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The Enlightenment. Emergence. Emergence of a secular world view for the first time in human history Fundamental notion was that natural science and reason could explain all aspects of life Belief in autonomy of man’s intellectual apart from God Faith in reason rather than faith in revelation

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  • Emergence of a secular world view for the first time in human history
    • Fundamental notion was that natural science and reason could explain all aspects of life
    • Belief in autonomy of man’s intellectual apart from God
    • Faith in reason rather than faith in revelation
    • Deism
  • Religious arm of the Enlightenment
  • Existence of God was a rational explanation of the universe and its form
  • God was a deistic Creator
    • A cosmic clockmaker
      • Created universe and then stepped back
  • “Natural Law”
  • Supernatural was not involved in human life
  • Grew out of Newton’s theories regarding natural law
baruch spinoza
Baruch Spinoza
  • 1632-1677
  • Philosopher who created a world view in which he equated God and nature
john locke
John Locke
  • 1632-1704
  • Two Treatises of Civil Government
    • Philosophical defense for the “Glorious Revolution” in England
    • State of nature
      • Humans are basically good but lack protection
    • Governments provide rule of law but only through the consent of the governed
john locke1
John Locke
  • The purpose of government is to protect “natural rights” of the people
    • Life, liberty, and property
  • Right to rebellion
    • People have the right to abolish a government that doesn’t protect natural rights
john locke2
John Locke
  • Essay Concerning Human Understanding
    • Stressed importance of the environment on human development: Education was key
    • “tabula rasa” – The human mind was born as a blank slate and registered input from senses passively
    • Saw all human knowledge as the result of sensory experiences
    • Rejected Descartes’ view that all people are born with certain basic ideas and way of thinking
    • For progress to occur in society, education was critical in determining human development
  • Committed to fundamental reform in society
    • Successful in popularizing the Enlightenment
    • Believed in progress through discovering the natural laws governing nature and human existence
    • Radically optimistic about how people should live and govern themselves
  • 1694-1778
  • Most influential of all Enlightenment philosophers
  • Used sarcasm to ridicule those who disagreed
  • Challenged traditional Catholic theology
    • Strong deist views
    • Believed prayer and miracles did not fit with natural law
    • Believed that human reason was the key to progress in society, not religious faith
  • His influential social criticism inspired many to call for change (French Revolution)
  • Called for religious toleration
    • “Crush the infamous thing”
    • Grew up as a Christian, but distrusted organized religion as corrupt
  • Advocated “enlightened despotism”
    • Believing that people were incapable of governing themselves
    • Views similar to Hobbes
    • Influenced many
      • Frederick the Great (Prussia)
      • Catherine the Great (Russia)
      • Joseph II (Austria)
      • Napoleon (France)
baron de montesquieu
Baron de Montesquieu
  • 1689-1755
  • Member of the French nobility, hated absolutism of Louis XIV
  • Spirit of the Laws
    • Called for separation of powers in government into three branches (monarchy, nobility, everyone else)
    • Goal was to prevent tyranny and promote liberty
    • Checks and balances
  • Significant impact on creation of US Constitution
jean jacques rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • 1712-1778
  • Social Contract
    • Too much emphasis on property, and not enough consideration of people, was root cause of social injustice
    • The general will, a consensus of the majority, should control democracy
jean jacques rousseau1
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Seen as founder of Romantic movement
    • After the French Revolution, the Enlightenment’s emphasis on reason gave way to a glorification of emotion
  • Believed that man in a simpler state of nature was good
  • Emile
    • Believed in progressive education, learning by doing
denis diderot
Denis Diderot
  • 1713-1784
  • The Encyclopedia
    • A vast compendium of political and social critiques from various Enlightenment philosophers and authors
    • Helped popularize philosophers views
    • Emphasized science and reason
    • Critical of religion, intolerance, and injustice
    • Banned in France and placed on Index of Prohibited Books (Catholic Church)
marquis di beccaria
Marquis diBeccaria
  • On Crimes and Punishment
  • Sought to humanize criminal law based on Enlightenment concepts of reason and equality before the law
  • Punishment for crime should be based rationally on damage done to society (not religious concept of sin)
  • Opposed death penalty
  • Opposed torture to extract confessions