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The Enlightenment.docx

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Stephen Heathorn

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January 9, 2014 The Enlightenment  The Nature of the Enlightenment  • Philosophers, scientists, and in general , the thinkers did not have uniform ideas • Much debate and intellectual unorganized discussion about universal rights • Enlightenment thinkers were usually of the middle class, or autocracy (?) and were not usually taught and thought because of university knowledge  universities were owned by Church and a number of thinkers were Christian but a greater number of them were the opposite Three Factors crucial to the Enlightenment 1. Scientific Revolution • Newton, Einstein (Theory of Relativity), Galaleo • Scientists changing the world around them through experiments • Newtonian synthesis; created Laws that he argued were the basis of the universe For example: Gravitational Pull If we can understand the laws of the universe, we can understand the universe • John Locke’s New Epistemology Pioneer of epistemology (understanding of how knowledge works) Provided a theoretical foundation of what happened before him, and what will happen after him Locke argued that when we are born, we are born as a blank slate: we are Inprintabale: argues against The Original Sin, we are not born with a fundament of greed, and other sins: we are made into vessels of such due to our environment 2. New Public Culture • Cafes, salons and House meetings were planned to discuss new ideas, and debate about reformist ideas • Groups were usually organized by women, and intellectuals who wanted to voice their opinions January 9, 2014 • In most of Europe (France) censorship blocked any revolutionary ideas, and anything not against the social norm • Word of mouth travelled fast: ideas were spread all across Europe Freemasons • Individuals interested in intellectual ideas who were deemed revolutionary, dangerous and controversial  You had to invited into this and they create lodges where social restrictions were ignored; people of all status were equal there: there were kings, peasants, middle class men, and even peasants • Lodges were so prone after time, that were was almost 1 in every city Scientific Academies • Men, and women came together to discuss scientific revolutionary ideas 3. Revolt against Absolutism • Avenues and places of skeptical, controversial thinking were created into society and was against uniform control of the state, and the Church • Catholic Church was under attack: philosophes argued that Christian dogma contradicted the laws of the universe/ the logic of the world • Questioning and criticizing the Church, because of its enforcement of ideas that others (enlighten thinkers) thought were wrong • Christianity concerned about the afterlife; Locke argues that we should make the world into what we want it to be, not the hereafter; something completely unknown • Types of religious contradictions: January 9, 2014  Skepticism: old classic value that rejected the dogma that “you must have faith in this” skepticism wanted to question everythingcan’t question faith  Free Thinkers: completely wanted to ignore and reject organized oppressive religion: we should follow the laws of the universe not the unknown divine powers : some thinkers became Athiests but many also did not  Deists: believe that the universe is so amazing, and built the world so uniquely that it was created by a divine being, supreme intelligent world could not possibly just have HAPPENED by chance but this divine being created the world, WOUND the world up (like a clock) created the laws of the universe and then left. We should try to understand the fundaments of the universe not worship the creator of it all because he left, he is has created a system that works on its own: we should spend our life trying to understand his system 4. The New Political Thought Montesquieu (1689- 1755) • Was not a revolutionary thinker • Aristocrat; political theories of the enlightenment • Thought Britain had the limited constitutional monarchy; should be a king or queen but should be restrained by constitutional arrangement • Glorious revolution 1688- king was deposed on a social contract • Contract between the people and the people who govern • Believed that constitutional arrangements should BIND the govenrmetn and the people  Persian Letters: wrote a satire account of a man in Persia looking in at the affairs of Europe but essentially it was an in
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