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 ?
The social history of intellectuals from the medieval period through to the enlightenment era and to contemporary times shows that in virtually all the political struggles, the intellectuals and professionals have no hiding place.
According to the authors, the Islamic world had experienced an Enlightenment era, which was interrupted by the conservative revolution led by Abu-Hamid al-Ghazali.
After the Enlightenment Era, we are supposed to have become more educated about these matters.
led clampdown, it's worth reflecting on some other panic-induced milestones on this road from Enlightenment Era financial freedom to 21st century subjugation.
Atheist thought, of course, originated with the philosophers of Ancient Greece (if not before) and secularism reached its initial flowering in the Enlightenment era, following hard on the heels of humanist philosophies of the Renaissance.
First, the book is erudite; he is remarkably well acquainted with the topic, from the writings of the ancient Greeks to the arguments of medieval Arab philosophers, from the skeptics of the Enlightenment era to the champions of a vigorous theism among twenty-first-century evangelicalism.
This book covers his challenges to the then dominant Christianity and influence in bringing it into the Enlightenment era.
The Enlightenment Vision: Science, Reason, and the Promise of a Better Future offers insights into how modern society benefits from ideas that stemmed from the Enlightenment era of the 17th and 18th centuries, and provides close connections between modern society and technology and their Enlightenment-based principles and origins.
Johnson's life embodied the early Enlightenment era, where the pivotal conflict of his day played out literally in body and soul.
His writings influenced many military theorists and practitioners of the Enlightenment era, such as Maurice de Saxe, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon Bonaparte I (1769-1821).
The problem here has existed since the Enlightenment era and the positivist ethos which propagated that mere technologies would allow us to get rid of medical problems, alleviate manual labor by the invention of robots or make the political process as predictable as mathematics.
The foundation of convents for indigenous women during the Siglo de las Luces, which was facilitated by Enlightenment era preoccupations and the Bourbon Reforms, can also be viewed in relation to native agency: "[.