The Enlightenment And The Enlightenment

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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.
The Enlightenment began or could be said to have been propelled by the scientific revolution of the earlier centuries, particularly the Newtonian universe, as modernizing science gradually undermined the ancient Western geocentric idea of the universe as well as accompanying set of presuppositions that had been constraining and influencing philosophical inquiry (Bristow; Lewis; Mattey). This has led to the promotion of philosophy that of natural science included, emerging from the shadows of theology to become an independent, powerful force that challenged the old and the status quo. This has led to the great progress at the intellectual and scientific levels, with the society so enthusiastic about said progress amidst expectations that philosophy in general would lead to huge improvement in human conditions (Bristow). During this time, philosophers in the narrow sense of the root world considered the Church as fomenting ignorance, superstition and subservience. They also believed in the inherent equality of human beings even as they held that the best form of gov...

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... elite rich and the rest of the population remains, very widely at that even in the iconic 'democracy' of the United States, human rights have at least become part and parcel of the public discourse. Also, in the movies, while modern myths in the form of superheroes and other fiction stories rake millions in the box office, news publishing—accounts of real experiences that are relevant to the public--remains respectable and profitable.
The Enlightenment was an important period in Western history that has allowed humans to think more reasonably and to value reasoning in addressing the challenges and problems of this world. It revolutionized human thought, influencing people to greater considerations of the human experience, of empirical data, and to ideate and eventually value natural human rights of everyone. These themes are well reflected in the art of the Age.

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