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Enlightenment 2

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Enlightenment 2

Why is the Enlightenment a Significant Event?

It was an intellectual movement in thinking, which moved society's thinking away from religious thinking, dominated by the Church, to rational thought dominated by science

The Enlightenment (or 'Age of Reason') is a term used to describe the philosophical, scientific, and rational attitudes, the freedom from superstition, and the belief in religious tolerance of much of 18th-century Europe. People believe the start of the Enlightenment period was between 16th and 19th century. However, cultural historians date the beginning of the enlightenment to the work of Newton, Pascal, Descartes and Locke. These thinkers however are drawing on predecessors that date well back to the 13th century. We can't, then really date the enlightenment. Do we still not live in an enlightenment world? While philosophers and cultural historians have dubbed the late 20th century as, 'post Enlightenment', we still walk around with a worldview largely based on, Enlightenment thought. So in the spirit of not dating the Enlightenment, simply refer to the changes, in European thought in the seventeenth century as "Seventeenth Century Enlightenment Thought." Although there were many philosopher and scientists engaged in the enlightenment period bringing new ways of thinking there are only a few that kick open the doors of this way of thinking. Decartes 1597-1650. He changed the way of thinking though the enlightenment period he replaced all other forms of knowledge with a single echoing 'Which may be the' truth: Cogito, ergo sum, "I think there for I am". From that point onwards in European culture, subjective truth would hold a higher and more important epistemological place then objective truth; skepticism would be built into every inquiry. The main figures of the enlightenment are well known: Descartes, Pascal, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. Zinzendorf, Wesley, Vico, and Hume.

During the first half of the 18th century, the leaders of the Enlightenment waged an uphill struggle against considerable odds. Several were imprisoned for their writings, and government censorship and attacks by the Church hampered most. In many respects, however, the later decades of the century marked a triumph of the movement in Europe and America. French enlightenment philosophers visited England, which was more liberal then, their home country. They were intrigued and inspired by British philosophers such as Newton, Locke, Bacon, Hume and Smith. By the 1770s, second-generation philosophers were receiving government pensions and taking control of established intellectual academies. The enormous increase in the publication of newspapers and books ensured a wide diffusion of their ideas. Scientific experiments and philosophical writing became fashionable among wide groups in society, including members of the nobility and the clergy. A number of European monarchs also adopted certain of the ideas or at least the vocabulary of the Enlightenment. James the 1st 1603, William of orange 1688

Rationalism (Latin ratio, 'reason'), in philosophy, a system of thought that emphasizes the role of reason in obtaining knowledge, in contrast to empiricism, which emphasizes the role of experience, especially sense perception. Rationalism has appeared in some form in nearly every stage of Western philosophy, but it is primarily identified with the tradition stemming from the 17th-century French philosopher and scientist Ren' Descartes. Descartes believed that geometry represented the ideal for all sciences and philosophy. He held that by means of reason alone, certain universal, self-evident truths could be discovered, from which the remaining content of philosophy and the sciences could be deductively derived. He assumed that these self-evident truths were innate, not derived from sense experience. This type of rationalism was developed by other European philosophers, such as the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza and the German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. It was opposed, however, by British philosophers of the empiricist tradition, such as John Locke, who believed that all ideas are derived from the senses. Epistemological rationalism has been applied to other fields of philosophical inquiry. Rationalism in ethics is the claim that certain primary moral ideas are innate in humankind and that such first moral principles are self-evident to the rational faculty. Rationalism in the philosophy of religion is the claim that the fundamental principles of religion are innate or self-evident and that revelation is not necessary. Since the end of the 1800s, however, rationalism has played chiefly an antireligious role in theology.

Education had to be one of the most exciting undertaken of all, during the enlightenment period. For the philosopher at that time wanted to enlightenment the masses, or to educate were better to start was with children. The philosopher believed it was there duty to lay the foundation, for morals, religion, and ethics. This would be the start of a new era and a better society. By 1750, the reading public came into existence because of increasing literacy. Yet, the philosopher lived a precarious life. They never knew whether they would be imprisoned or courted. They assumed the air of an army on the march. Within this, period 1751--1772 the Encyclopedia was published and it contain an exciting ...

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