AP Enlightenment Politics & Philosophy


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  • The empiricists believed that knowledge is acquired through experience alone, but the rationalists maintained that such knowledge is open to Cartesian doubt and that reason alone provides us with knowledge. Using reason without applying it to experience will only lead to illusions, while experience will be purely subjective without first being included under pure reason
  • Last words…surrounded by priests an others, he was asked to renounce the devil, to which Voltaire replied “Now is not the time to be making new enemies.” His last words were, “For God’s sake, let me die in peace!”
  • AP Enlightenment Politics & Philosophy

    1. 1. The Enlightenment Politics & Philosophy
    2. 2. Political Enlightenment
    3. 3. Three Themes in the Political Realm <ul><li>Property </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Central feature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gives an individual a stake in society </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Every individual is entitled to basic rights simply because they exist </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Law </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That which makes 1 & 2 work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guarantees property & rights </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Political Philosophes
    5. 5. John Locke 1632-1704 <ul><li>Two Treatises of Civil Government (1690) </li></ul>
    6. 6. Locke’s Philosophy <ul><li>Individual must become a “rational creature” </li></ul><ul><li>Virtue can be learned & practiced </li></ul><ul><li>Human beings possess free will </li></ul><ul><ul><li>should be prepared for freedom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>obedience should be out of conviction, not fear </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Locke’s Philosophy (cont.) <ul><li>Legislators owe power to a contract with the people </li></ul><ul><li>Neither kings nor wealth are divinely ordained </li></ul><ul><li>There are certain natural rights that are endowed by God to all human beings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Life, liberty, & property </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Favored a republic </li></ul>
    8. 8. Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) <ul><li>Spirit of the Law ( 1748) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Countries are well-cultivated, not as they are fertile, but as they are free.” </li></ul>
    9. 9. Montesquieu’s Philosophy <ul><li>England’s government = model: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The separation of powers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Executive Power = King </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Legislative Power = Parliament </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Judicial Power = Courts </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Checks & balances </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Monarchs should be subject to constitutional limits on their power </li></ul>
    10. 10. Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1712-1778 <ul><li>The Social Contract (1762) </li></ul>
    11. 11. Rousseau’s Philosophy <ul><ul><li>Tabula Rasa (blank slate) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best traits of human character are products of nature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Society corrupts people, therefore, we must fix society </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Rousseau (cont.) <ul><li>The Social Contract: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>right kind of political order could make people truly moral & free </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual moral freedom  achieved only by learning to subject one’s individual interests to the “General Will” </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Rousseau - Social Contract (cont.) <ul><ul><li>Individuals could do this by entering into a social contract - not w/ their rulers, but w/ each other </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This social contract was derived from human nature -NOT from history, tradition, or the Bible </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People = most free & moral under a republican form of government with a direct democracy </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Philosophical Enlightenment
    15. 15. Marquis de Condorcet 1743-1794 <ul><li>Progress of the Human Mind (1794) </li></ul>
    16. 16. Condorcet’s Philosophy <ul><li>Expectation of universal happiness </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals guided by reason could enjoy true independence </li></ul><ul><li>Advocated: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free & equal education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constitutionalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Equal rights for women </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Immanuel Kant 1724-1804 <ul><li>Critique of Pure Reason (1781) </li></ul>
    18. 18. Kant’s Philosophy <ul><li>Investigated the structure & limitations of reason </li></ul><ul><li>Created a compromise between empiricists & rationalists (experience + reason = Enlightenment) </li></ul>
    19. 19. Denis Diderot 1713-1784 <ul><li>The Encyclopedia (1751) </li></ul><ul><li>(coauthor: Jean le Rond d’Alembert) </li></ul>
    20. 20. Diderot’s Encyclopédie <ul><li>Complete cycle of knowledge that changed the general way of thinking </li></ul><ul><li>28 volumes </li></ul><ul><li>Alphabetical, cross-referenced, illustrated </li></ul>
    21. 23. Voltaire 1694-1778 <ul><li>François Marie Arouet </li></ul><ul><li>Candide (1759) </li></ul><ul><li>Known for sharp wit that was often critical of the church and state </li></ul>
    22. 24. Voltaire (cont.) <ul><li>Wrote plays, novels, poetry, essays, & letters </li></ul><ul><li>Fierce defender of civil liberties, especially: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Religious freedom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free trade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom of speech </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spent time imprisoned in the Bastille </li></ul>
    23. 25. Voltaire’s Words of Wisdom <ul><li>“ Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Love truth and pardon error.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Judge a man by his questions, rather than by his answers.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right </li></ul><ul><li>“ Men are equal; it is not birth, but virtue that makes the difference.” </li></ul>
    24. 26. Voltaire (cont.) <ul><li>Life (video) </li></ul><ul><li>Last words </li></ul>