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SOAN 2111 (44)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 Notes.docx

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Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2111
Linda Hunter

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Chapter 1: The Enlightenment – Philosophical Foundations The Basics - the term enlightenment refers to the intellectual movement that developed within the 100 year span beginning with the English Revolution and culminated in the French Revolution - the movement’s leading representatives were theorists who exercised considerable influence from Edinburgh to Napes, Paris to Berlin, Boston to Philadelphia - they were all committed to the rational pursuit of truth but also had their philosophical and political differences - the British thinkers were relatively content with their social and political institutions - the Germans were almost entirely un-political - French Philsophes who were vehemently criticized both church and state, campaigning unrelentingly for the basic freedoms – freedom from arbitrary power, freedom of speech, freedom of trade, freedom to realize one’s talents Prehistory of the Enlightenment - a secular mode of thought had been slowly developing several centuries earlier - 1300-1700, social forces first weakened and then shattered whatever unity Christendom had possessed - medieval science was teleological: o it’s purpose was to attain knowledge for the sake of God o the purpose of science was to discover God’s intentions for his creation - the medieval mind was dominated by the Church The Enlightenment - regarded all aspects of human life and works as the subject to critical examination - self-examination was essential function of thought - through reason and science, humanity could attain ever greater degrees of freedom, and hence, ever greater degrees of perfection - the Philosophes at
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