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Enlightenment. Ms. Ramos. Characteristics of the Enlightenment. Rationalism  reason is the arbiter of all things. Cosmology  a new concept of man, his existence on earth, & the place of the earth in the universe.

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Ms. Ramos

Characteristics of the enlightenment
Characteristics of the Enlightenment

  • Rationalism  reason is the arbiter of all things.

  • Cosmology  a new concept of man, his existence on earth, & the place of the earth in the universe.

  • Secularism  application of the methods of science to religion & philosophy.


  • Scientific Method

    • Mathematical analysis

    • Experimentation

    • Inductive reasoning.

  • Utilitarianism  the greatest good for the greatest number.

  • Tolerance  No opinion is worth burning your neighbor for.


  • Optimism & Self-Confidence

    • The belief that man is intrinsically good.

    • The belief in social progress.

  • Freedom

    • Of thought and expression.

    • Bring liberty to all men (modern battle against absolutism).

  • Education of the Masses


  • Legal Reforms

    • Justice, kindness, and charity  no torture or indiscriminant incarceration.

    • Due process of law.

  • Constitutionalism

    • Written constitutions  listing citizens, rights.

  • Cosmopolitanism.

Core beliefs
Core Beliefs

  • Truth discovered through reason

  • What is natural, is also good and reasonable

  • People can find happiness in this life

  • Society and humankind can progress and improve

  • People’s liberty should be protected by the law

Ms. Ramos

Thomas hobbes
Thomas Hobbes

  • Leviathan

  • Life in the state of nature is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”

  • Strongest element: passion

  • Self-preservation basis of his thought

Ms. Ramos


  • Man against man

  • To secure peace- est sovereign pwr not subject to civil law

  • Monarchy is most effective

Ms. Ramos

John locke
John Locke

  • English

  • Natural rights

  • Right to overthrow govtthat does not protect “natural” rights

  • State of nature is not perpetual war

Ms. Ramos

Hobbes vs locke
Hobbes vs. Locke

Ms. Ramos

Baron de montesquieu
Baron de Montesquieu

  • French

  • Separation of powers

  • Checks & balances

Ms. Ramos

Jean jacques rousseau
Jean Jacques Rousseau

  • French

  • Natural goodness & individual freedom

  • Govt by “general will” of the people

  • Social Contract

Ms. Ramos

Cesare b beccaria
Cesare B. Beccaria

  • Italian

  • Justice system

  • Accused had rights

  • Advocated abolishing torture

  • Govt: greatest good for greatest number of people

Ms. Ramos

Common sense
Common Sense

  • Pierre Bayle’s Historical and Critical Dictionary

    • demolished traditional concepts

  • Denis Diderot’s Encyclopedia (1751-1781),

    • encapsulated the whole of human knowledge

Ms. Ramos


  • Voltaire’sPhilosophical Letters

    • encouraged readers to cast off inherited misconceptions

  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Émile (1762)

    • Argued for new pedagogy (methods of teaching)

Ms. Ramos

War on tradition discuss this one don t copy
War on traditionDiscuss this one- Don’t copy

  • Voltaire: Christianity often was “l’infame,” the detestable thing

  • Deism

    • belief in nature’s God who created universe according to natural laws

  • John Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration

    • urged openness to all religious expressions (except Roman Catholicism and atheism)

  • Freemasonry

    • blend of Egyptian polytheism with medieval guilds and brotherly love

Ms. Ramos

Social contracts discuss this one don t copy
Social ContractsDiscuss this one- Don’t copy

  • John Locke’s Second Treatise of Civil Government

    • government contract powered by consent of property owners

  • Montesquieu’s Spirit of Laws (1748)

    • laws evolved to be spirit of a nation

    • “constitutionalism” should protect freedoms of citizens

    • “separation of powers” create checks and balances

  • Rousseau’s Social Contract (1762)

    • state guided by “moral and collective body” of individual citizens

  • Jefferson: American Declaration of Independence

Ms. Ramos

Enlightenment ideas
Enlightenment Ideas:

  • Encouraged people to use observation to make new discoveries

  • Rely on reason

  • Question traditional authority

Ms. Ramos

Enlightenment ideas1
Enlightenment Ideas

  • Spread from Europe to the Americas

  • “the philosophes,” create the mvmt of the Enlightenment

    • Centered in France and England, also Scotland, Italy and Netherlands

    • Kant: “Dare to know!”

  • Influenced the American Revolution

Ms. Ramos