Enlightenment (Age of Reason)
• The 18th century philosophical movement
of intellectuals who were greatly
impressed with the achievements of the
Scientific Revolution.
• This movement occurred in Europe from
about 1650 until 1800 and it advocated
the use of reason and individualism
instead of tradition and established
Issac Newton (1642-1727)
• English
mathematician and
physicist who is
remembered for
developing calculus,
the law of
gravitation, and his
three laws of motion.
Isaac Newton
Issac Newton (1642-1727)
Co-inventor of calculus. Discovered the law of Universal Gravitation. Newton's 3 laws of motion. Corpuscular theory of light. Law of cooling. Professor, Theologian,
Alchemist, Warden of the Mint. Newton was a premature child and was very small at birth. His father had died before Newton's birth, and, when he was 3 years old,
his mother remarried and left him in the care of his grandmother. He was somewhat sickly as a child, and since he could not join the other children in games he kept
himself amused by building mechanical toys such as wooden clocks and sundials and a mouse-powered flour mill. He read a great deal and kept a journal of
observations. Newton began his schooling in the village schools and later was sent to Grantham Grammar School where he became the top boy in the school. At
Grantham he lodged with the local apothecary and eventually became engaged to the apothecary's stepdaughter, Miss Storey, before he went off to Cambridge
University at the age of 19. But Newton became engrossed in his studies, the romance cooled and Miss Storey married someone else. It is said he kept a warm memory
of this love, but Newton had no other recorded 'sweethearts' and never married. In 1661, Newton entered Trinity College, Cambridge as a student who earned his
expenses by doing menial work. Not much is known of his college days, but his account book seems normal enough -- it mentions several tavern bills and two losses at
cards. He received his B.A. degree in 1664, the year that the bubonic plague was sweeping Europe. The colleges closed for what turned out to be two years, so Newton
returned to Woolsthorpe to think. Up until then Newton had been somewhat precocious and had been a successful student, but he had done nothing really
outstanding. Now things started to happen. His two years at Woolsthorpe represent the greatest recorded achievement of a human intellect in a short period. In these
two years, this 'kid' extended the binomial theorem, invented calculus, discovered the law of universal gravitation and had enough time left over to experimentally
prove that white light is composed of all colors. Then he had his 25th birthday. If Newton had communicated these results and then died, his reputation would be
almost a great as it is today. He lived for another 60 years and made a few additional contributions to the pool of knowledge, but, at most, these later results would
have earned him a footnote in history. In two years he invented the calculus which would quickly grow into the largest and most important field in mathematics and
which would first have a tremendous impact on physics and astronomy and more recently on fields of biology, economics, business and even political science. At the
same time he discovered the law of universal gravitation which explains, on a large scale, how the universe operates. When the plague subsided and the schools
reopened in 1667, Newton returned to Trinity College as a Fellow (professor), and 2 years later Dr. Isaac Barrow, Newton's teacher, resigned so Newton could become
Lucasian Professor of Mathematics. He was now 26, and from here on it was mostly downhill, at least intellectually. Newton lectured on optics and calculus and
physics; he built telescopes and observed Jupiter's moons, and calculated orbits. But these areas became secondary interests. His heart was really in alchemy ("lead
into gold," the forerunner of chemistry) and theology and the spiritual universe. He attempted to reconcile the dates of the Old Testament with historical dates,
became very involved with astrology and attempted to contact departed "souls." In hindsight, it is easy to dismiss all of this as nonsense, but these were serious
attempts of a serious man to understand the entire universe. It is unfortunate, however, that Newton devoted so little of the rest of his life to mathematics and
physics. The few times he did return to these areas, he proved that he had not lost his genius. Newton's great discoveries in physics were finally published in 1687 as
Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (usually just called the Principia). By the late 1690s, the followers of Newton and Leibniz were involved in very heated
nationalistic arguments over priority in the invention of calculus, and these arguments raged for over a century. Mostly, Newton and Leibniz remained above the
squabbling, and the consensus is that each made the discoveries independently. Newton was the first to make the discoveries but he waited 20 years to publish them.
