• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Enlightenment Essay

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Enlightenment Essay The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement which took place in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As a historical category, the term "Enlightenment" refers to a series of changes in European thought and letters. It is one of the few historical categories that was coined by the people who lived through the era. "The Enlightenment focused on the use of reason and secularism. It also led to new developments in art, philosophy, and especially politics. Enlightenment thinkers, or philosophers, as well as followers of the movement believed that humans could understand the universe and better themselves through the use of reason" (Kramnick). The Enlightenment had its roots in several areas, including the popularization of science, skepticism about religion, as well as travel literature which emphasized that the Christian perception of God was one of many, and not a universal doctrine. Perhaps the most significant root of the Enlightenment was the Scientific Revolution, which affected the perspective of the world Enlightenment philosophers had by influencing them to use logic, reason, and rationalism in order to understand the world. "The scientific revolution (1500-1700) gave rise to the spirit of inquiry, reasoning, and the critical (scientific) ...read more.

Middle

Galileo's reconstruction of the telescope had him viewing the world differently. He used this instrument to his full advantage to overlook the seas and territories in depth. He took a closer look at the moon the stars, and a few of the planets. With this instrument, he was able to realize that the moon was imperfect and it had holes and craters on it. Then, he was able to find a method to measure their distances apart. The philosophers of the Enlightenment were for the most part French intellectuals. They were writers, professors, and social reformers and they came mainly from the nobility and the middle classes. While many of the philosophers held different viewpoints, they all agreed that philosophy could be the foundation for bettering society just as scientists from the Scientific Revolution agreed that through understanding, humans could improve the world. Additionally, the philosophers were captivated by reason and secularism; the scientists of the Scientific Revolution advocated the use of reason for understanding the physical world and more often than not, their findings contradicted church doctrine. The Enlightenment was a broad and sweeping intellectual movement with many characteristics and implications. The Enlightenment was most notably a decisive break with the Christian worldview. ...read more.

Conclusion

Kant reveals that society expects us never to argue and agree with what we are told. We find restrictions on freedom everywhere and are expected to keep up with these expectations and never argue. This shows how the public's use of reason should be free at all times because it will bring the enlightenment to mankind. Rise of modern science had many consequences. "Went hand in hand with the rise of a new expanding social group-the international scientific community" (Hartford). Members linked together by common interests and shared values as well as by journals and the learned scientific societies founded in many countries in the later 17th century and 18th century. Expansion of knowledge was the primary goal of this community and scientists material and psychological rewards depended on their success in this endeavor. Thus science become quite competitive and even more scientific advance was inevitable. The scientific revolution had few consequences for economic life and the living standards of the masses until the late 18th century at the very earliest.. "True, improvements in the techniques of navigation facilitated overseas trade and helped enrich leading merchants, but science had relatively few practice al economic applications. The close link between theoretical, or p7ure, science and applied technology, which we take for granted today, simply did not exist in any of the world's civilizations before the 19th century" (Hartford). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Extended Essay: Bismarck and The Unification of Germany

    5 star(s)

    His importance is considered as key as, in consideration nationalist movements had been occurring since 1815 with no real success, yet after he becomes a prominent figure it is achieved within just nine years. For this reason, he is often considered to have had a catalytic effect on German unity.

  2. Bog Bodies. Preserved bodies are crucial to historians in unravelling information on past ...

    Clonycavan Man's status was apparent in his peculiar Mohawk hairstyle. It is believed that this Mohawk hairstyle was intended to make him look taller and most likely stronger or of higher status. The hair was held together with the help of a hair gel that with chemical analysis was identified to be a mixture of plant oil and pine resin.

  1. In this essay, I shall use primary sources to measure the short term significance ...

    to Congress, suggesting that he trusted the Spanish more (and the English and French he made the same approach to). His reasons for exploring this uncharted territory were with 'no other view than the advancement of geography.'3 By the time the Expedition started, the unexpected Louisiana Purchase meant that United

  2. How effective was the leadership provided by prominent individual nationalists in Malaya?

    The actions carried out by the KMM, however lacking in scope, could have had more impact had Ibrahim's organisational ability been improved. The furtive way in which the KMM operated definitely weakened the impact of its General Meeting and anti-British propaganda attack, as they lost credibility and failed to acquire new members with common ideals.

  1. Civilisation. In this essay, we shall attempt to examine the earliest examples of ...

    It separates the writer from the concerns of time - his words are no longer merely a short-term monodimensional event, but can be held and transcribed indefinitely, and literacy allows for information to be distributed far more effectively. While no man's voice can reach 5.5 million people directly, the Daily

  2. Research Paper; The Important Scientific Discoveries of the Renaissance: Medicine

    All of these had marked an impact on the study and practice of medicine. So, by the middle years of the twelfth century, the process that provided western European medicine with a rich, specialized literature helped renew centers of learning, and a flourishing tradition of practice sprung up, some of which was already well advanced.

  1. Consider David Starkey(TM)s and Francis Pryor(TM)s respective versions of the nature and extent of ...

    Richard Reece based his interpretations from excavations in Cirencester. His view was that Roman Britain was in decline during the 3rd Century and by 400 most of the Roman institutions had disappeared and that the towns were merely administrative centres. He argues that there were no mass migrations of Anglo Saxons but Anglo Saxon fashion became popular in 5th Century eastern England.

  2. Bill Clinton Essay

    Bill and Hillary worked at the same college in Arkansas. Bill was elected attorney general, then chairman of the Nation Governors Association and later ran for president. He liked to interact with all his voters. In his person accomplishments he travled the world, wrote books, made speeches etc.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work