What Is Enlightenment: Representatives And Ideas

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The Age of Reason or Enlightenment began with the Renaissance and took place between the 1600s and 1700s. It was also closely associated with the scientific revolution. During this era, Enlightenment thinkers; an influential group that glorified the human capacity for reasoning to negate superstition and ignorance. They initiated a free flow of human thought and expression. Traditional authorities were questioned and humanity improved. The exploitation of people in the name of God and religion, by the pope and priests, was thought out, and thus the influence of the church on society was diminished. All this development refocused the sociopolitical and literary outlook of Europe.

As a result, bold ideas about everything and anything began to emerge, such as:

Human Rights.
The rule of nature.
Logical and critical thinking.
Pursuit of happiness.
Hope for the future.
Rational inquiry.
Peaceful coexistence.

Enlightenment emphasis on the "scientific method" and "reductionism." People began to revive their self-esteem and realize their worth. Consequently, they questioned religious orthodoxy. Trust in the intellectual forces of society was restored. Most of the time Enlightenment philosophy contradicted traditional and religious authority and absolute monarchy. Skepticism was encouraged, and social reforms were carried out overtime. At this time discoveries and inventions were made in all walks of life, as blind faith in religious authorities was rejected and the power of reasoning was heightened. This led to a curiosity for the unknown and unexplored, which, moreover, led to a remarkable era of progress in every field.

This time of enlightenment was marked by the thoughts of many people with a sense of reasoning and logic. Enlightenment thinkers presented such bold and inspiring ideas that ordinary people had to realize that they needed to change their circumstances. Superstition began to be rejected, and voices were raised against the nameless slavery of all to the king. These thinkers belonged to all walks of life, for among them were priests, alchemists, writers, surgeons, theologians, scientists, mathematicians, authors, natural scientists, editors, literary critics, financiers, historians, philosophers, doctors, lawyers, artists, painters and ministers too.

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The list of Enlightenment thinkers is long, but the most influential included Alambere, Beccaria, Buffin, Condorcet, Diderot, Gibbon, Herder, Holbach, Hume, John Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Voltaire, and several others. Dissemination of ideas: These thinkers not only presented life-changing philosophies, experiments, methods, works of art, observations, and theories, but they also disseminated these ideas of equality and freedom of thought to people. The dissemination of these ideas took place through meetings and social gatherings in coffee houses, scientific academies, Masonic lodges, literary salons, through printed books, reports and pamphlets.

Voltaire, a man of language, was behind the popularization of British ideals among French intellectuals. He was the driving force behind the promotion of "common sense" enlightenment ideas. Unlike the English philosophers, Voltaire expressed his ideas through fiction. He was a courageous polemicist and made society realize that these works of fiction were a major exposé of the philosophy of the Enlightenment. He was a deist, unlike other atheist philosophers, and harshly criticized religious dogma and atheism. He supported "enlightened despotism" and counterbalanced his failure to create an original philosophy by beginning to accept "common sense" rather than blindly believing in superstition and prejudice.

Montesquieu, the famous writer of the Persian Letter (1721) and the Spirit of Laws, was against absolute monarchy and introduced the idea of a "separation of powers," which basically meant that neither government nor the public should have complete power. The idea of "checks and balances" was also initiated by him. In his view, there should be three governing heads: an executive power that would make laws. a legislative power that would make people necessarily obey laws. that would judge the authenticity and validity of laws. In his view, these three powers must be separate and dependent on each other, so that none of them becomes stronger than any other.

John Locke, a firm believer in people's rights to life, liberty and property to be protected by government, did not believe in legitimate government under King's rights. He believed in people devolving power to the governor. His ideas had a great influence on epistemology and political philosophy. He thought that knowledge of our capabilities is severely limited because all ideas are ultimately derived from experience. He was involved in the creation of the "social contract theory," which served as the theoretical basis for democracy and republicanism. He also proposed a "philosophy of reason," according to which people are born without innate ideas.

Rousseau believed in the "common good" and harbored a strong hatred of government. According to him, progress in the arts and sciences leads only to the deterioration of morals and the fall of virtue. He regarded people as good and holy by birth, corrupted by the vices of society and the corruption of government; he also firmly believed that living for the common good brought peace and equality among men. He preferred to trust in morality as the basis of ethics rather than reason. In his most famous work, The Social Contract, he recognized that there was no freedom left in society. He preached a preference for community over the individual self. The conviction of the Enlightenment thinker1. Voltaire believed in free speech against the French government and Christianity. He advocated tolerance and freedom of religion. He was anti-romantic.

Montesquieu believed in the separation of powers (legislative, executive and judicial groups) and believed freedom was the natural right of everyone. John Locke believed that power in government came from the people. He was an advocate of natural rights to life, liberty and property and was against divine right. Rousseau advocated democracy and firmly believed in the "consent of the governed." He was a romantic.

To my observation, the age of reason has indeed proven its ability to change lives in many areas of life. Enlightenment thinkers influenced the vast majority of people with their writings. The arts, sciences, and literature flourished during this era. The main impact was a change in people's thinking as they began to recognize their esteem, value, rights, and power. This period marked the end of people's nameless slavery to the Ancient Regime. They learned to have a voice of their own. They understood the concept of reasoning. The religious authorities, who sought to shape religion according to their own personal and evil needs, lost their power over the people as they were freed from such cunning and dictatorial officials. In spite of all these wonderful effects, I felt that so many viewpoints of so many Enlightenment thinkers could have divided people into sects. But the fact remains that the Enlightenment period oriented many people's lives toward a better and safer future where they could live in peace, equality, and freedom, and where basic human rights would not be denied.

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