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© 2010, TESCCC Natural Rights: The Enlightenment During the Scientific Revolution, people began to use the scientific method to determine the truth. Scientific.

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Presentation on theme: "© 2010, TESCCC Natural Rights: The Enlightenment During the Scientific Revolution, people began to use the scientific method to determine the truth. Scientific."— Presentation transcript:


2 © 2010, TESCCC Natural Rights: The Enlightenment During the Scientific Revolution, people began to use the scientific method to determine the truth. Scientific Method –People should use reason and observe nature to find the truth –Shouldn’t rely on superstition or tradition. When thinkers began to apply this method to morals, beliefs, laws, and governments, they developed the idea of “Natural Law”

3 © 2010, TESCCC The Age of Enlightenment

4 © 2010, TESCCC Also known as “The Age of Reason” Scientific Revolution paved the way as Natural Laws that applied to nature were now Natural Rights that applied to society. Led to discovery of the world outside of Europe and the Columbian Exchange Enlightened philosophers (aka philosophes in French) and writers

5 © 2010, TESCCC Enlightened Philosophers (aka philosophies in French) and Writers

6 © 2010, TESCCC Thomas Hobbes The Leviathan published in Without government, people would constantly be fighting amongst themselves. Life without government would be "poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” The purpose of government is to ensure peace and security through whatever means necessary. Government is a contract between citizens and their ruler. In this contract, citizens give up rights for the guarantee of peace and security. The best government is one in which the ruler has absolute power. People never have the right to rebel.

7 © 2010, TESCCC John Locke Government is a contract between citizens and their rulers. People have a natural right to life, liberty, and property. The purpose of government is: –to protect the rights of life, liberty, and property. –to create order in society. Citizens have the right to rebel against a government that does not respect the rights of its citizens. Rulers should stay in power only as long as they have the consent of the people they govern. Locke’s ideas influenced authors of US Declaration of Independence and French revolutionaries in the 1790s.

8 © 2010, TESCCC Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding Every human is born a tabula mind, or blank slate. –Nothing is inherited, human knowledge is created by the environment as we experience the world. –Foundation for equality –We learn from reason –By controlling the environment we can create a better world

9 © 2010, TESCCC Voltaire François-Marie Arouet Considered one of the most important of the enlightenment philosophers Prolific writer; His satire Candide is his most famous work. Fought for tolerance, reason, and freedom of thought, expression, and religious belief Twice imprisoned in the Bastille

10 © 2010, TESCCC Fought against prejudice and superstition Deism: system of thought that denies the interference of the Creator with the laws of the universe (creates, then backs off).  Freedom of thought is most important: "I do not agree with a word you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

11 © 2010, TESCCC Baron d’Montesquieu The Spirit of Laws 1748 Advocated separation of powers and checks and balances to keep any individual or group from gaining complete control of the government. One of the greatest influences on the US Constitution.

12 © 2010, TESCCC Rousseau Swiss philosopher The Social Contract (1762) Although born good, people are corrupted by society. Government should be a contract between people, not between the people and a ruler. People should give up some freedom in favor of the General Will of the people. People are equal and have a right to individual freedom.

13 © 2010, TESCCC Beccaria Believed laws existed to preserve social order Advocated a criminal justice system based on fairness and reason

14 © 2010, TESCCC Adam Smith A Physiocrat: Natural laws govern the economy. Wrote The Wealth of Nations (1776) Called for the economic freedom of individuals, by keeping the government from interfering in the economy. Believed an “invisible hand” (the law of supply and demand and competition) would guide the economy.

15 © 2010, TESCCC Mary Wollstonecraft Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) Argued for women’s right to become educated and to participate in politics Believed women, like men, need education to become virtuous and useful.

16 © 2010, TESCCC Denis Diderot Spread enlightened thinking in all areas by publishing the Encyclopedia ( ), a 28 volumes of collected knowledge and the new ideas of the Scientific Revolution and the enlightenment First to use an alphabetical format

17 © 2010, TESCCC How did Enlightenment writers and thinkers set the stage for revolutionary movements? Encouraged people to judge for themselves what was right or wrong in society –Rely on human reason to solve social problems

18 © 2010, TESCCC Questions for Discussion: Voltaire is credited with saying: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend your right to say it.” What does this statement indicate about Voltaire’s views on free speech? How is it similar to beliefs about free speech in the U.S.?

19 © 2010, TESCCC Questions for Discussion: “Man will only truly be free when the last king is strangled with the intestine of the last bishop.” Percy Shelly How is this quote reflective of the attitudes of the enlightenment philosopher?

20 © 2010, TESCCC Who’s ideas are most like your own? Hobbes –People are selfish, self- serving, and brutal. –Without control, society would be chaotic Locke –People are reasonable and able to make decisions. –People should be able to rule themselves.

21 © 2010, TESCCC 1776 In 1776, two famous works were published, Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Jefferson’s work is about man’s political independence and Smith’s is about man’s economic freedom and independence. Which do you think has been the most important to the development of the USA? A citizen’s political or economic freedom? Why?

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