The Enlightenment Modern European History and World History: Patterns of Interaction
The Important Timeline of the Enlightenment 1690 John Locke publishes the Essay Concerning Human Understanding and The Second Treatise of Government 1748 Montesquieu publishes The Spirit of the Laws 1751-1772 28 volumes of the Encyclopedia are published 1759 Voltaire publishes Candide 1762 Rousseau published Emile and the Social Contract
The Important Timeline of the Enlightenment 1764- CesareBeccaria publishes the Essay on Crimes and Punishments. 1776- Adam Smith publishes the Wealth of Nations 1795 Condorcet’s Progress of the Human Mind is published
The Enlightenment Also known as the Age of Reason Dominant intellectual movement of the 18th century The achievements of the Scientific Revolution (the ability of the human mind to penetrate the secrets of the physical universe) influenced the birth of this period. Philosophers admired Newton because he had used reason to explain the laws governing nature.
Scientific Rev and Enlightenment The difference between Scientific Revolution movers and the Enlightenment thinkers: The former used their intellectual powers to discover the natural laws that governed the operation of the physical universe. (Newton’s 3 laws of motion, Rene Descarte’scogito, ergo sum and Discourse Method 1637. The latter sought through reasoning to discover the natural laws that governed the affairs of human beings and human society.
Major Criticisms from the Enlightenment Thinkers The existing institutions of absolute monarchy. Proposed a broad range of reforms designed to eliminate abuses and to promote individual freedom. What is absolute monarchy?
Absolute Monarchy Absolute monarchs believed that all power within their state rested in their hands. GOAL: To control every aspect of society. Absolute monarchs believed in the “divine right” Monarchy was created by God and that the head of the monarchy acted as God’s representative on earth. Philip II and Louis XIV
Assignment Give me 5 examples of clothing that were used to convey or express power/authority. ½ crosswise
Two Views on Government Thomas Hobbes’s Social Contract and John Locke’s Natural Rights Both Hobbes and Locke experienced political turmoil of England early in the 1600s. Tell me if their conclusions about government and human nature differ from one another. If so, in what extent?
Hobbes’s Social Contract Leviathan (1651), Hobbes wrote of his horrors of the English Civil Way and began to conlude the following: Humans were naturally selfish and wicked. Without government to keep order, there would be “war of every man against every man.” Hobbe’s suggestion therefore is to escape such bleak life by giving up their rights to a strong leader. In exchange, they could gain law and order.
To Hobbes, the best government was one that had the “awesome” power of a sea monster (leviathan). Such government was an absolute monarchy which could impose order and demand.
John Locke and Natural Rights Held a more positive view of human nature. Believed that people could learn from experience and improve themselves. He also believed that people had the natural ability to govern their own affairs and to look after the welfare of society. He criticized absolute monarchy and favored the idea of self-government.
John Locke Argument: All people are born free and equal with three natural rights: LIFE LIBERTY PROPERTY
John Locke Sees the government to have the main purpose of protecting these rights. OLD IDEA: A monarch’s rule is justified by divine right. NEW IDEA: A government’s power comes from the consent of the people (governed).
Philosophes Enlightenment reached its height in France in 1700s. Paris – became the meeting place for people who wanted to discuss politics and ideas. Philosophes- social critics of this period in France. BELIEF: They could apply reason to all aspects of life.
FIVE IMPORTANT CONCEPTS THAT WERE FUNDAMENTALS OF THEIR PHILOSOPHY REASON Absence of intolerance, bigotry, prejudice. Truth be discovered through reason/ logical thinking. NATURE Referred to nature frequently What was natural was also good and reasonable. HAPPINESS Believed that a person who lived by nature’s laws would find happiness. Possible to find well-being on earth. PROGRESS Society and mankind could be perfected. LIBERTY Through reason all things could be set free.