Towards the late 1780s the late German Philosopher Immanuel Kant described the Enlightenment as, “ Man leaving his self caused immaturity” (Spiel Vogel 503). Essentially, the root of Kant’s message was simple. The common 18th century man, was encouraged to use their own knowledge, and if they did not know the answer to their question, to go out and seek that answer. The basis of the Enlightenment can be found in the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century, with the great thinker Bernard de Fontanelle of the 18th century bringing the science, “out of the monopoly of experts, but apart of literature” (Spielvogel 503). Soon following the great forward thinking science thinkers of the Enlightenment came the intellectuals who soon changed the root of social thinking in Western Europe.
The beauty of the Enlightenment was the fact that it was not just for “upper class” individuals. The Enlightenment involved a span of many different people across social classes, coming together in the, “public sphere of influence” (Garcia Lecture 2/3/15) to discuss the popular theories of the time. Men gathered in public places (such as pubs) while women gathered i...
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... Spielvogel, “High Culture means the literary and artistic world of the educated and wealthy ruling classes. While Popular Culture was the written and unwritten lore for the masses” (Spielvogel 520). In the 21st century, Western Europe is known for their world-renowned universities. Those same universities were set up for learning during the 18th century. Popular Culture also implemented education within their ranks as well (not as well executed however).
Until the 18th Century, Western Europe was stuck in the same monotonous traditions and cultures. From the frameworks of the Scientific Revolution (which essentially laid the groundwork for the Enlightenment; philosophy, culture, and Politics were windswept with the knowledge. The Enlightenment started a tidal wave of knowledge and information, that swept over Western Europe like a wave, impacting it’s daily life.
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