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Enlightenment worldview is the root of the "liberal social order," and is predicated on the belief in "the natural unfolding of human progress," (Kagan, 2012). Preceded by a Church-dominated orthodoxy, the Enlightenment directly threatened the political power of the Church, the main cause of rising fundamentalism in the defense of orthodoxy. However, the relationship between religion and the Enlightenment was not one of direct contract and opposition to create two binaries in the European consciousness. In fact, "recent studies of the Enlightenment suggest that its relation to religion is far more complex than a simple process of increasing secularization," (The German History Society, 2007, p. 422). One example of how the Enlightenment ironically bolstered, or at least reshaped, orthodoxy, was via the accessibility of the Bible due to the Gutenberg printing press. Making the Bible available in the common English and German languages, readable by a substantial portion of the…… [Read More]
Enlightenment and Scientific Method
Robert Hollinger, in his essay "hat is the Enlightenment?," notes the centrality of science to the "Enlightenment project," as he defines it, offering as one of the four basic tenets that constitute the "basic ideas of the Enlightenment" the view that "only a society based on science and universal values is truly free and rational: only its inhabitants can be happy." (Smith 1998, p. 71). As Smith (1998) says generally about the Enlightenment period, "Scientific knowledge came to be seen as an instrument for securing control over the human condition and for making it better." (p. 56).
But to what degree did the Enlightenment have an actual effect on science and its practice? I will look at three areas -- the philosophes, the "science of man," and the Deist religion -- in order to define how the Enlightenment culture affected the development of the scientific method.…… [Read More]
As far as the philosophy of Montesquieu, it is crucial to note that the principle of the checks and balances of the governmental branches was also included in the Constitution. The Framers also adopted Rousseau's idea that the power of the social contract is directly derived from the people. This is best illustrated by the introduction of the Constitution: "We the People of the United tates, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United tates of America." Even though the Anti-Federalists support movements of the Bill of Rights were based on their firm belief that the Constitution had to lay down the rules for common-law procedures in criminal cases, their contribution to the adoption of the…… [Read More]
Enlightenment is the term given to a historical era in the eighteenth century, roughly, that falls between the Scientific evolution and the American and French evolutions. As befits an epoch that followed the Scientific evolution, the chief hallmark of the Enlightenment was a faith in reason and rationality -- the basic notion was that the scientific progress achieved by Sir Isaac Newton meant that the human mind might be capable of understanding all things in the same way. Accordingly, Babcock notes that another commonly used term for the Enlightenment is "the Age of eason" (Babcock 221).
Because America was founded during the Enlightenment, there are plenty of traces of Enlightenment modes of thinking available in America today, built into the American system from its inception. Babcock notes (for example) that the rationalistic "Neoclassical" style of art popular during the Enlightenment was exemplified in architecture by the designs of Thomas Jefferson…… [Read More]
In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, a scientific revolution occurred which gave humankind a much better understanding of the universe and its functioning than ever before. One of those scientists was Isaac Newton, who, in addition to his work with gravitational laws, also developed principles of light and refraction. From this revolution in science came an intellectual and cultural movement who's name came from a metaphor based in Newton's experiments with light. Called the "Enlightenment," this movement worshipped the practical and marveled in the applied, and changed not only Europe, but the entire world. The Enlightenment took principles learned through scientific observation and study, and applied them to everyday life including such things as medicine, politics, nature, religion, literature, and others. The application of these principles in the real world gave rise to the modern world and its notions of democracy, economics, religion, international affairs, and almost…… [Read More]
Interestingly, it his Siddhartha's desire to leave the Brahmin world that starts his quest, and a Brahmin word that starts him on the path to completion. Siddhartha has come full circle to find his path to enlightenment.
This moment of revelation is followed by one of horror brought on by total and complete self-awareness, and the Siddhartha passes out. He awakes from a deep sleep, "and it seemed to him as if his entire long sleep had been nothing but a long meditative recitation of Om," and he is renewed with the simple and profound joy of life and love for all things living (Hesse, Chapter 8). Siddhartha realizes that this was his "sickness;" he had simply been unable to love anything for some time, but after his moment of wretchedness this love comes flooding back to him. The changes he makes at this point are completely internal. Though he…… [Read More]
Hence De Gouges' of the notion of bastards, even to express the relationship of male to female in the once supposedly sacred institution of wedlock.
In the social contract proposed by De Gouges, human relationships between males and females become 'in kind' or communal. "Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights" -- a quasi-socialist idea of the perfectibility of human society because of the perfectibility of the individual is suggested in these words from the "Declaration of the Rights of Man" and its assertion of a communal good, but De Gouges takes this even farther. She writes: "e intend and wish to make our wealth communal, meanwhile reserving to ourselves the right to divide…… [Read More]
.. The pre-Aryan inhabitants of the Italian soil, whose complexion formed the clearest feature of distinction from the dominant blondes, namely, the Aryan conquering race:... good, noble, clean, but originally the blonde-haired man in contrast to the dark black-haired aboriginals" ("Nietzsche on Race and Sex." VC Philosophy Home Page, 2004). Superiority and the idea that some laws apply to only some people were taken to the extreme in the mind of Adolf Hitler and his attempt to build a super race, and a nation where Aryans were encouraged to 'breed' and other racial groups were annihilated. Nietzsche wished to create a world without rules, so everyone could exercise his or her maximum potential, but he believed some races had greater tendencies to embody the qualities of the superman and were more capable of living freely and creatively.
