Age of Enlightenment

(redirected from Period of enlightenment)

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 ?
If this period of enlightenment by the Welsh Government does not last then I suggest that those involved revert to plan B and instigate direct action by introducing the geat crested newt and other endangered species to the area, that should keep a certain Mr Ken Skates in his box until he is relieved of his present portfolio.
Visitors will also be able to view key artefacts and historic maps that represent some of the earliest Arab contributions to human knowledge during the period of enlightenment referred to as the Arab Golden Age
During this time, the period of Enlightenment, prominent thinkers such as Hume, Kant, Voltaire and Smith espoused universal values of human dignity and rationalism that spread throughout the world.
In the period of Enlightenment, the differences, rather than analogies, mattered the most in the course of analyses of such towering figurers as Voltaire and Gibbon, but they exclusively depended on the previous generations of scholars who had built the foundational structure for a philosophical enquiry.
The setting is the Intramuros of the 1800s, a time when Filipinos were awakening to a period of enlightenment after centuries of colonial rule.
The past six months have been a huge period of enlightenment, with many anti-plastic campaigns gaining traction.
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.
It wasn't supposed to be this way; many believed that the information age would usher in a period of enlightenment in which we would be empowered to seek out and find truth with the same ease with which I type this sentence.
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. However, readers interested in European gender and transgender history will find particularly attractive the information in Calvo's pages on Spanish women feigning male identities (286-309, 334-346).
In this definition are Europeans who mix this Christian heritage and the period of Enlightenment. But this definition has to accept the simplistic theory of the "clash of civilizations" and, by the way, what will we do with millions of European Muslims as minorities or majorities (in Bosnia, in Albania...
But young newcomers to this period of enlightenment think the chorus is actually: "This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus." I blame all the c o o kery pro-grammes on television.
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.