Presentation on theme: "A.Develops out of the ideas of the Scientific Revolution - an expansion of the worldliness and secularism of the Renaissance I. What is (the) Enlightenment?"— Presentation transcript:
A.Develops out of the ideas of the Scientific Revolution - an expansion of the worldliness and secularism of the Renaissance I. What is (the) Enlightenment? B. Immanuel Kant – “ What is Enlightenment?” Enlightenment is man's release from his self-incurred tutelage. Tutelage is man's inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another. Self- incurred is this tutelage when its cause lies not in lack of reason but in lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another. Sapere aude![Dare to know!] "Have courage to use your own reason!"- that is the motto of enlightenment.
II. Central Concepts of the Enlightenment A. The methods of natural science should be used to understand all aspects of life - through the use of REASON B. Discover the natural laws of human society as well as the natural world (“social science”) C. The idea of progress - The confidence in human power, human reason to improve society
II. Central concepts of the Enlightenment [cont] D. Rejection of superstition and tradition E. Tolerance and equality F. Deism - God does not intervene in the world through miracles; he created the world, and then removed himself from it
What is “Enlightenment?” Reason & Logic Traditions and Superstitions Immanuel Kant –-- DARE TO KNOW! rationalism empiricism tolerance skepticism Deism nostalgia for the past organized religions irrationalism emotionalism
III. The Philosophes men of letters who wrote for public consumption, using humor, wit, satire A. Denis Diderot - The Encyclopedia - a compilation of all knowledge!
“[Our aim] is to collect all the knowledge scattered over the face of the earth, … and to transmit this to those who will come after us.... It could only belong to a philosophical age to attempt an encyclopedia; … All things must be examined, debated, and investigated without exception and without regard for anyone’s feelings…. We have for quite some time needed a reasoning age.” “It is impious to want to impose laws upon man’s conscience; this is a universal rule of conduct. People must be enlightened and not constrained.” “War is the fruit of man’s depravity; it is a convulsive and violent sickness of the body politic … If reason governed men and had the influence over the heads of nations that it deserves, we would never see them inconsiderately surrender themselves to the fury of war; they would not show that ferocity that characterizes wild beasts.”
“No man has received from nature the right to command others.... The government, although hereditary in a family…, is not private property, but public property that consequently can never be taken from the people, to whom it belongs exclusively…. It is not the state that belongs to the prince, it is the prince who belongs to the state.” “It is of the greatest importance to conserve this practice [the free press] in all states founded on liberty.” “The buying of Negroes, to reduce them to slavery, is one business that violates religion, morality, natural laws, and all the rights of human nature.”
B. Montesquieu - separation and balance of powers; admired the British model of government III. The Philosophes (cont)
C. Voltaire 1. freedom of thought and religion ~ toleration 2. ridiculed the clergy for their bigotry, intolerance, and superstition 3. Admired Louis XIV and Frederick the Great - thought people unable to govern themselves III. The Philosophes (cont)
“I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.” “Almost everything that goes beyond the adoration of a Supreme Being and submission of the heart to his orders is superstition. One of the most dangerous is to believe that certain ceremonies entail the forgiveness of crimes. Do you believe that God will forget a murder you have committed if you bathe in a certain river, sacrifice a black sheep…? … Do better miserable humans, have neither murders nor sacrifices of black sheep.” God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
D. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (later Enlightenment) 1. Society is artificial and corrupt - state of nature is better - education 2. Valued impulse and emotion more than reason 3. Believed in contract government and individual freedom 4. “General Will” - republic as ideal government III. The Philosophes (cont)
Historians often refer to the “Enlightenment project.” What was the “project” of the Enlightenment? What reforms were the philosophes seeking? What kind of society were they trying to create?
IV. The “Republic of Letters” –-- gathering of elites in the cities (salons) A. URBAN –-- gathering of elites in the cities (salons) --– cosmopolitan, worldly - music, art, literature, politics - read newspapers & the latest books B. URBANE --– cosmopolitan, worldly - music, art, literature, politics - read newspapers & the latest books –-- proper behavior - self-governed C. POLITENESS –-- proper behavior - self-governed
Reading During the Enlightenment ► - 80 % for men, 60 % women ► Literacy: - 80 % for men, 60 % women ► Books were expensive (one day’s wages) ► Many readers for each book - novels, plays & other literature - journals, memoirs, “private lives” - philosophy, history, theology - newspapers, political pamphlets - often censored by governments
Questions for Review 1.What types of literature were featured in the illegal book trade in France? 2.What were the important trends of Enlightenment thought? 3.What was the primary purpose of Fontenelle’s writings? 4.Why does the Enlightenment develop best in France? 5.What does Locke put forth in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding? 6.What was the “reading revolution?” 7.What does Montesquieu argue in his Spirit of Laws? 8.What does D’Holbach present in System of Nature? 9.What was the fundamental goal of the Encyclopedia? 10.What was Rousseau’s “general will?” 11.Who wrote the Historical and Critical Dictionary? 12.Which social classes intermingled in Parisian Salons? 13.Who wrote Progress of the Human Mind? What was put forth in this work? 14.What did Emmanuel Kant advocate? 15.Who was Mendelssohn and what did he argue?
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