Most of the philosophers believed that human nature can be improved? hy was…… [Read More]
Revolution could never be warranted under Hobbes' scheme; the contract implied that the sovereign power could do no wrong as it had been given full right to act for the populous. Locke took parts of the social contract theory, but had a far more liberal approach. He believed, like Hobbes, that the reason for the establishment of a government or any sort of civil society was to find a way to resolve conflicts and defend life, health, liberty, and property without resorting to mere physical force. This stemmed from Locke's belief that humans were inherently ruled by reason, even if it was selfish reason. This also led him to the belief that revolution was not only permissible, but in some cases even obligated. When governments no longer performed what they were reasonably formed to accomplish, it made no sense to keep them.
Robespierre took this philosophy to extreme lengths in…… [Read More]
Rather, corruption continued and the widespread execution of revolutionaries by Maximilien Robespierre and Louis de Saint-Just of the Committee of Safety was largely justified with the radicalized views of Enlightenment philosopher Rousseau with regard to the revolution (Church; Lefebvre; Rude). Robespierre's distorted perception of Rousseau's views lead to an adamant and unwaivering desire to drive the revolution forward at any cost, including that of substantial human life. Robespierre was similarly influence by Rousseau to strive for the decree establishing the existence of a Supreme Being (Lefebvre; Rude; Church). These concepts of Rousseau-like deism that were modified and manipulated by Robespierre were an attempt to usurp Christian control over society (Torrey; Cassirer; Church; Lefebvre; Rude).
Ultimately, the Reign of Terror empowered the incumbent government to maintain political and social power within France and eventually the social uprising began to curtail (Rude; Lefebvre). Those revolutionaries who survived eventually attained significant enough level…… [Read More]
Enlightenment Upon the Colonies
As may be common knowledge by people raised, educated, and living in America for many years will know, during the American Enlightenment period, many people were inspired. There were ideas abound. It was an era of relative tolerance and humanist thinking. Documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were composed and ratified during this period as well. Clearly, the American Enlightenment is an important period in American history, but how did the European version that preceded it influence the thinking and the actions of the time in a place across the ocean? The European Enlightenment had begun during the mid-17th century and been going on before the colonies were the colonies and certainly before they were the United States. Fundamental to the European Enlightenment were ideals such the liberation the human mind, and the application of reason to behavior &…… [Read More]
hat is truly remarkable about Swift's novel is the fact that the protagonist rarely generates any kind of emotional response to what he encounters, and the adventures that befall him. In this sense, Swift's novel aims at challenging the norms, tradition, mentalities and institutions of English society by attempting to uncover what lies behind them.
Henry Fielding's novel Tom Jones was published in 1749, and is regarded as his most famous writing. The novel reflects many aspects of its author's life, with the main character being built as a reflection of Fielding himself. One of the most prominent themes of the novel is the opposition between two perspectives on virtue. Fielding creates characters such as Square and Thwackum who only theorize and invoke virtue, and others, such as Tom or Allworthy who practice it. In fact, this duality expresses Fielding's personal belief that virtue is synonymous to action. The first…… [Read More]
Scientific Revolution, Enlightenment and Resultant Intellectuals Revolution
A massive exchange of information that shook older ways of thinking and created new conceptions is the Scientific Revolution that occurred between mid-sixteenth and early eighteenth centuries first starting in Europe. Rather than relying on the Church and other outside sources, the Scientific Revolution promoted human reasoning, which was applied to human affairs and the physical universe.
Institutions such as the Church, towns and cities, guilds, professional associations, and universities established mandates to regulate and control members. Emerging universities were neutral zones of intellectual autonomy where students could study freely without the regulations of the church. These universities educated many major figures of the scientific revolution: Copernicus from Poland, Galileo from Italy, and Newton in England; these creators of the revolution set themselves apart from the old viewpoints of the world.
Prior to the Scientific Revolution, Europeans viewed the world from…… [Read More]
17th century and our contemporary world began with an early, optimistic outlook of hope and promise of a better future, exemplified by movements like the Enlightenment, the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, culminating in the Information Age, environmental awareness and globalisation. It is during this period that a paradigm shift from faith (religion) to reason as the principal source of legitimacy and authority occurred (Badger). The shift occurred against the backdrop of ideals such as science, tolerance, liberty, democracy, secularism, free will and humanism. However, the period is also scared with false starts and failures, violent schisms, world wars, imperialism, terrorism, irrational nationalism, extreme religious war, information overload, pollution and the threat of nuclear annihilation that indicate failure of the rational model promised by the Enlightenment. On the premise of this dichotomy of hope and failure, this essay critically demonstrates the failure of the Enlightenment project, especially from a social and…… [Read More]
Baumgarten, Linda. (2002). hat Clothes Reveal: The Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America: The Colonial illiamsburg Collection. New Haven, CT: Yale University
Bilhartz, Terry D., and Elliott, Alan C. (2007). Currents in American History: A Brief History of the United States, Volume 1. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
Crunden, Robert Morse. (1996). A Brief History of American Culture. Armonk, NY: M.E.
Fisher, John Hurt. (2001). "British and American, Continuity and Divergence" in the
Cambridge History of the English Language: English in North America, Eds. Hogg, Blake,
Algeo, Lass, and Burchfield. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Grigg, John a., and Mancall, Peter C. (2008). British Colonial America: People and Perspectives. estport, CT: ABC-CLIO.
