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Flashcards in Key Figures in European Intellectual History Deck (25):
1

1. Renaissance political philosopher who wrote The Prince
2. Believed that people are ungrateful and untrustworthy
3. Urged rulers to study war, avoid unnecessary kindness, and always base policy upon the principle that the end justifies the means.

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)

2

1. Northern humanist who wrote In Praise of Folly
2. Wrote in Latin while most humanists wrote in the vernacular
3. Wanted to reform the Catholic Church, not destroy it

Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

3

1. Protestant reformer whose criticism of indulgences helped spark the Reformation
2. Advocated salvation by faith, the authority of the Bible, and a priesthood of all believers
3. Believed that Christian women should strive to become models of wifely obedience and Christian charity

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

4

1. Protestant reformer who wrote The Institutes of the Christian Religion
2. Believed in the absolute omnipotence of God, the weakness of humanity, and the doctrine of predestination
3. Established Geneva as a model Christian community
4. Influenced followers who were known as Huguenots in France, Presbyterians in Scotland, and Puritans in England and the New England colonies
5. Advocated that each local congregation have a ruling body composed of both ministers and laymen who carefully supervised the moral conduct of the faithful

John Calvin (1509-1564)

5

1. French Renaissance writer who developed the essay as a literary genre
2. Known for his skeptical attitude and willingness to look at all sides of an issue

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

6

1. Polish clergyman and astronomer who wrote On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres
2. Helped launch the Scientific Revolution by challenging the widespread belief in the geocentric theory that the earth is the center of the universe
3. Offered a new heliocentric universe in which the earth and the other planets revolve around the sun

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543)

7

1. Began his career as an assistant to the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe
2. Formulated three laws of planetary motion
3. Proved that planetary orbits are elliptical rather than circular

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)

8

1. Italian scientist who contributed to the scientific method by conducting controlled experiments
2. Major accomplishments included using the telescope for astronomical observation, formulating laws of motion, and popularizing the new scientific ideas
3. Condemned by the Inquisition for publicly advocating Copernicus's heliocentric theory

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

9

1. English scientist and mathematician who wrote the Principia
2. Viewed the universe as a vast machine governed by the universal laws of gravity and inertia
3. Mechanistic view of the universe strongly influenced deism

Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

10

1. English politician and writer
2. Formalized the empirical method into a general theory of inductive reasoning known as empiricism

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

11

1. French philosopher and mathematician
2. Used deductive reasoning from self-evident principles to reach scientific laws
3. Systematic doubt

Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

12

1. English political philosopher who wrote Leviathan
2. Viewed human beings as naturally self-centered and prone to violence
3. Feared the dangers of anarchy more than the dangers of tyranny
4. Argued that monarchs have absolute and unlimited political authority

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

13

1. English philosopher who wrote The Second Treatise of Government
2. Viewed humans as basically rational beings who learn from experience
3, Formulated the theory of natural rights, arguing that people are born with basic rights to "life, liberty, and property."
4. Insisted that govts. are formed to protect natural rights
5. Stated that the governed have a right to rebel against rulers who violate natural rights

John Locke (1632-1704)

14

1. French philosophe and voluminous author of essays and letters
2. Championed the enlightened principles of reason, progress, toleration, and individual liberty
3. Opposed superstition, intolerance, and ignorance
4. Criticized organized religion for perpetuating superstition and intolerance

Voltaire (1694-1778)

15

1. Enlightened thinker best known for writing The Social Contract and Emile
2. Believed that since "law is the expression of the general will," the state is based on a social contract
3. Emphasized the education of the whole person for citizenship
4. Rejected excessive rationalism and stressed emotions, thus anticipating the romantic movement

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

16

1. Scottish economist who wrote An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
2. Opposed mercantilist policies
3. Advocated free trade and "the Invisible Hand of competition"

Adam Smith (1723-1790)

17

1. British writer, philosopher, and feminist who wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
2. Argued that women are not naturally inferior to men
3. Maintained that women deserve the same fundamental rights as men

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

18

1. English conservative leader who wrote Reflections on the Revolution in France
2. Denounced the radicalism and violence of the French Revolution
3. Favored gradual and orderly change

Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

19

1. English Utilitarian and essayist best known for writing On Liberty and The Subjection of Women
2. Advocated women's rights and endorsed universal suffrage

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

20

1. Scientific socialist who coauthored The Communist Manifesto
2. Believed that the history of class conflict is best understood through the dialectical process of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis
3. Contended that a class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat would lead "to the dictatorship of the proletariat," which in turn would be a transitional phase leading to a classless society

Karl Marx (1818-1883)

21

1. British biologist who wrote The Origin of Species
2. Challenged the idea of special creation by proposing a revolutionary theory of biological evolution
3. Concluded that every living plant and animal takes part in a constant "struggle for existence" in which on the "fittest" survive
4. Argued that the fittest are determined by a process of natural selection

Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

22

1. Austrian psychologist who formulated groundbreaking theories of human personality
2. Theorized that the human psyche contains three distinct parts: (1) the id, which is the center of unconscious sexual and aggressive drives; (2) the superego, which is the center of moral values; and (3) the ego, which is the center of pragmatic reason
3. Argued that human behavior is often irrational

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

23

1. German physicist whose theory of special relativity undermined Newtonian physics
2. Challenged traditional conceptions of time, space, and motion
3. Contributed to the view that humans live in a universe with uncertainties
4. Added to the feeling of uncertainty in the postwar world

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

24

1. German philosopher whose writings influenced existentialism
2. Expressed contempt for middle-class morality, saying that it led to a false and shallow existence
3. Rejected reason and embraced the irrational
4. Believed that the "will-to-power" of a few heroic "supermen" could successfully reorder the world

Friedrich Nietzche (1844-1900)

25

1. French existentialist philosophers and writers
2. Questioned the efficacy of reason and science to understand the human situation
3. Believed that God, reason, and progress are myths, and that humans live in a hostile world, alone and isolated

Albert Camus (1913-1960) and Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)