soc231 test concepts

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Published on 4 Feb 2012
School
UTM
Department
Sociology
Course
SOC231H5
Professor
SOC231- TEST CONCEPTS
1) The Enlightenment
The “Enlightenment” period refers to the intellectual movement that
started during the English Revolution, and carried on through the French
Revolution. This was during the 18th century and it was viewed as an
intellectual and social movement to shed light of “reason” on society.
Perhaps the most important thing which arose during the “Enlightenment”
was an important shift from religion to science. Newton created the empirical
method which had underlying assumptions and used reason with observation
as the basis of acquiring truth. Newton’s scientific method was originally
utilized in the realms of physics and math but was soon adopted into other
realms, such as the social sciences. This scientific method was for the first
time being applied to society in order to understand it. All aspects of society
where subjected to this form of scientific analysis, including religion. It was
believed that by understanding the forces of a society, one could determine
their direction and control their consequences. In other words, by studying
society, one could learn not only about the society today, but see the future
possibilities for the society. For the first time humans were now being seen as
“perfectible” entities.
2) Rousseau and Hobbes on the Origins of Society
Rousseau and Hobbes were both prominent figures during the
enlightenment. They were both interested in determining the Origins of
Society. Rousseau was born in Paris and was a figurette for the
enlightenment school. He was the first to coin the term “Society” and his
argument was premised on his concept of the “state of nature” and the
“social contract”. Rousseau believed there were two conditions the “natural”
and the “social”, and in order to understand the origins of society, one must
understand how humans existed in the state of nature. He knew that today it
was impossible to study humans who live beyond the social, so instead
looked at animals to understand the “natural”. For Rousseau, man in nature
has neither language nor-knowledge, and harmony is maintained through
satisfying all of one’s needs. He believed that only through society, could one
depart from the requirements of natural laws. War could only exist after
society’s creation, because you need society for people to see hierarchy.
Thus the social contract is created in order to try and prevent eternal conflict.
Hobbes viewed the state of nature as a state of all out war. He argued
that in all men lies a natural desire for power and if that desire can only be
fulfilled by one person, than others become their enemies. The social contract
for Hobbes, involves men agreeing to give up their natural liberty and
subordinate themselves to a sovereign authority who guarantees them
security and protection from force and fraud. This sovereign authority he
often referred to as the “Leviathan”. Thus, where Rousseau and Hobbes
disagree is in their conceptions of the natural state. Hobbes sees the natural
state as a “war of each against all” while Rousseau believes war is a by-
product of the creation of society.
3) Mary Wollstonecraft on Rousseau and Gender
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Document Summary

The enlightenment period refers to the intellectual movement that started during the english revolution, and carried on through the french. This was during the 18th century and it was viewed as an intellectual and social movement to shed light of reason on society. Perhaps the most important thing which arose during the enlightenment was an important shift from religion to science. Newton created the empirical method which had underlying assumptions and used reason with observation as the basis of acquiring truth. Newton"s scientific method was originally utilized in the realms of physics and math but was soon adopted into other realms, such as the social sciences. This scientific method was for the first time being applied to society in order to understand it. All aspects of society where subjected to this form of scientific analysis, including religion. It was believed that by understanding the forces of a society, one could determine their direction and control their consequences.

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