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1 1 The Enlightenment c The Age of Reason Siecle de Lumiere: The Century of Light Also called the Age of Reason Scholarly dispute over time periods and length of era. What was it? Progressive, Rationalistic, Humanistic worldview Emerged out of the Scientific Revolution and culminated in the French Revolution Spokesmen = Rising Middle Class, Intellectuals Paris = center, large cities such as London Optimism about mankind s abilities, future Key Ideas Distrust of Tradition and Revealed Religion Scientific method could be applied to society as well Man is naturally good Good life is on earth Linked with the Scientific Revolution reason, science, rationality leaders should lead their states to progress Basis of Enlightenment Thinking systematic thinking applied to all areas of human activity government individuals society the state religion Enlightenment View of Tradition trad = irrationality, superstition, tyranny a leftover from backward Middle Ages Intellectual foundations of American and French Revolutions, Poland's Constitution of 1791 Latin American independence movements Greek national independence movement Balkan independence movements (vs Ottoman Empire) Led to the rise of classical liberalism, democratic movements and capitalism. Development of Natural Law Theories

2 Natural Law not originally a reaction against divinity, but as abstraction 2 God did not rule arbitrarily, but through natural laws that he enacted on earth. (Thomas Hobbes, though an absolutist in government, drew this argument in Leviathan.) Once invoked, however, took on a life of its own If natural law could be used to bolster the position of the monarchy, it could also be used to assert the rights of subjects of that monarch If there were natural laws, then there were natural rights associated with them, just as there are rights under man-made laws. Culmination = the declaration by Jefferson of inalienable rights Divine Right and Natural Law Divine Right = Absolutism: Natural Law = Liberty Some Key People Hobbes, Thomas ( ) Leviathan 1651 The State of Nature Life was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short War of All against All Social Contract exists for mutual protection Social Contract is ONE WAY you owe the king your allegiance even if he is a bad king. No rebellion allowed that leads to chaos. Locke, John ( ) Social Contract Theory State of Nature: people were guided by reason and were basically caring. Social Contract exists for Mutual Benefit. Property came before government; Everyone had a natural right to defend life, liberty, health, or possessions Possessions or property: both broad and narrow senses. Broad: covers wide range of human interests, aspirations; Narrow: refers to material goods.

3 3 (Argues that property is a natural right and it is derived from labor. Ownership of property created by the application of labor. In addition, property precedes government and government cannot "dispose of the estates of the subjects arbitrarily." Karl Marx later critiqued Locke's theory of property.) Social Contract is Two-Ways: if king or government violates it, not only allowed to rebel, have a duty to rebel. Tabula Rasa Human beings are born a blank slate: they are capable of understanding anything taught to them; they are capable of becoming anything their society allows them to become In direct conflict with traditional views, practices: born a farmer, a farmer you are. Born a king, a king you are. You are not actually capable of becoming something else so why try? Baron de Montesquieu ( ) The Spirit of the Laws (1748) Despotism could be avoided if political power were divided and shared by a diversity of classes Power must check power Admired British government Parliamentary system, and somewhat constitutional monarchy French parlements must be defenders of liberty Influence in the Americas Voltaire, aka François-Marie Arouet ( ) Enthusiasm for English institutions Reformer not a revolutionary Admirer of Louis XIV Relationship with Frederick the Great Jean-Jacques Rousseau ( ) Civilization = decay, not progress Rather than liberation, rationalism and civilization destroys the individual Man by nature was solitary, good and free Emile protect children from too many books The Social Contract (1762) and the General Will Civilized man is an alienated man Transitional intellectual figure The Noble Savage idea

4 Diderot s Encyclopedia Written between Attempted to illustrate all human knowledge Emphasis on practical science Desire to change the general way of thinking Greater knowledge leads to human progress Emphasized moderation and tolerance Human nature can be molded Inalienable rights and the social contract Knowledge improves goodness Smith, Adam See Smith handout Jefferson, Thomas ( ) See Jefferson handout Deism 4 During preceding 100 or so years, Science began showing that universe is orderly, precise If Newton s physics defines natural order (natural philosophy) Then political philosophy could order human affairs Orderliness of Universe = Proof for God Faith and Reason Deism: Rejected supernatural events (prophecy, miracles), divine revelation, holy books, etc. Religious belief must be based on human reason, and observed features of natural world These things reveal the existence of one God or Supreme Being Newton Promoted a worldview of nature controlled by laws Gravitational Laws explained behavior of both objects on Earth and in heavens Therefore God created universe, set it in motion by natural law, and retired. Voltaire, Diderot, d Alembert, Jefferson Teleology - God as the Great Watchmaker Uses analogy: A Design Implies A Designer AKA: Argument from Design

5 5 Argument by Design - Observation: If you look at a watch, you can easily tell that it was designed and built by an intelligent watchmaker. Similarly, if you look at some natural phenomenon X (a particular organ or organism, the structure of the solar system, life, the entire universe) you can easily tell that it was designed and built by an intelligent creator/designer. Teleology - God as the Great Watchmaker Argument by Design - Complexity: Phenomenon X (the structure of the solar system, DNA, etc.) must be the result of: 1.) random chance, 2.) blind fate In the case of a watch, for example, neither (1) nor (2) is plausible. The complexity of a watch means that it could never have come about through random chance or through any natural process - it must have been designed by an intelligent watchmaker. Similarly (the argument continues), the complexity of X means that it could never have come about through random chance or through any natural process. Therefore: it must have been designed by an intelligent designer.

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