HIS109Y1 Chapter Notes - Chapter The Enlightenment: Indictable Offence, Philosophes, Ion

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Published on 19 Jan 2016
School
UTSG
Department
History
Course
HIS109Y1
Brophy II: 216 - 238, 244-258: The Enlightenment
The Brophy readings this week talked about the Enlightenment, which was a philosophical movement in
Europe, most centrally France, in the eighteenth century that was birthed from the scientific revolution the
century before. The ideas of the scientific revolution like reason and secularization spread among people
who now applied reason to their everyday lives and the societal institutions that surrounded them like the
church and government.
Short summary: The readings this week were about the Enlightenment and essentially the idea of
enlightenment, as Immanuel Kant said is when a man emerges from his inability to formulate original
thoughts, which is unnatural and self-imposed. The common theme through all of these readings was
finding out the true nature of humans and man’s unquenchable thirst for knowledge and Truth as well as
basic human rights.
Longer summary: Kant stated that enlightenment is a “sacred right of man” and is a movement that asks
for intellectual and civic freedom of all members of a society and that we must use reason to settle
important matters. Other philosophers in the readings agreed with the idea of basic human rights like
Rousseau and Raynal who argued that humans are born free and that social stratification and slavery are
indictable offences against the three things that we must have: our humanity, reason/rationality and
justice. They also talk about how people have the natural right to knowledge and truth and there is
absolutely no rational reason why things like slavery should exist, said Raynal, because as Rousseau
said, no one is born with the undeniable and natural authority to govern over someone. So therefore it is
reasonable and natural for us, as a society, to release slaves and allow them to feel liberty and to break
away from a government that promotes injustice and social stratification.
Basically, the ideas of the Enlightenment can be wholly summarized by Kant as well who simply said,
“Dare to know!” which is what the philosophes of this era were able to do, which spread their ideas
throughout history and started to provide different perspectives on the world, their life, truth, and human
nature.
Essentially the idea of Enlightenment, as Immanuel Kant, said is when a man emerges from his inability
to formulate original thoughts, which is unnatural and self-imposed. The common theme through all of
these readings was finding out the true nature of humans and the human’s unquenchable thirst for
knowledge and Truth.
What I think was the best reading for this week was Immanuel Kant, in “What is Enlightenment?”. In this,
he states that humans lack the courage and are too lazy to form original thought and strictly adhere to
tradition. This unfortunate fact is what causes people to remain ignorant all their lives and never strive to
seek truth separate from what others have told them is the truth or look at things through a different lens.
It’s easy to see, though, why people stay to tradition — I mean, we can even see how the people of North
Korea allow every aspect of their lives to be governed over it’s convenient, it doesn’t involve putting in
any effort, it’s simple, it’s comfortable. But convenience is not one of the ideas of the Enlightenment.
So Kant challenges this and says that enlightenment is “a sacred right of man” and is a movement that
asks for intellectual and civic freedom of all members of a society, as well as the use of reason to settle
important matters, mainly religious ones.
Another Enlightened philosopher who upheld this idea of sacred and natural human rights and freedom
for all was Raynal, a French intellectual, who wrote about condemning slavery and stated that “slavery is
entirely contrary to humanity, reason, and justice (217).” His article talks about three main ideas of the
Enlightenment: reason, human nature, and truth.
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Document Summary

Brophy ii: 216 - 238, 244-258: the enlightenment. The brophy readings this week talked about the enlightenment, which was a philosophical movement in. Europe, most centrally france, in the eighteenth century that was birthed from the scienti c revolution the century before. The ideas of the scienti c revolution like reason and secularization spread among people who now applied reason to their everyday lives and the societal institutions that surrounded them like the church and government. Short summary: the readings this week were about the enlightenment and essentially the idea of enlightenment, as immanuel kant said is when a man emerges from his inability to formulate original thoughts, which is unnatural and self-imposed. The common theme through all of these readings was. Nding out the true nature of humans and man"s unquenchable thirst for knowledge and truth as well as basic human rights.

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