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The Enlightenment

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The Enlightenment Bernard Fontenelle 1657-1757 Brought scientific matters to non-scientists. Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds liberal work-humans can make ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Enlightenment


1
The Enlightenment
2
An Overview of the 18th Century
  • Political History ?gtgtgt Reform
  • Intellectual History ? Newtonian Physics
    ? Reason
  • Cultural History ? Individualism
  • Social History ? Increased Literacy
    ? Age of Aristocracy
  • Economic History ?gt Mercantilism
    to Capitalism

3
18th Century Politics
  • BRITAIN ? Constitutional Monarchy
  • FRANCE ? Royal Absolutism
    (cultural and religious unity)
  • PRUSSIA, HABSBURG EMPIRE, RUSSIA ?
    Enlightened Despotism
  • OTTOMAN EMPIRE ? traditional
    empire

4
Centers of the Enlightenment
5
The Characteristics of the Enlightenment
  1. Rationalism ? reason is the arbiter of all
    things.
  2. Cosmology ? a new concept of man, his
    existence on earth, the
    place of the earth in the
    universe.
  3. Secularism ? application of the methods of
    science to religion
    philosophy.

6
The Characteristics of the Enlightenment
  • Scientific Method
  • Mathematical analysis
  • Experimentation
  • Inductive reasoning.
  • Utilitarianism ? the greatest good for
    the greatest number.
  • Tolerance ? No opinion is worth
    burning your neighbor for.

7
The Characteristics of the Enlightenment
  • Optimism Self-Confidence
  • The belief that man is intrinsically good.
  • The belief in social progress.
  • Freedom
  • Of thought and expression.
  • Bring liberty to all men (modern battle against
    absolutism).
  • Education of the Masses

8
The Characteristics of the Enlightenment
  • Legal Reforms
  • Justice, kindness, and charity ? no torture or
    indiscriminant incarceration.
  • Due process of law.
  • Constitutionalism
  • Written constitutions ? listing citizens, rights.
  • Cosmopolitanism.

9
The Great Debate
Reason Logic
Traditions and Superstitions
  • rationalism
  • empiricism
  • tolerance
  • skepticism
  • Deism
  • nostalgia for the past
  • organized religions
  • irrationalism
  • emotionalism

10
John Locke (1632-1704)
  • Letter on Toleration, 1689
  • Two Treatises of Government, 1690
  • Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693
  • The Reasonableness of Christianity, 1695

11
John Lockes Philosophy (I)
  • The individual must become a rational creature.
  • Virtue can be learned and practiced.
  • Human beings possess free will.
  • they should be prepared for freedom.
  • obedience should be out of conviction, not out of
    fear.
  • Legislators owe their power to a contract with
    the people.
  • Neither kings nor wealth are divinely ordained.

12
John Lockes Philosophy (II)
  • There are certain natural rights that are endowed
    by God to all human beings.
  • life, liberty, property!
  • The doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings was
    nonsense.
  • He favored a republic as the best form of
    government.

13
Bernard Fontenelle 1657-1757
  • Brought scientific matters to non-scientists.
  • Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds
  • liberal work-humans can make progress/ marvels
    at the progress already made.

14
Skepticism and Pierre Bayle 1647-1706
  • Historical and Critical Dictionary makes
    skepticism popular
  • About past religion and persecution.
  • Concluded that there is basis for doubt in
    absolutely everything.
  • Increased travel makes skepticism reasonable

15
Baruch Spinoza 1632-1677
  • Son of a Jewish merchant in Holland.
  • His Ethics claimed that God was in all things.
  • This was very controversial. Often thought of as
    an atheist.
  • Baruch Spinoza equated God and nature and
    believed in an impersonal mechanical universe. He
    also denied free will

16
Blaise Pascal 1623-1662
  • Jansenist who detested Jesuits
  • Jansenists believed that reason brought you
    closer to God
  • Incredible French mathematician from early age
  • Has crisis of conscious turns more to faith
    than reason. Writes Pensees.
  • Says man is inherently evil and that God can only
    save an elect few.
  • Cautioned against false optimism and stressed
    religious conviction

17
Baron de Montesquieu 1689-1755
  • In the Spirit of the Laws he recommends a mixed
    government.
  • Discussed what conditions were favorable to
    liberty, and greatly admired the English
    government.
  • Also published the Persian Letters, a satire on
    the current European society.

