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POL320Y1 Lecture Notes - Anti-Clericalism, Age Of Enlightenment, Public Sphere

Political Science
Course Code
Simone Chambers

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POL320- sept. 13, 2012
The Enlightenment: not a tight philosophical tradition.
- Period refers to cultural ideas and literary ideas, philosophical ideas and political ideas
- Participants in the enlightenment thought of themselves living in the enlightenment
- The enlightenment calls themselves as enlightenment
- Self-conscious identification with light
- Shedding light towards reason
*****Enlightenment themes****** (think about this for the exam!!)
- Reason:
- Religion
- Public sphere
- Progress
- Politics
******Enlightenment values****** (this as well)
- Liberty
- Equality
- Fraternity
- Autonomy
- Authenticity
Rationalism to the Age of Reason
- 17th century rationalism:descarte-1637, hobbes-1658, Spinoza-1663, newton-1687, *LOCKE-
o Applies reason.
- 18th C as an age of reason: Voltaire-1759, Rousseau-1760, Adam Smith-1776, Kant-1785,
Wollstonecraft- 1792
o Radical form of rationalism
a) First difference is that everyone to use their own reason.
- Enlightenment: everyone has reason. Not just using philosophical reason. But everyone uses
reason. Its generalized rationalism
b) Reason functions the same way for all human beings. (Fundamental principle) doesn’t
matter where you are born. External influences to shut down reason. But its not the same
conclusion but in principle there are something called ‘human reason’
- We have to get to that. Makes us different… that’s surface. But we are trying to get at what we
are the same. Everyone use reason will solve problems
c) Using one’s own reason, one is liberated
a. From ignorance (enlightenment): reason will give good answers to moral, scientific
questions. Bad answers mean not enough info. If you want to make better place,
you need to use reason and educate them/ 17th rationalism is stressed of general
public to use their ‘reason’
b. From external authority (autonomy): tradition ex. (your parents) act like your
parents do. They had negative influence so they want you to be your own person.
Encourage to use reason
c. From the past: liberates you from the past. Meaning that this tradition is a burden.
Stuck with it. Ex. Cant choose your family. Enlightenment says that you can break
the change of your past. Ex. French Rev. Radical swiping the past-institution is gone
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