Horsman, Reginald. (1981). Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo-
Saxonism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Jandt, Fred Edmund (2007). An Introduction to Intercultural Communication: Identities in a Global Community.…… [Read More]
Enlightenment-era, Neo-Classical works with Romantic overtones 'Tartuffe," Candide, and Frankenstein all use unnatural forms of character representation to question the common conceptions of what is natural and of human and environmental 'nature.' Moliere uses highly artificial ways of representing characters in dramatic forms to show the unnatural nature of an older man becoming attracted to a younger woman. Voltaire uses unnatural and absurd situations to question the unnatural belief of Professor Pangloss that this is the best of all possible worlds. Mary Shelley creates a fantastic or unnatural scenario to show the unnatural nature of a human scientist's attempt to turn himself into a kind of God-like creator through the use of reason and science alone.
"Tartuffe" is the most obviously unnatural of the three works in terms of its style. It is a play, and the characters do not really develop as human beings because of the compressed nature…… [Read More]
Muslim reaction to the Enlightenment was less harsh than that of the Catholic Church, yet less adoptive than that of Protestantism. One such reaction, posited by S.H. Nasr, holds that the Enlightenment was not as widely embraced in traditional Muslim countries because there is no inherent separation of reason and religion within this faith, and that Islamic science has always included divine revelation. Another Islamic viewpoint of the Enlightenment, most convincingly stated by Ziauddin Sardar, contends that many principles of philosophy, math, and science, including the very University concept known in Arabic as the adab system, actually come from Islamic countries and indicates their significant contribution to the movement.
But if the Muslim world contributed a majority of the intellectual concepts which gained popularity during the Enlightenment, the Christian world can be thought to have taken some necessary logistical measures to implement them by downplaying the Church's value and further…… [Read More]
Because of the wording of the "Declaration of Independence," Locke is perhaps the most famous Enlightenment influence upon the Founding Fathers. However, a number of Continental Enlightenment philosophers had great influence upon the shape of the new nation: "Jean-Jacques Rousseau…distrusted the aristocrats not out of a thirst for change but because he believed they were betraying decent traditional values…Rousseau argued that inequality was not only unnatural, but that -- when taken too far -- it made decent government impossible" (Brians 2002). The French philosopher Voltaire's irreverent attitude towards religion and Rousseau's scrupulous belief in the integrity of the 'natural' man, untouched by law and custom, is reflected in the Founding Founders' notions of a society that was based upon a rule of law, rather than upon the whims of a leader. Rights rather than birthright were to govern the new American state.
The philosopher of criminology Beccaria's influence should not…… [Read More]
.. reason is being heard throughout the whole universe; discover your rights," led to her being charged with treason, resulting in her arrest, trial and execution in 1793 by the dreaded guillotine (1997, Halsall, "Olympe de Gouge," Internet).
The Haitian evolution:
While all of this revolt was happening in France, the small Caribbean colony of Haiti was experiencing similar turmoil. The Haitian evolution of 1789 to 1804 began as a political struggle among the free peoples of Saint Domingue, a French colony on the island of Hispaniola. The French evolution of the same period provided the impetus for class and racial hatreds to come about on the island. Each of the colony's social classes, being the wealthy planters and merchants, and the lower white classes, seized the chance to address their grievances and bring about social chaos and revolt. While many colonial members sought support from the political groups in…… [Read More]
Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift, and "Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus" by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly. Specifically, it will discuss family ties -- Gulliver's neglect of his family compared to Victor's neglect of his. During the Enlightenment, many issues of life and society were considered important to the very necessity and enjoyment of life. Both authors create characters that are far from normal and neglect their families in chaotic and unbelievable worlds. They abandon their families for their own selfish pleasures and wants. The authors view family as important to society, and so, they create characters that are opposite to point to their beliefs about man, society, and what is natural in relationships.
Both of these works use family ties, and the lack of them, to perpetuate their own distinct views on the Enlightenment movement, an intellectual movement prevalent in the 18th century, when both of these writers were working and…… [Read More]
Plato and the Platypus
Philosophers in the Enlightenment era would come up with various new means to popularize ideas. Denis Diderot conceived the first encyclopedia in this period, which was an attempt to systematize all world knowledge in an accessible way. But also, in another innovation, Voltaire would offer as a refutation of the optimistic philosophy of Leibniz -- which held that "this is the best of all possible worlds" -- a new form of philosophical argument: the extended comedy (Cathcart and Klein, 17). Voltaire's short book Candide is essentially an extended refutation of Leibniz's view of God (or perhaps any view of God), but it makes its points through satirical humor. In some sense, Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein are following in the footsteps of Voltaire by attempting to shed light on philosophical ideas through the medium of humor in their work Plato and a Platypus alk Into A…… [Read More]
Progress During the Enlightenment
The notion of progress is as evolving as the modern society we deem progressive. While some view progress in terms of science and technology, others view progress in terms of government, social equality, economic stability, spirituality and moral sensitivity. In terms of technology, our current society is more technologically advanced than ever before. We can pick up a telephone and speak to loved ones in other cities, states, and even countries; we can compose, mail, and deliver a letter within minutes via the world-wide-web; we can flip a switch and create light where there was darkness; we can turn a key and travel hundreds of miles within a few hours. Meanwhile, our governments no longer treat minorities as second-class citizens, the world wide poverty level and corresponding mortality rates have dramatically decreased, and our views of religion and spirituality are decidedly more eclectic than in times…… [Read More]
Enlightenment on the French evolution
evolutionary changes in the leadership of 18th Century France did not occur overnight or with some sudden spark of defiance by citizens. The events and ideals which led to the French evolution were part of a gradual yet dramatic trend toward individualism, freedom, liberty, self-determination and self-reliance which had been evolving over years in Europe, and which would be called The Enlightenment. This paper examines and analyses the dynamics of The Enlightenment - and also, those individuals who contributed to the growth of The Enlightenment and to the ultimate demise of the Monarchy - in terms of what affect it had on the French evolution.
