The Enlightenment was a great upheaval in the culture of the colonies- an intellectual movement of the late 17th and 18th centuries which emphasized logic and reason over tradition. Enlightenment thinkers believed that men and women could move civilization to ever greater heights through the power of their own reason. The Enlightenment encouraged men and women to look to themselves, instead of God, for guidance as to how to live their lives and shape society. It also evoked a new appreciation and
Gough, J.W. John Locke’s Political Philosophy: Eight Studies, London, Oxford University Press, 1950, Ch. 4.
The Enlightenment also known as the age of reason is the name giving to an important period of Western civilization that followed the renaissance. The Enlightenment occurred roughly from the mid-sixteenth hundreds up to the end of the seventeenth hundreds, and it was a time where the human ability to reason was glorify. The word enlightenment means a time of illumination. It was a time of an influential group of scholars, writes, artists, and scientists actively sought to use the reason over the superstition. As a result of their efforts, tremendous improvement in the understanding of mathematics and science occurred. And whole new ideas regarding basic human rights and democracy were developed. As a result of the age of Enlightenment, there were changes in European and Euro-American understandings of sovereignty, as to who should have the power and lead a society, and the relation between the leaders and their subjects.
Enlightenment or The Age of Reason occurred during the 17th and 18th centuries, and lasted for 130 years. The Enlightenment period can be divided into three parts, the Early Enlightenment, the High Enlightenment and the Late. It was brought about by a group of intellectual thinkers, who began challenging the status quo. The broad movement of Enlightenment began in Europe and gradually spread until it reached the U.S. This time in history sometimes overlaps with the Scientific Revolution because many of the philosophers and their ideas used the scientific method to explain life. Enlightenment challenged the religious views of the day, as well as absolutist rule. Three ideals came from the humanists, today’s liberals, that supported The Age of Enlightenment; individualism, skepticism, and reason. Several developments in the late 17th century contributed to the period of Early Enlightenment. The two most important ones are the political hostility to absolutist rule and the religious clashes between
The Enlightenment was a cultural movement of reasoning and intellect which began in the late 17th century in Europe emphasizing individualism and reasoning rather than tradition. The purpose of this movement was to modify society and apply reasoning to challenge the ideals of faith and tradition and advance the traditional knowledge through the scientific method. This stimulated scientific reasoning and thought as well as human thought. This enabled inte...
The Enlightenment was the period lasting from the mid-seventeenth century and throughout the eighteenth century in which, thought and culture led to brilliant revolutions in science, society, politics, and philosophy. People living in this time often referred to it as the “Age of Reason”. During this time a contemporary western culture developed and was a precursor to the beginning of our ever-expanding technological and political world. This era brought representative government, an aura of freedom, and belief that people could better human existence. The Enlightenment idea was partially taken from John Locke’s “Essay Concerning Human Understanding”.
The 18th century was filled with Enlightenment philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians, each contributing to the way our world thinks today. The Enlightenment prompted society to part from the ancient views of superstition and traditionalism, and transition to basing findings and concept on reason and logic. Each of the brilliant minds contributed to the worldly movement, their purpose was to reform society by challenging ideas that were grounded firmly in faith, emphasize reason and intelligence, and to advance knowledge through science and the arts. This stirred debate and completely reshaped our world’s perception of the universe, it questioned the existence of our world and what we were meant to evolve to. This mass circulation of thought would significantly affect historical events to come, such as the American and French Revolution, whose bases for government was influenced by thinkers such as Montesquieu, and his idea about the balance of power between the three branches of government, as well as Rousseau’s idea about the power of democracy and the consent of the people. Three such Enlightenment philosophes were John Locke, Rene Descartes, and Jean-Jacque Rousseau. Each of these men generally agreed that most human failure and suffering was a result of mindlessly following tradition and superstition that was fed to them by leaders of the church and state. They believed that humankind could improve itself greatly, and that Enlightenment values of reason and humanity could achieve it. The first step was to free thinking itself-to escape the darkness of the past to the light of reason.
The Enlightenment of the 18th century was an exciting period of history. For the first time since ancient Grecian times, reason and logic became center in the thoughts of most of elite society. The urge to discover and to understand replaced religion as the major motivational ideal of the age, and the upper class social scene all over Europe was alive with livid debate on these new ideas.
Kishlansky, Mark, Patrick Geary and Patricia O'Brien. Civilization in the West, Combind Volume, Seventh Edition. New York: Longman, 2008.
Hyland P, Gomez O, Greensides F,The Enlightenment a Sourcebook and Reader, Rootledge, 2003, p. 37-40, 71-75
Coffin, Judith G., and Robert C. Stacey. "CHAPTER 18 PAGES 668-669." Western Civilizations: Their History & Their Culture. 16TH ed. Vol. 2. New York, NY: W. W. Norton &, 2008. N. pag. Print.
The Enlightenment was a period in European culture and thought characterized as the “Age of Reason” and marked by very significant revolutions in the fields of philosophy, science, politics, and society (Bristow; The Age of Enlightenment). Roughly covering the mid 17th century throughout the 18th century, the period was actually fueled by an intellectual movement of the same name to which many thinkers subscribed to during the 1700s and 1800s. The Enlightenment's influences on Western society, as reflected in the arts, were in accordance with its major themes of rationalism, empiricism, natural rights and natural law or their implications of freedom and social justice.