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ENLIGHTENMENT. Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment. Lao Tzu. Objectives. Explain the ideas of the philosophes Connection to the Scientific Revolution Analyze the impact of the sci. rev. on the Enlightenment Voltaire. Connections. Scientific Revolution

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Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment. Lao Tzu

  • Explain the ideas of the philosophes
    • Connection to the Scientific Revolution
  • Analyze the impact of the sci. rev. on the Enlightenment
    • Voltaire

Scientific Revolution

showed the power/success of human reason

People apply human reason to natural laws

(laws that govern human nature)

led to - revolution in thinking = Enlightenment

  • Last of the great figures of the Sci. Rev.
    • Or 1st in the Enlightenment
  • Newton’s laws were starting point for investigating everything in nature
    • Used reason to solve:
      • social
      • political
      • economic problems
the philosophes
The Philosophes

Philosophes: lovers of wisdom

Concentrated on:

Welfare of society

Freedom of individual

Happiness of humanity

Used reason to make reforms to government, law & society

Completely different ideas than the Absolute rulers of the time.

Think critically: HOW? Be able to give examples.

philosophes ideas
Philosophes’ Ideas
  • Nature
    • Took Newton and other scientists’ ideas of natural laws and applied them to social interaction
      • economics and government.
        • Laissez faire & balance of powers
  • Reason
    • Move toward liberty & away from intolerance & prejudice
other ideas
Other ideas
  • Happiness:
    • Lived by nature’s laws, you would find happiness.
    • No need to wait for happiness - heaven
      • Live in happiness, not misery!
  • Progress:
    • Belief society & humankind could be perfected
    • Using science
  • Liberty:
    • Believed that society could be set free.
    • Liberty is necessary to be happy
  • Criticized Fr. gov’t, laws, and Christianity
    • Was locked in the Bastille (French jail) & was exiled
  • Most famous writing: Candide,
    • Satire – use of wit and sarcasm to criticize
      • Prejudice
      • Inequality
      • injustice
      • Gov. & laws
      • basically everything he didn’t like
hobbes vs locke
Right of Rebellion

People - no right to rebel against their govt.

Human Nature

Humans are wicked so they must be protected

Naturally cruel, selfish

If not controlled = fight & steal

Right of Rebellion

People oppressed by their govt. every right to rebel

Human Nature

Humans are reasonable so they can make good decisions about how to govern

Free will

Obedience because it is right not out of fear

Hobbes vs Locke
hobbes vs locke1
Role of Government

Govts. protect ppl from their own wickedness & selfishness

Role of Monarch

One ruler should have absolute power to keep society from falling into disorder

Role of Government

Govts. protect 3 basic rights

Life, liberty & property

Role of Monarch

The ruler has a duty to protect these basic rights

Hobbes vs Locke
hobbes social contract
Hobbes – Social Contract
  • Agreement
    • B/w the leader & his people
    • Give up rights for
      • Protection
      • Organized society
  • How does this apply to governments today
    • Give up taxes and freedom
    • For security

Montesquieu (1689-1755)

The Best government:

  • Separate the powers of the Govt.
    • ensured freedom & liberty.
      • Legislative: make laws
      • Executive: enforce laws
      • Judicial: interpret laws
  • Politically balanced
    • Checks & balances:

(each branch serves as a check on the other branches)

    • “Power should be a check to power”

Rousseau (1712-1778)

  • Individual Freedom
    • People are naturally good
    • innocence was corrupted by

the evils of society

  • “Men are born free, and everywhere he is in chains.”
  • The Social Contract, 1762.
    • Agreement among free individuals
    • Hobbes: society & government
  • The best government
    • Formed by the people
    • Consent of the governed
      • Direct democracy
  • Italian Philosophe
  • Laws exist to preserve order
    • NOT to avenge crimes
  • Criticized abuses of justice
    • Accused should have
      • Speedy trial
      • Punishment should fit the crime
      • Never torture
mary wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Philosophes challenged assumptions
    • But: Traditional view toward women
    • Education: teach how to be wife & mother
  • Wollstonecraft
    • Increased Rights for Women
    • Education for Women = Men
    • Women Should enter male-dominated fields
      • Politics & medicine
  • What is government supposed to ensure?
  • What are the 3 branches of govt & what do each do?
  • Rousseau believed people were naturally what?
  • What did Rousseau write and his idea of the best form of government?
  • Beccaria believed laws existed for what purpose and if you were in trouble with the law, what 3 things should you get?
  • What did Wollstonecraft fight for?
To Do: Write these questions down, write your answer to each question and be ready to discuss tomorrow

Security vs. Freedom

  • Are you willing to give up any Freedoms in Exchange for better protection from terrorism?
  • The police believe a person has brought a gun to school. Would you allow the police to search your school bag & lockers?
  • A person takes books out of the library on bomb making. What should the librarian do?
  • Several Mid. Eastern males are boarding a plane at O’Hare airport. Should they have to go through extra security?
  • Wealthy wmn held mtgs in their homes
    • Philosophes discussed ideas
  • Marie-Therese Geoffrin
    • Was a “patron” to the thinkers
  • So why are they important?
    • Gave Enlightenment thinkers a place to share ideas
    • Provided Enlightenment thinkers w/support

Denis Diderot (1713-1784)

  • All things must be examined, debated, investigated w/o exception & w/o regard for anyone’s feelings.
  • We will speak against senseless laws until they are reformed.
diderot s encyclop die
Created 28 vol. Encyclopedia

Gathered articles on human knowledge

Articles by thinkers of the day

against slavery

urged for education for all

praised freedom of expression

Widely denounced by govts & church

Diderot’s Encyclopédie
  • Form of govt by which a single entity rules w/ absolute & unlimited power
  • Many philosophes believed best govt was:
    • Monarchy
    • Respected people’s rights
      • Try to convince rulers to rule justly
enlightened despots
Enlightened Despots
  • Enlightened Despots
    • Embraced new ideas
    • Made reforms
  • True Reformers?
    • Just wanted their countries to be stronger
montesquieu despotism
Montesquieu & Despotism
  • The diff. b/w monarchy & despotism:
      • Monarchy - a single person governs by fixed and established laws
      • Despot - governs by his own will
enlightened despots1
Fredrick the Great - Ruled Prussia

Committed to reform

Religious freedom

Reduced censorship

Increased education

Abolished torture

“the first servant of the state

Changes only went so far

Serfdom wrong

But didn’t end it

Needed support of the nobles

Catherine the Great - Ruled Russia

Formed commission to review laws

Religious toleration

Abolishing torture

Abolishing capital punishment

Changes only went so far

Commission accomplished none of the goals

Did nothing to change life of peasants

After a revolt – she gave noble absolute power over them

Enlightened Despots

The “Great Debate”

Reason& Logic



  • justice
  • tolerance
  • Liberty
  • Absolute monarchy
  • Religion - church
  • habit

The Legacy of the Enlightenment?

  • Belief in Progress
    • Opened door for growth in sci.
    • New discoveries
    • Confidence that humans could solve social probs
  • More secular society (non-religious)
    • Openly question church
    • Promote tolerance of all religions

The Legacy of the Enlightenment?

3. Importance of the individual

  • Use own ability to reason to judge right & wrong
  • Turn away from the church
  • Art, literature, & music offered new expressions & sounds: Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn
        • YouTube - Beethoven Symphony No.9
        • YouTube - Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, organ

4. Revolutions

  • democratic revs begun in America in 1776 & in Paris in the late 1780s