euro kagan 17/14
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“Dare to Know!”
Emmanuel Kant’s call for people to put away the ideas and assumptions that they have been taught and search for truth themselves. A nice motto for the Enlightenment,
The heart of the Enlightenment.
John Locke (552)
Human Nature: Humans have no innate nature. All humans enter the world a blank page (tabula rasa). Personality is the result of external experiences. Experience shapes character. Improve human conditions = improved humans : )
Print culture [of the 1700s] (553)
Enlightenment culture in which books, journals, newspapers, and pamphlets become very important. The volume printed increased as did the number of readers. The novel emerged in this era. Nobles and the middle class were expected to read and be knowledgeable.
High vs Low culture (554)
A division that emerged in the 1700s between writings aimed at the Noble and Middle Class cultures (high) and those writings aimed at the lower classes. All print culture had historically been high culture, but the growth of literacy sparked the development of low culure. In Modern America, TV is low culture, Opera is High. : )
Public Opinion (554)
A new creation of the 1700s. Art/thinkers had always been supported by wealthy patrons. Now, mass readership supported writers/thinkers/artists and created an independence and multitude of opinions that were widely circulated and often critical of those in power.
A new creation of the enlightenment. A public space that provided a social spot for discussions of politics, literature, & ideas. Helped spread enlightenment ideas.
Secret society created to spread/discuss enlightenment ideas. Subject of many conspiracy theories.
Enlightenment writers and critics who were the leaders of the new ‘public opinion’. In general they favored change, reform, and toleration. They were not an organized group and often disagreed with one another.
The most influential and famous philosophe. Outspoken advocate for free speech and religious toleration. He rejected democracy and supported enlightened absolutism.
Voltaire’s most famous work. It’s a satirical attack on 17th century Europe. It was also an attack on the Enlightenment optimistic assumption that 1) human society could be improved and 2) the optimistic notion that a deistic God has created the best of all possible worlds.
Dr Pangloss (cw)
Character in Candide that is a lampooning of the common enlightenment belief that a rational god had created a rational world. Dr Pangloss goes throughout the novel proclaiming that “this is the best of all possible worlds and the product of a benevolent creator” He is modeled on von Liebnitz.
Alexander Pope (cw)
Author of Essay on Man. In which he epitomizes the enlightenment optimism by proclaiming “whatever is, is right.”
Common enlightenment religious belief.They believed that God existed, but only as a creator, not as a meddler.
David Hume (560)
Radical enlightenment thinker who 1) attacked Christianity and its miracles on a rational basis 2) attacked enlightenment faith in rationality. Created the famous “hume’s fork” in which he questioned the ability of humans to know anything with certainty.
Jewish philosopher who believed that Jews should maintain a distinct community and that this diversity posed no threat to the state. This was a radical view of religious tolerance at the time. Now, it’s pretty common. (I hope)
Philosophe who compiled the Encyclopedia.
17 volume work spanning 20 years. Edited by Diderot, written by philosophes, it’s the greatest monument to the enlightenment. It was an attempt to compile all knowledge and secularize it. It spread enlightenment thought.
Applied reason to the laws and criminal punishment. He attacked torture and capital punishment as irrational. Believed that laws should produce the greatest happiness for the greatest number.
Economic philosophers that attacked Mercantilism. Believed that LAND was the only source of wealth (not gold). Rejected mercantilist regulations and guilds as counterproductive to trade. They argued that the primary role of government was to protect property.
Influential Scottish economist and author of The Wealth of Nations. Associated with the term Laissez-faire (hands off) in which governments would play only a limited role in the economy. Attacked Mercantilistic interference with the economy. Believed that wealth was created when individuals were free to pursue their “enlightened self-interest” He believed that self-interest was an “invisible hand” that guided the economy. He believed that competition was the natural check on self-interest and thus opposed monopolies (the definition of lack of competition).
