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The Age of Reason Big Picture:

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1 The Age of Reason Big Picture:
Both the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment reflect the importance of the use of Reason as a means of determining mankind’s place in the Universe. Specifically, we are speaking of man in relationship to his God, and to His Political and Social Structure.

2 The Age of Reason The Enlightenment was an outgrowth of the Scientific Revolution. Hence, we have the Philosophers taking a page from the laboratory, and man great experiment, Society, will be changed utterly. Let’s backtrack a moment…

3 The Age of Reason Remember…
The Renaissance and Humanism? We know this was significant because Man began to focus on their lives, and their abilities, as opposed to subjugating themselves to the Church and waiting for the “Afterlife.”

4 The Age of Reason Remember the Protestant Reformation?
People like Martin Luther and John Calvin questioned the “status quo”, and change raged throughout Europe? Remember the “Age of Exploration”? Where man sailed over seas an began to set up new empires and “tame the savages” that lived in the wild? What was man’s place in the social structure? Was mankind inherently good or evil?

5 The Age of Reason All of these contribute to a climate of change, of Revolution, of the possibilities of the Human Spirit. But, we can’t forget that for every step take in the English Revolution, of the English Bill of Rights and the Power of Parliament, there were still very oppressive monarchs, absolute monarchs, that clung to the beliefs of Divine Right and total subjugation of the People.(Louis XIV)

6 The Age of Reason So…we are talking about change. Revolution.
Let’s look back at the Scientific Revolution How can the ideas of Men Like Copernicus and Galileo affect the way that Political Philosophers think???

7 The Age of Reason First of all, let’s talk about the differences between the idea of faith vs. the idea of Reason. We can see the Middle Ages as an Age of Faith. You did not question your existence, nor the role of the church. It was an accepted/expected reality that you would live and die, and go to heaven or hell. Everything in between was in the hands of God, and that was that.

8 The Age of Reason We know that the Renaissance began to change mankind's view of himself and his place, and the Protestant Reformation made clear steps in this direction as well. Remember to that as the thinkers of the renaissance looked back to Greece and Rome, we began to focus on the abilities of the individual as opposed to the Power of Pure faith.

9 The Age of Reason Technology can change society as well. The telescope will enable individuals to examine the heavens (think of that word!) and make bold statement about the universe from a non religious standpoint. Changes in methods of learning, (an outgrowth of Humanism) math specifically, will also change theories about how the heavens move, and hence our place (earth) in the universe.

10 The Age of Reason Movers and shakers…
Nicholas Copernicus. Key…He uses new mathematical formulas and challenges an age old theory, and that is that the Earth (geocentric), is the center of the Universe. He purports that the Sun, (heliocentric) is the center of the Universe. By doing so the Catholic Church is threatened, because God created earth, and hence it must be the center of everything.

11 The Age of Reason Galileo Galilei – Italian astronomer who used the relatively new technology of the telescope to further support the controversial findings of Copernicus. You should also know that Galileo was brought to trial and condemned by the Inquisition (The Catholic Churches assault on non believers) for his findings.

12 The Age of Reason Isaac Newton – The Big Daddy of the Scientific Revolution. Newton’s “Principia Mathematica” focused on his groundbreaking findings in reference to the existence of Gravity (what cause things to fall?), and his laws of motion. Essentially, this means that there is a force or forces at work, generally referred to as “Nature” that affect our lives “separately” from God’s intervention…That is “big stuff”…

13 The Age of Reason The Scientific Method. Focuses on reason and man’s intellectual ability to problem solve, and does not simply have us throw up our hands and apply it all to the power of God… The scientific method is used every time you enter a lab as FDA. You problem solve by…

14 The Age of Reason State Problem Collect Information
Form a hypothesis (possible solution) Experiment Record Data State a conclusion Repeat steps as necessary

15 The Age of Reason Rene Descartes and the use of Reason.
Simply put Descartes felt, it was man’s ability to reason to think that defined his very existence. His Discourse on method stated that “cogito ergo sum” …meaning “I think therefore I am.” Essentially, it is our intellectual abilities that defines our existence… Let’s make the transition to the Enlightenment and review what we have learned…

16 The Age of Reason Reason, a faith in the ability of man not just in the power of a god will lead us to a group of thinkers who examine the role of mankind in society, and the role of government in relationship to its citizenry. Are their Natural laws, separate from the laws of God, that can dictate the place of man in society. And…what is the role of government in relationship the enforcement or support of these laws???

