An introduction to the history of the age of enlightenment

When these modern conditions did not exist, the Enlightenment or something like it did not emerge, simply because there was no need for a new epistemology. There was no Enlightenment in Africa, Asia or India, meaning that any discussion of the Enlightenment must acknowledge and deal with its limitations. For example, although the Enlightenment was confined to Europe and America, the philosophical systems it engendered were not extended to either women or people of color.

An introduction to the history of the age of enlightenment

The Enlightenment The Enlightenment was both a movement and a state of mind. The term represents a phase in the intellectual history of Europe, but it also serves to define programs of reform in which influential literati, inspired by a common faith in the possibility of a better world, outlined specific targets for criticism and proposals for action.

The special significance of the Enlightenment lies in its combination of principle and pragmatism.

An introduction to the history of the age of enlightenment

Consequently, it still engenders controversy about its character and achievements. Two main questions and, relating to each, two schools of thought can be identified.

Was the Enlightenment the preserve of an elite, centred on Paris, or a broad current of opinion that the philosophesto some extent, represented and led? Was it primarily a French movement, having therefore a degree of coherenceor an international phenomenon, having as many facets as there were countries affected?

Although most modern interpreters incline to the latter view in both cases, there is still a case for the French emphasis, given the genius of a number of the philosophes and their associates.

Unlike other terms applied by historians to describe a phenomenon that they see more clearly than could contemporaries, it was used and cherished by those who believed in the power of mind to liberate and improve.

Even its achievements were critically endangered by the militant nationalism of the 19th century. Yet much of the tenor of the Enlightenment did survive in the liberalism, toleration, and respect for law that have persisted in European society. There was therefore no abrupt end or reversal of enlightened values.

It was formed by the complementary methods of the Scientific Revolutionthe rational and the empirical. Ideas and beliefs were tested wherever reason and research could challenge traditional authority.ABSTRACT.

This article is an introduction to a special issue on ‘Religious Toleration in the Age of Enlightenment’. It begins by characterizing the Enlightenment's attitude towards religion as an opposition to bigotry and ecclesiastic authority based on a particular interpretation of the European Wars of Religion.

The Age of Enlightenment, an introduction by Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris Joseph Wright of Derby, A Philosopher Giving A Lecture at the Orrery, c.

, oil on canvas, x cm (Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby, England). The Age of Enlightenment, an introduction by Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris Joseph Wright of Derby, A Philosopher Giving A Lecture at the Orrery, c.

, oil on canvas, x cm (Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby, England). Enlightenment: Enlightenment, a European intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries in which ideas concerning God, reason, nature, and humanity were synthesized into a worldview that gained wide assent in the West and that instigated revolutionary developments in art, philosophy, and politics.

1 The Age of Enlightenment Overview Students will explore the Age of Enlightenment through a Power Point presentation and class discussion. Students will then further explore this period of history and its prominent figures by designing a dinner party.

Enlightenment: Enlightenment, a European intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries in which ideas concerning God, reason, nature, and humanity were synthesized into a worldview that gained wide assent in the West and that instigated revolutionary developments in art, philosophy, and politics.

The Enlightenment: Introduction | Art History Unstuffed