Leibniz did not delay as long and published his results first. As a result of this squabble, British mathematicians ignored the fruitful developments in mathematics on
the continent and stagnated for almost a century. In developing the calculus, Newton used the method of "fluxions" (from the Latin "flow"): functions flowed and he
considered their "rate of flow." He routinely dealt with "infinitesimal" (infinitely small quantities) and used dots above the variable functions to denote derivatives. The
notations we use in calculus are primarily due to the other inventor of calculus, Leibniz. Newton and Leibniz both used an intuitive idea of "limit," but neither seemed
to have a precise definition of it. Newton served in Parliament twice. He was elected President of the Royal Society and held that position for 24 years. In 1696 he was
appointed Warden of the Mint and put in charge of the system of coinage in the British Empire. In 1705 he was knighted by Queen Anne. Except for a few periods of
severe insomnia and a persecution mania (perhaps due to overwork or mercury poisoning from his work at the Mint), Newton's health was excellent until the last 3
years of his life. He died in his sleep at the age of 85, and was buried with full national honors in West Minster Abbey.
Principia (1687)
• Book written by Issac Newton in
which he laid out in mathematical
terms the principles of time, force,
and motion that have guided the
development of modern physical
John Locke (1632-1704)
• English philosopher who
used the ideas of natural
laws as it applied to
• He stated people were
reasonable and moral, and
that they would arrive at a
cooperative and workable
form of government.
• He also argued that people
were molded by the
experiences that came
through their senses form
the surrounding world.
John Locke
John Locke (1632-1704)
John Locke was born in Wrington in Somerset County. He attended Oxford University. In 1666, he met Anthony Ashley
Cooper, who later became the first Earl of Shaftesbury. The two men became close friends. In 1679, the earl became
involved in plots against the king, and suspicion also fell on Locke. The philosopher decided to leave England. In 1683,
he moved to the Netherlands, where he met Prince William and Princess Mary of Orange. William and Mary became
the rulers of England in 1689, and Locke returned to England as a court favorite. Until his death, he wrote widely on
such subjects as educational reform, freedom of the press, and religious tolerance.
Locke's major work was An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). It describes his theory of how the mind
functions in learning about the world. Locke argued against the doctrine of innate ideas, which stated that ideas were
part of the mind at birth and not learned or acquired later from outside sources. Locke claimed that all ideas were
placed in the mind by experience. He declared that there were two kinds of experience, outer and inner. Outer
experience was acquired through the senses of sight, taste, hearing, smell, and touch, which provide information about
the external world. Inner experience was acquired by thinking about the mental processes involved in sifting these
data, which furnished information about the mind. Locke believed that the universe contained three kinds of things-minds, various types of bodies, and God. Bodies had two kinds of properties. One kind was mathematically
measurable, such as length and weight, and existed in the bodies themselves. The second kind was qualitative, such as
sound and color. These properties were not in the bodies themselves but were simply powers that bodies had to
produce ideas of colors and sounds in the mind. According to Locke, a good life was a life of pleasure. Pleasure and
pain were simple ideas that accompanied nearly all human experiences. Ethical action involved determining which act
in a given situation would produce the greatest pleasure--and then performing that act. Locke also believed that God
had established divine law. This law could be discovered by reason, and to disobey it was morally wrong. Locke
thought that divine law and the pleasure principle were compatible. Locke believed that people by nature had certain
rights and duties. These rights included liberty, life, and ownership of property. By liberty, Locke meant political
equality. The task of any state was to protect people's rights. States inconvenience people in various ways. Therefore,
the justification for a state's existence had to be found in its ability to protect human rights better than individuals
could on their own. Locke declared that if a government did not adequately protect the rights of its citizens, they had
the right to find other rulers.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690)
• Book written by John Locke which describes
his theory of how the mind functions in
learning about the world.
• Locke argued against the doctrine of innate
ideas, which stated that ideas were part of the
mind at birth and not learned or acquired
later from outside sources. Locke claimed
that all ideas were placed in the mind by
Two Treaties of Government (1690)
• Book written by John Locke where he believed that
people by nature had certain rights and duties.
• These rights included liberty, life, and ownership of
property. By liberty, Locke meant political equality.
The task of any state was to protect people's rights.
States inconvenience people in various ways.
Therefore, the justification for a state's existence
had to be found in its ability to protect human
rights better than individuals could on their own.
Locke declared that if a government did not
adequately protect the rights of its citizens, they
had the right to find other rulers.
• French for “philosopher”; it applied
to all intellectuals like writers,
journalists, economists, and social
reformers, during the Enlightenment.
• The philosophes were a group of French philosophers during the
Age of Reason, a historical period that extended from the late
1600's to the late 1700's. The group included such great
philosophers as the Marquis de Condorcet, Denis Diderot, Claude
Helvetius, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Voltaire. Generally, the
philosophes believed in the ideal of progress. They wished to
apply science's emphasis on reason to the study of people's moral
and social life. The philosophes believed that knowledge could be
acquired through experience. They wanted to separate moral
doctrines from religious considerations, because they believed
that moral problems could be solved independently. The
philosophes were generally anti-Christian, claiming that
Christianity was basically unreasonable and superstitious.
