Lord Patten, Government representative for the Pope's visit, thinks the Pope has 'many important things to say' despite abuse scandals.
Section 1 The Scientific Revolution
Sixteenth-century Europeans began to question the scientific assumptions of the ancient authorities and to develop new theories about the universe. Nicholas Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, and Galileo Galilei revolutionized astronomy. Copernicus claimed that the sun, not the earth, was at the center of the universe—an idea considered heresy by the Catholic Church. Equally revolutionary were Isaac Newton's explanations of gravity and the movement of the planets. There were breakthroughs in medicine and chemistry, and numerous women contributed to the body of scientific research. The new view of the universe affected Western philosophy. The Frenchman Rene Descartes, the first rationalist, declared that matter could be independently investigated by reason. Francis Bacon, an English philosopher, developed the scientific method—a system for collecting and analyzing evidence.
At this point, we will make a transition to:
Chapter 10: Revolution and Enlightenment, 1550–1800, Section 2 The Enlightenment
The Scientific Revolution gave rise to the Enlightenment, an eighteenth-century movement that stressed the role of philosophy and reason in improving society. Enlightenment intellectuals, known as philosophes, were chiefly social reformers from the nobility and the middle class. They often met in the salons of the upper classes to discuss the ideas of such giants as Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Diderot. In the economic sphere, Adam Smith put forth the doctrine of laissez-faire economics. The later Enlightenment produced social thinkers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and an early advocate of women's rights, Mary Wollstonecraft. Salon gatherings, along with the growth of book and magazine publishing, helped spread Enlightenment ideas among a broad audience. Most Europeans were still Christians. However, the desire for a more spiritual experience inspired new religious movements, such as the Methodism of John Wesley.
* Explain how science led to the Enlightenment.
* Compare the ideas of Hobbes and Locke.
* Identify the beliefs and contributions of the philosophes.
* Summarize how economic thinking changed during this time.
Terms, People, and Places
philosophe (notice the spelling: this is not the same thing as philosopher)
separation of powers
salon (there is a common everyday word, but in reference to the Enlightenment, it means a physical place more specific and relates directly to the Enlightenment)
I will create a new page on our Shanawiki (Cf. http://shanawiki.wikispaces.com/) site as well to create a Quiz/Test Study page.
Reading and Listening Skill: Summarize Draw a table like the one shown here. As you read the section, summarize each thinker’s works and ideas.
By the early 1700s, European thinkers felt that nothing was beyond the reach of the human mind. Through the use of reason, insisted these thinkers, people and governments could solve every social, political, and economic problem. In essence, these writers, scholars, and philosophers felt they could change the world.
The Scientific Revolution of the 1500s and 1600s had transformed the way people in Europe looked at the world. In the 1700s, other scientists expanded European knowledge. For example, Edward Jenner developed a vaccine against smallpox, a disease whose path of death spanned the centuries.
Age of Enlightenment In Europe, 1:59
Applying science to the physical world, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton demonstrated that the universe operates according to natural laws which could be discovered by reason. Applying reason to the affairs of men, Locke, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Diderot put forth ideas of democracy, freedom, and equality. These ideals were translated into action as the American and French Revolutions.
Scientific successes convinced educated Europeans of the power of human reason. Natural law, or rules discoverable by reason, govern scientific forces such as gravity and magnetism. Why not, then, use natural law to better understand social, economic, and political problems? Using the methods of the new science, reformers thus set out to study human behavior and solve the problems of society. In this way, the Scientific Revolution led to another revolution in thinking, known as the Enlightenment. Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher best known for his work The Critique of Pure Reason, was one of the first to describe this era with the word “Enlightenment.” Despite Kant’s skepticism about the power of reason, he was enthusiastic about the Enlightenment and believed, like many European philosophers, that natural law could help explain aspects of humanity.
What was Newton's main contribution to Enlightenment thought?
Philosophes and Their Ideas
In the 1700s, there was a flowering of Enlightenment thought. This was when a group of Enlightenment thinkers in France applied the methods of science to understand and improve society. They believed that the use of reason could lead to reforms of government, law, and society. These thinkers were called philosophes (fee loh zohfs), which means “philosophers.” Their ideas soon spread beyond France and even beyond Europe.