Baron de Montesquieu
Argued that the British Constitutional system was the best. Argued for Separation of Powers between the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches. Believed that each would check and balance the others. Had a major impact on the constitutional form of liberal democracies for the next two centuries.
Separation of Powers (567)
Idea articulated by Montesquieu in which he described the brilliance of the British system. Government power (which is dangerous to individual liberty) is spread out between competing institutions in government. Executive power to enforce the laws (with the King), Legislative Power to create the laws (with Parliament), and the Judicial power to interpret the laws (in the courts).
Checks and Balances (567)
Ideas articulated by Montesquieu in which he described the means in which individual rights are protected from government encroachment. Competing institutions within government would not be able to act without some form of limiting force from the other branches. In this way, no one power in government could become too dangerous without being ‘smacked down’ by another. Example: how parliament ‘checked’ the power of the monarchy . . . by chopping off Charles I’s head.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Political Philosophy)
Man in a state of nature had been a “noble savage” and when we form governments we lose some of that nobility. When we form government we give up our “individual will” and infuse the government with what he called the “general will” It’s a radical form of democracy. Since the government represent the will of us all (general will), to obey the general will was the definition of freedom. ??!! [ As I hope you notice, this could easily degenerate into a form of tyranny of the majority. ]
Johann Herder (574)
German philosopher who condemned European colonization. He attacked the subjugation of people based on the new notion of ‘cultural relativity.’ For him, every society possesses intrinsic value and cannot be compared with another culture. Each culture, according to Herder, possessed deep social complexities that made simple comparisons impossible. With the new contact with different worldviews and cultures, it became increasingly difficult to believe that European culture was the only acceptable way of organizing humans.
Cultural Relativism (574):
The belief that no culture can claim its customs are more “right” than the customs of another culture. According to this view, it is not wrong for Amazon Rainforest indians to have multiple wives. If it’s OK in their culture, then it’s ok. This is relativism ‘lite’. It is still possible to be wrong WITHIN a cultural context. Thus, once your culture determines that marriage is monogamous, then it is wrong to have multiple wives . . . in that culture.As (educated) Europe came increasingly into contact with the rest of the world, cultural relativism became a more common worldview. It became more difficult to claim that European customs were the “correct” way.
“Man was born free, and everywhere is in chains.”
First sentence of Rousseau’s The Social Contract. He is diametrically opposed to Hobbes’ view of human nature and the state of nature. He believed man was a noble savage and that modern societies have a corrupting influence. (but an positive one as well)
Rousseau (child rearing philosophy)
Rouseau’s Emile was a novel setting forth his radical version of family and childrearing. He believed that women were inferior to men and should make themselves pleasing to men. He also advocated a ‘laissez faire’ approach to childhood education. Children’s interest should determine their education.
The most influential female philosophe. She argued that a “women’s place” was actually one of victimhood to male tyranny. She advocated good education for women.
A salon is a gathering of stimulating people of quality under the roof of an inspiring hostess or host, partly to amuse one another and partly to refine their taste and increase their knowledge through conversation and readings. Hosting Salons was a major way women contributed to the spread of enlightenment ideas
18th century art style that embraced a lavish, lighthearted style. It often dealt with the lives of the idle aristocracy and was often associated with them.
18th century art /architectural style that was a throwback to the renaissance and classical worlds. Whereas Rococo was associated with the old regime, NeoClassical is often associated with the enlightenment values. Jacques Louis David was the most famous of this genre.
Late 1700s eastern rulers who had embraced enlightenment principals and attempted to incorporate these principals into their rule. These rulers strengthened the central absolutist administration (the monarch) and rationalized government. These monarchs attempted to strengthen themselves at the cost of lesser centers of political power (nobles, church, and parliaments). They’re doing what monarchs have been trying to do for 300 years but with an enlightenment ‘spin’
Frederick the Great
"the first servant of the state"
Catherine the Great
Charter of Nobility
Joseph II & Maria Teresa
The Partitian of Poland
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