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.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
Catering to the city's elite, it hosted writers, poets and thinkers of the Enlightenment period. It's now been taken over by InterContinental who have unleashed a glamorous makeover.
From Scottish merchants trading with Hamburg, to the influence of Goethe on 19th century philosophers like Thomas Carlyle, and our endeavours through the Enlightenment period, ours is a shared history.
In European history, the Enlightenment Period helped question everyone's views of the world which were based on religious faith, magical superstition, custom and tradition.
In the last quarter of this century, there emerged enlightened Iranian thinkers such as Mirza Fath-Ali Akhundzade, Mirza Aqa Khan Kermani, Mirza Malkam Khan, who were inspired by the Enlightenment period that followed the French Revolution.
This impulse that begins with Villaroel extends into the Enlightenment period.
In an article "Enlightenment and Reason" published in Journal of Philosophy, it is argued that, "it is no accident that the Enlightenment period, roughly the eighteenth century, is widely known as the Age of Reason.
For instance, I thought his understanding of the Trinitarian debates of the early Enlightenment period were inaccurate in certain respects.
They shed light on the history of news, newspapers, news outlets, and the historiography of the news during the Enlightenment period. One section centers on issues of using archives, with discussion of the digitization of the Burney Newspaper Collection.
Today, perhaps since the Enlightenment period as the church has struggled to continue in its Christendom mode, it often bends over backwards to reflect the dominant or popular culture even when it is blatantly non-biblical.
As a researcher of climate history as well as climate research history, he examines the developments from the Enlightenment period to the present day.
The Enlightenment explores advances in science, art, and medicine during the Enlightenment period as well as the Enlightenment as a cause of the American Revolution.