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Enlightenment Society & Politics



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  • 1. The Enlightenment
    Politics & Philosophy
  • 2. Bell Ringer
    In your notebooks, answer:
    What was the Enlightenment?
    How did the SR impact the Enlightenment?
  • 3. Political Enlightenment
  • 4. Three Themes in the Political Realm
    • Central feature
    • 5. Gives an individual a stake in society
    • Every individual is entitled to basic rights simply because they exist
    • That which makes 1 & 2 work
    • 6. Guarantees property & rights
  • Political Philosophes
  • 7. John Locke1632-1704
    Most influential writing was “Two Treatises of Civil Government” written in 1690
  • 8. Locke’s Philosophy
    The individual must become a “rational creature”
    Virtue can be learned & practiced
    Human beings possess free will
    • They should be prepared for freedom
    • 9. Obedience should be out of conviction, not fear
  • Locke’s Philosophy (cont.)
    Legislators owe their power to a contract with the people
    Neither kings nor wealth are divinely ordained
    There are certain natural rights that are endowed by God to all human beings
    • Life, liberty, & property
    Favored a republic
  • 10. Baron de Montesquieu(1689-1755)
    Most influential writing was “Spirit of the Laws” written in 1748
    “Countries are well-cultivated, not as they are fertile, but as they are free.”
  • 11. Montesquieu’s Philosophy
    • Used England’s government as a model for:
    • 12. The separation of powers
    • 13. Executive Power = King
    • 14. Legislative Power = Parliament
    • 15. Judicial Power = Courts
    • 16. Checks & balances
    • 17. Monarchs should be subject to constitutional limits on their power
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau1712-1778
    Most influential writing was “The Social Contract” written in 1762
  • 18. Rousseau’s Philosophy
    • Tabula Rasa (blank slate)
    • 19. Best traits of human character are products of nature
    • 20. Society corrupts people, therefore, we must fix society
  • Rousseau (cont.)
    In The Social Contract:
    • The right kind of political order could make people truly moral & free
    • 21. Individual moral freedom could be achieved only by learning to subject one’s individual interests to the “General Will”
  • Rousseau - Social Contract (cont.)
    • Individuals could do this by entering into a social contract - not with their rulers, but with each other
    • 22. This social contract was derived from human nature -NOT from history, tradition, or the Bible
    • 23. People = most free & moral under a republican form of government with a direct democracy
  • Philosophical Enlightenment
  • 24. Marquis de Condorcet1743-1794
    Most influential writing: Progress of the Human Mind (1794)
  • 25. Condorcet’s Philosophy
    Expectation of universal happiness
    Every individual guided by reason could enjoy true independence
    • Free & equal education
    • 26. Constitutionalism
    • 27. Equal rights for women
  • Immanuel Kant1724-1804
    Most influential work:
    Critique of Pure Reason (1781)
  • 28. Kant’s Philosophy
    Investigated the structure & limitations of reason
    Believed he created a compromise between the empiricists and the rationalists (reason + experience = Enlightenment)
  • 29. Denis Diderot1713-1784
    Most influential writing:
    The Encyclopedia (1751)
    (coauthor: Jean le Rond d’Alembert)
  • 30. Diderot’s Encyclopédie
    Complete cycle of knowledge that changed the general way of thinking
    28 volumes
    Alphabetical, cross-referenced, illustrated
  • 31.
  • 32.
  • 33. Voltaire1694-1778
    François Marie Arouet
    Most famous book: Candide (1759)
    Known for sharp wit that was often critical of the church and state
  • 34. Voltaire (cont.)
    Wrote plays, novels, poetry, essays, & letters
    Fierce defender of civil liberties, especially:
    • Religious freedom
    • 35. Free trade
    • 36. Freedom of speech
    Spent time imprisoned in the Bastille
  • 37. Voltaire (cont.)
    Life (video)
    Last words
  • 38. Words of Wisdom from Voltaire
    Each group will get a quote from Voltaire
    Your job is to:
    • Discuss the quote & figure out what Voltaire meant
    • 39. Offer to the class your group’s interpretation of Voltaire’s wisdom & how it relates to the Enlightenment
  • Homework
    Worksheet: Rousseau’s The Social Contract
    Due next class period