Age of Enlightenment

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Age of Enlightenment

the period of intellectual ferment leading up to the French Revolution, which was distinguished by a fundamental questioning of traditional modes of thought and social organization, and sought to replace these with an exclusive reliance on human reason in determining social practices. Many thinkers and philosophers were associated with these developments, amongst them Voltaire (1694-1778), MONTESQUIEU, Holbach (1723-89), Helvétius (1715-71), Diderot (1713-84) and ROUSSEAU. Nor was the movement merely confined to France; it also embraced numerous other thinkers elsewhere, including members of the so-called SCOTTISH ENLIGHTENMENT, such as Adam FERGUSON and John MILLAR, whose work was especially sociological. Despite a common accord on the importance of reason in human affairs, major differences of view existed between thinkers: Voltaire popularized English liberal doctrines of NATURAL RIGHTS; Holbach and Helvétius took these doctrines further and argued for UTILITARIANISM and representative government; while Rousseau's concept of the SOCIAL CONTRACT led to holistic conceptions of state and society realized in the French Revolution. In retrospect, much Enlightenment thought is seen as superficial, lacking an adequate empirical research base, and above all overconfident about human PROGRESS and the ultimate triumph of Reason. However, the Enlightenment era signalled a final decisive break between traditional and modern thought, and between traditional and modern forms of social organization. See also COMTE, RATIONALISM, GRAND NARRATIVES.
References in periodicals archive ?
His immortal memory was touching, learned and sincere and it was a wee bit special as it was spoken in a language that has largely been lost following the period of Enlightenment.
Ali-Bey; the Abbe de Choisy; La monja Alferez) and does not limit himself to a focus on Spain, nor to examples from the period of Enlightenment.
In this definition are Europeans who mix this Christian heritage and the period of Enlightenment.
But young newcomers to this period of enlightenment think the chorus is actually: "This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus.
Above all, it needs to cleanse itself from nationalist preconceptions and restrictions that have accompanied and still accompany the nation-states, from the period of Enlightenment in the 17th century until today.
Starting with the period of Enlightenment in the 18th century, the presentation will focus mainly on the time around 1800, on tendencies of Salon Art, as well as on art around 1900 and after 1945.
In these modern times, and after that period of enlightenment known as the heroin lull, it's difficult to accept that our ancestors could be part of a plan so dastardly and so ruthlessly executed, and which brought misery to so many in the pursuit of profit.
Rangers were in fact credited with Souness being the start of the period of enlightenment which brought in Sir David Murray, Mo Johnston and a series of other signings and appointments which made the club more inclusive than it had been.
When the Meiji Emperor ascended to the throne in Japan in 1868, he ushered in a new period of enlightenment for the country.
During the reign of Charles III (1759-1788), Spain experienced a period of Enlightenment in nearly every aspect of human endeavor.
Jonathan Earl Carlyon's timely, and carefully researched, study makes a significant contribution to this positive process of desengano (awakening) to the vibrant intellectual life of Spain during its period of Enlightenment (1680-1760, according to Carlyon, who follows Pedro Alvarez de Miranda).
This period was known as the Dark Ages in much of the non-Muslim world; but for Muslims it was a period of enlightenment and progress.