The age of Enlightenment is by far one of the most important stages in the development of modern thought. In Europe, the Enlightenment produced a diverse collection of thoughts. Social interaction among well-educated intellectuals, primarily male, pondering the plight of the individual increased. Furthermore, centuries of traditional thought in the domains of religion, education, politics, and gender roles were now subject to scrutiny and assessment. The influence of great thinkers such as John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Antoine-Leonard Thomas shaped political and social attitudes. These philosophers ushered in a new way of thinking; John Locke debated the displacement of a government who would not protect the lives, liberties and property of the people, Rousseau stated that society should be governed by the “general will” of the people and lastly, Thomas discussed the role of women in society.
One of the most influential thinkers during the age of Enlightenment was John Locke, whose work focused on political philosophy. John Locke’s theory postulated that when humans are born, their minds are a blank slate—knowledge derives from experience and a sense of perception. Locke’s theory also advocated for religious toleration and expressed concerned about liberty. Locke stressed that Christians tarnish the teachings of the Bible when they oppress others in the name of religion. Moreover, Locke’s writings and political ideologies were both rational and secular attempts to improve the quality of human life. The “Two Treatises of Government”, written by John Locke, rejected the divine right of monarchs, Locke stated that societies form governments by mutu...
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...rations. However, the sad truth still remains—women still have yet to derive away from traditional sexist attitudes. Mainstream media illustrate how women in positions of power are under scrutiny on the basis of their appearance. Women’s bodies are still subjects of political debate. Furthermore, the act of focusing on women’s appearance belittles their capabilities. Today, a woman is running for President of the United States of America on a major party platform, however, she is still scrutinized on the basis of her appearance. Another prime example would be the politics regarding the burka in France. The French government banning the burka is still a sign that women are oppressed because they are not given the option to choose. Perhaps women have come a long way since the age of Enlightenment, however, there is still a need for major improvement and growth. (1055)
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