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Voltaire and French & Industrial Revolutions

5 Pages

Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2111
Linda Hunter

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IV Voltaire (1694-1778) 1) Introduction and Background • a radical, a liberal • main philosophical contribution was in the realm of natural religion Voltaire and Enlightenment • “rational religion” or “natural religion”  Worked for political reform—feared for his life because of some of his writings • Christianity could not enjoy special privilege • the power of the organized clergy posed an obstacle to civilization • economic and social exploitation – the atmosphere of censorship – intellectual rigidity was  Faithful association to Church worldview  Concerned deeply with oppression  Organized clergy posed a threat to progression of society o Most philosophs believed it to be oppressive—directly attributed to church Voltaire saw consequence of religion  Armed with science, reason and empirical facts  Thought backward structure of political organization corruption  Admired England for progress and new empirical thinking attributable to the church • new empirical thinking – new ideas, including religion 2) Keeping Freedom and Belief: The New God of Reason Religion was a touchy subject during the Enlightenment • attitudes range from blind obedience to outright atheism • Voltaire was one of the more outspoken critics of religious tolerance  Englightenment Philosophs believed religion needed to be stripped of all irrational dogmas or doctrines that came with teachings of Jesus (Deism) Deism and Voltaire Deism – the belief in an unknowable God who set the world in motion at the beginning of time but has done little to interfere with nature since then  Allows people to exercise their reason  Can’t believe god exists or does not exist because of existing religion  He believed you should try to figure our how the world works and how people get along best  He complained about bureaucracy—about how men held customary positions  Believed that celibacy of priests goes against nature • Voltaire’s deism allows people to exercise their reason rather than rely solely on faith VIDEO: “ART OF WESTERN WORLD: AGE OF REASON, AGE OF PASSION” o Art for arts sake enjoyed by Voltaire, challenged by everyday people o More political kinds of art o More informal, nature is free and unconstraint o Time when nature was debated o England picturesque, French is constrained o Garden is a symbol of world at large o Landscape of garden gives pleasure o Art derived from landscape—pictureseque o Art can be used socially to understand culture BRITISH ENLIGHTENMENT: SMITH, MACAULAY AND WOLLSTONECRAFT I CONTEXT: INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION a) Intro to Industrial Revolution and other social forces in the development of sociological theory b) Images of the Industrial Revolution and Discussion (Nisbett) c) Utilitarianism II ADAM SMITH (1723-1790) a) Intro and works III CATHERINE MACAULAY (1731-1791) a) Intro b) Literary Contributions c) Contributions to
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