it is our memories that give us context and change our purposes mohinder suresh l.
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It is our memories that give us context and change our purposes….. ~ Mohinder Suresh . Key Topics. The intellectual and social background of the Enlightenment The philosophes of the Enlightenment & their agenda of intellectual and political reform

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key topics
Key Topics
  • The intellectual and social background of the Enlightenment
  • The philosophes of the Enlightenment & their agenda of intellectual and political reform
  • Efforts of “enlightened” monarchs in Central & Eastern Europe to increase the economic & military strength of their domains
  • The partition of Poland by Prussia, Russia, & Austria
economic change political reform
Economic change & political reform….
  • Possible AND desirable
  • New idea? Not for us– but 1700???
    • RADICAL
slide4
Movement of people & ideas

ENLIGHTENMENT

Think of possibilities…not just actualities.

slide5
Philosophes: A bunch of guys sitting around in some woman’s living room, chatting & discussing current events—asking themselves:

“What’s wrong with our society?”

“How can we fix it?”

Can I have another cigar and brandy?

slide7
Voltaire

Diderot

Rousseau

Gibbon

Lessing

Montesquieu

D’Alembert

Hume

Smith

Kant

slide8
Not an organized group

Disagreed on many issues

Family-like dynamics—do all family members agree?

CHIEF BOND:

Common desire to reform thought, society, & government for the sake of HUMAN LIBERTY

In touch with everyday life/common people

influences
Influences….

1. Isaac Newton—Newtonian Worldview

2. John Locke

3. Great Britain—post-1688

4. France & Louis XIV

5. Print Culture—reading is a GOOD thing!!

isaac newton
Isaac Newton

Law of universal gravitation

Principia Mathematica

Study nature directly

Avoid metaphysical/supernaturalism

If nature was rational, society could also be organized rationally…

john locke
John Locke

An Essay in Human Understanding

Tabula rasa

Experience only shapes character

Human nature is changeable

Human nature can be molded by changing environment

change environment!

great britain post 1688
Great Britain—post-1688
  • Enlightened reforms benefit all
  • Religious toleration (Voltaire)
  • Relative free speech/press
  • Limited monarchy
  • Parliament—political sovereignty
  • Courts protected citizens
  • Small army
  • Domestic economy—less regulated
great britain post 168813
Great Britain—post-1688

Liberal policies:

Prosperity/stability/loyalty

Britain=significantly freer than ANY European nation

france louis xiv
France & Louis XIV
  • Absolute monarchy
  • Large standing army
  • Heavy taxation
  • Religious persecution (Protestants/Jansenists)
  • Restrictions on free speech/press (censorship)
print culture
Print Culture…
  • Journals
  • Books
  • Newspapers
  • Pamphlets
  • Printed word  chief vehicle for communication
    • Ideas/opinion/thought
    • NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE PEN OR THOSE WHO BUY INK BY THE BARREL
print culture16
…Print culture…

Who are the readers?

Monarchs

Nobles

Upper middle classes – bourgeoisie

Professional groups

public opinion (Rousseau)

slide17
“Opinion, queen of the world, is in no [way] subject to the power of kings; they themselves are her first slaves.”

~Rousseau

The Social Contract

slide18
“Therefore it is all in vain; neither reason, nor virtue, nor laws will prevail over the public opinion, so long as there is no contrivance to change it. Once more I say it, force will not do so.”

~Rousseau

The Social Contract

print culture19
…Print Culture…
  • Governmental reaction:
    • Censorship
    • Book trade regulated
    • Confiscation
    • Book burning
    • Imprisonment
  • FEAR of print culture’s political POWER
  • The Encyclopedia —Diderot et.al.
the enlightenment religion21
The Enlightenment & Religion
  • “Crush the Infamous Thing”— Voltaire
  • What is this THING?

“Churches hindered the pursuit of a rational life and the scientific study of humanity and nature”

deism
Deism
  • God is a watchmaker
  • God who created nature must be rational
  • God-worship must be rational
  • God exists – through empirical study of nature – life after death
deism23
Deism
  • Tolerant
  • Empirical
  • Reasonable
  • Capable of encouraging virtuous living
      • Where have we heard this before?
slide24
Toleration must be #1
  • “…life on Earth and human relationships should not be subordinated to religion.”
  • KOT
  • However—at the same time
  • John Wesley & Methodism
    • Not break away from Anglican Church
    • Urge spiritual enthusiasm
    • Important revival of Christianity
      • More on this later (Romanticism)
slide25
Methodism proved that the need for spiritual experience had not been expunged by the 18th-Century search for REASON….
  • ~Spielvogel
slide26
“If there were just one religion in England, despotism would threaten, if there were two religions, they would cut each other’s throats, but there are thirty religions, and they live together peacefully and happily.”

