Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries Essay

Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries Essay

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The scientific revolution had a great impact on the Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries. The greatest contribution given the Enlightenment by the scientific revolution was the notion to question the Christian dogma by means of logic, which the philosophes would take further to satirize/question their own governments in many instances as well. This went beyond the speculations some may have had in private amongst friends, to a level that would reach beyond the borders of any one nation. Gutenberg’s printing press in the 15th century enabled these great thinkers to spread their theories to those not possessed of great wealth. This dissemination of ideas, inexpensively, took away the Church’s (and governments’) monopoly on thought. With this new ability, the pioneers of the scientific revolution courageously spoke out to spread their theories on scientific frontiers, frequently in opposition to the Church’s teachings on such matters. These pioneers paved the way for the philosophes of the Enlightenment to take things a step further, and question the Church’s teachings on matters of metaphysics, morality, and social ethics to name a few. This step away from supernatural and Church condoned explanations taken by those in the scientific revolution, carved a path for the philosophes to follow in their footsteps and question the Church’s teachings on those subjects not proven by empiricism. Nicolaus Copernicus is frequently credited with being the father of the scientific revolution, presenting an excellent starting point for the scientific pioneers.
Copernicus is said to be the father of modern astronomy, and his works the spark that started the scientific revolution. This polish man of means and ecclesiastical position, alive...


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...r the commoners. With numerous imprisonments and exiles, Voltaire’s pen never slowed to point out the ridiculousness and idiocy of the status quo. Voltaire and the other philosophes spoke out using reason to back their ideas.
The scientific revolution gifted the Enlightenment with the notion and courage to question the embedded institutions of authority. Most were not as bold or irreverent as Voltaire, but all in some way questioned the Church’s teachings. Some were pious men that did not question the metaphysical or ethical teachings of the Church, but they questioned the means by which natural phenomena were explained. The pioneers of the scientific revolution gave the Enlightenment philosophes the idea, the courage, and a foundation of rational thought in which to question the Church and governments of various nations.




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