18
Voltaire 1694-1778
  • Flees France after trouble
  • Becomes anglophile and returns to France
  • Deist and very tolerant
  • In youth believed in Progress through universal
    reason. In old age he backs off of this
  • In Essays he writes a cultural history (first of
    its kind)
  • Age of Louis XIV - Voltaire wrote that monarchy
    was the best form of government because he didnt
    trust people to rule themselves.

19
Voltaires Wisdom (I)
  • Every man is guilty of all the good he
    didnt do.
  • God is a comedian playing to an audience
    too afraid to laugh.
  • If God did not exist, it would be necessary
    to invent him.
  • It is dangerous to be right when the
    government is wrong.
  • Love truth and pardon error.

20
Voltaires Wisdom (II)
  • Judge of a man by his questions rather than
    by his answers.
  • Men are equal it is not birth, but virtue
    that makes the difference.
  • Prejudice is opinion without judgment.
  • The way to become boring is to say
    everything.
  • I may not agree with what you have to say,
    but I will defend to the death your right to
    say it.

21
Denis Diderot 1713-1784
  • Edited the Encyclopedia,
  • Attempted to collect all knowledge
  • Wanted to teach people to think critically and
    objectively
  • Many articles on controversial issues like
    atheism as well as the mundane like laughing
  • Encouraged the best minds of the time to make
    entries

22
Paul DHolbach 1723-1789
  • Wrote System of Nature
  • People are machines controlled by outside forces
  • Free will, God, immortality were myths.
  • Seen as dogmatic and intolerant due to rigid
    atheism. It broke the unity of the Enlightenment
    by dividing thinkers (optimists vs. pessimists or
    realists vs. utopians, etc)

23
David Hume 1711-1776
  • Scotsman who emphasized limitations of human
    reasoning
  • the human is a bundle of impressions.
  • Later he became dogmatic skeptic who undermined
    Enlightenment
  • BFF to Adam Smith
  • Challenged the idea of causation --Necessary
    Connection

24
Marquis de Condorcet 1743-1794
  • In Progress of the Human Mind stated that human
    progress would lead to its perfection
  • 10 stages of the mind, 9 have occurred, the 10th
    will lead to perfection
  • Against gradual, hard won progress - wanted
    immediate change
  • Committed suicide to avoid the guillotine of the
    French Revolution.

25
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
  • A Discourse on the Sciences and Arts, 1750
  • Emile, 1762.
  • The Social Contract, 1762.

26
Rousseaus Philosophy (I)
  • Virtue exists in the state of nature, but lost
    in society.
  • Government must preserve virtue and liberty.
  • Man is born free, yet everywhere he is in chains.
  • The concept of the Noble Savage.
  • Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.
  • Civil liberty ? invest ALL rights and liberties
    into a society.

27
Rousseaus Philosophy (II)
  • Question? Does progress in the arts and sciences
    correspond with progress in morality?
  • As civilizations progress, they move away from
    morality.
  • Civilization itself leads away from true
    fundamentals.
  • Technology and art create false desires.

NO!
28
Rousseaus Philosophy (III)
  • Concept of the General Will.
  • Only those who make their own laws are free.
  • Virtuous citizens will agree, become one.
  • Not merely a consensus or the majority.
  • A discussion among the virtuous will yield unity.
  • Dissenters are forced to be free.
  • General Will law freedom!

