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Exam 2 Master Notes - 02.21.08 THE ENLIGHTENMENT I The...

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02.21.08 THE ENLIGHTENMENT I. The Enlightenment a. Enlightening one’s mind i. Awakening one’s souls (1730) 1. Enlightening one’s minds/awakening one’s souls : The difference between spirituality is the paramount AND the only thing that exists, and that “man needs to be free of all those things” (he needs to use his own ways of looking at the world, there are no set answers) b. John Locke i. Essay Concerning Human Understanding 1. John Locke Essay “Concerning Human Understanding” (1690) : What Locke argued: How do we know things? His answer: I know things through my senses; my senses tell me that these things can exist. Usual answer of other people: I know things by reading the bible, by looking at my spiritual self, by looking at faith. Ironically it is the same book that someone used to try and keep the world alive. ii. Senses c. Anti-medievalism - Shift from Medievalism : This was different from Medieval world because they would say “I know these things because I built it, I made it”, but if you were to go outside and look at a tree, you WOULDN’T know it, because it came from God, so they can’t know that. God made not only nature, but he made government, society, kings, etc. And if you can’t know them, you can’t change them. Locke is here to say “yes, you CAN know these things”, and show them how. In the Medieval period they thought you should not be curious, or question anything. People are beginning to step away from a more spiritual society, and start to believe SCIENCE. i. Salem Witchcraft trials - Same time as this is going on 1. Spectral evidence a. Evidence that no one can see; NOT GOOD ENOUGH for new time period II. Age of Criticism - It is an age which begins to be critical of the established way of thinking and the established way of doing things…which begins to say “we can do it better”. It’s a whole new world, because people actually dare to criticize, and question things they were never allowed to before. a. “Dare to Know” - The slogan for the Enlightenment period. They were finally dared to question things they had never questioned before i. Anti-superstition ii. Pro-education iii. Pro-scientific method iv. Education and Science : One can learn through one’s senses and experiments. Education is so important because every one of the leaders through the Enlightenment started out with education. Science became
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important, but even more so the scientific method. It was how they could prove more and more things that they wanted answers to. b. Isaac Newton “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy” (1687): The key book for science. He was admired tremendously, especially for his revelation i. Natural laws - Laws that are true at all times. Not only are they true, but I can SHOW you that they’re true by putting them into mathematical formula c. Philosophes - Primarily French thinkers, who are interested in everything i. Encyclopedie - 10 volumes put together by the Philosophes. It believes everything is interrelated with everything else. It took 20 years to write this, but it had incredible breadth.
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