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The Enlightenment.docx

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Political Science
Simone Chambers

The Enlightenment  Period referring to cultural and literary and political ideas  The participants of the era thought of themselves of living in the enlightenment  Self-conscious identification with life and shedding the light of reason with everyone  Themes: o Reason o Religion o Public Sphere o Progress o Politics  Values: o Liberty o Equality o Fraternity o Autonomy o Authenticity Rationalism to the Age of Reason:  17th cen. Rationalism: o descartes, hobbes, spinoza, newton, locke (most influential figure for 18th cen. 'age of reaosn') The difference between 17th cen. and 18th cen.?  17th cen. Thinkers use reason, a radical form of rationalism 18th century thinkers: 1. Reason  Part of the enlightenment rationalism; everyone has reason- we use reason to not only answer questions, but to acknowledge the universality of reason  Reason functions the same way in all human beings  Using your own reason allows a liberation from Ignorance, external authority, and from the past (ex. French rev)  Central theme that is completely absent from 17th cen. Is the emphasis of getting EVERYONE to use reason  The past has no authority- an idea regarding politics through the enlightenment o Regardless of its long standing historical presence does not mean it needs to remain  The romantics challenge these ideas greatly 2. Religion  Rise of secularism and toleration  In 17th century; Locke's theories on toleration, introduction of these ideas. They don't become a clear form of secularism until 18th century  Enlightenment figures; emphasis on science  Anti-clerical not anti-God; the church caused superstition, thrived on ignorance of parishioners, corrupt etc.  Religion within the bounds of reason; deism, natural religion  Diderot; Man has banished divinity form their midst, relegating it to a sanctuary, beyond these walls it does not exist. Mad men! Destroy these enclosures. See God where he actually is, or else he does not exist at all  Complex relationship between secular politics and religion; we currently live in their legacy 3. Public Sphere  Rise of public opinion  There was a creation of economic civil society  A growing of communities in which a 'public' is created to participate in politics and the
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