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Lecture 1

SOC3116 Lecture 1: 1 The Time of the Life Course

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1 The Time of the Life Course Before everything - The 1600s ideology was one steeped in supernatural politics o Alchemy, angelology, demonology; The Great Chain of Being; Divine Right of Kings - Every aspect of human life, natural and social, was centered around God o Absolute monarchies, dominance of Christianity People were not supposed to ask questions Expected to accept things based on faith in God No challenging governmental authority - The Renaissance saw the beginning of the questioning of the hegemony of Christianity that was standing for over 1300 years (i.e. Galileo and Protestantism) o Church tried to protect its monopoly through war, inquisition, witch burning, and heresy trials - Ausa Sapare Dare to think th th o Changes took place between the 15 and 18 century with a rejection of Dogma, superstition, traditional religion, and monarchy o The world wanted to gain knowledge and wisdom to be freed from ignorance/superstition o Transition to new ideas in Philosophy, Art, Economics, Government, Science and Technology o People using reason to try to understand more about human behaviour and solve the problems of society o Reason, liberty, equality, fraternity, and progress - Thinkers of the Enlightenment Rene Descartes The father of modern rationalism I think, therefore I am Francis Bacon Scientific method systematic observations and careful experiments could lead to correct principles Isaac Newton Natural laws can be discovered Diderots encyclopedia Collected Enlightenment articles in an encyclopedia that helped to spread ideas throughout Europe and the Americas John Locke Thought people were moral at heart and were entitled to certain natural rights, which governments were obliged to protect Baron de Montesquieu Despotism could be avoided if political power were divided. Believed in employing three branches of government that could balance each others powers Voltaire Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the differenceJean-Jacques Rousseau Rather than liberation, rationalism and civilization destroys the individual Hume Reason cannot decipher anything about the origins of the universe or the existence of God The Enlightenment - Everything in nature could be explained by natural laws universal truths found through observation - A rejection of emotionalism - The belief in progress the world can be improved upon - People have natural rights personal freedoms that allow people to enjoy liberty (no restrictions on speech, religion, or the economy) - A desire o For rationality, logic, consistency: the universe could be understood through reason o To create social standards based on reason not tradition - Preference for o Democracy o Civilized, polite discussion of ideas. Conclusions are reached by intelligent debate o Evidence instead of faith
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