An introduction to the history of the age of enlightenment

What were essentially political slogans, designed to delegitimize the ruling class, became, over time, ideals which would not be forgotten, but it would take time for the Enlightenment to become more than the concepts of speculative philosophers and the cant of aspiring politicians to become a gradually unfolding reality that would impact all people, not just white males with property.

There was therefore no abrupt end or reversal of enlightened values. Without God, what was knowable and how? Received authority, whether of Ptolemy in the sciences or of the church in matters of the spirit, was to be subject to the probings of unfettered minds. The term represents a phase in the intellectual history of Europe, but it also serves to define programs of reform in which influential literati, inspired by a common faith in the possibility of a better world, outlined specific targets for criticism and proposals for action.

Amid the turmoil of empire, however, a new concern arose for personal salvationand the way was paved for the triumph of the Christian religion.

The Romans adopted and preserved much of Greek culturenotably including the ideas of a rational natural order and natural law. Unlike other terms applied by historians to describe a phenomenon that they see more clearly than could contemporaries, it was used and cherished by those who believed in the power of mind to liberate and improve.

There was no Enlightenment in Africa, Asia or India, meaning that any discussion of the Enlightenment must acknowledge and deal with its limitations. Although there were certain scientific discoveries that particularly irked the religious authorities, such as the findings of Galileo, the combined weight of empiricism and the scientific method undermined the ability of religion to insist upon unquestioning belief, once these beliefs had been scientifically disproven.

Ideas and beliefs were tested wherever reason and research could challenge traditional authority. The Enlightenment The Enlightenment was both a movement and a state of mind.

At the same time, the idea of the universe as a mechanism governed by a few simple—and discoverable—laws had a subversive effect on the concepts of a personal God and individual salvation that were central to Christianity. The product of a search for a natural—rational—religion was Deismwhich, although never an organized cult or movement, conflicted with Christianity for two centuries, especially in England and France.

Willette and Art History Unstuffed. Locke and Jeremy Bentham in England, MontesquieuVoltaireJean-Jacques RousseauDenis Diderotand Condorcet in France, and Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson in colonial America all contributed to an evolving critique of the arbitrary, authoritarian state and to sketching the outline of a higher form of social organization, based on natural rights and functioning as a political democracy.

Unquestioning belief in God was challenged by two forces that proved to be critical to Enlightenment thinking. For the Deist, a very few religious truths sufficedand they were truths felt to be manifest to all rational beings: In his recent book, The Enlightenment: In a darker vein, Thomas Hobbes portrayed humans as moved solely by considerations of their own pleasure and pain.

When these modern conditions did not exist, the Enlightenment or something like it did not emerge, simply because there was no need for a new epistemology. Consequently, it still engenders controversy about its character and achievements.

The more rarefied the religion of the Deists became, the less it offered those who sought solace or salvation. A new epistemology of knowledge had to be established.

Western culture shifted decisively towards secular questions and secular answers. Although most modern interpreters incline to the latter view in both cases, there is still a case for the French emphasis, given the genius of a number of the philosophes and their associates.

The geography of the Enlightenment mirrored the geography of the Industrial Revolution and of Imperialism and of urban centers.

The Renaissance rediscovered much of Classical culture and revived the notion of humans as creative beings, and the Reformation, more directly but in the long run no less effectively, challenged the monolithic authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

It was formed by the complementary methods of the Scientific Revolutionthe rational and the empirical. It should be noted that there is a reason why the Enlightenment is as Charles W.

The celebration of abstract reason provoked contrary spirits to begin exploring the world of sensation and emotion in the cultural movement known as Romanticism.

Such powerful ideas found expression as reform in England and as revolution in France and America.

Enlightenment

Such a methodology was most spectacularly achieved in the sciences and mathematicswhere the logics of induction and deduction made possible the creation of a sweeping new cosmology.

The Reign of Terror that followed the French Revolution severely tested the belief that an egalitarian society could govern itself.ABSTRACT. This article is an introduction to a special issue on ‘Religious Toleration in the Age of Enlightenment’.

The Enlightenment: Introduction

It begins by characterizing the Enlightenment's attitude towards religion as an opposition to bigotry and ecclesiastic authority based on a particular interpretation of the European Wars of Religion.

The Age of Enlightenment Wright of Derby, A Philosopher Giving A Lecture at the Orrery, In order to understand the move towards Modernism, it is important to look back at the middle of the eighteenth century, to a time known as the Enlightenment.

The Age of Enlightenment, an introduction

1 INTRODUCTION APPROACH AND RATIONALE The Enlightenment is one of over 60 National Center for History in the Schools teaching units that are the fruit of collaborations between history professors and experienced teachers of both United States and World History.

Enlightenment: Enlightenment, a European intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries in which ideas concerning God, reason, nature, and humanity were synthesized into a worldview that gained wide assent in the West and that instigated revolutionary developments in art, philosophy, and politics.

The Age of Enlightenment, an introduction by Dr.

Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris Joseph Wright of Derby, A Philosopher Giving A Lecture at the Orrery, c.oil on canvas, x cm (Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby, England). The Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was both a movement and a state of mind.

The term represents a phase in the intellectual history of Europe, but it also serves to define programs of reform in which influential literati, inspired by a common faith in the possibility of a better world, outlined specific targets for criticism and proposals for action.

The special significance of the.

Download
An introduction to the history of the age of enlightenment
Rated 5/5 based on 75 review