The Enlightenment in Europe

Analyze the ideas of Enlightenment philosophers and the impact of these ideas.

Women and the Enlightenment

The Enlightenment changed the face of education. The education of women simultaneously expanded in opportunity but critically degraded in quality. What is meant by this is that in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, education was available only to the wealthiest women, while education was available, in theory at least, to most men. But even with this, the education that these select women received was often fairly equivalent in content and quality to the best education available to men. Because the Enlightenment stressed the absolute importance of education for moral development and the ideal operation of society, education was extended to the women of the upper and middle classes. However, Enlightenment thinkers also believed that the intellectual disciplines, such as science and philosophy, were meant only for men. Therefore women were taught various skills that contribute to the moral development and the "display" quality of a wife: music, drawing, singing, painting, etc.

Women began their occupation as workers within the family economy at the age of six or seven .In agricultural communities, this meant, usually, light farm labor, and in an artisan's family, this meant taking part in the business itself Nevertheless, the new urban economies of pre-industrial Europe created low-level, low-wage jobs in various industries. For both men and women, this work was rough, harsh, brutal, and actually paid less than sustenance wages. While most women stayed within the family economy, several displaced women found themselves as the central labor force of pre-industrial industries

Erialbania Lopez

The Enlightenment was a period in which scholars had to doubt their religious beliefs in order to better understand the natural world and mankind. Many prominent thinkers arose during the 17th and 18th centuries that had become skeptical of the past beliefs and sought to disprove them. Among the many are the great minds of John Locke, Rene Descartes, Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, Voltaire, Montesquieu, and Rousseau. Each greatly contributed to the development of a rational and scientific approach to religious, social, economic, and political issues. They also advocated a secular view of the world and a broad sense of perfection and progress.
Genesis A. Landestoy

A Season Finale Smack-down, in an enlighted sort of way

Okay, so during the Enlightment we see all of these innovative and new ideas that would for always change the history of what today we call planet Earth. At this corner you can see a man with ideas of compromise between people and the government; with the social contract here we have Thomas Hobbes!!! At the other corner a man with the ideas of three natural rights which we are granted the moment in which we are born, life, liberty, and property, ladies and gentleman, John Locke!!!These two philosophers believed in two totally different and at the same time so interesting realities that when you read about them you just stay thinking things throughout. Hobbes believes teat men were born with the instinct of war, so in order to be in complete control, a ruthless ruler should be in charge, forming a social contract with his people. . Locke believed people were born with a good nature, with the rights of liberty and property, which the government had to protect, so he stated that people had the right to overthrow the government when it failed their needs. This is why I chose this two, they each had kind of a different perspective which if you analyze, were just two different truths. Hobbes talked about how we, human beings, act completely by instinct, that their true selves can’t just be controlled, how we need a really strong ruler to put us all in our place. Locke spoke about the ying to this yang, how we all are good by nature, and are free from the moment we come to this place we all call planet Earth. How we all should have the right to choose who we are represented with, who shall rule us. Obviously, if it doesn’t turn out the way it was planned to, you shall start all over again, having the right to overthrow the leader that has the total power. How was this possible you ask? That two different realities coexist together in harmony? Well, if you really think about it, you can classify these twp ideas as two different countries, they don’t have to necessarily to be ruled the same way, as in with the same government, but it still is a government, isn’t it? That some people prefer one than the other doesn’t mean that one is false and the other true, but that they are two distinct realities colliding with each other.

-Gaby H. (:
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Enlightenment philosophers and their ideas

The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, where thinkers tried to apply reason and scientific method to laws that shaped human actions. Two English writers stood out in this movement, they were Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Hobbes believed in that people should obey the government, forming a social contract. Locke thought the opposite of such thing, he thought that the government should grant certain rights to people. In this period there were the philosophes. The most brilliant one was the writer Voltaire, whom fought for tolerance, reason, freedom of religious belief, & freedom of speech. Baron de Montesquieu, another pronounced philosophe, wrote about the separation of powers. Another great philosophe was Jean Jaques Rousseau, he wrote in favor of human freedom. Cesare Beccaria on the other hand was and Italian philosophe.

