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The enlightenment

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The enlightenment

  1. 1. If it is now asked, "Do we presently live in an enlightened age?" the answer is, "No, but we do live in an AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT." - “What is Enlightenment?” Immanuel Kant, 1784
  2. 2. The Enlightenment • Philosophical counterpart to the Scientific Revolution • Mid-1700s centered in France but through Europe and to Americas • Influenced the American Revolution (1775-1783) which in turn influenced the French Revolution (1789-1815)
  3. 3. Newtonian Cosmology • Newton’s mechanical clock- like model of the universe led scientists to believe all things in Nature behave in a rational, predictable manner that could be explained mathematically. • If reason explained Nature, Enlightenment philosophers believed it could also explain human nature.
  4. 4. Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity [which is the] inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another. - “What is Enlightenment?” Immanuel Kant, 1784
  5. 5. Enlightenment philosophers, called philosophes, believed humanity could be changed for the better through never-ending progress guided by human reason. Philosophes • studied the social contract • identified natural rights • questioned social inequality • espoused egalitarianism • wanted reformed government • desired legal equality and fair justice • promoted science • sought human progress through education • encouraged religious tolerance
  6. 6. • Enlightenment  new political, religious, and economic theories • Scientific principles were applied to resolving social problems and organizing social institutions. • Political theorists questioned belief in the divine right of kings and challenged political authorities with new theories based on the natural rights of man and the right to rule coming from the consent of the governed. • Theories of natural religion and religious toleration challenged religious establishments. • Economists questioned state-controlled mercantilism and argued for free market capitalism.
  7. 7. Literate Public • The Enlightenment was possible because of increased literacy. • Printing  widely available texts on religion, history, science, and literature • 1600s: Over 500,000 books published • 1605: First newspaper published • 1663: First literary periodical published • 1700s: Nearly one million books published • Political censorship was widespread, especially in France. Sweden (1766) and Denmark-Norway (1770) were first to guarantee freedom of the press.
  8. 8. Literate Public • Increased literacy  public opinion • General public = educated elites • The people = illiterate masses Above: High class aristocratic public Left: Low-class masses of people
  9. 9. “Must Read” Books of the Time
  10. 10. Dare to know! "Have courage to use your own understanding!"-- that is the motto of enlightenment. - “What is Enlightenment?” Immanuel Kant, 1784
  11. 11. Enlightenment Institutions • Salons were polite social gatherings hosted by women to share and discuss ideas including the proper social role of women. Madame Geoffrin and Madame Necker hosted salons. Madame Geoffrin’s SalonMadame Geoffrin (1699-1777)
  12. 12. Enlightenment Institutions • Salons were polite social gatherings hosted by women to share and discuss ideas including the proper social role of women. Salon in Paris Mademoiselle Julie de Lespinasse (1732-1776) Madame Suzanne Necker (1739-1794)
  13. 13. Enlightenment Institutions • Coffeehouses in England were centers of stimulating political discussion “where you have the right to read all the papers for and against the government.”
  14. 14. Enlightenment Institutions • Coffeehouses in England were centers of stimulating political discussion “where you have the right to read all the papers for and against the government.”
  15. 15. Enlightenment Institutions • Academies of art, literature, language, science, military proliferated
  16. 16. Zoology & Biology A dissection at the Royal Academy, London.
  17. 17. Chemistry Labs & Botany Gardens
  18. 18. Natural History Collections ► Cocoa plant drawing. ► Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753). ► Collected from Jamaica.
  19. 19. Natural History Collections James Petiver’s Beetles (London apothecary)
  20. 20. Private Collections The Origins of Modern Museums
  21. 21. Enlightenment Institutions • Lending libraries disseminated knowledge
  22. 22. Nothing is required for this enlightenment, however, except freedom; and the freedom in question is the least harmful of all, namely, the freedom to use reason publicly in all matters. - “What is Enlightenment?” Immanuel Kant, 1784
  23. 23. The Social Contract - Thomas Hobbes • Leviathan (1651): State of nature before formation of human societies was "continual fear and violent death" and "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." • Defended absolutism but opposed divine right. • The state receives absolute sovereignty from social contract rather than God. • Individuals surrender personal liberty to the state in return for collective security.
  24. 24. The Social Contract - Thomas Hobbes • Leviathan (1651) reflected the results of the English Civil War (1642-1651) by opposing divine right but defending absolutism. • King Charles I, defender of divine right, was succeeded by the republican Commonwealth which acted as a military dictatorship under Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. • The state receives absolute sovereignty from the social contract of individuals surrendering rights in exchange for security.
