottish Enlightenment embarked on nothing less than a massive reordering of human knowledge. It sought to transform every branch of learning—literature and the arts; the social sciences; biology, chemistry, geology, and the other physical and natural sciences—into a series of organized disciplines that could be taught and passed on to posterity.
Luhmann is forever talking about the second half of the 18th century as the pivotal era in the transition to modern society. More specifically, he mentions early 1760s, and the year 1763 comes up in various places. So what was going at this time?