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Week 7 Classical Theory 2112

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University of Guelph
Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2111
Linda Hunter

Week /7 THE FRENCH ENLIGHTENMENT, MONTESQUIEU AND VOLTAIRE I The French Enlightenment: Philosophical Foundations European 18 century was a time of colonial expansion and development - Perfectibility of humanity - Reforms in education, medicine…movements to abolish slavery - The Neoclassical and Romantic movements in art - There was still intellectual repression: censorship, book burning - Witch burning continued all over Europe - Peasants suffered severe poverty and powerlessness - Legal disabilities of women; exclusion from education - The century ended with the French Revolution - ‘The Age of Reason’ - Because the physical world was dominated by natural laws it was likely that the social world was too Notes: - Offer to vote for wider populations - Many radical discoveries - Rousseau, Hume, etc. sought to use reason and scientific method in their enquiries that took experience in their measurement of knowledge - Sentimentality and Idealism, the idea of perfectibility and humanity- the idea that we could be perfected - This period, neoclassism and eventually romanticism were reactions to these kinds of impulses in society - There were no more greater advantages than the 17 century, the author of our textbook is surprised this could be seen as the enlightenment, there were still book burnings and censorship - Many philosophers spent their time behind bars for their enlightened thoughts/ideas - People fled the country to get their works published somewhere else - Power dichotomies were present and torture was used in interrogations - Only those with private money to get any education Core Propositions of the Enlightenment Period - Philosophers argued against the monarchy, church and state - They also debated amongst themselves - The general notion was the entries that Dedrau put in these scientific books - Reason and observation is a facility for the acquisition of truth ***** - These philosophers thought it was essential to be skeptical of all inherited truths, the person might find his or her answer to all questions (Astell and Locke thought of a similar concept) - Reason, observation, empirical research because the social world must a
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