Presentation on theme: "The age of reason What is philosophy?. The Enlightenment Early 1700s, new generation of thinkers. Examined the power of human reason. Follows from earlier."— Presentation transcript:
The Enlightenment Early 1700s, new generation of thinkers. Examined the power of human reason. Follows from earlier scientific revolution. (Discoveries around magnetism, gravity etc.) Could the concept of natural law applied to science be used to examine human institutions?
Applying natural law German philosopher Immanuel Kant coined the term enlightenment. English philosophers Thomas Hobbes & John Locke wrote about government & politics using the concept of deep reasoning (natural law).
Hobbes & Locke Two very different views on human societies and politics. Both men had seen the excesses of the English civil war.
Hobbes: wrote Leviathan People are naturally cruel, greedy and selfish Strong government is necessary Without strong controls, life would be “short, poor, brutish.” In exchange for a better life, people entered into a social contract.
Social contract An invisible agreement by which individuals traded complete freedom in order to take part in an orderly society. Hobbes believed this orderly society came from a government based on absolute monarchy.
Locke: wrote Two Treatises on Government Believed people were basically reasonable and moral All people had “natural rights” – from birth. These rights included life, liberty and property.
Locke believed The best type of government had limited power. Government has an obligation to its people. When government fails its people, it should be overthrown.
The philosophies – 1700s French philosophers further explored how society should be organized. A group of philosophers furthered the idea of applying scientific reasoning to government.
Baron de Montesquieu Wrote The Spirit of the Laws in 1748. Believed that the best way to protect liberty was to divide the power of government among three branches. Legislative, judicial, executive. Each could provide a check on the power of the others.
Voltaire Used satire and humor to expose the injustices of the era. He offended both the Catholic church and the French government. Promoted free speech – his books were banned, burned. He fled into exile.
Rousseau Wrote The Social Contract (1762). Believed that people were naturally good but were corrupted by society’s evils. Society placed too many restrictions on people’s behavior. Hated political and economic oppression. Controls were necessary but should be limited.
Denis Diderot Produced a 28-volume encyclopedia. Sought to change the “way of thinking.” Encyclopedia included articles by the French philosophers. Promoted freedom of speech and education for all. Banned but still 4000 copies printed.
Les Philosophies – no women! Together, these French philosophers the idea of freedom and equality. But they believed that women’s freedom and equality were limited to home & family
The voice of women Germaine de Stael, Catherine Macaulay & Mary Wollstonecraft challenged the male philosophers’ positions on the social contract. They were ridiculed for their writings and condemned for speaking out.
Wollstonecraft Wrote Vindication of the Rights of Women - 1792 Called for equal education for girls and boys. Education would give girls the ability to participate equally in society.
New economic thinking Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations. Promoted a free market (no tariffs, no barriers). Idea of supply & demand. Growing movement of laissez-faire capitalism – business without government interference.
Written response Read pages 550-551. Then a one paragraph response to each of these questions: 1 – How did writers, such as Diderot & Voltaire, avoid potential censorship? 2 – To avoid the attention of the authorities, how did writers and others meet to discuss and promote their ideas?