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Chapter 8: The Age of Enlightenment


Chapter 8: The Age of Enlightenment Section 8.36 The Philosophes and Others Enlightenment Basic Premises Reason Progress All of mankind will eventually share in the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 8: The Age of Enlightenment

Chapter 8 The Age of Enlightenment
  • Section 8.36 The Philosophes and Others

Newtons Principia
Diderots Encyclopedie
Rousseaus Social Contract Emile
Adam Smiths Wealth of Nations
1687 1748 1751 1759 1762 1764 1776
Condorcet Maximilien Robespierre executed
Voltaires Candide
Montesquieus Spirit of Laws
Beccarias On Crime and Punishment
Basic Premises
  • Reason
  • Progress
  • All of mankind will eventually share in the
    benefits of reason
  • Natural/Universal laws
  • universe is governed by natural laws which are
  • scientific method
  • can unlock fundamental answer in all areas
  • In nature and in human mind
  • education
  • All humans can be taught to reason
  • Will infinitely improve it
  • past regarded dark barbaric
  • Religious toleration
  • Equality
  • Fair and equal legal system and tax
  • The main agency of progress was to be the state
  • Limited monarchy Montesquieu
  • Enlightened despotism Voltaire
  • Republican commonwealth Rousseau
  • Extremely skeptical of tradition
  • Rejected superstitions
  • rejected revealed religion
  • Deistic- God is a clockmaker

Reactionary Movement in Religion
  • Still a religious time
  • Congregations first sang Adeste Fideles (Oh Come
    All Ye Faithful)
  • Pietism movement stirred in Germany
  • stressed inner spiritual experience of ordinary
    person and quest for an inner light of the soul
  • John Wesley and Methodism
  • student at Oxford
  • Led prayer groups
  • Good works
  • Initiated religious revival in England
  • Methodists
  • Whitfield in the Americas
  • Preacher (Toured America)
  • Democratizing effect individual worth
  • Spawned the Great Awakening

The Philosophes
  • Leaders of the Enlightenment period
  • French for philosopher
  • Writers
  • not philosophers in the metaphysical sense
  • Were social, literary writers, critics, who
    discussed matters with each other
  • Diffused Enlightenment ideas

Philosphes Audience and Style
  • Literacy rising by mid 18th century
  • Literacy rates 47 men, 27 women
  • Approach any subject in a critical and inquiring
  • Through their writings they spread the ideas of
    the Enlightenment
  • Writers independent of aristocratic patrons
  • (grub-street writers) Freelancers that wrote for
    the public
  • Public opinion becomes important
  • Had to deal with Censorship
  • Metaphoric style

Paris The Epicenter
  • Paris
  • Epicenter of the enlightenment
  • Salon
  • held in the townhouses of the wealthy
  • usually conducted by women
  • Facilitated the exchange of ideas
  • Promoted the Republic of Letters
  • authors could introduce new works and engage in
    lively conversation among of rock stars

  • Compendium of scientific, technical, historical
  • 17 volumes (1751-1772)
  • a summation and means of diffusing the most
    recent knowledge in science, philosophy, and
  • meant to be read through and not used as a
  • all traditions must be examined
  • directly challenged the Church
  • helped spread Enlightenment ideas
  • distinguished list of contributors
  • Diderot (1713-1784)
  • Chief editor
  • had a materialistic philosophy
  • 25 thou sold before Rev.

Montesquieu (1689-1755)
  • Spirit of Laws (1748)
  • looked at the way environments and religious
    traditions influenced governments
  • forms of government varied according to climate
    and circumstances
  • empires worked in hot climates
  • democracy worked in small city-states
  • in spite of environmental handicaps gov. can
    imitate English system
  • Separate and balanced powers (executive,
    judicial, legislative)
  • Prevented arbitrary power by having a system of
    checks and balances
  • Balance of powers by dividing the jobs of
  • Executive, legislative, and judicial
  • Part of the noble resurgence that began about
  • Nobility would be the most powerful
  • technically a reactionary
  • A strong nobility to check power of absolute

Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet) (1694-1778)
  • greatest Philosophes
  • made French thinkers more practical, less
  • 1st to present a purely secular conception of
    world history
  • politically not a liberal or democrat
  • low opinion of humanity
  • Favored Enlightened Despotism (not quite
  • must fight against sloth, stupidity, keep clergy
    in place, freedom of religion/speech
  • but he had no developed political theory

Voltaires Social Views
  • ardent spokesman for civil liberties
  • Crush Infamy (Ecrasez linfame) he called for
    the eradication of all forms of repression,
    fanaticism, and bigotry
  • the individual who persecutes another because he
    is not of the same opinion is nothing less than a
  • I do not agree with a word you are saying, but I
    will defend to the death your right to say it.
  • Hated religious bigotry the most
  • It is forbidden to kill therefore all murders
    are punished unless they kill in large numbers
    and to the sound of trumpets.