  25. 25. The Social Contract - John Locke • Two Treatises of Government (1689): Humanity is a natural tabula rasa (blank slate) whose good or bad behavior mirrors its treatment. • State sovereignty is received from the consent of the governed. • Individual rights are not surrendered in the social contract.
  26. 26. The Social Contract - John Locke • The role of the state is preservation of natural rights to life, liberty, and estate (private property). • If the state fails, citizens are entitled to revolt.
  27. 27. The Social Contract - John Locke • Reflects results of English Glorious Revolution (1688) in which Catholic King James II was overthrown at behest of Protestant Parliamentary leaders. William III and Mary II then signed the English Bill of Rights (1689) limiting monarchial power and guaranteeing individual rights. • Heavily influenced the American Declaration of Independence.
  28. 28. The Social Contract - Jean-Jacques Rousseau • The Social Contract (1762): Argues for small, direct democracies in which state authority is derived from popular sovereignty and reflects the general will of the people. • Rousseau advocated education to develop character and moral virtue through the use of reason.
  29. 29. The Social Contract - Jean-Jacques Rousseau • Rousseau heavily influenced Jacobin phase of French Revolution, and later, totalitarian regimes that claimed to represent the general will, including the German Nazis and Soviet Communists.
  30. 30. The Free Market • Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776) was anti-mercantilism manifesto. • Smith argued for laissez-faire free market capitalism guided by an “invisible hand” and value- added wealth creation.
  31. 31. Natural Religion • British John Toland developed Deism which rejected Christian revelation and used reason and observation to support the existence of a divine being in Christianity Not Mysterious (1694).
  32. 32. Natural Religion • Matthias Knutzen published first atheist pamphlets (1673). • Baron d'Holbach wrote the atheist Christianity Unveiled (1766) and System of Nature (1770).
  33. 33. Natural Religion • John Wesley founded Methodism (1738) emphasizing missionary service and rejecting the limited salvation of Calvinism.
  34. 34. Natural Religion • Pierre Bayle was skeptical of many philosophies and called for religious toleration in Historical and Critical Dictionary (1697).
  35. 35. Religious Toleration • The Dutch tolerated Jews, Catholics, others for sake of commerce. • “No opinion is worth burning your neighbor for.” – Voltaire • Revolutionary France emancipated Jews (1791) granting equality and citizenship.
  36. 36. Baron de Montesquieu • Critiqued French society, Christian practices in Persian Letters (1721). • Spirit of the Laws (1748) called for constitutional government with separation of executive, legislative, judicial powers and due process of law including fair trial, presumption of innocence; freedom of thought, speech, and assembly; and an end to slavery. • Heavily influenced the US Constitution.
  37. 37. Denis Diderot and Jean-Baptiste d’Alembert • Edited Encyclopédie (1751-72) promoting Enlightenment thought by rationally organizing all knowledge as branches of History, Philosophy, or Poetry.
  38. 38. Pages from Diderot’s Encyclopedie
  39. 39. Pages from Diderot’s Encyclopedie
  40. 40. Pages from Diderot’s Encyclopedie
  41. 41. Voltaire • Prolific author of Candide (1759), used satire to critique the Catholic Church, justice systems, slavery, war, and ignorance. • Advocated freedom of expression and religious toleration.
  42. 42. Voltaire’s “Wisdom” ► “ Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do. ” ► “ God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. ” ► “ If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. ” ► “ It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. ” ► “ Love truth and pardon error. ” ► “ Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers. ” ► “ Men are equal; it is not birth, but virtue that makes the difference. ” ► “ Prejudice is opinion without judgment. ” ► “ The way to become boring is to say everything. ” ► “ I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. ”
  43. 43. Jean-Jacques Rousseau • Saw uneven distribution of private property as source of all Inequality (1755). • Criticized progress unchecked by civic morality and duty. Decried decedent, corrupt civilization and praised noble savages.
  44. 44. Jean-Jacques Rousseau • Emile, or On Education (1762) explored the character and moral development necessary to be virtuous in an imperfect society. • The Social Contract (1762) argues state authority is derived from popular sovereignty and should reflect the general will of the people. • Heavily influenced the French Revolution.
  45. 45. Cesare Beccaria • Condemned torture and the death penalty in On Crimes and Punishments (1764).
  46. 46. Political Role of Women • Olympe de Gouges wrote Declaration of the Rights of Woman (1791) after failure of French Revolution to address gender equality.
  47. 47. Political Role of Women • Mary Wollstonecraft penned the early feminist treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) arguing for equal rights, education.