Presentation on theme: "3. When and what was the Enlightenment?. 17 th & 18 th century Europe AKA The Age of Reason –Reason – logic; power of acquiring intellectual knowledge."— Presentation transcript:
3. When and what was the Enlightenment?
17 th & 18 th century Europe AKA The Age of Reason –Reason – logic; power of acquiring intellectual knowledge based on facts or principles Began with scientific discoveries and political theories
Combination of Renaissance curiosity with scientific method to study & improve society, religion, etc. Broad movement among educated people to dismiss the authoritarian beliefs and to release the free, questioning spirit
4. Who were some political thinkers of the Enlightenment and what were their ideas?
Thomas Hobbes English Man is bad, need absolute government Give up freedom for protection
Wrote “Leviathan” – said equality led to competition and violence Life is “nasty, brutish & short”
I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. The condition of man... is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.
John Locke English Natural rights of man-life, liberty & property Rejected divine right
Social contract with gov’t to protect these rights If gov’t is unjust, can break the treaty
Government has no other end, but the preservation of property. The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom.
Denis Diderot French Compiled the Encyclopedie – 28 volumes Criticized the church & gov’t
Contained everything known about science, technology, history, etc.
No man has received from nature the right to command his fellow human beings. Our observation of nature must be diligent, our reflection profound, and our experiments exact. We rarely see these three means combined; and for this reason, creative geniuses are not common.
Baron de Montesquieu French Separation of governmental powers into 3 branches
Judicial, executive & legislative branches Balance of power Spirit of the Laws
The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy. The less men think, the more they talk.
Voltaire French Criticized the church & monarchy Free speech
Served time in prison, exiled to England Author of Candide
“I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” “Common sense is not so common.” “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.”
Jean Jacques Rousseau Swiss Man is naturally good – the world makes them bad
Wrote The Social Contract Argued for direct democracy Rely on instinct & emotion
It is unnatural for a majority to rule, for a majority can seldom be organized and united for specific action, and a minority can. Man is born free, and everywhere he is in shackles. Most nations, as well as people are impossible only in their youth; they become incorrigible as they grow older.
Immanuel Kant German The Critique of Pure Reason
Human emotions about religion, beauty, morality, etc. are real even though science & reason couldn’t explain them
“It is beyond a doubt that all our knowledge that begins with experience.” “All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.”
Philosophes Group of thinkers in France Applied the methods of science to understand & improve society
Frequently met in salons in France –Could discuss and debate freely –Usually held in a private home of a wealthy woman (salonniere)
Enlightenment economics…the physiocrats Adam Smith – author of The Wealth of Nations in 1776 Laissez-faire – to leave alone; believed government should stay out of business, “invisible hand” will guide the economy