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Flashcards in The Enlightenment Deck (24)

Who were philosophes?

They were the thinkers during the Enlightenment.


Where were philosophes found at?

They generally associated with other thinkers at salons or at the printing press.


What was the Republic of Letters?

It was an international community of writers who communicated in French and extended throughout much of Western Europe.


What was the initial Enlightenment focused on?

The early Enlightenment was deeply rooted in the Scientific Revolution and influenced by Great Britain, focusing on the rights of man. Locke greatly influenced eighteenth-century thought by asserting everyone has life, liberty, and property.


How did the Enlightenment change over time?

As the age of Enlightenment progressed, Voltaire and David Hume challenged established religion, Adam Smith changed perception of economic thought, and Rousseau inspired an examination of one's inner emotions.


How did the Enlightenment affect political structures?

In places like Russia, Prussia, and Austria, rulers tried to blend royal absolutism with ideas of the Enlightenment, although they often enhanced their own absolute authority.


Who was Voltaire?

Voltaire (1694-1778) was a French philosopher who was inspired by England and sought to apply it to France. Voltaire hated the Catholic Church, and instead was deist, which thought that God created the universe and allowed it to operate under the laws of science. He felt like religion crushed the human spirit and without it men were free.


What was Voltaire's most famous work?

His most famous work is Candide, which he was inspired to write after an earthquake in Lisbon. Candide was a pessimistic work that said that humans cannot find contentment by connecting them with a philosophical system; they can only hope for private, inner solace.


Who was Montesquieu?

Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) wrote one of the most influential works of the Enlightenment called the Spirit of the Laws, which called for the separation of powers among the government with checks and balances, which was inspired from the British system. He believed that societies and political institutions could be studied scientifically.


What was one of Montesquieu's early works?

Montesquieu's work Persian Letters mocked religious zealotry, deplored slavery, and called for a universal system of justice.


Who was Denis Diderot?

Denis Diderot (1713-1784) was a French philosopher and writer that created the Encyclopedia, which detailed all scientifically obtained and historical knowledge in an organized manner. The Encyclopedia was an important tool in spreading the ideas of the Enlightenment beyond France, but was censored by the Church and France.


Who was Jean-Jaques Rousseau?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) was a French philosopher who went against the traditional intellectual strand of Enlightenment thought. He antagonized many of the other philosophes and championed emotion over reason. While most other philosophes advocated for a constitutional monarchy, Rousseau wanted a direct democracy. His ideas proved influential to the French Revolution. He set the stage for the later Romantic movement.


What was Rousseau's most famous work?

Rousseau wrote The Social Contract, which argued that an individual could not use reason to get a more satisfactory life; instead, the overall community must be reformed. Sovereignty would be expressed by the will of the people, and only by surrendering to this general will could an individual find freedom.


What was one of Rousseau's works that set the stage for the Romantic movement?

His novel Emile explores nature as a means of heightening emotional sensitivity and argued that stages of development were needed for children to be allowed to grow freely without undue influence from adults.


Who was the greatest figure of the German Enlightenment?

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) argued in his Critique of Pure Reason against the idea that all knowledge was empirical, as the mind shapes the world through unique experiences. Kant's emphasis of other layers of knowledge beyond knowledge from reason inspired more Romantic artists.


Who was the greatest figure of the Italian Enlightenment?

Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794) in On Crimes and Punishment called for an overhaul of jurisprudence, which asserted that those accused of crimes deserved certain basic rights. Beccaria emulated the overall theme of humanitarianism in the Enlightenment.


Who were important members of the Scottish Enlightenment?

David Hume, Edward Gibbon, and Adam Smith.


Who was David Hume?

David Hume (1711-1794) was a philosopher who, in Inquiry into Human Nature, cast doubt onto revealed religion and argued that there was no empirical evidence to support miracles at the heart of Christianity, ultimately embracing atheism.


Who was Edward Gibbon?

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) was a Scottish author who reflected the growing interest in history through his work Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, which criticized Christianity in that it was seen as a social phenomenon rather than a divine interference that ultimately weakened the Empire.


Who was Adam Smith?

Adam Smith (1723-1790) was a Scottish professor that argued in The Wealth of Nations against mercantilism and advocated laissez-faire.


What was laissez-faire theory?

It argued that individuals should be free to pursue economic gain without being restricted by the state. Such a system was self-regulating, as if it were controlled by an invisible hand.


How were women affected by the Enlightenment?

Most of the Parisian salons were organized by women. However, the help received by philosophes from women did not result in advocation for the rights of women. For example, the Encyclopedia barely touched upon the condition of women.


What were the two opposing ideas regarding women?

Montesquieu criticized the treatment of women in the harem and moreover Western Europe, while Rousseau advocated that men and women be kept in separate spheres and given different levels of education.


Who was the most famous female Enlightenment thinker?

Mary Wollstonecraft in her Vindication of the Rights of Women argued that women should enjoy the right to vote and hold political office.