Age of Enlightenment Man is born free, yet everywhere he is in chains. - Rousseau
Introduction to The Enlightenment Enlightenment-A change in outlook among many educated Europeans that began during the 1600s. This was a time when reason was a key part of progress. They used observation and logic to understand the world instead of errors and superstitions? Of the past. In France these thinkers were known as philosophes French for Philosophers. These thinkers gathered in informal meeting places called salons.
The Old View New Viewpoints • Scholars relied on traditional authorities for beliefs about structure of universe • Geocentric theory, Aristotle • Earth center of universe • Sun, moon, planets revolved around sun • Ideas upheld by church, accepted authority for European intellectuals • Scholars began to challenge traditional authorities, 1500s • Scientific Revolution, new way of thinking • Posed theories, developed procedures to test ideas • Why open to new ideas? • Exploration • New lands, new people, new animals The Scientific Revolution Main Idea New ways of thinking led to remarkable discoveries during the Scientific Revolution.
Scientific Method Scholars New Approach to Investigation • Francis Bacon, experimentation to gain scientific knowledge • Rene Descartes, reason key • Believed everything should be doubted until proved by reason • Relied on math, logic • Ideas of both continue to influence modern scientific methods • Scientific Method • Identify problem • Form hypothesis • Perform experiments to test hypothesis • Record results • Analyze results, form conclusion The Scientific Method
Science and the Church Conflicts • Church most powerful institution in Europe, Middle Ages • Primary resource for knowledge, learning • Cathedral schools, universities trained people to run the church • Most scientists did not want to challenge role of Christianity • Church explained world through inspiration, revealed truth • Science explained world through logical reasoning Science and Society As science assumed greater significance, the question of the role of the Roman Catholic Church in a changing culture became important. While the church opposed the views of many scientists, it benefited from new discoveries that made Renaissance art and architecture possible. The church feared reason as an enemy of faith, but eventually began to embrace some of the achievements of the Scientific Revolution.
The Enlightenment Main Idea European thinkers developed new ideas about government and society during the Enlightenment.
Age of Reason Scientific Revolution convinced many European thinkers about power of reason • Scientific method and reason led to discoveries about physical world • Wondered if reason could be used to study human nature, society • New generation of philosophers, 1600s • Viewed reason as best way to understand truth • Concluded reason could be used to solve all human problems • This time of optimism now called the Enlightenment
Peak of Enlightenment Ideas of Enlightenment • Reached peak in 1700s • Paris, center of intellectual activity • Parisian women hosted social gatherings, salons • Philosophers, artists, scientists, writers regularly discussed ideas • Educated people throughout Europe, beyond, inspired • Held notion that world problems could be solved • New ideas debated in coffeehouses, public spaces • Writers published ideas in books, magazines, pamphlets The Age of Reason
Reforms Revolutions • Belief in progress spurred many to enact reforms • Believed reason could solve any problem, debated ways to make society more just • Did not accept poverty, ignorance, inequality as facts of life • Ideas about power, authority inspired reforms and revolutions • American colonists inspired to break free from British monarchy • Colonists strongly influenced by political views of Locke, Rousseau Enlightenment Ideas Spread • Challenged Beliefs • Writers, philosophers questioned ideas long held as absolute truth • Challenged beliefs in absolute monarchies • Questioned relationship between church and sate • Debated rules and rights of people in society • Promoted ideas reformers and revolutionaries would later use to change society