Introduction to the French evolution
When the legitimate question is raised as to what role, if any, The Enlightenment played in the French evolution, the best evidence from credible historic sources is that The Enlightenment did indeed play an important…… [Read More]
Revolution, Constitution and Enlightenment
The American Revolution and the ensuing U.S. Constitution put forward by the Federalists were both products of and directly informed by the European Enlightenment. The Founding Fathers were considerably influenced by thinkers like Locke, Voltaire, Rousseau and Montesquieu (whose separation of powers served as the model of the three-branched government of the U.S.). This paper will explain how the European Enlightenment set the stage for the American Revolution and U.S. Constitution by putting out the ideas that the Americans would use as the basis of the political and social foundation.
The Enlightenment aka the Age of Reason was an Age in which natural philosophy assumed the vaulted position of guiding light over the preceding Age of Faith, which had served as the socio-political basis in Europe for centuries. The Reformation had upended the Age of Faith and introduced secularization into the political realm (Laux), particularly via…… [Read More]
Path to the Enlightenment
What with the ideological turmoil occurring prior to most of 18th century Western Europe, the Age of Enlightenment was but an inevitable outcome. eligious and political thoughts littered Europe by the spades, and with the foreign revolutions and tensions that led up to questioning both divine right and religious authority. The eformation, along with the discordant feelings toward the monarchy, became important turning points in history. Instead of blind faith, the Enlightened man turned to reason and science and believed in the utopian harmonic ideal. But exactly how did this Enlightenment come about?
Enlightenment was a movement that "strove scientifically to uncover religious truths rising above individual sectarian disputes" (Zhivov). Also simultaneously known as the "Age of eason," the Enlightenment culminated in a set of values that sought to question the traditions, customs, and moral beliefs of the cultural environment. While the schools of thought differ…… [Read More]
Benjamin ranklin termed himself a pragmatic deist. He believes "there is one Supreme must perfect being," however that this being is distant, and that it is not necessary to build a personal relationship with such a supreme God. He concluded that it was useful and correct to believe that a faith in God should inform our daily actions. However, he did not believe in sectarian dogma, burning spirituality or deep soul searching as a part of religion (Lopez, 87). ranklin's religious views are important in the shaping of his Enlightenment philosophy. His approach to religion drew from reason and careful reflection, he did not believe in the "frivolity" of emotional thought and connectivity, but instead focused on the pragmatic understanding of the divine. His conclusion after careful reason formulates a "Supreme Being that can be manifest in various ways, depending on the needs of different worshipers" (Lopez, 88). In contrast…… [Read More]
Enlightenment worldview and how it impacted society and human relations
The Enlightenment's emphasis on a rational understanding of the human condition marked a fundamental break with the previous worldview of the Middle Ages which preceded it. Rather than faith, the Enlightenment placed a new emphasis on scientific observation and rationalism as the best way to understand the world. It also stressed the value of human beings and the world of the here and now versus the hereafter. This disdain for tradition and celebration of reason led to a political revolution in both philosophy and government. More and more people questioned the divine right of kings and demanded a voice for the people in the way their government was legislated.
The scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth century "undermines not only the ancient geocentric conception of the cosmos, but, with it, the entire set of presuppositions that had served to…… [Read More]
" (Janes, 1978) It was also not due to Wollstonecraft's "assertion that the 'sexes were equal" or due to her demand for opportunities for education for women. The proposals stated by Wollstonecraft for education met with public approval and her political and economic views are stated to have "...excited little negative or positive comment at the time of publication." (Janes, 1978) In fact, it is stated by Janes (1978) that the "element that cam disturbingly close to men's bosoms was the attack on the sexual character of women, the denial that a peculiarly feminine cast of mind was desirable." (Janes, 1978)
III. Nicholson (1990)
The work of Nicholson (1990) entitled: "The Eleventh Commandment: Sex and Spirit in Wollstonecraft and Malthus" that Wollstonecraft "reaches a concept of female emancipation hardly realized in nearly 200 years...by rigorous deduction from her image of God." However, Wollstonecraft's sexual argument is stated to hinge "on…… [Read More]
Orgon and Candide
The Enlightenment philosophers believed that God created the world, and as God is the most benevolent, capable mind possible, then the world must be the best possible world. Humans are incapable of understanding the role of evil in the world because they do not understand how the force that God set in place to govern the world. Therefore, when humans see bad things happening, they are unable to comprehend that every bad thing occurs for a greater good. This philosophy is grounded in a strong sense of cause and effect, the pursuit of which leads humans to misperceptions and, ultimately, to misplaced faith.
