Age Of Reason Enlightenment Essay

The Age of Enlightenment Essay

2088 Words9 Pages

The Enlightenment was a period in the eighteenth century where change in philosophy and cultural life took place in Europe. The movement started in France, and spread to Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Germany at more or less around the same time, the ideas starting with the most renowned thinkers and philosophers of the time and eventually being shared with the common people. The Enlightenment was a way of thinking that focused on the betterment of humanity by using logic and reason rather than irrationality and superstition. It was a way of thinking that showed skepticism in the face of religion, challenged the inequality between the kings and their people, and tried to establish a sound system of ethics. The ideas behind the…show more content…

Stokstad posits that these ideas have roots in the previous scientific revolution of the century before it, with philosophers such as Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes establishing what we now know as the scientific method based on logical reasoning, educated guesses and controlled experiments to prove them. The astronomer Galileo Galilei confirmed a previous theory by Nicolaus Copernicus that the sun did not revolve around the Earth and that it was the other way around-- the planets revolved around the sun. These theories and practices went against the Church's teachings, and Galileo in particular was forced to take back what he said on his observations. Other scientists made discoveries on smaller scales relating to the animal kingdom and plant life, and artists were used to convey the new-found information by painting or drawing those findings. (p. 756) With the different revolutions and events that took place before the eighteenth century, it could be said that the Enlightenment was just a logical progression and the next step. Like the scientific revolution before it, the new Enlightenment era's ideas were spread both through art and through writing, in texts such as Denis Diderot's Encyclopedia which was printed and sold to the French middle class. The Encyclopedia held the most current ideas concerning the arts, sciences, and the merits of human freedom. The advances as a result of the

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The Age Of Enlightenment Essay

Throughout the course of history there has been many influential people, events and eras that greatly contributed to the society we know of today. Many of which contributed to the Cultural, Industrial or Territorial disputes that set our boundaries. Unlike in the preceding years of war throughout the world that set these boundaries, the Age of Enlightenment brought a whole new perspective to the way the world thought, and how they viewed their individual societies, the world, and their governments. The Age of Enlightenment, named because of the many thinkers that occurred during the era and the ideals spread across, paved the way to the accomplishments that were achieved in the forthcoming years. In this era people began to think for themselves and stopped relying on their rulers to make the decisions necessary to aid their countries; people began to wonder why they had no say in their government (individualism), they began to understand that they themselves needed to be treated fairly amongst each other (humanism), and they also began to believe in divine beings that they began to worship, which lead to the concept of Protestantism and religious tolerance.

Though the Age of Enlightenment had a major impact on the development of rational thought and many scientific and religious ideals, without the works of two major philosophers, Isaac Newton and John Locke, the Enlightenment period would have had a hard time taking off. More specifically Isaac Newton’s “Principa Mathematica” and John Locke’s “Essay Concerning human Understanding” Enriched the Enlightenment period with the necessary Philosophical, Mathematical and Scientific understandings that it needed to make the major accomplishments that the period accomplished, and are considered the start of the Enlightenment period (History.com Staff). The main arguments that Locke’s essay contained, expressed the idea that knowledge was gained through individual experiences rather than looking for some sort of outside truth, with this knowledge that was spread from the Scientific Revolution into the Age of Enlightenment people realized that they had the privilege or right to express their own free thought. Along with this Isaac Newton’s “Principa Mathematica” provided mathematical and optical theories that provided the world with enlightenment metaphors that measured change and illumination (History.com staff). Newton’s ideals gave the basis for the Age of Enlightenment’s thoughts of change and improvements. These thoughts of improvements became ideals, then these ideals came together to help bring about the Industrial Revolution.

Another Enlightenment thinker that helped the Enlightenment period change the future is Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau set the idea that Monarchies are given power by the loyalty and the citizen’s trust in the government. So ultimately the power can be taken away by the citizens as well, they believed that the king did not receive power from God, but is a mere man...

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