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II.The Enlightenment (reached maturation by 1750) A.Secular world view emerged for the first time 1.Belief that natural science and reason could explain.

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Presentation on theme: "II.The Enlightenment (reached maturation by 1750) A.Secular world view emerged for the first time 1.Belief that natural science and reason could explain."— Presentation transcript:

1 II.The Enlightenment (reached maturation by 1750) A.Secular world view emerged for the first time 1.Belief that natural science and reason could explain all aspects of life 2.Belief in man’s intellect apart from God 3.Faith in reason, not revelation

2 4. Deism: religious arm of the Enlightenment a. Existence of God was a rational explanation of the universe and its form b. Universe ran much like a clock c. Universe governed by “natural law,” not by a personal god d. Deism grew out of Newton’s theories regarding natural law 5. Baruch Spinoza ( ): Philosopher who created a world view in which he equated God and nature

3 B. Belief that the scientific method could explain the laws of society -- Progress in society was possible through following natural laws

4 C. John Locke ( ): greatest of the Enlightenment thinkers 1. Two Treatises on Civil Government, (1690) a. Philosophical defense for the “Glorious Revolution” in England b. State of nature: humans were basically good but lack protection -- Contrasts Hobbes’ view

5 c. Governments provide rule of law but only through consent of the governed d. Purpose of government is to protect the natural rights of the people: life, liberty and property -- Social contract: people agree to obey the government in return for protection of natural rights e. Right to rebellion: people have a right to abolish a government that doesn’t protect natural rights

6 2. Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) a. One of the great works of the Enlightenment, along with Principia b. Stressed importance of environment on human development c. tabula rasa: the human mind was born as a blank slate and registered input from the senses passively

7 d. Saw all human knowledge as the result of sensory experiences without any preconceived notions -- Contrasted Descartes’ view that people are born with certain basic ideas e. For progress to occur in society, education was critical in determining human development. f. Undermined the Christian view that humankind was essentially sinful

8 D. Ideal of toleration was popularized by scholars who made Enlightenment ideas accessible to the public 1. Bernard de Fontenelle ( ) a. Made highly complicated scientific ideas accessible to a broad audience b. Stressed the idea of progress c. Skeptical of absolute truth and questioned claims of organized religion

9 2. Pierre Bayle ( ): Critical and Historical Dictionary, 1697 a. Advocated complete toleration of ideas A person should be free to worship any religion, or none at all Argued that religion and morality were not necessarily linked b. He was a skeptic: believed nothing could be known beyond all doubt Similar to Montaigne’s earlier views c. His major criticism was of Christianity’s attempt to impose orthodoxy.

10 E. The Philosophes 1.Sought fundamental reform in society a. Popularizers of the Enlightenment b. Believed in progress in society through discovering the natural laws governing nature and human existence c. Radically optimistic about how people should live and govern themselves

11 2. Voltaire ( ) a.Perhaps most influential of all the Enlightenment philosophers b.Deist who challenged traditional Catholic theology c.Inspired movement for change Hated bigotry and injustice and sought religious toleration Ecrasez l’infame (“Crush the infamous thing”)

12 d. Believed in Enlightened despotism believing people were incapable of ruling themselves -- Ideas similar to Hobbes -- Influenced Frederick the Great, Catherine the great, Joseph II and Napoleon -- Believed in equality before the law but not in equality of the classes

13 3. Baron de Montesqueiu ( ) a. Nobleman who hated absolutism of Louis XIV b. Spirit of the Laws (1748): called for separation of powers in gov’t into three branches -- Principles of checks and balances c. Significant impact on the U.S. Constitution and the French Revolution in the 1780s

14 4. Jean-Jacques Rousseau ( ) a. Social Contract (1762) -- Believed too much emphasis on property, and not enough consideration of people, was a root cause of social injustice -- The general will, a consensus of the majority, should control the nation

15 b. Considered part of the Enlightenment but was also a founder of the Romantic movement c. State of nature: man was a “noble savage” but was corrupted by the materialism of civilization d. Emile (1762) -- Believed in progressive education; learning by doing; and self-expression

16 5. Denis Diderot ( ) Encyclopedia a. Perhaps greatest and most representative work of the philosophes b. Vast compendium of political and social critiques c. Popularized views of the philosophes d. Emphasized science and reason; criticized religion, intolerance, injustice, and tyranny e. Encyclopedia was banned in France and placed on the Index of Forbidden Books by the pope

