A discussion of the history in the Enlightenment era

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A discussion of the history in the Enlightenment era

Postby nil on Wed May 25, 2005 7:56 am

The Age of Enlightenment refers to the 18th century in European philosophy, and is often thought of as part of a larger period which includes the Age of Reason.

The term also more specifically refers to an intellectual movement, "The Enlightenment," which is described as being the use of rationality to establish an authoritative ethics, aesthetics, and knowledge. This movement's leaders viewed themselves as a courageous, elite body of intellectuals who were leading the world toward progress, out of a long period of irrationality, superstition, and tyranny which began during a historical period they called the "Dark Ages". This movement provided a framework for the American and French Revolutions, as well as the rise of capitalism and the birth of socialism. It is matched by the high baroque era in music, and the neo-classical period in the arts.

Another important movement in 18th century philosophy, closely related to it, was a focus on belief and piety. Often rationalism was used to demonstrate the existence of a supreme being. Piety and belief were an integral part of the exploration of natural philosophy and ethics as well as political theories of the age. At the same time, prominent Enlightenment philosophers such as Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau questioned and attacked existing institutions of both Church and State.

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Postby Pixyboo on Tue Feb 28, 2006 4:34 pm

Wayyyyyyyyyyyy too heavy nil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby hamster on Wed Mar 01, 2006 3:26 pm

Ah, but that's what this page is for!

Just read it again, a little more slowly. I think you'll get it. Knowing about the Enlightenment is the first step in knowing how our modern Western society was formed, which should be the goal of any educated person.

It's like knowing about your parent's childhood helps you to understand who they are today, what they may be like tomorrow and even something about who YOU are.

If you know where something came from, you're better equipped to know where it might go and to help guide it there ...

... which as a citizen of whatever country you live in, will be your responsibility in a few years.
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