Orgon's misperceptions are so acute, that it leaves one wondering if his gullibility was native. Orgon's search for salvation brings him to set aside the cautions and warnings of his friends and fall completely for Tartuffe's flattery and trickery. Orgon's blind faith is driven…… [Read More]
Catherine the Great
If in an absolute monarchy, the nation's course "depends on the disposition and character of the Sovereign," as Sir James Harris observed during Catherine's rule, it is telling of the accuracy of Harris's remarks by comparing the course of Russia's evolution under Catherine to the character of the woman they called Catherine the Great (Madariaga 203). Under Catherine, Russia became an even more liberalized nation than it had been under Catherine's "great" predecessor, Peter. This liberalization came about primarily through Catherine's contact with and implementation of "Enlightenment" ideals, a result of her voluminous correspondence with men like Voltaire, the popular Enlightenment Era philosopher, whose sharp wit made him an antagonist to even the most heralded traditions. Men like Voltaire went a long way in shaping Catherine's outlook, which is seen in the very outset of her 1767 Instruction to the Legislation: her first point being that Russia…… [Read More]
Though her mother had passed, there would be maternal, familial and nurturing love to be found in the warmth and kindness of those whom she would meet here. ith the Black Madonna photograph as a compass and the pressures of the changing Civil Rights climate as a motor, Lily ultimately had found personal redemption in the implications of both. It is no matter of coincidence that the author so aggressively intertwined the conditions of Lily's confrontation of her own demons concerning the death of her mother with the personal revelations that, on a broad social scale, underscored the Civil Rights Movement as a whole. Indeed, the resolution finds Lily in a place of relative emotional equanimity, having confronted the truth about her mother, having faced the anger of her father and having ultimately settled on her life in the Boatright's community. Accordingly, "August and her community become Lily's new family,…… [Read More]
To achieve his ends man gives up, in favour of the state, a certain amount of his personal power and freedom Pre-social man as a moral being, and as an individual, contracted out "into civil society by surrendering personal power to the ruler and magistrates, and did so as "a method of securing natural morality more efficiently." To Locke, natural justice exists and this is so whether the state exists, or not, it is just that the state might better guard natural justice Locke in his works dwelt with and expanded upon the concept of government power: it is not, nor can it possibly be, absolutely arbitrary over the lives and fortunes of the people. For it being but the joint power of every member of the society given up to the legislative assembly, the power vested in the assembly can be no greater than that which the people had…… [Read More]
Plato's Cave Allegory
The allegorical account presented by Plato in the form of "The Cave" is very informative and educating if assessed and looked at from the proper perspective. The author of this report is to look at the movements and reactions of the mobile person in the cave. Plato is obviously making a point about life and how best to experience and learn from it. The author of this report shall give a quick summary of the movements of the man and what occurs around him and what changes greatly when his gaze is removed from the wall. While opinions and interpretations of this allegory may vary, the overall message Plato was trying to communicate is pretty clear.
Before getting into the analysis of what precisely Plato was trying to say through the cave allegory, it should be first be summarized what precisely happened and was explained so that…… [Read More]
Baruch Spinoza believed that humans' actions and activities are not based on free will, but rather humans are moved to action and thought because he believed that nothing happens by mere chance. His rationale for believing as he does is the basis for this essay.
Free Will vs. Determinism
A review of what Spinoza believed is not the easiest thing to accomplish since some of what Spinoza puts forward is seemingly esoteric to the lay person or student engaged in research. But in researching Spinoza's philosophy, looking carefully at his positions, one can come to understand basically why he did not believe in free will. He believed that God, and God alone, is free to make decisions and to act according to His free will. Since God is Nature, and Nature is God, and therefore everything that exists on Earth are there because God decided, of His own free…… [Read More]
Interpretive Analysis: A Day in the Life of a Great Leader
Baron Claude-Francois De Meneval in his work on Napoleon remembers the French leaders as seemingly "immortal," someone who was vigorous and struck down "by a terrible storm" and someone that was worthy of remembrance in many ways (p. Ix). De Meneval describes a day in the life of Napoleon shortly after a return from a trip to Egypt, where Bonaparte had been interested in spreading his influence. The author describes Napoleon as "gentlemanly" and suggest that he was an individual set on task and of clear mind, explaining to his colleagues among other things the plausible motives he might use to satisfy "the desire of the population" (De Meneval, 1894:9).
Further Napoleon is described as someone whose presence that particular day inspired warm enthusiasm from the population at large in part a testament to his "zeal and…… [Read More]
Ideology in France 1848-1849: eflections on Nationalism and Liberalism
The ideology adopted in France between 1848-1849 has been described in many different ways by historians and theorists. The predominant body of research available however suggests that a liberal and nationalistic ideology reigned supreme during this time, where the middle class became much more influential. The idealisms of the romantic era are also evident in France during this period of time, and may have influenced the nationalistic state of affairs in France at the time.
The liberal and nationalistic idealisms adopted by the middle class led many people to experience struggles and hardships, but a majority of these were in the process of discovering their own form of leadership and sense of pride. These ideas are explored in greater detail below.
Ideology in France
Karl Marx describes the France of 1848-1849 as filled with Class struggles. From primary accounts of the…… [Read More]
Buddha-Nature and Enlightenment
Buddhism is a unique religion: it doesn't worship any deity nor does it require any individual to live their lives through divine will. Approximately 2,500 years ago, when Buddha achieved enlightenment he spent the next forty-five years teaching others that personal growth and awakening is possible through finding the truth within themselves. This concept is very alien in comparison to Western religions. There are many aspects of Buddhism, but what is essential is that personal awakening is possible personal experience and that suffering can be ceased through changing behavior, meditation, and transcendent wisdom. We are grateful to Siddartha Gautama for institutionalizing the practices we call Buddhism today so that we may better understand what Buddha experienced, and what he taught to the people along the Ganges River. Two essential understandings in the teachings of Buddhism are Buddha-nature and Enlightenment.
To understand Buddha-nature we must first to come…… [Read More]
Rousseau implied that this proved the point that women ought to serve their husbands and children, and that they had no need to be educated as a man. Wollenscraft used the fact that women must bear children as evidence that they must be educated, because as they age they will need consolations of the mind to keep them satisfied as their motherhood and old age draws them away from the sensual pleasures of youth. A good mother and grandmother, she would suggest, will not be a Roussean heroine constantly hoping to passively seduce men and defining her life accordingly.
