The Enlightenment

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A short overview of some Enlightenment ideas.

Text of The Enlightenment

  • 1. The EnlightenmentDr. Gerald Lucas

2. Age of Reason Saw humans between passion and reasonEmphasized the powers of the mindAspired toward correctness and moderationQuestioned humanitys fallen natureQuestioned class system, kings divine rightBegan social and religious revolutions 3. I think, therefore I am. Descartes 4. Order of Natural law beyondthe human mind Newton 5. Deism Watchmaker GodDepersonalized GodLogical universeSeparated religion and ethicsGreat chain of beingMicrocosm 6. He that thinks reasonably, must think morally. -Samuel Johnson 7. ReasonCould illuminate humanityLeads humanity to eternal truthsSuggests new solutions to old problemsCan be conquered by passion 8. New UncertaintiesGod moved further awayReligious difference translated to classHumans are passionate, tooGap between the ideal and the actualPolitical instability, revolution 9. The Debate Ancients v. ModernsFaith v. ReasonUniversality of Truth v. ExplorationMale superiority v. Broad education for womenDivine right of kings v. Individual autonomyLook to the past v. Shoulders of giants 10. Appearance v.Reality 11. LiteratureAlready established, like mannersProvides continuity between the past & presentSuggests morality - how to liveDid not pursue realismArtice to emphasize & obscure 12. Art Makes StabilityClassics provides modelsAligns with traditionSatire lends moral weight to presentCalls attention to the irrational 13. Modern Influence A stable, coherent, reasonable selfObjective, reliable, and universal foundation of knowledgeReason used rightly produces True knowledgeReason, autonomy, freedom and interconnectedKnowledge can be neutral & socially benecialScience is a paradigm for true knowledgeLanguage is in some sense transparent 14. I am a little world made cunningly Of elements, and an angelic sprite; But black sin hath betrayed to endless night My worlds both parts, and (oh!) both parts must die. You which beyond that heaven which was most high Have found new spheres, and of new lands can write, Pour new seas in mine eyes, that so I might Drown my world with my weeping earnestly, Or wash it if it must be drowned no more: But oh it must be burnt! alas the re Of lust and envy have burnt it heretofore, And made it fouler: Let their ames retire, And burn me, O Lord, with a ery zeal Of Thee and Thy house, which doth in eating heal.John Donne, Holy Sonnet V (1635)