Generally, they opposed the political system in France and argued
for reforms. Thus, they became forerunners of, and in some cases
participants in, the French Revolution--which lasted from 1789 to
Baron de Montesquieu
(Charles-Louis de Secondat) (1689-1755)
• He used the scientific method to find the natural laws
that govern the social and political relationships of
human beings.
• He identified three types of government and wrote
about the separation of powers. His analysis of the
system of checks and balances through separation of
powers was his most lasting contribution to political
• The translation of Montesquieu’s work into English
made it available to American philosophes, which took
his principles and worked them into the Untied States
Baron de Montesquieu
(Charles-Louis de Secondat) (1689-1755)
• Montesquieu believed that laws underlie all things--human, natural, and divine.
One of philosophy's major tasks was to discover these laws. It was difficult to study
humanity because the laws governing human nature were complex. Yet
Montesquieu believed these laws could be found by empirical (experimental)
methods of investigation (see EMPIRICISM). Knowledge of the laws would ease the
ills of society and improve life. Montesquieu said there were three basic types of
government--monarchal, republican, and despotic. A monarchal government had
limited power placed in a king or queen. A republican government was either an
aristocracy or a democracy. In an aristocracy, only a few had power. In a
democracy, all had it. A despotic government was controlled by a tyrant, who had
absolute authority. Montesquieu believed legal systems should vary according to
the basic type of government. Montesquieu supported human freedom and
opposed tyranny. He believed that political liberty involved separating the
legislative, executive, and judicial powers of government. He believed that liberty
and respect for properly constituted law could exist together. Montesquieu, whose
real name was Charles de Secondat, was born near Bordeaux. He inherited the
title Baron de la Brede et de Montesquieu. He gained fame with his Persian Letters
(1721), which ridiculed Parisian life and many French institutions. He also criticized
the church and national governments of France. Montesquieu was admitted to the
French Academy in 1727. He lived in England from 1729 to 1731 and came to
admire the British political system.
The Spirit of the Laws (1748)
• The major work
written by
Baron de
Baron de Montesquieu
Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet) (1694-1778)
• An author and philosopher
who is known as the
greatest figure of the
Englightenment, and the
best known of the
• He was a defender of free
speech and wrote books
and essays that were
• “I disapprove of what you
say, but I will defend to the
death your right to say it.”
Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet) (1694-1778)
Voltaire was the pen name of Francois Marie Arouet, a French author and philosopher. Voltaire's clear style, sparkling wit, keen intelligence, and strong sense of
justice made him one of France's most famous writers. Candide (1759), Voltaire's best-known work, is a brilliant philosophical tale that has been translated into more
than 100 languages. On the surface, the work describes the adventures of an inexperienced young man as he wanders around the world. Philosophically, Candide is
recognized as a complex inquiry into the nature of good and evil. Voltaire, the son of a lawyer, was born in Paris. He received an excellent education at a Jesuit school.
He showed little inclination to study law, and his schooling ended at the age of 16. He soon joined a group of sophisticated aristocrats who had little reverence for
anything except wit, pleasure, and literary talent. Paris society sought Voltaire's company because of his cleverness, his remarkable ability to write verses, and his gift
for making people laugh. There are several theories about the origin of Voltaire's pen name, which he adopted in 1718. The most widely accepted one is that Voltaire
comes from an imperfect arrangement of the letters making up the French equivalent of Arouet the Younger.
In 1717, Voltaire was imprisoned in the Bastille for satirical verses that he may or may not have written ridiculing the government. During his 11 months in prison, he
finished his tragedy Oedipe. The success of the play in 1718 made Voltaire the greatest French playwright of his time. He maintained this reputation--with more than
50 plays--for the rest of his life. While in prison, Voltaire also worked on La Henriade, an epic poem about King Henry IV. This poem, written in the style of the Aeneid
by the Roman poet Virgil, was published in 1723. Voltaire became independently wealthy in his early 30's through an inheritance and wise investments. He was also a
celebrity who had three plays performed in 1725 to help celebrate the wedding of King Louis XV. Royal pensions and other honors followed. But all this success ended
abruptly in 1726 when the Chevalier de Rohan, a powerful young nobleman, scornfully asked: "What is your name anyway? Monsieur de Voltaire or Monsieur
Arouet?" His question implied that Voltaire was claiming to be a nobleman while he was in fact of common origin. Voltaire supposedly replied that whatever his name
was, he was bringing it honor, which was more than Rohan could say for himself. This answer cost Voltaire a beating by Rohan's men. Challenged to a duel by Voltaire,
Rohan had him thrown into the Bastille again. A few days later, Voltaire was allowed to choose between continued imprisonment and exile. Exile and return to
France. Voltaire chose exile. From 1726 to 1729, he lived in England, for him a land of political and religious freedom. There, he met the writers Alexander Pope and
Jonathan Swift and was attracted to the ideas of the philosopher John Locke and the scientist Sir Isaac Newton. It has been said that Voltaire went into exile a poet
and came back a philosopher.