Unlike Rousseau or those scholars which based their opinion on old bones, the feminist thinkers of the Enlightenment based the core of their arguments regarding women on the same arguments which male philosophers of the era used to support universal (white) male suffrage and democratic proceedings. During this era, philosophers (including…… [Read More]
Although there are some elements of Napoleon's domestic and foreign policies that would suggest he was extending Enlightenment idealism through his autocratic regime, his coming to power is more accurately framed as marking an end to the French Revolution. Some of the French Revolution's core principles did emerge during Napoleon's rule. For example, Napoleon's legal and judicial reforms offered a more egalitarian model than the ancien regime had due to the doing away with a two-tiered system treating aristocracy and peasantry differently under the law (Lecture Notes, p. 8). Napoleonic law dismantled the feudalism of the ancien regime, and established in its place a code of Enlightenment legal principles (Lecture Notes, p. 8). In spite of the promising legal reforms Napoleon implemented as the supreme leader of France, his rule can be deemed nothing but a dictatorship. The means by which Napoleon seized, maintained, and wielded power were purely…… [Read More]
dialectic of the Enlightenment in terms of the values of truth, progress and liberation. We will tangentially see how these concepts are linked to modernity and post modernity. Also, we will see what the two alternatives to dealing with the demise of the Enlightenment as Ferraris and Taraboletti Segre argue. The author will also refer to Lyotard and Habermas's stance on the issue. We will answer the question of why one can not separate the concerns of modernity and postmodernity from each other. We will see how the two discourses inform each other in terms of above subjects.
The dialectic of the Enlightenment has almost always been known in terms of the values of truth, progress and liberation. ather than having to look upon it as having died Ferraris and Taraboletti Segre argue that by becoming a philosophical issue, it is now beyond being localized to one discipline. The modern…… [Read More]
Had the Enlightenment adequately prepared 19th century readers for Darwin's Origin of the Species? The Enlightenment view of the science of life was neatly summed up by Diderot in his Encyclopedia, in many ways a signature product of the Enlightenment's dedication to setting forth the foundations of human knowledge. As Diderot notes in his prefaratory comments, what we call biology falls under the heading of "Natural History":
The divisions of natural history derive from the existing diversity of the facts of nature, and the diversity of the facts of nature from the diversity of the states of nature. Either nature is uniform and follows a regular course, such as one notes generally in celestial bodies, animals, vegetables, etc.; or it seems forced and displaced from its ordinary course, as in monsters; or it is restrained and put to different uses, as in the arts. Nature does everything, either in…… [Read More]
The growing dominance of the bourgeois class and the growing economic discontent in the society combined to create the atmosphere of dissatisfaction and conflict that eventually led to the development and declaration of the French Revolution.
King Louis XVI's passion for ballet dancing paved the way for ballet to thrive, develop and become rampant during his reign in the late 17th century. Under the leadership of Louis XVI's, ballet was institutionalized not only as an art form, but also as a profession. Moreover, during this period, ballet became a profession and art form no longer dominated by males, but also by females. It was also during this period that the comedie ballet became a popular form of ballet dance, particularly performed in Louis XVI's court ballet.
One of the most distinct characteristics of the Age of Enlightenment from other social and cultural movements that occurred in the history of humanity…… [Read More]
He continued to study medicine with Thomas Sydenham as his mentor. (ikipedia)
He had an unsuccessful attempt to prevent James II from reaching the throne, and, as a result of his failure, he had been obliged to flee England. He did not return to England until 1689, when James II had been removed from power. It only took one year until he published his most important work: An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. He had been inspired from the works of Decartes when he wrote the essay. Locke also paid great interest to politics, which motivated him in writing the Two Treatises of Government. His work related to the fact that the state has to protect the rights that its citizens have, including the right to property.
The fact that he considered the people to be more important than the state and that freedom of religion was vital in order for…… [Read More]
Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment (Harper Perennial, James Gaines), 2006.
Gaines' book discusses two of history's greatest men, each of whom became great for a different reason. One was a political leader and statesman the other a musician. he biography of each could not have been more different. Both had tough lives and both fought against enormous stakes but one lived in a palace and the other travelled from place to place living in some at most only 3 years. One sampled jail and the other saw his partner killed and was saved by being sent to the military. One was homosexual and the other happily married in love. Bach's love in contradistinction to that of Frederick was more serene and meaningful. His music absorbed him and made him happy. He was focused; his life purely devoted to cantatas…… [Read More]
Instead, the practice bhakti-style devotion to various Buddhas and other supramundane figures (Protehero, 2010, p. 177). These are not manifestations of one God, as might be understood by practitioners of most Western religions, but more similar to spirit guides.