Candide (1759)
  • Satire on Enlightenment (Optimists)
  • Written shortly after the Lisbon earthquake of
  • Rejects unquestioned optimism
  • Candide is lulled into false security that he is
    in the best of all possible worlds by his
    tutor, Dr. Pangloss and journeys throughout the
  • has one misfortune after another
  • Eldorado
  • a land that has no priests, law courts, or
    prisons but and a place of sciences and math
  • a rip on idea of perfectibility
  • Candide gets bored in Eldorado (being a restless
    mortal) and leaves
  • we must tend our garden

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
  • Promoted the idea of the noble savage
  • Civilization was the source of corruption
  • Only in a natural state could man live an
    uncorrupted existence
  • Considered an outsider who quarreled with other
  • Concerned with reforming society, diffusing
    useful knowledge, freedom
  • despised privilege believed that just and moral
    society could be created by crushing repressive
  • Nature over Reason
  • Considered the forerunner of the French
    Revolution, American Revolution, Communism (Pol
    Pot), Romanticism, and Totalitarianism
  • Had greatest influence on education and political

Origin of Inequality Among Men (1753)
  • Essay contest of Academy of Dijon
  • Has the progress of arts and sciences benefited
  • NO
  • Man in original state
  • Good
  • Amour de soi (good self love)
  • Agriculture led to concept of private property
  • Led man to judge others
  • Judgments led to the creation of laws
  • Man lost his freedom
  • Amour propre (conceit, vanity, self-love)

The Social Contract (1762)
  • Not a contract between a ruler and the ruled
  • An agreement among the people
  • Individuals surrendered their natural liberty to
    each other
  • This fused into the General Will
  • Rulings of the General Will were final and all
    agreed to accept them
  • The general will was the sovereign
  • Kings, officials, representatives were delegates
    of a sovereign people
  • Created a state in which all persons had a sense
    of membership
  • complimented Origins of Inequality Emile in
    creating a moral society
  • said in the state of nature man is born free
  • institution of private property led to owners
    creating instruments of repression (laws, police,

Emile (1762)
  • source of progressive education
  • maxim that first impulses of nature are always
  • insisted that children are not miniature adults
  • drilling and discipline not proper for them
  • learn by doing (experience)
  • book learning postponed until adolescence since
    books teach us only to talk about things we do
    not know
  • reason is last thing to develop and it is
    pointless to teach child to reason
  • education should create moral and useful citizens
  • women belong at home serving men
  • written as a how to in which Rousseau takes an
    imaginary boy (orphan) and raises him to adulthood

Condorcet (1743-1794) Faith in Progress
  • considered the last of the philosophes b/c his
    work was cut short by the Revolution
  • mathematician but known most for his belief in
  • thinkers of the 1600s regarded themselves modern
    and intellectually superior to the ancients
  • Progress of the Human Mind (1794) attested that
    the moderns were more advanced and unlimited
    progress lay ahead
  • predicted healthier society in which moment will
    comewhen tyrants and slaves will exist only in
    history or on the stage
  • Ironically he would be killed during the Terror

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)
  • Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-1788)
  • covers Roman and Byzantine history from Augustine
    to fall of Constantinople (1453)
  • says Empire was brought down by barbarian
    invasions, and Christianity
  • Christianity was worst calamity b/c the servile
    and pusillanimous reign of the monks debased and
    vitiated the faculties of the mind

Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794)
  • Milanese jurist who wrote On Crimes and
    Punishments (1764)
  • questioned the view that punishment represent the
    vengeance of society
  • said that punishment should serve as a deterrent
    and that leniency was best deterrent
  • opposed the death penalty
  • book translated into 12 languages and most
    European countries abolished torture (1800) and
    reserved death penalty for capital crimes,
    adopted imprisonment rather than maiming

Adam Smith (1723-1790)
  • Wealth of Nations (1776)
  • opposed mercantilism
  • gov. purpose should be limited to defense,
    internal security, give fair laws
  • innovations would come from private persons, not
    the state
  • proponent of free trade, free market
  • comparative advantage
  • individuals should be allowed to pursue their own
  • termed laissez-faire from French expression
    laissez-faire la nature (let nature run its
  • believed that like the law of gravity keeps
    planets in orbit the invisible hand of free
    market and competitive forces will balance out
    wealth for all
  • thought himself a champion of the poor
  • Natural laws of supply and demand
  • Required the mutual interaction of the
    enlightened self-interest of millions of people

Impact of Enlightenment
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