Born to wealth, Charles Louis de Secondat (1689–1755), pictured here, inherited the title Baron de Montesquieu from his uncle. Like many other reformers, he did not let his privileged status keep him from becoming a voice for democracy. His first book titled Persian Letters ridiculed the French government and social classes. In his work published in 1748, The Spirit of the Laws, he advanced the idea of separation of powers—a foundation of modern democracy
In 1748, Montesquieu published The Spirit of the Laws, in which he discussed governments throughout history. Montesquieu felt that the best way to protect liberty was to divide the various functions and powers of government among three branches: the legislative, executive, and judicial. He also felt that each branch of government should be able to serve as a check on the other two, an idea that we call checks and balances. Montesquieu’s beliefs would soon profoundly affect the Framers of the United States Constitution.
François-Marie Arouet, pictured here and known as Voltaire (1694–1778) was an impassioned poet, historian, essayist, and philosopher who wrote with cutting sarcasm and sharp wit. Voltaire was sent to the Bastille prison twice due to his criticism of French authorities and was eventually banned from Paris. When he was able to return to France, he wrote about political and religious freedom. Voltaire spent his life fighting enemies of freedom, such as ignorance, superstition, and intolerance.
Rousseau (left) and Voltaire (right) are pictured here in the midst of an argument. Even though the philosophes were reform-minded, they disagreed about some issues. The important point is that the Enlightenment tradition indicated that reasonable, rational people could dispute without killing one another. Debate, disagreement, and dialogue, along with the use of reason was emphasized.
“No man has received from nature the right to give orders to others. Freedom is a gift from heaven, and every individual of the same species has the right to enjoy it as soon as he is in enjoyment of his reason.”
As the editor, Diderot did more than just compile articles. His purpose was “to change the general way of thinking” by explaining ideas on topics such as government, philosophy, and religion. In these articles, the philosophes denounced slavery, praised freedom of expression, and urged education for all. They attacked divine-right theory and traditional religions. Critics raised an outcry. The French government argued that the Encyclopedia was an attack on public morals, and the pope threatened to excommunicate Roman Catholics who bought or read the volumes.
Despite these and other efforts to ban the Encyclopedia, more than 4,000 copies were printed between 1751 and 1789. When translated into other languages, the Encyclopedia helped spread Enlightenment ideas throughout Europe and across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas.
What were the major contributions of Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Diderot to the Enlightenment?
Toward a New Social Science
French thinkers known as physiocrats focused on economic reforms. Like the philosophes, physiocrats based their thinking on natural laws. The physiocrats claimed that their rational economic system was based on the natural laws of economics.
Physiocrats rejected mercantilism, which required government regulation of the economy to achieve a favorable balance of trade. Instead, they urged a policy of laissez faire (les ay fehr), allowing business to operate with little or no government interference. Physiocrats also supported free trade and opposed tariffs.
Scottish economist Adam Smith greatly admired the physiocrats. In his influential work The Wealth of Nations, he argued that the free market should be allowed to regulate business activity. Smith tried to show how manufacturing, trade, wages, profits, and economic growth were all linked to the market forces of supply and demand. Wherever there was a demand for goods or services, he said, suppliers would seek to meet that demand in order to gain profits. Smith was a strong supporter of laissez faire. However, he felt that government had a duty to protect society, administer justice, and provide public works. Adam Smith’s ideas would help to shape productive economies in the 1800s and 1900s.
Power of the Market - Invisible Hand, 1:14
In-class assignment: How does an invisible hand guide economic activity in a free market according to Adam Smith?
Milton Friedman explains how an invisible hand guides economic activity in a free market.
Investors in Paris, France, 1720
Beccaria and Justice
What is the concept of laissez-faire?
The Later Enlightenment
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (roo soh) and quill pen
Rousseau Stirs Things Up: Cf. http://www.pearsonsuccessnet.com/snpapp/iText/products/0-13-133374-7/audio.html?fname=audio/audio_WH07Y03728.mov
In Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s most important work, The Social Contract (1762), he argued that in order to be free, people should do what is best for their community. Rousseau felt that society placed too many limitations on people’s behavior. He believed that some controls were necessary, but that they should be minimal. Additionally, only governments that had been freely elected should impose these controls. Rousseau had many supporters who were inspired by his passionate writings. European monarchs, on the other hand, were angry that Rousseau was questioning authority. As a result, Rousseau worried about persecution for much of his life. The “chains” below represent the social institutions that confined society.
“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.”
—Rousseau, The Social Contract
Creative Quotations from Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1:11
In-class assignment: paraphrase one of Rousseau's statements in your own words (email/hand in with the daily HW).
A thought provoking collection of Creative Quotations from Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778); born on Jun 28. French philosopher, educational reformer, author; He was an influential educational reformer; His teacher-student contract changed education.
