The enlightenment of 18th century thinkers

The collaborative nature of the project, especially in the context of state opposition, contributes significantly to the formation of a shared sense of purpose among the wide variety of intellectuals who belong to the French Enlightenment.

He also contributed to a diverse array of other fields, including history, geometry, the physics of gases, theology, ethics, and general philosophy.

Prior to the Enlightenment in the West, ethical reflection begins from and orients itself around religious doctrines concerning God and the afterlife. Samuel Clarke, an influential rationalist British thinker early in the Enlightenment, undertakes to show in his Discourse concerning the Unchangeable Obligations of Natural Religionagainst Hobbes, that the absolute difference between moral good and moral evil lies in the immediately discernible nature of things, independently of any compacts or positive legislation by God or human beings.

However, there was a countermovement that followed the Enlightenment in the late 18th and midth centuries— Romanticism. When the government exceeds the boundaries set in place by the people, it is the mission of the people to abolish such government, and begin anew.

enlightenment ideas

In common with other philosophers of the day, Rousseau looked to a hypothetical state of nature as a normative guide. Not only it is superficial, but also it harms the inner world of the human nature. At the same time, he espouses deism, tolerance, and freedom of the press.

He soon became an honorary member of many foreign academies and philosophic societies, but his political ideas, particularly that of radical democracy, were criticized heavily in the English-speaking world, most notably by John Adams.

Despite advocating the idea of absolutism of the sovereign, he developed some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought. The Enlightenment Movement in France is a synthesis of the Cartesian philosophy of the mechanistic understanding of nature and the British Empiricism.

Montesquieu spent around 21 years researching and writing The Spirit of the Laws, covering many things, including the law, social life, and the study of anthropology, and providing more than 3, commendations. The civil freedom that Locke defines, as something protected by the force of political laws, comes increasingly to be interpreted as the freedom to trade, to exchange without the interference of governmental regulation.

enlightenment art

Englishmen who were influential in the Enlightenment include Thomas Hobbes and John Locke

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The Enlightenment period (article)