Voltaire returned to France in 1729, and published several works. The most important ones were History of Charles XII (1731) and his best-known play, Zaire (1732).
In 1733, his Letters Concerning the English Nation appeared in England. This book appeared in France the next year in an unauthorized edition called Philosophical
Letters. Voltaire's praise of English customs, institutions, and style of thought was an indirect criticism of their French counterparts. French authorities condemned
the book, and Voltaire fled from Paris. Voltaire found a home with the Marquise du Chatelet, one of the most cultured and intelligent women of the day. From 1734
to 1749, he lived in her chateau at Cirey in Lorraine. During this period, he wrote several plays, an essay on metaphysics, two works on Sir Isaac Newton, and some
poetry. He also wrote two notable philosophical tales. One of them, Zadig (1747), explores the problem of human destiny. The other, Micromegas, was started at
Cirey and was published in 1752. In it, Voltaire used giant visitors from a distant star and from the planet Saturn to discuss the relative insignificance of human
pretensions in answering religious questions. In this work, Voltaire also encouraged the use of human reason for the development of science.
Following Madame du Chatelet's death in 1749, Voltaire accepted the invitation of Frederick the Great to settle in Berlin. After three years of living under the social
and intellectual tyranny of the "Philosopher King," as Voltaire called him, Voltaire settled in Switzerland. He lived near Geneva in a chateau that he named Les Delices
(The Delights). It is now the Voltaire Institute and Museum. A severe earthquake in Portugal in 1755 inspired Voltaire to write an important philosophical poem, The
Lisbon Disaster. This work was published with his Poem on Natural Law in 1756. In 1759, Voltaire purchased an estate called Ferney on the French-Swiss border. He
lived there until just before his death. In an effort to correct the wrongs he saw in the world, Voltaire produced a constant flow of books, plays, pamphlets, and letters.
Ferney soon became the intellectual capital of Europe. There Voltaire wrote Candide, added to his Philosophical Dictionary, and completed his Universal History, also
called Essay on the Manners and Spirit of Nations (1759-1766). He fought religious intolerance and aided victims of religious persecution. His rallying cry was "ecrasez
l'infame" ("Crush the evil thing"), referring to religious superstition. Voltaire returned to Paris at the age of 83 and was enthusiastically received. There he saw his last
play, Irene (1778), warmly applauded. But the excitement of the trip was too much for him, and he died in Paris. The Roman Catholic Church, because of much
criticism by Voltaire, refused to allow him to be buried in church ground. However, his body was finally taken to an abbey in Champagne. In 1791, Voltaire's remains
were transferred to the Pantheon in Paris, where many of France's greatest are buried.
Candide (1759)
• Voltaire's best-known work. It is a
brilliant philosophical tale that has been
translated into more than 100
• On the surface, the work describes the
adventures of an inexperienced young
man as he wanders around the world.
• Philosophically, Candide is recognized as
a complex inquiry into the nature of
good and evil.
Denis Diderot (1713-1784)
• A writer and
author whose
most famous work
reflected the
movement during
the Age of Reason
Denis Diderot
Denis Diderot (1713-1784)
• Diderot strongly supported experimental methods in
philosophy and science. He believed that nature was in a
state of constant change and no permanently adequate
interpretation of it was possible. Diderot was also a
philosophical materialist, believing that thought developed
from the movements and changes of matter. His views on
this subject were vague, as were his religious opinions. At
one time, he was an atheist. At another time, Diderot was
a deist, believing that God existed independently of the
world and had no interest in it. But he later suggested that
all of nature was God. Diderot was born in Langres, near
Encyclopedia (1751-1772)
• The 28 volume work of Denis Diderot
that helped to spread Enlightenment
ideas throughout Europe. It included
all known information about the
sciences, technology, history,
government, and politics. It also
included a number of Diderot’s
revolutionary opinions.