17 6. Marquis de Beccaria : On Crimes and Punishment (1764) a. Sought to humanize criminal law based on Enlightenment concepts of reason and equality before the law b. Opposed death penalty c. Opposed torture to extract confessions d. His ideas influenced Enlightened Despots: -- Frederick the Great banned torture -- Catherine the Great restricted it -- Joseph II banned torture and the death penalty

18 F. Economic Theory 1. Francois Quesnay ( ) a. Leader of the physiocrats in France who opposed mercantilism b. Sought to reform the existing agrarian system by instituting laissez faire in agriculture c. Believed gov’t and nobility had too much control over land, thus stifling production

19 2. Adam Smith ( ): Wealth of Nations (1776) a. Considered the “bible” of capitalism b. Refined and expanded ideas of the physiocrats c. Believed the economy is governed by natural laws of supply and demand

20 G. Women in the Enlightenment 1. Women played a major role in the salon movement a. Brightest minds of the era assembled to discuss major issues b. Some women took part in the discussions -- Madame de Geoffrin -- Madame de Staël -- Louise de Warens

21 c. Geoffrin played a major role in patronizing Diderot’s Encyclopedia d. Madame de Staël later brought German romantic ideas into France in the early 1800s

22 2. The philosophes favored increased rights and education for women -- Condorcet was the only figure who advocated suffrage for women 3. Mary Wollstonecraft ( ) in England promoted political and educational equality for women

23 H. Later Enlightenment (late 18 th century) 1. After 1750 became more skeptical (Hume and d’Holbach even promoted atheism) 2. Paul d’Holbach ( ) a. Argued humans were essentially like machines, completely determined by outside forces (determinism) b. His staunch atheism, determinism and attacks on Christianity undermined the Enlightenment

24 3. David Hume ( ) a. Argued against faith in both natural law and religion -- Argued desire, not reason, governed human behavior b. As a skeptic, Hume claimed that human ideas were merely the result of sensory experiences c. Undermined the Enlightenment’s emphasis on reason

25 4. Nicolas de Condorcet ( ): Progress of the Human Mind a. His utopian ideas also undermined the legitimacy of Enlightenment ideas. b. Identified 9 stages of human progress that had already occurred and predicted the 10 th stage would bring perfection.

26 5. Rousseau: criticized rationalism and civilization as destroying the individual 6. Immanuel Kant ( ) a. Greatest German philosopher of the Enlightenment b. Separated science and morality into separate branches of knowledge c. Argued science could describe nature but could not provide a guide for morality.

27 d. “Categorical imperative” was an intuitive instinct, placed by God in the human conscience. -- Yet, both ethical sense and aesthetic appreciation in human beings were beyond knowledge of science. -- Reason is a function of the mind and has no content in and of itself.

28 I. Classical Liberalism 1. Political outgrowth of the Enlightenment a. Liberty of the individual and equality before the law but NOT democracy b. Natural rights philosophy of Locke played a role in the American and French Revolutions c. Impact of Locke and Montesquieu was clearly visible in the U.S. Constitution (e.g. separation of powers) and the Declaration of the Rights of Man during the French Revolution

29 d. Rousseau’s view of the “general will” influenced the French Revolution after Belief in laissez faire capitalism (Smith) a. Gov’t should not interfere in the economy b. Opposite of mercantilism 3. Belief in progress (through reason and education), human dignity and human happiness 4. Religious toleration 5. Freedom of speech and the press 6. No cruel and unusual punishment 7. Equal treatment before the law

30 J. New Christian groups opposed the Enlightenment 1. The secular and deist views of the Enlightenment caused a reaction among some Christian leaders who believed Christian spirituality was on the decline 2. German pietism: argued for spiritual conversion and religious experience 3. Methodism: sought spiritual regeneration and a moral life that would demonstrate one has been “born-again” -- John Wesley ( ): founder 4. Jansenism in France argued against an impersonal god

31 1.Emergence of a secular world view 2.Enlightened despotism in Russia, Prussia, Austria, and France (under Napoleon) 3.American and French Revolutions influenced by classical liberalism 4.Education reform in various countries 5.Growth of laissez faire capitalism in the 19 th century during the early industrial revolution in England and 19 th century America K. Impact of Enlightenment on Society


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