The Influences Of The Enlightenment: The Enlightenment And The Scientific Revolution

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The Enlightenment is defined as, the European intellectual movement of the eighteenth century using the scientific method of the New Science. The scientific revolution is one of the most important influences in the formation of the Enlightenment. There are three central concepts at the core of enlightened thinking. They are that the methods of natural science could and should be used to examine and understand all aspects of life, which is reason. The scientific method was capable of discovering the laws of human society as well as those of nature. The creation of better societies and better people is possible through progress. These three concepts inspired Enlightenment thinkers to write and transform Western Europe from the age of absolutism …show more content…
Voltaire was a French philosopher and author. While he was exiled in England, Voltaire became familiar with Newton and Locke’s writings and learned about the English form of monarchical and parliamentary government. From this he published Philosophical Letters on the English in 1733. This publication seemed only to be a recount of English politics, religion, and society, but was actually a criticism of contemporary France. Voltaire wanted improvement in the French society. He aspired to change the criminal justice system, specifically to end the use of torture. The Calas affair was a broadly known scandal that Voltaire had a hand in that condemned the use of torture in criminal trials. The affair and Voltaire’s vocal, public attack on Christianity marked the turning point in religious history of Europe. Voltaire was not atheist despite his attack on Christianity he was Deist. Deism rejected traditional Christian teachings and tried to base its religion on the observation of nature. Deists stressed the need for kind treatment of human beings, supporting the effort against judicial …show more content…
In 1762 Rousseau published The Social Contract, which encouraged a democratic society and founded modern democratic theory. Rousseau, unlike men like Locke and Voltaire, wanted a major change in society. Rousseau wanted a community where people joined in politics and acted honestly for the true good of all the community’s members. From this idea ordinary people have commented on policies and required rulers to justify their actions to the people. This sparked a new political force, the public

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