Another aspect of Buddhism that might be surprising is the understanding of "karma." The word is commonly used in our current lexicon and refers to the good or bad that comes one's way based on one's own good or bad deeds. It is thought of as a reward or, conversely, payback. It helps people make sense of the world if they can conceive of such cosmic justice. However, karma is more complicated and really has to do with cause and effect. The idea is that everything one does has consequences, which must be dealt with constructively before one can move on (Martin, 2011). It is about learning and personal growth rather…… [Read More]
Enlightenment: Karma, Bodhisattvas, and Nirvana
For some twenty-four hundred years, Buddhism has been a pre-dominantly Eastern religion. But in the last one-hundred-and-fifty years - ever since the first Asian immigrants arrived on these American shores as workers - the unique teachings and practices of Buddha have incorporated itself into Western society. And throughout the migration of this religion through the centuries, one goal has never changed: to achieve enlightenment as Buddha had under the bodhi tree. And what Buddha did next is the fundamental foundation of Buddhism: he taught others how to achieve it, too: he didn't keep the secret to himself. But there is no secret in achieving enlightenment. It only requires commitment, aspiration, following certain practices and vows, and understanding many concepts within Buddhism can an individual become enlightened. Three of the concepts an individual must come to understand are the laws of karma, identifying Nirvana, and knowledge…… [Read More]
There are three major religions that have established themselves in China: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism; and of the three, only Buddhism is not indigenous to China. Buddhism found its way to China along the Silk oad, brought by missionaries from India. For centuries, the three religions have co-existed with many Chinese adopting elements of each in their daily lives. Whatever similarities, or symbiotic elements each contains, the three religions have also competed with each other for prominence and prestige within Chinese society. At different times each has been the dominant religion, fully supported by the Imperial Court, however, Buddhism, since it's incorporation into Chinese society, has viewed itself as the superior religion. While most Buddhists are completely comfortable with the idea of other religious ideals in society, and even embrace certain aspects of them, they still feel that Buddhism is superior. One piece of Chinese literature, generally accepted as…… [Read More]
" (Huineng Reader, p.43) in other words, if people freed themselves from the attachments of things, events, and thoughts, then the truth of human purity could flow freely and be recognized.
Finally, the fourth element of Huineng's Platform Sutra was the idea that if people followed the teachings set forth in the Platform Sutra, then enlightenment did not need to take years but could come at any time. Unlike other Buddhists, Huineng taught that it did not take a lifetime of studying and practice to attain enlightenment, in fact, it was people's devotion to the dharma that often became a form of attachment. Instead, it took the recognition of the intrinsic nature of the mind and the liberation from attachments; which could come through the practice of non-thought. If people could accomplished these things, then they could attain sudden, or instant, enlightenment. As Huineng declared to his disciples "those in…… [Read More]
Joey's "going commando" lead to a state of American cultural Enlightenment?
Adorno's "How to read a television show," the American cultural industry of television, different definition of Enlightenment, and the departing NBC network show "Friends"
One of the most complex words in the English language is Enlightenment. Consider the many levels of meaning that have been attached to the word, throughout history and in the many dictionaries that line the shelves of modern libraries. To begin with the Internet, as all searches for meaning must begin in the 21st century, according to an Internet site identifying itself as "brainydictonary," the definition of "Enlightenment" is a noun that means the "act of enlightening, or the state of being enlightened or instructed." Enlightenment relates to the expansion "of conscious states, expanding consciousness, expansion of consciousness, consciousness expansion. (Brainydictionary, 2004)
However, the expansion of the mind on a personal level is a relatively…… [Read More]
Life of the Buddha:
What was the Buddha's name? How else do Buddhists refer to him?
His name is Siddhartha Gautama and he is often referred to as the 'awakened' or 'enlightened' one.
What are the circumstances in which the Buddha grew up?
Siddhartha was born in 563 B.C. He lived in a place called Lumbini and then was raised in Kapilavashtha, Sakya Kingdom's capital. During this time, Northern India was made up of various small and independent states. It is during this period, people came to challenge and question Vedic philosophy through a number of new religious and philosophical schools. There was a strong moral vacuum present.
What are the "four passing sights"?
The first is an old man that reminded Buddha of aging. The second was a sick person that reminded Buddha of pain and disease. The third was a corpse that reminded Buddha of…… [Read More]
Jefferson's Principles and their Impact on Education
Jefferson's radical beliefs in the inherent moral and developmental capacities of humans, and in their capacities to take part to participatory democracy, in turn reinforced his enduring commitment to an education that would be accessible to all. Jefferson was well aware that democracy could only work properly when the people were both virtuous and enlightened.
From these notions that people were naturally virtuous but not naturally enlightened, but that enlightenment was necessary for democracy, it followed that the society had a vested interest in investing in education to provide enlightenment.
In a letter to the Welsh born philosopher Richard Price dated January 8, 1789, Jefferson observed that "wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their government."
uch well informed or enlightened people could be relied on, "whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice," to set…… [Read More]
Many believe that this judgment takes place within a person's lifetime through sufferings for acts committed, and one does not have to wait for the end of time. The basic belief of Christianity is that there is a Christian God, who is benevolent and giving, but who is also a vengeful God. In fact, a large part of Pilgrim theology was premised on God being vengeful, and that self sacrifices were needed to appease God. Christians also believe that Christ was the son of God, who came to fulfill the Messianic prophecy espoused by sages from the Old Testament. Goodness, kindness, good deeds, generosity, honesty are divinely inspired. Christians keep Christ as a cherished beacon to be emulated every step of the way. Good deeds (which would satisfy uddhists) without true faith is meaningless.
