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 ?
Summary: When modernity was sending out its first rays of thought in the Enlightenment Age, thinker Thomas Hobbes wrote speculatively that the natural state of man is "war of all against all.
And he quoted a famous English thinker from the Golden Enlightenment Age, Francis Bacon who said:Wise men make more opportunities than they find This rings true for IP.
It was also the birthplace of the Lunar Society and a hub for meetings of great thinkers of the Enlightenment age.
In fact, events taking place in several Arab countries can be seen as a delayed phase of that renaissance and enlightenment age that began late in the Ottoman era.
In Paris I heard the historian and researcher George Afrah say that the Enlightenment Age started in Europe when Arab knowledge and sciences became a source of culture, which paved the way for the dawn of European civilization.
A short final chapter examines how self-commentary changed after the Renaissance, by reviewing the self-commentary of Alessandro Tassoni and later works in the Baroque and Enlightenment age by Benedetto Menzini and Antonio Conti.