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Lecture

5.The Enlightenment.doc


Department
History
Course Code
HIS 1401E
Professor
Prof

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The Enlightenment
What is the enlightenment?
“dare to know” Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
18th century movement when European philosophers and intellectuals were
breaking away from the past
It comes from the scientific revolution
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
mathematical laws
scientific worldview instead of God
(made science easier for general public to understand)
The World is no longer mysterious like it was in the middle ages or medieval period.
John Locke (1632-1704)
Most important work : Human Understanding
Tabula Rasa Blank Slate
He believed that society shapes human behaviour (people are naturally good)
The Enlightenment REALLY takes place in France with the Philopsophesphilosophers
Key characteristics:
Scepticism
Believed in Natural Laws
Believed in Science and Reason
Tolerance
Make war on the fanatics—Voltaire (this is directed at religious fanatics)
Moving away from mysticism
Believed in progress
The weren’t traditional philosophers; the were interested in reforming society
mostly made up of people form the middle class or nobility
They believed they were all part of an (elite) intellectual group
They would hold meetings in “salons”
Voltaire (1694- 1778)
Was in Jail Twice so he moved to England
Philosophical Letters concerning the English Nation
Encounters Locke’s and Newton’s ideas in Britain
He attacks France system (in a witty way)
There was a warrant for his arrest and his book was burned
International best seller (satire on nobility) Candide (1759)
Famous attack on superstition and religion Philosophical Dictionary (1764)
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