Philosophy 2006 Lecture Notes - Empiricism

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Unit iv lecture i february 28, 2012. By end of 17th c. , defenders of demonology & witchcraft tried to halt skepticism/disbelief among educated classes of europe. By 18th c. , those who wanted to end witch-hunts were triumphant last witch trials held in first half of 18th c. By end of 18th c. , witchcraft had become topic of historical interest. Perhaps witches were hunted because they gave people what felt like control over an uncertain world; once social conditions improved, there was no longer a need to hunt witches: unlikely. General economic conditions remained the same in the late 17th c. ; conditions of life for most remained unchanged; disease & famine persisted; technological innovations did not occur until 1800"s. Perhaps people felt that the regular persecution of witches brought no end to problem that plagued early modern life so general population became skeptical of reality of witchcraft: no evidence.

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