Presentation on theme: "Chapter 35: The Enlightenment. What is the Enlightenment? A period of philosophical, social and civil development in which scientific reasoning became."— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 35: The Enlightenment
What is the Enlightenment? A period of philosophical, social and civil development in which scientific reasoning became the primary accepted authority. Roughly Outgrowth of the scientific revolution Began in England, moved to France, and then to other parts of the western world (including America) The “Age of Reason”
Characteristics of the Enlightenment Progressive, Rationalistic, Humanistic worldview Emerged out of the Scientific Revolution and culminated in the French Revolution Spokesmen = Rising Middle Class Paris = Center of Enlightenment Optimism about mankind’s abilities
Key Ideas of Enlightenment Distrust of Tradition and Revealed Religion Scientific method could be applied to society as well Society can get better as risks are taken Man is naturally good Good life is on earth
How was Enlightenment Creative? Linear thinking –Logical –Traditional (Inside the box) –Jumps to conclusions –Focuses thinking Lateral thinking – Intuitive – Innovative (outside the box) – Keeps an open mind – Broadens thinking
The Enlightenment Application of the scientific method to social problems Creativity in the Enlightenment –Linear thinking Learning science –Lateral thinking Applying science to social situations, religion, and government
O O O OO O OO O Lateral Thinking Exercise Connect the nine points below with as few straight lines as possible without lifting your pen or pencil from the paper.
O O O OO O OO O Connect the nine points below with as few straight lines as possible without lifting your pen or pencil from the paper. Lateral Thinking Exercise
Deism ― “Scientific Religion” God is a remote Being or power in the universe (“everywhere but nowhere”) Compared to a “watchmaker” (universe governed by laws) Trusts “Natural” theology, but not “revealed” (biblical) theology. Anti-clerical and skeptical of organized religion Expects ethical, enlightened behavior
Thomas Paine ( ) on Deism “Here it is that the religion of Deism is superior to the Christian Religion. It is free from all those invented and torturing articles that shock our reason or injure our humanity, and with which the Christian religion abounds. Its creed is pure, and sublimely simple. It believes in God, and there it rests.”
Discussion: Why would Deism flourish in the age of Enlightenment?
Conservative Liberal Deist Agnostic Atheist The “Slippery Slope”
Metaphysics Given the new scientific understanding of how the entire observable universe operates, two gnawing issues remained: Whether and how God fits in, and Whether and how human souls fits in.
Metaphysics Matter is inert and incapable of thought. There must be an immaterial existence. God and human spirits are immaterial. VS. All existence is matter. Thinking and willing are properties of matter. There is no God or human spirit.
Alternative Metaphysics All existence is matter. Spirit is matter, but more subtle and refined. Spirit is capable of thought and will. God and human spirits are material. Does this sound familiar?
Alternative Metaphysics In May 1843, Joseph Smith corrected a Methodist minister stating, “There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes” (D&C 131:7).
Alternative Metaphysics Puritan Richard Baxter wrote in 1650: “The soul is a substance; for that which is nothing can do nothing…. It is not bones and flesh that understand, but a purer substance, as all acknowledge.” Unitarian theologian Joseph Priestley wrote in 1777: “The original, and still prevailing idea concerning a soul or spirit, is that of a kind of attenuated aerial substance, of a more subtle nature than gross bodies.”
The Ubiquity of God’s Spirit Many believed that God was an omnipresent Spirit filling all his creations. Newton theorized that a subtle “Spirit” filled the universe and be the medium through which gravity works. He called this Spirit “the spiritual body of Jesus”. Akin to popular concept of the “ether” Mormons know this as the light of Christ.
The English Enlightenment
Thomas Hobbes ( ) Materialism –Leviathan –"All that is real is material, and what is not material is not real." –argued that any speech referring to “immaterial substances… [is] without meaning” and that “to say an angel or spirit is... an incorporeal substance is to say, in effect, there is no angel nor spirit at all –Learned science from Galileo
Thomas Hobbes Government (Leviathan) "[Early man's life was] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short... [and in a constant state of] warre, [living in] continual fear and danger of violent death.“ – Leviathan –Absolute monarchy was sent by God to help mankind control the conditions of life –Hobbes' concepts were used to justify colonialization
Discussion Why was it important to go back to the beginning of civilization to discover its purpose? Do you think that primative humans were warlike or peaceful?
John Locke ( ) Attacked concept of Divine Right king Friend of Newton–empiricist The forefather of our forefathers
John Locke Materialism –Existence consists of physical matter and invisible spirit. –The materiality or immateriality of God and spirit is unknown.
John Locke Government –Second Treatise of Civil Government
John Locke Men when they enter into society give up... liberty of a kind; yet it being only with an intention in every one the better to preserve himself, his liberty and property, the power conferred can never be supposed to extend farther than the common good, but is obliged to secure everyone's property.
