Chapter 18 The Age of Enlightenment

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					Chapter 18:The Age of Enlightenment
 Influenced   by intellectual, political, and social
 Shared the Sci-Revo’s emphasis on reason
  and faith in progress, but focused its attention
  on more than just exploring nature: society and
  government could also be improved by
 Enlightenment political thought criticized the
  assumptions of and justifications for Absolutist
  The Enlightenment
• Applied reason to politics
and society
• Must understand nature to
understand human beings
• Human problems could
be solved through rational
thought and criticism
• By using reason,
pathways could be found
for human advancement
• The Enlightenment sparked debate over the
place of religion in society, and of God in the
• Most Enlightenment philosophes rejected
 traditional Christianity, believing it an impediment
to human advancement, and a legacy of the Dark
Ages in Europe
• Few philosophes were atheists; most
advocated a form of worship known as Deism
• Deists believed that God created the world and
acted in it according to the natural laws that He
set up at the beginning of time.
•Enlightenment intellectuals championed
                Philosophes

 Writers   and critics who advocated change and
 Middle-class professionals
 Fundamental principle: reforming society for
  the sake of human liberty
 Supported expansion of trade
 Admired Britain’s religious toleration, liberal
  government, and stability
 Traditional views on women
 Spoke with two voices regarding Islam
As a result of the
Enlightenment, a spirit of
improvement and innovation
characterized modern Europe
and Western society
          John Locke
Tabula Rasa (Blank Slate)
 One’s personality is the portrait of
  external sensations (environment)
 Human nature is changeable and
  can be molded by the environment
 Human improvement was possible
   - Were not permanently flawed by
  sin                              H
   - Could take charge of their own
 Locke   and Newton were the
  intellectual forerunners of the
 Newton: Nature was rational
 Encouraged Europeans to approach
  the study of nature directly avoiding
  metaphysics and supernaturalism
            Denis Diderot (1713-1784)
   Encyclopedia: The Rational Dictionary of the
          Sciences, Arts, and the Crafts
 Intolerance, legal injustice and
  archaic social institutions were
 Spread the ideas of the Scientific
  Revolution and the Enlightenment
 Became a weapon of the
  philosophes in their crusade
  against the old French society
                    Scottish philosopher
Hume (1711-1776)
                    The human mind is
                     nothing but a bundle of
                    It makes sense to
                     inquire into the origins
                     of our ideas by asking
                     from which impressions
                     they are derived.
                    Even facts offer no
                     dependable knowledge.
                    Thus, beginning with
                     skepticism is the only
                     logical way to proceed.
    Moses Mendelssohn
On the Immortality of the Soul
    Urged   religious toleration
    Reason could compliment
    The human soul lives forever
    Activist against the
     oppression of his fellow
    The Jewish Socrates
 Baruch Spinoza’s teachings
  portrayed the world as finite
  and subject to control by the
  human spirit
 Defended political toleration of
  alternative religious practices.
 I have made a ceaseless effort
  not to ridicule, not to bewail, not
  to scorn human actions, but to
 Be not astonished at new ideas;
  for it is well known to you that a
  thing does not therefore cease to
  be true because it is not
  accepted by many.
          Social Contract
 The social contract is an agreement
  on the part of an entire society to by
  governed by its general will
 The general will reflects the common
  interests of all the people
 Each person willingly surrenders
  some of their natural liberty to the
  community in order to gain protection
  and security.
 Government is evil, but a necessary
 Liberty is achieved through
  being forced to follow what is
  best for all
 What is best for all is best
  for each individual
 Criticized philosophes as
  caring more about material
  wealth than virtue and
 Wrote Emile, the most
  Enlightenment book on
 Beccaria    became an
  influential writer after his
  On Crimes and
  Punishments was
 Attacked capital
  punishment and torture
 Purpose of laws: Greatest
  good for the greatest
 Happy is the nation without
  a history
             Salons of France

 Philosophes, nobles and bourgeoisie discussed
  politics, religion, philosophy
 Organized by women
 Spread the ideas of the Enlightenment, paving the
  way for the French Revolution
            Madame Geoffrin

 Madames  Geoffrin,
 Roland and Julie
 Lespinasse were the
 leading salonierres

 Patron   of Diderot
   Another leading
Julie de Lespinasse
      Most popular salonierre in Paris
      Supporter of Diderot’s
      Writer of philosophy and science
       and volumes of passionate
      You    know that when I hate
         you, it is because I love you
         to a point of passion that
         unhinges my soul.
                     Adam Smith
 Harmony and progress would result from the pursuit of
  self-interest in a competitive market.
 Mercantilism segues into Capitalism
• Wealth of Nations established the basis for modern
 An invisible hand of free competition would discipline
  the greed of selfish individuals and provide the most
  effective means of increasing the wealth of all classes
 Laissez-faire: (leave it alone) A limited role for the
  government in a nation’s economy
 Full exploitation of nature for the good of humankind
         Quotes of Adam Smith
 Consumption is the sole purpose of all production

 The rich divide with the poor the produce of all their
  improvements. They are led by an invisible hand to
  make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries
  of life which would have been made, had the earth
  been divided into equal proportions among all its
•The monopolists, by keeping the market
  constantly under-stocked, by never fully
  supplying the effectual demand, sell their
  commodities much above the natural price.

No society can surely be flourishing and happy,
 of which the far greater part of the members are
 poor and miserable.
          Persian Letters (1721)
         Spirit of the Laws (1748)

 Attacked cruelty  and superstition in
  society, in particular the Catholic
  church and the French monarchy.
 Separation of powers/checks and
  balances prevented tyranny in
 Admired the English constitution
 A conservative
 Advocated monarchy balanced by a
  reformed aristocracy
Voltaire: Philosophic Letters (1733)

            Appealed    for better
             individuals and institutions
            Criticized many of the ills
             oppressing France:
               royal absolutism

               lack of religious toleration

               freedom of thought
Voltaire: Treatise on Toleration (1763)

                All men are brothers
                 under God.
                Famous Quote:
                “ Crush the infamous
                The best one could hope
                 for in government was
                 an enlightened ruler
           Women and the Enlightenment
 New intellectual vistas for European women
 • Provoked strong opposition from male
 In Emile (1762) Rousseau, argued that women
  (and men) would be happiest if women retained
  their traditional roles.
 Women should be educated so far as it was
  necessary to fulfill the job of adorning a
  husband, but not given instruction in science or
Mary Wollstonecraft
   First modern feminist
   A Vindication of the Rights
    of Women
   Founded the first school for
    girls in Great Britain
   Mother of Mary Shelley, author
    of Frankenstein
   Endured harsh criticism in
    England for her advocacy of
    women’s rights
   Died during childbirth
A  desperate disease
  requires a powerful
 The inclusion of women
  as equals would make a
  stronger society, more
  balanced, less
 Advocated for gender
  equality in all areas of
  society, but particularly
 Accused Rousseau of
  trying to narrow
  women’s vision and
  limit their experience
 Women were the
  victims of male
 Denying education to
  women would impede
  the progress of
Enlightened Absolutism
 Enlightened Absolutism
 Described   the rulers who
  embraced the reforms of
  the philosophes
 Monarchial government
  dedicated to the rational
  strengthening of absolutist
 Was neither enlightened
  nor truly absolute in its
  exercise of royal power
“Enlightened” Absolutism
          Joseph   II of Austria
          Religious toleration
          Tried to increase the
           power of the central
          Unsuccessful with the
          Abolished the robot,
           services due the
           landlord from the
          The End!
Viva’ la French Revolution!

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