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The Enlightenment. Characteristics of the Enlightenment: Rationalism: Reason is the arbiter of all things (centerpiece or main concept) Cosmology: A new concept on man (who is he, why is he here, etc.) What is his place on Earth? In the Universe? Secularism:

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the enlightenment
The Enlightenment
  • Characteristics of the Enlightenment:
    • Rationalism:
      • Reason is the arbiter of all things (centerpiece or main concept)
    • Cosmology:
      • A new concept on man (who is he, why is he here, etc.)
      • What is his place on Earth? In the Universe?
    • Secularism:
      • Application of the methods of science to both religion and philosophy.
        • Begin to question things
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The Enlightenment
  • Politically:
    • Reformation
  • Intellectual:
    • Newtonian Physics
    • Reasoning (birth of science)
  • Cultural:
    • Individualism
  • Social:
    • Education
    • Age of Aristocracy
  • Economic:
    • Merchants
    • Dawn of Capitalism
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The Enlightenment
  • Britain:
    • Constitutional Monarchy
  • France:
    • Royal Absolutism
  • Russia:
    • Enlightened Despotism
      • Educated, worldly Dictator (Dictator Light)
  • Ottoman Empire:
    • Traditional Empire
      • Kings, Queens, that sort of thing.
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The Enlightenment
  • Science:
    • Scientific laws were now be explored.
    • Explained in mathematical form.
    • Gave alternatives to everything in life:
      • Religion
      • Politics
  • Religion
    • Physical – Theology:
      • An attempt to describe God and all he is through science.
      • Creates a rational religion, free of mystery, miracles, and superstition.
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The Enlightenment
  • Religion:
    • Deism:
      • Belief in God, but for the first time, doing so while at the same time renouncing organized religion.
      • They recognized a God, but one that was distant, and uninvolved with man.
    • Pantheism:
      • Belief that God and nature are one (birth of tree huggers)!
      • Born from Protestants and Catholics who began to belief in God’s works more through science than scripture.
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The Enlightenment
  • Science:
    • Mathematical analysis
    • Inductive (hypothesis, or educated guessing) reasoning
    • Experimentation
  • Utilitarianism: Greatest good, for the greatest number of people (common good).
  • Tolerance: No opinion or thought, is worth burning someone over.
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The Enlightenment
  • Optimism & Self Confidence
    • Belief that man is inherently good.
    • Social progress
  • Freedoms:
    • Of thought and expression
    • Bring liberty to ALL men (revolt against Absolutism)
      • This would lead to movements such as the American Revolution, and the French Revolution.
  • Mass public Education
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The Enlightenment
  • Legal Reforms
    • No torture
    • Justice
    • Due process of Law (meaning those in charge had a standard of rules to abide by as they prosecuted you).
  • Constitutionalism:
    • A set of civil rights guaranteed every man in your country.
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The Enlightenment

Reason and Logic

Traditions and Superstitions





Clinging to the past

Organized religion



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The Enlightenment
  • Writers:
    • John Locke
      • Individual MUST become a rational creature.
      • Virtue (goodness, the quality of being morally righteous) must be both learned and practiced.
      • People have free will:
        • Should be ‘PREPARED’ for freedom.
        • Obeying one anther should be out of conviction not fear
          • With no conviction, then fear and intimidation should be used to re-enforce what is missing.
      • Certain right we are ALL endowed by God:
        • Life, liberty, property (should sound familiar, it’s what Thomas Jefferson would quote later).
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The Enlightenment
  • Writers:
    • Immanuel Kant
      • Introduced the concept of transcendentalism:
        • Some things are known or learned by methodology (practice) rather than empirically (observation).
      • Methodological Concept:
        • Belief in God
        • This meant there is a way to believe in something non-rationally.
      • Empirical concept:
        • Time
        • You can see time pass as the day moves on
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The Enlightenment
  • New things / inventions / Attitudes / Habits / etc. from the Enlightenment:
    • The Encyclopedia
    • Called a “Complete cycle of knowledge”
    • Helped continue the reformation or change in the way society thought.
    • Alphabetical / Cross referenced / Illustrated
    • 1st published in 1751
  • Education (Again . . . )
    • Literacy rates explode
      • 80% of all men can read, 60% of women
    • Books are expensive (a day’s pay to purchase one)
    • Many readers for each book (20 people for every 1 book in print)
      • Novels, plays, etc.
      • Journals (our first blogs)
      • Philosophy, written history, theology
      • Newspapers, etc.