John Locke [Government] can never have a right to destroy, enslave, or designedly to impoverish the subjects... To this end it is that men give up all their natural power to the society they enter into, and the community put the legislative power into such hands as they think fit, with this trust, that they shall be governed by declared laws, or else their peace, quiet, and property will still be at the same uncertainty as it was in the state of Nature.
John Locke Thomas Hobbes ( ) had described a social contract in which people in a state of nature ceded their individual rights to a strong sovereign in return for his protection Locke offered a new social contract theory in which people contracted with one another for a particular kind of government, and that they could modify or even abolish the government –Great influence on Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence
Wherever Law ends, Tyranny begins ― Locke Rule of Law
Discussion Could you have a very strong government and still have the rule of law? –Could that government be Machiavellian? What led Locke and Hobbes to different conclusions?
John Locke Theory of Knowledge –Essay Concerning Human Understanding –Reasoning puts man above animals –Rejected concept that ideas are innate Tabula rasa –Outer ideas from experience –Mankind can attain all knowledge
Alexander Pope English Poet Essay on Man and Essay on Criticism –Many famous sayings came from these books –Praised the Enlightenment people but cautioned them to beware of too much learning
“A little learning is a dangerous thing.” – Alexander Pope from An Essay on Criticism
All Nature is but art unknown to thee All chance, direction, which thou canst not see; All discord, harmony not understood; All partial evil, universal good: And, spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite, One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right. – Alexander Pope from Essay on Man
“We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow; Our wiser sons, no doubt, will think us so.” – Alexander Pope from An Essay on Criticism
Jonathan Swift ( ) Irish essayist & cleric Hated injustice Politically active Satirist –Gulliver’s Travels –A Modest Proposal…
“The Knowledge I had in Mathematicks gave me great Assistance in acquiring their Phraseology, which depended much upon that Science and Musick; and in the latter I was not unskilled. Their Ideas are perpetually conversant in Lines and Figures. If they would, for Example, praise the Beauty of a Woman, or any other Animal, they describe it by Rhombs, Circles, Parallelograms, Ellipses, and other Geometrical Terms; or by Words of Art drawn from Musick, needless here to repeat.” - Jonathan Swift: Gulliver’s Travels (Laputa) The Scientists
I said there was a Society of Men among us, bred up from their Youth in the Art of proving by Words multiplied for the Pleasure, that White is Black, and Black is White, according as they are paid. To this Society all the rest of the People are Slaves. For Example, if my Neighbor hath a Mind to my Cow, he hires a Lawyer to prove that he ought to have my Cow from me. I must then hire another to defend my Right, it being against all Rules of Law that any Man should be allowed to speak for himself. Now in this Case, I who am the right Owner lie under two great Disadvantages. First, my Lawyer being practiced almost from his Cradle in defending Falsehood; is quite out of his Element when he would be an Advocate for Justice, which as an Office unnatural, he always attempts with great Awkwardness if not with Ill-will. The second Disadvantage is, that my Lawyer must proceed with great Caution: Or else he will be reprimanded by the Judges, and abhorred by his Brethren, as one that would lessen the Practice of the Law. (continued) The Lawyers
And therefore I have but two Methods to preserve my Cow. The first is, to gain over my Adversary's Lawyer with a double Fee; who will then betray his Client by insinuating that he hath Justice on his Side. The second way is for my Lawyer to make my Cause appear as unjust as he can; by the Cow to belong to my Adversary; and this, if it be skilfully done, will certainly bespeak the Favour of the Bench. It is a Maxim among these Lawyers, that whatever hath been done before, may legally be done again: And therefore they take special Care to record all the Decisions formerly made against common Justice and the general Reason of Mankind. These, under the Name of Precedents, they produce as Authorities to justify the most iniquitous Opinions; and the Judges never fail of decreeing accordingly. - Jonathan Swift: Gulliver’s Travels (Houyhnhnms) The Lawyers (cont.)
“It think it is agreed by all parties that this prodigious number of children in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of their mothers, and frequently of their fathers, is in the present deplorable state of the kingdom a very great additional grievance; and therefore whoever could find out a fair, cheap, and easy method of making these children sound, useful members of the commonwealth would deserve so well of the public as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation…. - Jonathan Swift: A Modest Proposal… A Modest Proposal
Creativity Concept Write a satire in the style of Swift about some aspect of modern life
The French Enlightenment
Discussion Why did the enlightenment take longer to take hold in France than in England?
The “Philosophes” Pronounced fĭl' ə sŏf French name for philosopher, but referred to an enlightenment intellectual. Enlightenment spread in France largely through Voltaire.
