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what is enlightenment Essay

Essay Topic:

What is Enlightenment?
In the eighteenth century in France Britain and Germany a general
intellectual move towards greater reliance onthe human sciences and their
relevance to the boundaries of existing knowledge began.
This movement was referred to as “The Enlightenment”. As the name
suggests the movement set out to shed a greater on humanity, human nature
and the nature of existence. A great desire was shared to determine the
extent of our knowledge of the world and for ways to gain a greater
This movement relied on a mass rejection of tradition and already called for
the removal of all established conceptions and prejudices commonly held.
The Catholic Church, and indeed all religions came under heavy scrutiny
and rejection due to their all pervasive grip on all matters educational,
scientific and philosophical. Religious morals and guidelines also came to be
Science, logic and rationalism became the principal tools of philosophy in
this era as was evidenced by the new methods employed in argument,
Tradition in all its forms, be it religious or scientific was eschewed in favour
of a clean slate from which to begin re-assessing what we can know.
Although Descartes was thefirst Philosopher to employ reason as a tool and
Francis Bacon greatly influenced Enlightenment thought it is John Locke,
an English Protestant philosopher based in Amsterdam who is perceived to
be the father figure of this movement. In France a legion of intellectuals
known as the philosophes became a phenomena, and globally thinkers such
as Hume and Kant helped define the enlightenment movement.
In order to understand what the Enlightenment is one must consider the
historical period it influenced and took its influence from.
The enlightenment took place against a historical background of momentous
cultural change. The reformation of the fifteenth century and …

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