The Enlightenment

By: Leia E. and Amisha B.

Major Ideas of the Enlightenment

  • The philosophy is one who applies himself to the study of society with he purpose of making his kind better and happier. This study uses reason or an appeal to facts, a spirit of rational criticism, was to be applied to everything, including religion and politics. The enlightenment was influenced by both mathematical and intellectual thoughts.
  • separation of powers- There were three basic kinds of governments: republics, despotism, and monarchs. This helped the separate governments limit and control each other in a system of checks and balances.
  • laissez-faire- it means "to let people do what they want." The document stated that the state shouldn't interrupt the free play of the economy and leave the economy alone.
  • social contract-it was published in 1762 which stated that a whole society agrees to be governed by its will. If a person wanted to follow their personal interests, then they would be forced to abide by the general will.

John Locke

  • John lockes theory of knowledge also greatly affected eighteenth century intellectuals. He argued that every person was born with tabula rasa, or blank mind. He believed that if environments were changed and people were exposed to the right influences then people could be changed and a new society would be created. His ideas suggested that people were molded by their experiences.

The Arts

  • Architecture in the 1600's started going towards the Italian style, rather than the French style. Later in the 1730's, a new style called the rococo was created and emphasized grace and charm.
  • In the first half of the century the musical genius composers Bach and Handel perfected the baroque musical style. The second half of the century Haydn and Mozart were innovators who wrote music called classical.
  • In the 18th century, novels began to be very popular especially to the growing number of middle class numbers.
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Three Minute Philosophy - John Locke