Adam Smith (1723-1790)
• A Scottish economist
who is known as the
“Father of Modern
• He believed that the
state should not
interfere in economic
• He developed laissezfaire economic
Adam Smith
Adam Smith (1723-1790)
Adam Smith is generally regarded as the founder of modern economics. Smith's major book was The
Wealth of Nations (1776)(full title: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations). It
was the first complete work on political economy. The book discusses the relationship between
freedom and order, analyzes economic processes, and attacks the British mercantile system's limits on
free trade. All three aspects are woven together to create a unified social theory. The book dealt with
the basic problem of how social order and human progress can be possible in a society where individuals
follow their own self-interests. Smith argued that this individualism led to order and progress. In order
to make money, people produce things that other people are willing to buy. Buyers spend money for
those things that they need or want most. When buyers and sellers meet in the market, a pattern of
production develops that results in social harmony. Smith said that all this would happen without any
conscious control or direction, "as if by an invisible hand." Smith also believed that labor--not land or
money--was both the source and the final measure of value. He said that wages depended on the basic
needs of workers, and rent on the productivity of land. Profits, he said, were the difference between
selling prices and the cost of labor and rent. Smith said profits would be used to expand production.
This expansion would in turn create more jobs, and the national income would grow. Smith believed that
free trade and a self-regulating economy would result in social progress. He criticized the British
government's tariffs and other limits on individual freedom in trade. He preached that government
need only preserve law and order, enforce justice, defend the nation, and provide for a few social needs
that could not be met through the market. Smith's argument for a "hands off" government policy
toward business, along with his analysis of economic forces, formed the basic ideas of economic
liberalism. Smith was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. He studied at the University of Glasgow and Oxford
University. In 1751, he became a professor at Glasgow. He wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiment (1759)
there. This philosophical work gained Smith an appointment in 1764 as tutor of the young duke of
Buccleuch. The tutoring took Smith to France, where he started writing The Wealth of Nations. When
Smith returned to England in 1766, the duke's stepfather provided Smith with a regular income. The
money enabled Smith to retire from teaching and devote the next 10 years of his life to writing. The
Wealth of Nations went through five editions during Smith's lifetime. But it had little major influence on
economic policy until the early 1800's.
The Wealth of Nations (1776)
• Book written by Adam Smith where
he expressed his ideas on laissez-faire
theory and free trade.
Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794)
• He protested the severe punishments
that were common for criminals at
that time. He argued that the only
purpose of punishment should be to
prevent future crime.
• Beccaria assumed that criminals had
free will and that pleasure and pain
determined their actions. He
believed crime could be prevented by
the certainty and speed of
punishment, rather than its severity.
• According to Beccaria, everyone who
violated a specific law should receive
the same punishment, regardless of
age, sex, wealth, or social position. In
modified form, the principles of the
classical school are the basis of
criminal law today in the United
States, Canada, and many other
Cesare Beccaria
On Crimes and Punishments (1764)
• Essay written by Cesare Beccaria
where he argued that punishments
should not be exercises in brutality.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
• He represents a new
generation of philosophes
that emerged in the 1760’s
and is the most famous
philosopher of the later
• He believed that emotions,
as well as reason, were
important to human
development. He believed
that it was institutions and
society that made people
evil. He also believed that
government should get its
authority from the people.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a French philosopher. He was the most important writer of the Age of Reason, a period of European history that extended
from the late 1600's to the late 1700's. Rousseau's philosophy helped shape the political events that led to the French Revolution. His works have
influenced education, literature, and politics. Rousseau was born in Geneva, in what is now Switzerland. The Rousseau family was of French Protestant
origin and had been living in Geneva for nearly 200 years. Rousseau's mother died as a result of giving birth to him, leaving the infant to be raised by his
quarrelsome father. As the result of a fight in 1722, Rousseau's father was forced to flee Geneva. The boy's uncle then took responsibility for his
upbringing. In 1728, Rousseau ran away from Geneva and began a life of wandering, trying and failing at many jobs. He was continually attracted to
music. For years, Rousseau was undecided between careers in literature or music. Shortly after leaving Geneva, at the age of 15, Rousseau met Louise
de Warens, a well-to-do widow. Under her influence, Rousseau joined the Roman Catholic Church. Although he was 12 or 13 years younger than
Madame de Warens, Rousseau settled down with her near Chambery in the Duchy of Savoy. He described the happiness of their relationship in his
famous autobiography, Confessions (written 1765 or 1766-1770, published in 1782, 1788). However, the relationship did not last and Rousseau