Progressive Ideology of the Philosophes Most philosophes were optimistic about the future because they believed in the inevitability of progress. Saw human history largely as a history of the improvement of humanity in three respects: –Developing a rational knowledge of the natural world and the ability to manipulate the world through technology –Overcoming ignorance bred of superstitions and religions –Overcoming human cruelty and violence through social improvements and government structures
Voltaire ( ) Pen name Deist; critical of Catholic church Lived in exile (London) and grew to love the works of Newton Returned to French/Swiss chateau Leader of the French Enlightenment Court of Frederick II of Prussia Candide –"Let us all tend our garden“ Joined Freemasonry in last year of his life
“All nature cries aloud that He [God] does exist that there is a supreme intelligence, an immense power, an admirable order, and everything teaches us our own dependence on it.” “Morality is everywhere the same for all men, therefore it comes from God; sects differ, therefore they are the work of men.” –Voltaire Voltaire as Deist
“This little globe, which is but a point, rolls through space, as do many other globes; we are lost in the immensity of the universe. Man, only five feet high, is assuredly only a small thing in creation. One of these imperceptible beings says to another one of his neighbors, in Arabia or South Africa: 'Listen to me, because God of all these worlds has enlightened me: there are nine hundred million little ants like us on the earth, but my ant-hole is the only one dear to God; all the other are cast off by Him for eternity; mine alone will be happy, and all the others will be eternally damned.” –Voltaire Treatise on Tolerance
“In the midst of all the doubts we have discussed for four thousand years in four thousand ways, the safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have nothing to fear from death. There are some charlatans who admit no doubts. We know nothing of first principles. It is surely very presumptuous... to pretend to know precisely why God made the world, when we do not know why we can move our arms at our pleasure. Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.” –Voltaire Letter to Prince Frederick of Prussia
Discussion Voltaire lost his belief in God because of the Lisbon earthquake. He said that if God was benevolent and all-powerful, he would not allow such senseless suffering to occur. Therefore, since there was suffering, God must not be all-powerful or must not exist. What do you think?
“Nature tells us all, ‘You have been born weak and ignorant and are doomed to live out a few fleeting moments on the earth before fertilizing it with your corpses. Since you are weak, you must look after one another, and since you are ignorant you must educate each other. If…[someone] clings to a different opinion, you must forgive him; for it is I who am responsible for making him think the way he does. I have given you the strength with which to cultivate the ground and a flicker of intelligence to guide you. I have placed in each of your hearts a seed of compassion with which to help one another through life. Do not smother this seed; nor must you corrupt it; for it is divine.” –Voltaire Treatise on Tolerance (Compassion)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau ( ) Contest: "Does progress in the arts and sciences correspond with progress in morality?" Social Contract –“Noble Savage” (instinctive goodness) Laid the foundation for the French Revolution –Liberty, Equality, Fraternity –Dominance of the legislature
“Man is born free, yet everywhere he is in chains.” –Rousseau
Denis Diderot ( ) Encyclopedia –15 yrs to publish all 17 volumes –Stated goal: “All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings."
"The good of the people must be the great purpose of government. By the laws of nature and of reason, the governors are invested with power to that end. And the greatest good of the people is liberty. It is to the state what health is to the individual." - Diderot in L'Encyclopedie: Article on Government, quoted in Barzun, Jacques, From Dawn to Decadence, Perennial, 2000, p370. Liberty
Other Enlightenment Thinkers
Immanuel Kant ( ) German enlightenment Transcendentalism The Critique of Pure Reason and …Practical Reason Categorical Imperative
"You should behave with only those types of behavior that are dictated by the absolute nature of the basic principle on which the act is based." "Act as if your actions would become a moral maxim (principle or model) for all others and at all times." – From Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative Categorical Imperative
Adam Smith Scottish professor Wealth of Nations –Free enterprise system –The role of self-interest and laissez-faire Through an “invisible hand” self-interest guides the most efficient use of resources in a nation’s economy, with public welfare coming as a by-product State and personal efforts to promote social good are ineffectual compared to unbridled market forces –Provides the intellectual rationale for free trade and capitalism.
Edward Gibbon Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Anti-religious bias Do you think, as did Gibbon, that the adoption of Christianity by the Roman Empire weakened the empire?
David Hume Scottish philosopher Leader of empiricism movement Grew to distrust all and question everything. Materialist? Atheist?
Change Wrought by Enlightenment Weakened the influence of organized religion, but certainly did not destroy institutional churches Encouraged the replacement of Christian values (which had guided European thought on religious and moral affairs for over a thousand years) with a new set of secular values
Legacy of the Enlightenment Debate on whether evolution or creationism should be taught in schools Debate on Judeo-Christian values and secular humanism Debate on free trade and protective tariffs Debate on what the role and authority of government should be
End of Chapter 35 Examine with the mind, and listen with the heart.