Presentation on theme: "The European Age of Reason"— Presentation transcript:
1 The European Age of Reason 1689-1789 The EnlightenmentThe European Age of Reason
2 Origins of the Enlightenment The ideals of humanism from the Renaissance permeate society.Rediscovery of classical texts influences the new philosophers.The Scientific Revolution convinces many that the world can be understood through natural laws.The Wars of Religion persuade many that toleration is the only way for civilization to survive.
3 The Doctrine of Progress Philosophes believed in the progress of human beings.Human beings were basically good, but corrupted by society; therefore, human institutions needed reformMarquis de Condorcet ( ) made argument in Progress of the Human Mind
4 John Locke ( )Two Treatises on Civil Government:justified supremacy of Parliament; natural rightsEssay Concerning Human Understanding (1690): tabula rasa (“blank slate”)considered one of most important Enlightenment worksall human knowledge is the result of sensory experience: thus, human progress is in the hands of society—education!
5 Deismsecular world view: first time in human history; marked end of age of religionnatural science and reasondeism: God created universe and then stepped back and left it running (like a clock) – prime moverGrew out of Newton’s theories regarding natural lawThomas Paine, Age of Reason: advocates deismVoltaire also advocated deism over Christianity.
6 Voltaire (1694-1778) François Marie Arouet Ardent critic of the Old RegimeWrote essays, letters, plays.Candide (1759) satire criticizing religious persecution and superstition.
7 Voltaire in EnglandVoltaire in imprisoned in France after his ideas offend French authorities.He lived in England from 1726 to 1729.He comes to admire the English toleration of political ideas and religion.Returning to France, he published Letters on the English (1733), admiring English constitutionalism and criticizing French absolutism.
9 Voltaire and Tolerance Voltaire supported toleration in religion and politics, an idea he saw in practice in England.Voltaire defended Jean Calas, a Hugeunot accused of murdering his son lest he convert to Catholicism.He published his Treatise on Tolerance in 1763, convincing authorities to reverse their conviction of Calas in 1765.
10 The Enlightened Despots Catherine the GreatLeast “enlightened” of the Enlightened Despotswesternization: architecture, sculpture, music--supported philosophesreforms:reduced torture, limited religious toleration, some education improvement, increased local control
11 The Enlightened Despots Joseph II ( ) – greatest of the Enlightened despots (“greatest good for greatest number”)Abolished serfdom in 1781, freedom of press, freedom of religion & civic rights, more equitable justice system, made German official language (to assimilate minorities), increased control over Catholic education, expanded state schools, left empire in economic and political turmoil: Leopold I rescind many laws (e.g., serfdom)
12 The Enlightened Despots Frederick the GreatBecame a reformer during 2nd half of his reign; ruler was the “first servant of the state”Religious freedom, education in schools and universities, codified laws, promoted industry and agriculture, encouraged immigrationSocial structure remained heavily stratified: serfdom; extended privileges for the nobility, Junkers became heart of military; difficult upward mobility for middle class leadership.
13 Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) French attorney and philosophe.Believed in no single political system.In Spirit of the Laws (1748) advocated separation of powers amongst executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
14 Diderot and the Encyclopedia Denis Diderot ( ) edited the Encyclopedia published in 28 vols. Between 1751 and 1772.Voltaire, Rousseau and Montesquieu contributed articles.
15 Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) Born in Geneva to Calvinist familyHe believed rationalism and civilization was destroying rather than liberating the individual; emphasized nature, passion—influenced early Romantic movement
16 Jean-Jacques Rousseau Natural EducationRousseau believed that in there natural state, humans were virtuous, free, equal, and happy.Civilization had corrupted them.Natural education would free children of corruptionSet forth ideas in Emile (1762).Children would learn through experience (nature, emotional experience), not books.
17 Jean-Jacques Rousseau General WillRousseau advocated radical contract form of government in The Social Contract (1762)Desired freedom, but rejected individualism and focused on his role in society.People’s opinion would form the “general will” to be carried out by a small government.He did not favor democracy, but felt that sovereignty laid in the people.
18 Economic PhilosophesFrançois Quesnay ( ) – “physiocrats”: opposed to mercantilist economic theory.advocated reform of the agrarian order.Adam Smith ( ): Wealth of Nations (1776): The “Bible” of capitalism; laissez faire “let do”François Quesnay
19 Women PhilosophesGender theory: women played important role in organizing salons.Salons of Madame de Geoffren and Louise de WarensMary Wollstonecraft – Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792)Mary Wollstonecraft
20 The Later Enlightenment: Baron Paul d’Holbach ( ): humans were machines governed by outside forcesfreewill, God, and immortality of soul were foolish mythssevere blow to unity of the EnlightenmentDavid Hume ( ): emphasized limitations of human reasoning (similar to Rousseau)human mind is nothing but a bundle of impressions; later became dogmatic skeptic that undermined EnlightenmentImmanuel Kant ( ): Separated science and morality into separate branches of knowledge.Science could describe natural phenomena of material world but could not provide a guide for morality