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The Enlightenment

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on 27 February 2014

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Transcript of The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment
The Enlightenment
The Enlightenment was the "Age of Reason" or "Age of Rationalism", the leaders of the Enlightenment relied on scientific method and believed it could be used to study Human nature.
*Many of the Philosophers were Frenchmen that were inspired by the Englishmen in the Scientific Revolution.
Enlightened Absolutism
Absolutism is the theory that all government power should be invested in one ruler.
Natural Rights
Owning things is necessary for survival.
Late 17th century to 18th century
***The Enlightenment focused mainly on the findings of the
Scientific Revolution
and reason.***

The Philosophers of the Enlightenment wanted to make progress towards a better society through
reason, natural law,
hope and progress.
Path to the Enlightenment
Natural law:
a body of unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct.
The power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgements by a process of Logic.
****To philosophers, the role of Philosophy had to change the world.
*The purpose of Philosophy is to improve Humanity and make life better and Happier.
was a big idea for Philosophers in the Enlightenment Age
A belief or theory that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge rather than on religious beliefs or emotional response.
Montesquieu was French.
With the help of the
Printing Press
which was invented in 1450 by Johannes Gutenburg, he was able to publish a book named
The Spirit of the Laws.
In this book he identified three different basic types of government:
*Republics- For small states
For large states
*Monarchies- For moderately sized states
*He analyzes the separation of powers in the English government and states that no branch of government is better than another.
** His principles can be found in the U.S Constitution
Voltaire or Francois-Marie Arouet was considered one of the most important people of the Enlightenment
He was known for his strong belief in religious tolerance. He wanted all religions to be tolerated and accepted.
He Published the
Treatise on Toleration
which said "All men are brothers under God"
Voltaire believed in Deism which is a religion that believes that God created the universe, but it was like a clock; once set in motion, it runs without interference even from God himself, and runs off of Natural Laws.
Adam Smith
Wrote The Wealth of Nations.
**The Wealth of Nations book supported the Laissez-Faire.
Laissez- Faire: "Let the people do what they want."
Printing Press:
A machine for Printing Text or pictures from type or plates.
Smith Believed that the government only had


1. Protecting society from Invasion (having an army)
2. Defending citizens from injustice (police)
3.Keeping up public works
Jean- Jacques Rousseau
He wrote the
Social Contract
in which he discussed the concept of a social contract for the people.
Social Contract
: addresses the questions of the orgin of society and legitimacy of authority pf the state over an individual.
is achieved whenever a whole society is forced to follow what is best "for the general will" and represents what is best for an entire community.
Liberty: Freedom of religion, freedom of press,and freedom of unreasonable government
He also believed that emotions as well as reason were important to Human Development; he wanted to find a balance between mind and heart.
He also believed women should be educated to be wives and mothers
Female Rights
The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen was written by Olympe de Gouges.
*For many years male Philosophers had said that women were inferior to men which made male domination necessary.
*Because of this book many other 18th century female philosophers began to speak out.
Thomas Hobbes
He wrote the
According to Hobbes, people should not be able to make decisons on their own. He says that the government was created to save people from their own selfishness.
Natural Rights: Rights inalienable and not based on law, or custom beliefs of any particular culture or government
2. Life: Survival; being safe from threats that may come about.
Be Free, make decisions and live as they please.
**All of these are rights that all humans are born with and they can never be taken away from anyone.
Declaration of Independence
In 1776 Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. He took ideas of the Enlightenment from John Locke, and was inspired by the British Declaration of Independence.
The Pursuit of Happiness"
is the idea that "all men are created equal"
Social Impact
Starting in the Enlightenment there was an idea called a
Free Market
Free Market
is an economic system where prices are determined by unrestricted competition between privately owned businesses
This helped with the idea of Liberty; giving more power to the people.

was another theory in the Enlightenment.
*Socialism means that the community advocates the means of distribution, production,and exchange
Hobbes' moral philosophy can be traced to differing understandings and operation of
The State of Nature.

*The State of Nature: Concept in moral and political philosophy to indicate what life of people was like before societies , used in religion, laws and social contract theory.
The French Revolution
*The Revolution lasted for 10 years. (1789-1799)
**300,000 people were publicly executed by firing squads and 40,000 were beheaded.
Drowning was one of the many methods of mass murder.
Niccolo Machiavelli
The Social Contract
Rene Descartes
John Locke
*Locke Believed that people gained ideas by experience.
***Locke agreed with Aristotle that we were not born with innate ideas and that experience shaped us.***
Locke's theory was that the only way we could learn was through our 5 senses.
Locke said there were two types of ideas, Simple and Complex.
Simple were sensations, like a hot stove.
Complex was like when you look at a banana, you see the color yellow, feeling its mushy texture, and it's sweet taste, thus creating an idea of a banana.
Sense Experience
Impression in the mind
You touch ice
Ice is cold
If i touch ice, it will be cold.
Process of an Idea through Experiences
*Got his ideas from Plato
He published the book
"The Prince"
This book was written in 1513 but was not published until 1532.
"I think therefore i am"
Friedrich Nietzche
He believed in reality not something in a world beyond (Religion).
The center of his philosophy is the idea of “life-affirmation”, which involves an honest questioning of all doctrines that drain life's expansive energies, however socially prevalent those might be

"Only sick music makes money today"
"One must have a good memory to be able to keep the promises one makes"
Thomas Paine
Pamphleteer, controversialist and international revolutionary. He authored the pamphlet “Common Sense” in 1776, which became the central text behind the call for American Independence from Britain. His pamphlet “Rights of Man”(1791-20 was the most widely read pamphlet in the movement to reform Britain in the 1790s. Paine was also active during the French Revolution and a member of the French National Convention.

He was the Father of Modern Philosophy

Aristotle and Plato
Even though Plato did not have a "set in stone" natural law, his concept of nature contained many elements of the Natural Law Theory, that was "later set in stone".
Aristotle made a distinct difference between what was "law" and what was "nature." He had said that the law was different everywhere but the thing that is the same is nature. So a "Law of Nature" would be something that everyone, everywhere would be aware of and it would not change.
Karl Marx
Karl Marx's ideas were the basis for communism.
He wrote the book The Communist Manifesto
This book clearly outlines the concepts and advantages of why communism is better than Capitalism.
Communism: is a system of government in which everything is controlled by the leader of the country (dictator)
The Social Contract was written by Jean Jacques Rousseau in 1762
The Social Contract
He wrote Discourse on the Method
He laid down the idea that the thinking mind is more real than the body that it is housed in.
This book is an auto-biography.
The book the prince was a book about how to gain and maintain political power.
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