29
Giambattista Vico 1668-1744
  • Largely unknown in his time
  • Revolts against the idea that reason is supreme
  • Writes New Science and says man makes his own
    history (this was heresy) and develops in stages
  • Barbarism to civilization to second barbarism
  • The second barbarism is worse as these barbarians
    have no virtues (this was shocking)

30
A Look Ahead
  • Enlightenment ideas strengthened liberalism and
    foreshadowed the coming of more radical ideas
    like Communism.
  • Vicos theory of nations rising and falling and
    the Marquis de Condorcet belief in the perfection
    of humanity gave basis to Marxian philosophy

31
Mary Wollstonecraft 1759-1797
  • First modern feminist
  • Defender of the declaration of the rights of men
    and wrote a Vindication of the Declaration of
    the Rights of Man.
  • Daughter was Mary Shelley
  • Believed marriage was legalized prostitution.

32
Immanuel Kant 1724-1804
  • Thought that freedom of the press would result in
    an enlightenment.
  • Separated science and morality into separate
    branches of knowledge
  • Science could describe natural phenomena of
    material world but could not provide a guide for
    morality
  • Critique of Reason states that man is not a
    tabula rasa but instead actively assimilates the
    world into recognizable patterns

33
Gottfried Wilhem von Leibniz 1646-1716
  • Wanted an international language of ideas built
    on numbers
  • Tried to unite mind and matter by making the
    monad the atom of the mind and injecting God into
    the equation
  • Use of God did not fit with the Gestalt and he
    was given little fame

34
Adam Smith 1723-1790
  • The Wealth of Nations
  • Mercantilism BAD
  • Free market economics
  • Laissez-Faire / Invisible Hand S D
  • Thought free trade would limit government to
    three duties- defense, civil order, public
    institutions

35
Popularizing the Enlightenment
36
A Parisian Salon
37
Madame Geoffrins Salon
38
The Salonnieres
Madame Geoffrin (1699-1777)
Madame Suzanne Necker (1739-1794)
Mademoiselle Julie de Lespinasse (1732-1776)
39
Denis Diderot (1713-1784)
40
Diderots Encyclopédie
41
The Encyclopédie
  • Complete cycle of knowledge... change the
    general way of thinking.
  • 28 volumes.
  • Alphabetical, cross-referenced, illustrated.
  • First published in 1751.
  • 1500 livres a set.

42
Subscriptions to Diderots Encyclopedie
43
Pages from Diderots Encyclopedie
44
Pages from Diderots Encyclopedie
45
Pages from Diderots Encyclopedie
46
Reading During the Enlightenment
  • Literacy
  • 80 for men 60 women.
  • Books were expensive (one days wages).
  • Many readers for each book (20 1)
  • novels, plays other literature.
  • journals, memoirs, private lives.
  • philosophy, history, theology.
  • newspapers, political pamphlets.

47
An Increase in Reading
48
Questions to Consider
  • Bayle made skepticism popular but what
    Renaissance writer wrote introspective essays
    famous for the skepticism?
  • What were some of the major intellectual changes
    that led to the Enlightenment?
  • How did the Enlightenment influence the growing
    popularity of history?
  • Identify the major beliefs of deism.  What was
    the hope of the deists in regard to Christianity?

49
The Results of the Enlightenment
  • Enlightened despotism
  • American and French Revolutions
  • Educational reform
  • Development of laissez faire capitalism
  • Individual primacy over primacy of the state
  • Propagation of liberal ideas
  • Reading revolution

50
Must Read Books of the Time
51
Questions to Consider
  • Who were the philosophes? 
  • How did Montesquieu use relativism in discussing
    governments?
  • What were the views of Paul d' Holbach?   Why did
    they shock many of his intellectual
    contemporaries?
  • Why could Rousseau be claimed as an intellectual
    soul mate of both the liberal strain and the
    despotic/totalitarian tendencies in Western
    political thinking?
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