Rousseau believed that people in their natural state were basically good. This natural innocence, he felt, was corrupted by the evils of society, especially the unequal distribution of property. Many reformers and revolutionaries later adopted this view. Among them were Thomas Paine and Marquis de Lafayette, who were leading figures of the American and French Revolutions.
What were Rousseau's basic theories as presented in The Social Contract and Emile?
Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, two seventeenth-century English thinkers, set forth ideas that were to become key to the Enlightenment. Both men lived through the upheavals of the English Civil War. Yet they came to very different conclusions about human nature and the role of government.
Audio Background: Hobbes and Locke Have Conflicting Views
Thomas Hobbes outlined his ideas in a work titled Leviathan. In it, he argued that people were naturally cruel, greedy, and selfish. If not strictly controlled, they would fight, rob, and oppress one another. Life in the “state of nature”—without laws or other control—would be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
To escape that “brutish” life, said Hobbes, people entered into a social contract, an agreement by which they gave up their freedom for an organized society. Hobbes believed that only a powerful government could ensure an orderly society. For him, such a government was an absolute monarchy, which could impose order and compel obedience.
The title page, pictured here, from Leviathan (1651) by Hobbes demonstrates his belief in a powerful ruler. The monarch here represents the Leviathan who rises above all of society.
John Locke and a book of his writings
Locke's Influence on American Constitutional Ideas: Life, Liberty, and Property (the pursuit of happiness)
Locke proposed a radical idea about this time. A government, he said, has an obligation to the people it governs. If a government fails its obligations or violates people’s natural rights, the people have the right to overthrow that government. Locke’s idea would one day influence leaders of the American Revolution, such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. Locke’s idea of the right of revolution would also echo across Europe and Latin America in the centuries that followed.
The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property; and the end while they choose and authorize a legislative is that there may be laws made, and rules set, as guards and fences to the properties of all the society.
"Whensoever, therefore, the legislative [power] shall transgress4 this fundamental rule of society, and either by ambition, fear, folly, or corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people, by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves5 to the people; who have a right to resume their original liberty, and by the establishment of a new legislative (such as they shall think fit), provide for their own safety and security. . . .”John Locke
1. Draw Inferences
According to Locke, how should a land be governed? Why do you think this is the case?
2. Identify Central Issues
What does Locke say can happen if a government fails to protect the rights of its people?
Rights of Women
The Enlightenment slogan “free and equal” did not apply to women. Though the philosophes said women had natural rights, their rights were limited to the areas of home and family.
By the mid- to late-1700s, a small but growing number of women protested this view. Germaine de Staël in France and Catharine Macaulay and Mary Wollstonecraft in Britain argued that women were being excluded from the social contract itself. Their arguments, however, were ridiculed and often sharply condemned.
Creative Quotations from Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 1:26
In-class assignment: paraphrase one of Wollstonecraft's sayings in your own words and email/hand-in with your daily HW.
A thought provoking collection of Creative Quotations from Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851); born on Aug 30. English author; She is best known as the creator and author of "Frankenstein," 1818.
Wollstonecraft was a well-known British social critic. She accepted that a woman’s first duty was to be a good mother but felt that a woman should be able to decide what was in her own interest without depending on her husband. In 1792, Wollstonecraft published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. In it, she called for equal education for girls and boys. Only education, she argued, could give women the tools they needed to participate equally with men in public life.
How did Mary Wollstonecraft use the Enlightenment ideal of reason to advocate rights for women?
Social World of the Enlightenment
The Growth of Reading
New literature, the arts, science, and philosophy were regular topics of discussion in salons, or informal social gatherings at which writers, artists, philosophes, and others exchanged ideas. The salon originated in the 1600s, when a group of noblewomen in Paris began inviting a few friends to their homes for poetry readings. By the 1700s, some middle-class women began holding salons. Here middle-class citizens could meet with the nobility on an equal footing to discuss and spread Enlightenment ideas.
Madame Geoffrin (far right in blue), in her famous salon where Enlightenment thinkers gathered to share ideas.
What was the importance of salons?
Religion in the Enlightenment
John Wesley Sermon: Thoughts on War, 5:30
Mark Topping as John Wesley. Taken from the DVD dramatising significant moments in his life: Cf. www.revjohnwesley.com; for more about the Methodist Church of Great Britain: Cf. www.methodist.org.uk.
What are some of the central ideas of Methodism?
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1. In the textbook, review the six "Reading Check" questions in Ch. 10 Sec. 1; you do not need to answer them by writing out the answers but you want to be sure you understand the questions and answers. If there is any material that you are unsure of make sure we have a chance to talk, and accurately answer, the "Reading Check" questions throughout the week in class.