September, 26, 2013
2650 Lecture 2
CONTEXT: THE ENLIGHTENMENT
• Post -enlightenment society th
• History: time of peace and prosperity in the 18 century in Europe
• ASAMOVEMNET WHAT DID THEY WANT? WANTED TO MOBALIZE THE POOWER
OF REASON.. why? TO REFORM PRACTICES IN SOCEITYAND TOADVANCE
- Universal truth
- Knowledge from new discoveries, inventions and explorations
- Immanual Kant: what is Enlightenment?
• AFreedom from tutelage
• Wanted to spread a universal appeal of Democracy, Liberty and knowledge.. How? In 18 th
century of Europe was a time of peace. People had time to create art and culture, enhance cars..
it also led people to prosperity. Things were becoming Optimism.
• 3 Themes:
a) people believed in progress and progress was to be tied to knowledge and science. Believed truth
was Universal; there was a shift to how knowledge was known..
• 2 things of knowledge: a) texts and teachings of the church and b) classical texts; if you had
neither of these texts it was devalued.
• New knowledge was valued and privileged; came from new inventions, discoveries and
explorations; knowledge that needed to be innovative
• IMMANUAL KANT: What is Enlightenment? The freedom to use our own intelligence, we
would only be enlightened if we free ourselves from our own tootalidge (the state of consistently
being tutored) when you are consistently being tutored, you are not enlightened.
THE LIGHT OF REASON
• What gives us knowledge? Reason
• reason in the 18 century: Enlightenment and self-improvement
• Reason has 2 types of knowledge: Philosophy and science
• people realized that their worldviews should be science related and not through tradition
• Statute of liberty; light of Reason and it will lead to freedom to think of oneself
Rhetoric and symbolism during the enlightenment
• Binary Opposites
Science and philosophy Ignorance: Prejudice, superstition, tradition,
Good Evil Humane Cruel
• Reason is not passion and passion is not reason E.G hot and cold, male and female, good and
• You need both to gain a sense of meaning; a reason is a central concept unless you understand
Light vs. reason vs darkness of passion
• Middle ages/ dark ages
• Spiritualism = belief in God and god's opposite ( the devil)
• Crime = sin (e.g. adultery and homosexuality= sins but also crimes); fear of God; Trial by
ordeal ( e.g witches)
• Enlightenment as time of increasing secularization (a secular criminal justice system; you do
not to believe in God to know if someone is guilty or innocent)
• the catholic church banned the book because it was secular
Reason Vs. ignorance & Order Vs. Disorder
• ignorance associated with superstition , tradition, barbaric customs and prejudice
• E.G. Judicial discretion and sentencing disparity
• Reason takes the form of consistency
• When judges where ignorant and judged based on passion there was no order.
• Sentencing disparity = when two people commit the same crime but receive different
sentencing in the same judicial but different times. Judges are judging passed on passion and
• If you use reason you should get the result consistency; there will be order and in itself it is
• Reason = order & passion = disorder
• In order to have order, there should be discretion for the judges
Minnesota Sentencing guidelines and grid
• judges could not judge a person based on their age or color or race. Human Reason VS. Cruel passion
• Humanitarianism (
• Human punishment
• Brutalization effect
• “The countries and times most notorious for severity of punishments were always those in
which the most bloody and inhuman actions and the most atrocious crimes were committed; for
the hand of the legislator and the assassin were directed by the same ferocity...” (excerpt p.
94/course kit p. 34) state punishments that are cruel, deter crime and it might cause violent
crime is because your legislator is no better than the violent criminal.
• facts could not be separate from values; therefore rational actions are humane actions. If we use
our reason, then we are also using our sense of compassion
• Rational punishment should not be so severe; in fact if we do punishment, it should be the least
severe possible.And why?! If you use cruel punishment, is you're going to brutalize the person