eventually left in 1740. In 1741 or 1742, Rousseau was in Paris seeking fame and fortune and hoping to establish himself in a musical career. His hope
lay in a new system of musical notation that he had invented. He presented the project to the Academy of Sciences, but it aroused little interest. In
Paris, Rousseau became friends with the philosophes, a group of famous writers and philosophers of the time. He gained the patronage of well-known
financiers. Through their sponsorship, he served in Venice as secretary to the French ambassador in 1743 and 1744. The turning point in Rousseau's
life came in 1749, when he read about a contest sponsored by the Academy of Dijon. The academy was offering a prize for the best essay on the
question: Whether the revival of activity in the sciences and arts was contributing to moral purification. As he read about the contest, Rousseau
realized the course his life would take. He would oppose the existing social structure, spending the rest of his life indicating new directions for social
development. Rousseau submitted an essay to the academy. His "Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts" (1750 or 1751) attacked the arts and
sciences for corrupting humanity. He won the prize and the fame he had so long desired. When Rousseau converted to Catholicism, he lost his
citizenship in Geneva. To regain his citizenship, he reconverted to Protestantism in 1754. In 1757, he quarreled with the philosophes, feeling they were
persecuting him. Rousseau's last works are marked by emotional distress and guilt. They reflect his attempt to overcome a deep sense of inadequacy
and to find an identity in a world that seemed to have rejected him. In three Dialogues, also called Rousseau, Judge of Jean-Jacques (written 17721776, published 1782), Rousseau tried to answer charges by his critics and those he believed were persecuting him. His final work was the beautiful
and serene Reveries of the Solitary Stroller (written 1776-1778, published 1782). Rousseau also wrote poetry and plays in both verse and prose. His
musical works include many essays on music, an influential opera called The Village Soothsayer (1752), a highly respected Dictionary of Music (1767),
and a collection of folk songs entitled The Consolation of My Life's Miseries (1781). In addition, he wrote on botany, an interest he cherished, especially
during the last years of his life. Rousseau criticized society in several essays. For example, in "Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality"
(1755), he attacked society and private property as causes of inequality and oppression. The New Heloise (1761) is both a romantic novel and a work
that strongly criticizes the false codes of morality Rousseau saw in society. In The Social Contract (1762), a landmark in the history of political science,
Rousseau gave his views concerning government and the rights of citizens. In the novel Emile (1762),
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
Rousseau stated that children should be taught with patience and understanding. Rousseau
recommended that the teacher appeal to the child's interests, and discouraged strict
discipline and tiresome lessons. However, he also felt that children's thoughts and behavior
should be controlled. Rousseau believed that people are not social beings by nature. He
stated that people, living in a natural condition, isolated and without language, are kind and
without motive or impulse to hurt one another. However, once they live together in society,
people become evil. Society corrupts individuals by bringing out their inclination toward
aggression and selfishness. Rousseau did not advise people to return to a natural condition.
He thought that people could come closest to the advantages of that condition in a simple
agricultural society in which desires could be limited, sexual and egotistical drives controlled,
and energies directed toward community life. In his writings, he outlined institutions he
believed were necessary to establish a democracy in which all citizens would participate.
Rousseau believed that laws should express the general will of the people. Any kind of
government could be considered legitimate, provided that social organization was by
common consent. According to Rousseau, all forms of government would eventually tend to
decline. The degeneration could be restrained only through the control of moral standards
and the elimination of special interest groups. Robespierre and other leaders of the French
Revolution were influenced by Rousseau's ideas on the state. Also, many Socialists and
some Communists have found inspiration in His literary influence. Rousseau foreshadowed
Romanticism, a movement that dominated the arts from the late 1700's to the mid-1800's.
In both his writings and his personal life, Rousseau exemplified the spirit of Romanticism by
valuing feeling more than reason, impulse and spontaneity more than self-discipline.
Rousseau introduced true and passionate love to the French novel, popularized descriptions
of nature, and created a lyrical and eloquent prose style. His Confessions created a fashion
for intimate autobiographies.
Discourse on the Origins of the Inequality of Mankind (1755)
• Essay written by Jean-Jacques
Rousseau where he argued that
people formed governments and laws
to protect their private property, but
the government relationship enslaved
The Social Contract (1762)
• The work, written by Jean-Jacques
Rousseau, where he presented the idea
of a social contract in which members of
society agree to be governed by the
general will, which represents what is
best for society as a whole.
• It is a landmark in the history of political
science; Rousseau gave his views
concerning government and the rights
of citizens.
Social Contract
• The concept, proposed by Jean-Jacques
Rousseau, that an entire society agrees
to be governed by its general will, and all
individuals should be forced to abide by
the general will since it represents what
is best for the entire community.