The uddhists have an assigned eight-step path to enlightenment. These are not far removed from any…… [Read More]
ather than continue the process that began in the first two books, in which the osicrucian Order first announced themselves, gave their history, and then responded to certain criticisms while making their position within Christian theology clearer, the Chymical Wedding can almost be seen as the first instance of literature written within the osicrucian tradition, rather than as part of its manifesto-like founding documents, because it does not seek to explain the history of osicrucianism, but rather explicate how the teachings and underlying beliefs of osicrucianism contribute to and alter one's interpretation of Christian scripture (Williamson 17; Dickson 760). Specifically, one can see a distinct connection between the Chymical Wedding and seventeenth-century attempts to expand Protestantism throughout Europe. The Chymical Wedding can be seen as a the most explicit attempt on the part of osicrucians and osicrucian supporters to wed the new (or newly revealed) society to the larger religious…… [Read More]
Europe witnessed a flowering period in the 18th century that historians call the Age of Enlightenment. A period filled with experimentation as well as intellectual curiosity, people relied on the power of human reason in order to understand society and nature. One specific manifestation of the Enlightenment was a steadfast faith in the stable progression of civilization via scientific development. Because of this religious judgment went to the wayside. Instead, people wanted improvement through freedom, equality, and tolerance. French writers/thinkers expressed these sentiments and notions through their work. These philosophers devoted their passion to useful thought and not speculation. Towards the latter half of the 18th century (1782), such thinking took the form of a highly scandalous story, Dangerous Liaisons.
ritten by Pierre Ambroise Choderlos de Laclos, a member of minor nobility and a French intelligence officer within the army, Dangerous Liaisons describes French nobility and the search for sex…… [Read More]
Two examples of this "Enlightened Despotism" were Catherine the Great of Russia and Frederick the Great of Prussia. They based their monarchial powers, not on the Divine Right of Kings, but upon the need for a strong authoritative government to promote greater welfare within the state. These rulers created greater national standards and regulations that helped the state create a strong political infrastructure that veered away from traditional custom-based doctrine. As a result, Enlightened Absolutism became the norm within European government as monarchs began to systematically create a method to entrench national level reforms that would provoke greater political, economic and social stability.
Ultimately all four of these events are strongly interrelated because they were changes in the mindset of individuals. At the core level however, they were all reactions and extensions of the Reformation movement, which promoted greater individual liberty and free thinking. Absolutism and its evolution led to…… [Read More]
Not only was this theme fully explored within the historical context, but thoroughly analyzed within Europe as well. The teachings of such notable thinker as Sigmund Freud points to this direction of development. He concluded that there modernism within Europe had become characterized by the disorder of the mind. More precisely, there was a lack of any fixed system of reference for living and thinking. Europe, which had formerly been the center of intellectual development and revolutionary thinking now suffered under the burden of a weak political infrastructure. As a result, many of their greatest talents and knowledge now flowed away from Europe to other developing nations such as the United States.
The Age of Anxiety was coined not by historian but by Europeans of the age themselves. They reflected upon the disturbing trends that were occurring within European nation-states. It gave rise to radical social, political and scientific ideas…… [Read More]
hat Siddhartha gained from his encounter with the ascetics was, ironically, a lesson about how asceticism is insufficient on its own to aid the quest for enlightenment. Asceticism was for Siddhartha like a drug: a means to escape the world or a promise of inner peace. The author describes Siddhartha's asceticism like an addiction in Chapter Two, describing the intense lifestyle as a predictable, perpetual cycle that leads the practitioner nowhere (Chapter 2). Siddhartha then describes asceticism explicitly like a drug, comparing meditation and fasting to drinking and gambling. Asceticism is "a short escape of the agony of being a self, it is a short numbing of the senses against the pain and the pointlessness of life," (Chapter 2). Siddhartha notes that the "same escape, the same short numbing is what the driver of an ox-cart finds in the inn, drinking a few bowls of rice-wine or fermented coconut-milk," (Chapter…… [Read More]
However, at the same time the onset of what many scholars regard as the first truly national event within the history of the fledgling United States of America took place throughout the 1740's, and indicated that the traditional religious beliefs that mandated a strict following of God would not so easily be overturned. The Great Awakening largely begin when George Whitefield, an Oxford-trained Anglican minster who came to Georgia in 1738, began touring through the lands pronouncing that people had limited time to repent before they were consumed by the fires of hell. This perspective certainly adhered to that which was shared by many of the pilgrims and puritans who initially began the colonies in the 17th century. Jonathan Edwards was another influential factor in this movement, and delivered a number of influential sermons during the early years of the 1740s in which he claimed damnation awaited anyone who would…… [Read More]
I. Novikov. It is not clear whether Bolotov himself was a Mason, but he certainly personally belonged to the same social circles as many leading Freemasons in Russia. In his Entsiklopediia, 128, 990, Serkov mentions Bolotov as a possible member of the Konigsberg military lodge of Joanna Krestitelia (John the Baptist) working in Elagin's system around 1773. (Cross, 105)
The Freemasons continued to grow and improve Russian society until the death of Peter III, when his wife Catherine took over the throne. During the reign of Peter III, the numbers and lodges grew substantially and it became fashionable in Russia to be a member of the Freemasons. In fact, many nobles from other countries were traveling to Russia to be a part of the new and growing movement.
Catherine the Great
One of the longstanding rules and traditions of the Freemasons is that members must be men, as women were…… [Read More]
Intellectual development is reflected in the creation, development and eventual preference for a specific type of government or representation in the society. Consequently, this period of intellectual development helped promote the freedom and social order, as more forms of representation and governance were developed and implemented in American society. Republicanism's eventual dominance over other governments and political ideologies, however, reflects the society's need to preserve and champion their individual freedoms and at the same time, maintain social order despite people's political differences and beliefs.
The Great Awakening emerged as an ideology, a religious movement that embodied social order and served as a precursor to the American Revolution (declared in the late 18th century). This revivalist religious movement in American history paved the way for an "open and undisguised Unitarianism" among different Christian sects and churches in America. While there was still diversity among churches and sects, the Great Awakening improved…… [Read More]