The Enlightenment stressed that Reason couldcure mankind of all past injustices. In such a new world a perfect society wasalmost insured. Through reason man could discover theNatural Laws that regulated society. Once that is done man can reach Progress thatwould guarantee human betterment.
Men can use theirpowers of reason to freethemselves of problems Reason for yourself. Rationality – thinkingthings through, actionwithout emotion
Scientific: The key players inthis were Descartes,Bacon, and Newton. Shows influence ofscientific thought
Sought to usemathematics as alanguage of universalprecision. Systematic Doubt:Question everything Logical analysis. Strict progression ofsynthesis. Tries to saveChristianity with logic
Newton’s Principia waspublished in Latin in 1687. Argues universe workedaccording to fixed naturallaws. He saw the world as agreat mechanical work ofGod. "Nature and NaturesLaws lay hid in night;God said, Let Newton be!-- And all was light."
Work of Newton, Bacon, Descartes, highlightsnatural laws, therefore God must work throughnatural laws. Religion, therefore should be rational No mysteries No superstitions No miracles Which church is this really aimed at?
Logical extent of rationalized religion. God is the creative force in the universe, deny“revealed religion” Mechanistic universe – God created universe,but is uninvolved in man’s affairs Therefore all Christian religions have it wrong
The intellectuals whoadopted this positionwere called Philosophes. Most, but not all wereFrench. Few were Philosophers inthe strict sense of theterm. The philosophes weresocial critics, publicists,political scientists,economists, and socialreformers.
Reason/Logic Rationalism Empiricism Tolerance Skepticism Deism Light ModernTradition/Superstition Nostalgia for the past Religion Irrationality Emotion Darkness Pre-modern/medieval
Philosophes critique French society andmonarchy In Politics, three main philosophes are Montesquieu Voltaire Rousseau Agriculture/Botany: Physiocrats
Debate about the world takes place within the publicsphere, at coffee houses & salons Written about in pamphlets, newspapers, broad sides Ideology of the Enlightenment comes to dominateEuropean Milieu