• It is an implicit agreement among
people that results in the organization of
society; individual surrenders liberty in
return for protection.
Emile (1762)
• Novel written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
where he argued that education should
nurture, not restrict, children’s natural
• He stated that children should be taught
with patience and understanding.
• Rousseau recommended that the teacher
appeal to the child's interests, and
discouraged strict discipline and tiresome
lessons. However, he also felt that children's
thoughts and behavior should be controlled.
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)
• She was a British
author who is
considered the
founder of the
European and
American movement
for women’s rights.
• She argued that
women were as
rational as men and as
capable of being
responsible free
Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)
Mary Wollstonecraft was a British author who
was best known for her book A Vindication of
the Rights of Woman (1792). This book was one
of the first to claim that women should have
equality with men. Wollstonecraft said that men
considered women morally and mentally inferior
to themselves. She argued that women could
live happy, creative lives if they had better
educational opportunities. She based her book
on the democratic principles of the French
Revolution (1789-1799) and on her own
experiences. Wollstonecraft was born in
London. She educated herself by studying books
at home. For a brief period, she and her sisters
ran a school. From this experience, she wrote
Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787).
In this pamphlet, she criticized the cruel
treatment of young girls that was common at
the time. She also wrote other essays as well as
stories and translations. In 1797, Wollstonecraft
married William Godwin, a British political
reformer. Their daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft
Shelley, wrote the famous horror novel
Frankenstein (1818).
Mary Wollstonecraft
A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792)
• Book written by Mary Wollstonecraft.
• She identified two problems with the beliefs
of many Enlightenment thinkers. Those who
argued men should rule women also argued
against government based on the arbitrary
power of kings. Power of men over women
was equally wrong. She also argued that
because women are rational beings, they
should have the same rights as men—in
educational, economic, and political life.
• The Enlightenment ideas were most
known among the urban upper class.
They spread among the literate elite.
Literacy and the availability of books
were increasing greatly during the 18th
century. Many titles were aimed at the
new, middle-class reading public, which
included women and urban artisans.
• Magazines for the general public
developed during this time. The daily
newspaper did as well. The first was
printed in London in 1702.
• The elegant drawing rooms of great
urban houses where, in the 18th century,
writers, artists, artistocrats, government
officials, and wealthy middle-class
people gathered to discuss the ideas of
the philosophes, helping to spread the
ideas of the Enlightenment.
• One of the most famous was at the
home of Marie-Thérése de Geoffrin in
• Most of the philosophes attacked the
Christian churches, but most
Europeans of the time were devout
believers. The desire of ordinary
Protestants for a greater depth of
religious experience led to new
religious movements.
John Wesley (1703-1791)
• He was the founder of
• He had a mystical experience in
which “the gift of God’s grace”
assured him of salvation. He
became a missionary to bring
the “glad tidings” of salvation.
• He preached to masses in open
fields in England an appealed
most to the lower classes. His
sermons often caused people to
have conversion experiences.
• After Wesley’s death,
Methodism became a separate
Protestant group.
John Wesley
John Wesley (1703-1791)
John Wesley was a clergyman of the Church of England, was a founder of Methodism. He was the foremost leader in England of the
Evangelical Revival, a movement in Protestant Christianity during the 1700's that emphasized personal faith and practical good works. In
carrying out his evangelical mission, Wesley traveled about 250,000 miles (400,000 kilometers) and preached over 40,000 sermons, often
as many as 4 in a day. His concern for the poor led him to provide loan funds, establish homes for widows and orphans, extend ministries
to prisons and the armed forces, and open free medical dispensaries. Early years. Wesley was born in Epworth in Lincolnshire. He was the
15th of 19 children born to Susanna Wesley and her husband, Samuel, an Anglican clergyman. Both parents were firmly committed to the
Church of England, yet came from Nonconformist families who had separated from the Church of England. This background gave the young
Wesley a deep sense of two traditions in English religious thought. One was the importance of the organized church, with its rules and
teachings. The other was the vitality of Puritan inward religion, with its focus on a direct relationship with God. Wesley was admitted to
Christ Church College at Oxford University in 1720 and was ordained a priest in the Church of England in 1728. He returned to Oxford in
1729 as a fellow of Lincoln College. There he became spiritual adviser to some students, including his brother Charles, who gathered in
small groups to help each other with study, devotions, and practical good works. They were ridiculed by other students as "The Holy Club"
and "Bible Moths," but the nickname that prevailed was "Methodists." Their practice of accountability in small groups for the spiritual life