Women also took a major role in the enlightenment movement. They wanted equal rights for both women and men. Some women would protest for the unfair situation, between them eas Mary Wollstonecraft. She stated “if all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?” Adding to such events, enlightenment thinkers helped spread the idea of progress. They also helped the world less religious and more wordly.
Gabriela Jimenez

by ely

Enlightenment Philosophers and their Impact throughout the World

When it comes to the fields of science and astronomy, the main characters are Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei who took the old, beloved “truths” of Aristotle and disproved them. Thinkers such as René Descartes and Francis Bacon revised the scientific method, setting the stage for Isaac Newton and his landmark discoveries in physics.From these discoveries emerged a system for observing the world and making testable hypotheses based on those observations. At the same time, however, scientists faced ever-increasing scorn and skepticism from people in the religious community, who felt threatened by science and its attempts to explain matters of faith. Nevertheless, the progressive, rebellious spirit of these scientists would inspire a century’s worth of thinkers.

The first major Enlightenment figure in England was Thomas Hobbes, who caused great controversy with the release of his provocative treatise Leviathan (1651). Taking a sociological perspective, Hobbes felt that by nature, people were self-serving and preoccupied with the gathering of a limited number of resources. A half century later, John Locke came into the picture, promoting the opposite type of government—a representative government—in his Two Treatises of Government (1690).The Baron de Montesquieu tackled politics by elaborating upon Locke's work, solidifying concepts such as the separation of power by means of divisions in government. Voltaire took a more caustic approach, choosing to incite social and political change by means of satire and criticism.Denis Diderot, unlike Montesquieu and Voltaire, had no revolutionary aspirations; he was interested merely in collecting as much knowledge as possible for his mammoth Encyclopédie.The Encyclopédie, which ultimately weighed in at thirty-five volumes, would go on to spread Enlightenment knowledge to other countries around the world. In reaction to the rather empirical philosophies of Voltaire and others, Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote The Social Contract (1762), a work championing a form of government based on small, direct democracy that directly reflects the will of the population.Thanks to these philosophers and their fruits, which were their revolutionary ideas, such important revolutions like the French and the American occured. Inspired by these thinkers, the Amercians dared to fight and give their lives for the following ideals - " life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ". › … › The Enlightenment (1650–1800)

The Philosophe and their Ideas

The European Enlightenment developed in part due to an energetic group of French thinkers who thrived in the middle of the eighteenth century: the philosophes. This group was a heterogenous mix of people who pursued a variety of intellectual interests: scientific, mechanical, literary, philosophical, and sociological. They were united by a few common themes: an unwavering doubt in the perfectibility of human beings, a fierce desire to dispel erroneous systems of thought (such as religion) and a dedication to systematizing the various intellectual disciplines.

The central ideas of the philosophe movement were:

  • Reason
  • Progress
  • Nature
  • Happiness
  • Liberty

Social and Cultural interpretation of the Enlightenment in Europe
In opposition to the intellectual historiographical approach of the Enlightenment, which examines the various currents, or discourses of intellectual thought within the European context during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the cultural (or social) approach examines the changes that occurred in European society and culture. Under this approach, the Enlightenment is less a collection of thought than a process of changing sociabilities and cultural practices – both the “content” and the processes by which this content was spread are now important. Roger Chartier describes it as follows:

"This movement [from the intellectual to the cultural/social] implies casting doubt on two ideas: first, that practices can be deduced from the discourses that authorize or justify them; second, that it is possible to translate the terms of an explicit ideology the latent meaning of social mechanisms."

One of the primary elements of the cultural interpretation of the Enlightenment is the rise of the public sphere in Europe. The social conditions required for Enlightenment ideas to be spread and discussed.
-Kenny R. Gomez

Well the Enlightenment was the new movement that stressed reason and thought and the power of individuals to solve problems. Many philosophers participated in this movement for example John Locke. He changed many minds in the way he thought he believed that people could learn from experience and improve themselves. He criticized absolute monarchy and favored the idea of self-government. There was also Voltaire that published more then 70 books of political essays, philosophy, and drama. He made frequent targets of the clergy, the aristocracy, and the government. Also Montesquieu he devoted himself to the study of political liberty, he believed that Britain was the best-governed and most politically balance country of its time. Another Philosophe was Rousseau he believed in the natural goodness of man; that humans were corrupted by the greed and competition of civilization. He believed in a social utopia, of humans returning to natural harmony, being made free of vices and sharing a natural equality and a general will.

Jonathan Vargas

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