The enlightenment and the birth of social science. One of the formative moments in the process came about in the 18th century, in the work of a key group of thinkers: enlightenment philosophers and their successors. Figures like bacon, hobbes, locke effectively expressed their ideas in writing that which was open to the public. Understanding modern societies is all about the formation the invention and reproduction of a modern way of thinking about society. Durkheim said we are concerned with the emergence of new group of ideas about society and the realm of the social. These helped people to think about society in a different way. Brinton: this period of intense concentration of the social produced an emergent. Critical rationalism of the enlightenment is the precursor of the positivism of saint. Critical rationalism combines the application of reason to social, political, and economic issues with a concern with progress emancipation, and improvement, and is critical to the status quo.