of all their members became the basic structure of the later Methodist movement. While Wesley was a missionary to Georgia from 1735
to 1737, he was influenced by the Moravians, a German church that stressed personal faith and disciplined Christian living. Its influence on
Wesley led to a spiritual crisis that was not resolved until he returned to England. In London on May 24, 1738, he attended a small religious
meeting. There, according to his Journal, his heart was "strangely warmed" as he experienced the inward assurance of faith that so
impressed him about the Moravians. Leadership of the Methodist societies. Wesley increasingly assumed a leadership role in the
Evangelical Revival. In 1739, at the invitation of George Whitefield, another prominent evangelist, he began to preach in the open air. For a
number of years, he was joined in this activity by his brother Charles. Their "field preaching" became characteristic of Methodism, drawing
large crowds. Those who responded to their message joined societies patterned on the religious societies of the Church of England dating
back to the late 1600's. Wesley's genius lay in organizing the Methodist societies into a movement. In 1743, he drew up a set of General
Rules, which required members to attend weekly "class meetings." At the meetings, each member was asked to give an account of his or
her discipleship according to well-defined guidelines. Wesley gave considerable responsibility to the leaders of these classes, who became
a crucial link in the authority he exercised over the movement. Wesley also adopted lay (unordained) preachers as his assistants and
helpers, and in 1744 he started an annual conference to consult on matters of doctrine and practice. The minutes of these conferences,
along with Wesley's Letters and detailed Journal, are perhaps the fullest record of any religious movement. They were published as part of
a 34-volume edition of The Works of John Wesley (1976-...). Wesley's evangelical message created controversy. It was opposed by many
Anglican clergy as religiously fanatical and politically disruptive. The Calvinist wing of the Evangelical Revival criticized it as being too
universal and putting too much emphasis on good works. Wesley wanted Methodism to remain a reforming movement within the Church
of England, and resisted separation from the church throughout his life. The issue was forced, however, by the need to provide for those
who belonged to Methodist societies in the newly founded United States. In 1784, Wesley ordained Methodist preachers for North
America, a step that led to the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and then of the Methodist Church worldwide.
• An artistic style that replaced
baroque in the 1730’s; it was
highly secular, emphasizing grace,
charm, and gentle action.
• An artistic style that replaced
baroque in the 1730’s; it was
highly secular, emphasizing grace,
charm, and gentle action.
• Rococo is a style of art that flourished in western Europe from about 1700 to 1780.
The term comes from a French word for a fanciful rock or shell design. It implies a
refined, elegant feeling and style. Rococo found its fullest expression in France,
where the leading representatives were the painters Francois Boucher, Jean
Honore Fragonard, and Antoine Watteau. They worked primarily for royal and
aristocratic clients. Their paintings differed greatly in style and subject matter from
those of the preceding baroque period. A typical baroque painting was created on
a heroic and grand scale, and usually presented Christian religious subjects. Rococo
paintings were intimate in scale and delicate in manner. They often portrayed
scenes from classical mythology. Rococo artists also created a new category of
painting called the fete galante. Their paintings showed gatherings of elegantly
dressed figures in parks and gardens. Outside France, there were other artists
during this period who worked in a bright, lively style characteristic of rococo. They
included Giovanni Battista Tiepolo in Italy and Thomas Gainsborough in England.
The ornate and decorative style of rococo was also applied to architecture,
furniture, porcelain, tapestries, and opera and theater scenery. In architecture,
rococo reached its greatest splendor in the palaces, monasteries, and churches of
southern Germany and Austria.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1760)
• A German born
composer who was a
great organist and
composer of the
baroque music of the
early 18th century.
He is famous for
Mass in B Minor.
Johann Sebastian Bach
George Frederick Handel (1685-1759)
• He was a Germanborn composer of
baroque music who is
known today mainly
through his musical
compositions called
oratorios. His most
famous work was
George Frederick Handel
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
• He was an Austrian
composer. He ranks among
the most important
composers to lead the
development of
instrumental and vocal
music during the middle and
late 1700's in the classical
• Many of his compositions
helped set standards for
musical style and taste in the
late 1700's.
• His most famous works is
The Creation and The
Franz Joseph Haydn
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
• He was an Austrian
composer, is considered one
of the greatest and most
creative musical geniuses of
all time. With Franz Joseph
Haydn, he was one of the
leading composers of the
classical style of the late
• Mozart died before his 36th
birthday, but he still left
more than 600 works.
• His three greatest operas
were: The Mariage of
Figaro, Don Giovanni, and
The Magic Flute.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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Enlightenment (Age of Reason)