~Voltaire

Philosophic Letters on the English, 1733

the enlightenment society28
The Enlightenment & Society
  • Criminal Law—Beccaria
  • On Crimes and Punishments
  • What is the purpose of laws?
  • Positive law (monarchs & legislatures) must conform with rational laws of nature
  • Attacked torture & capital punishment
  • Speedy trial & certain punishment
  • Punishment as deterrent
beccaria
Beccaria
  • Purpose of laws?
  • “…not to impose the will of God…[but to] secure the greatest good or happiness for the greatest of human beings.” (KOT italics added )
  • Utilitarianism (we’ll talk about this later)
physiocrats
Physiocrats
  • Philosophe economists
  • Primary purpose of government is to protect property and to permit its owners to use it freely
  • All economic production depended on what?(agriculture)
adam smith wealth of nations 1776
Adam Smith…Wealth of Nations --1776
  • FREE TRADE– fundamental economic principal
    • Condemned mercantilist use of protective tariffs to protect home industries
    • “a tailor does not make his own shoes; a cobbler does not make his own coat…”
slide32

If a country can supply another country with a product cheaper than the latter can make it, it is better to purchase it than to produce it.~Spielvogel

adam smith
…Adam Smith…
  • Labor theory of value

What is something truly worth?

LABOR is the TRUE wealth of a nation

Not specie

Not dirt (agriculture)

adam smith34
…Adam Smith…
  • LAISSEZ-FAIRE

Government has 3 purposes ONLY

a. Protect society from invasion

b. Defend individuals from injustice & oppression (police)

c. Public works (roads/canals/bridges)

adam smith35
…Adam Smith…
  • Government should not interfere in economic matters
  • Government-- “passive policemen” stays out of lives of individuals
  • Later basis for 19th century economic liberalism
adam smith36
…Adam Smith
  • 4-stage theory
  • Study economics to determine one’s place in society
  • COMMERCIALISM is highest
    • Rationale for economic/imperial domination of “lower” stages
baron de montesquieu
Baron de Montesquieu
  • The Persian Letters – satire
    • 2 guys visiting Europe
    • Criticism & exposition of the cruelty & irrationality of much contemporaneous European life.
montesquieu
Montesquieu
  • Spirit of the Laws – British model is wisest of all
    • Importance of checks & balances created by means of separation of powers
      • Sound familiar?
montesquieu40
Montesquieu
  • Political Science
      • (empirical method)
  • No single set of law/methods for all 3 basic types of government
montesquieu41
Montesquieu
  • REPUBLICS
    • Small states
    • Based on citizen involvement
montesquieu42
Montesquieu
  • Monarchy
    • Middle-sized states
    • Grounded in the ruling class’ adherence to law
montesquieu43
Montesquieu
  • Despotism
    • Large empires
    • Dependent on FEAR to inspire obedience
montesquieu44
Montesquieu
  • Misread / misinterpreted
  • Defend French aristocracy’s political privileges
  • American philosophes
  • Franklin // Jefferson // Adams // etc
jean jacques rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • “much of world’s evil is caused by uneven distribution of wealth”
  • Discourse of the Origin of Inequality, 1755
slide46
“In monarchies, never can private wealth raise a man above the prince; but in a republic it may easily set him above the law. Then the government has no longer any weight, and the rich man is the real sovereign.

~Rousseau

The Social Contract

rousseau
Rousseau
  • “process of civilization and enlightenment had corrupted human nature”
  • Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences, 1750
slide48
“I do not like verbal explanations. Young people pay little heed to them, nor do they remember them. Things! Things! I cannot repeat it too often. We lay too much stress upon words; we teachers babble and our scholars follow our example. Our real teachers are experience and emotion, and man will never learn what befits a man except under its own conditions.

~Rousseau

Emile

rousseau49
Rousseau
  • “family squabble”
  • Life would improve if people could enjoy more of the fruits of the Earth or could produce more goods.
  • Raised the more fundamental question of what constitutes the “good life”