Four Major Ideas
Among all the concepts being thrown about during this time (from the law of physics to gender equality), there were four main philosophical concepts that had the biggest impact on society. These include:
1 - belief in natural rights, i.e., every human is born with natural rights (life, liberty, and property). This belief challenged the fierce rule of royals and demanded a more liberating government, thus leading to a classical republicanism (and eventually democracy).
2 - similar to concept 1, the belief in natural laws. This belief suggested that one should thoroughly analyze human behavior and govern accordingly while refraining from the binding of common moral rules. Additionally, one's moral rules should not dictate the manner in which one governs a body,
3 - power of human reason. People in this time period believed that the power of human reason gave them the ability to establish the above laws and provided them with unending progress in knowledge and innovation. This belief connects directly to the recent occurrence Scientific Revolution, a rapid progression of scientific ideas and inventions.
4 - the possibility of progressive improvement. Philosophers of the time promised this concept, which basically states that the power of human thought and innovation would allow continually improving upheaval in areas of science, technology, and medicine. Such thoughts were persistently optimistic, as people of this time strived for immense and rapid progression.
As one might assume, there were numerous scientists during this time period. However, of all the intuitive figures of the era, only a select few made such significant discoveries/innovations that they have been admiringly remembered throughout history. Of such select individuals includes the famous Isaac Newton, a physicist and mathematician who established the concept of gravity.
His story begins when he was residing under an apple tree. Supposedly, Newton watched an apple fall from the tree and hit the ground (not on his head, like the cartoonish version of the story) and the scene gave him an idea of a force that draws things toward the earth. However, he wasn't able to mathematically prove his theory, and thus lost interest.
A few years later, a group of scientists got a hold of his earlier studies on gravity, and had began to establish concepts of gravitational force. Newton, inferring that many of their concepts were not completely accurate, went back to work on the subject, now equipped with the math required to accurately prove his theory. His comeback was an epically triumphant one, as he successfully established an accurate law of gravity and is one of the most well-known scientists of today.
The devilishly handsome Newton himself.
A diagram of how gravity works, properly equipped with a needlessly complicated formula.
The ever-famous apple gravitation theory.
In addition to rapid science progression, art changed dramatically during the Enlightenment. During the period a new and quickly popular form of art was introduced: Rococo.
Rococo art focused away from serious intention and moved toward a simple yet pleasantly detailed art form. This artwork's sole purpose was to please the viewer, and often so with excessive nudity; the main focus of Rococo art was people, and usually naked ones.
Ideas and philosophies were also often portrayed in artwork, along with the numerous other art pieces that had no apparent meaning at all. One could describe it as a time of artistic freedom (and perhaps even sarcasm), with artists creating whatever they pleased and occasionally even mocking traditional art in their works.