17 The Age of Reason Big Time Thinkers in the Enlightenment Locke Hobbes
Montesquieu Rousseau Voltaire… Each will view man, and his role in society somewhat differently…

18 The Age of Reason Thomas Hobbes: Wrote the “Leviathan.”
His basic philosophy was that people were “cruel, greedy,brutish” and that is was societies job to civilize them. Man in his state of nature would only look out for his own interests…hence society was not possible… A powerful government was needed for a control mechanism.

19 The Age of Reason John Locke: Most famous work was the “Second Treatise” on government. Basic idea was that we had “natural rights” and that man was essentially good, but corrupted by society. Governments should be formed to protect man’s rights, rather than rights being “given” to the citizen by government. The Radical ideas that was Locke’s was that government had an obligation to the people, and the people had a right to overthrow government if they felt it was necessary

20 The Age of Reason If we put Hobbes and Locke in the context of the English Civil War: Hobbes would side with the Monarchy. Locke would side with the Parliament and Cromwell.

21 The Age of Reason Baron de Montesquieu: The next step in the governmental process, which is the separation of Powers. Essentially, this means that to protect against tyranny and anarchy (the extremes of power in either case) power needed to be separated…in this way no one branch of the government would hold too much influence over the other.

22 The Age of Reason Montesquieu proposed a three part governmental system of the Legislative Look Familiar? Executive Judicial

23 The Age of Reason Essentially, this is the formation of the checks and balances system that was the foundation of our governmental system. Let’s look at another interpretation of the concept of the contract between the government and its populace. Jean Jacques Rousseau and the “Social Contract”

24 The Age of Reason Rousseau saw man quite differently from someone like Hobbes. Rousseau felt that man was born good, and that he was corrupted by society. He stated that “man is born free, And everywhere he is in chains.” Hence, the relationship between government and the people is a complex one.

25 The Age of Reason Rousseau believed that the chains that bound men are the were the controls of government. However, man must also consent to give up pure self-interest in order to participate in a freely formed government. Hence, it is a sort of contract between the government and the governed.

26 The Age of Reason Let’s review briefly.
Hobbes: - Man is a “brute”. Government must control them. Locke: - Man is born good. Their Natural Rights must be protected by govt. Montesquieu – Government must be balanced. Separation of Powers Rousseau: There must be a social contract,and man must give up some rights as part of a community.

27 The Age of Reason Voltaire (real name was Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire) Social Satire. – a means where an author criticizes society through fiction. Candide: a satire of 18th Century Society. He was imprisoned twice for his writing, and after his second sentence he was exiled to England, where he was influenced by great thinkers like Locke and Newton.

28 The Age of Reason Voltaire was a life long critic of the Church and the monarchy. He will also center his novel on a criticism of the Philosophy of Optimism, founded by the German Philosopher Leibnitz. Here is a summary of Optimism.

29 The Age of Reason Voltaire shared with Leibnitz the belief in the existence of a Supreme Being, who was the creator of the Universe, Heaven and Earth included. Voltaire could not accept the idea that everything could be explained by the belief in Providence-that every thing happens for the best. Although Voltaire was a believer in God, he saw him as a more absentee god and he explained him in the following manner:

30 The Age of Reason Voltaire believed that God was, in his relationship to man, like a ship’s captain is to mice that are scurrying in the hold of the ship. He is aware, but totally indifferent to their existence and their well being. Two primary tenants of Leibnitz's Philosophy that Voltaire argued vehemently against are these:

31 The Age of Reason Leibnitz saw God as beneficent, and that he, in creating the world, created the "best possible one". However, Leibnitz was not stating that the world was perfect and devoid of evil. What he meant was that God's goodness and concern for his creation assures us that what is moral and right will finally emerge. (We have to wait for it, and be patient!) What man must do is to see the Divine plan in it's entirety, not simply an examination of specific events. We must see the forest, not the trees

32 The Age of Reason Secondarily, Leibnitz saw Nature as orderly. It laws were immutable. Any deviation from this plan upsets the "Great Chain of Being". There is strict order, and that is that. Voltaire attacked this philosophy on two fronts…

33 The Age of Reason The idea that all is well, that this is the "best of all possible worlds" becomes the running joke of the novel.  Secondly, the idea that the Great Chain of Being to be strictly adhered to is nonsense. Let’s look at Candide briefly.

34 The Age of Reason The main characters are Candide, and naïve young man, and Pangloss, the philosopher teacher who will assure Candide that whatever happens, this is indeed the “best of all possible worlds. The Satire of the novel will center around the many trials and hardships that Candide will endure, and how long he can hang on to the notion that everything is for the best.

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