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THE PHILOSOPHIES OF ENLIGHTENMENT The period of Enlightenment refers to the European culture of the 18th century. The People of Enlightenment believed the almightiness of human knowledge and defied the tradition and the pre-established thoughts of the past. this is the period in which the humans became overconfident in the human Reason an rationality. Philosophers and Scientists committed the fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam. Anything which cannot be understood by rational knowledge and the current status of sciences was defied as meaningless or superstitious. Philosophy became very popular among the intellectuals and people read philosophical opera. However, the general concerns were about the practical use of our knowledge. In other words, The Two Fundamental Characteristics of the Philosophy of Enlightenment are: 1) faith in the European Reason and human rationality to reject the tradition and the pre-established institutions and thoughts; 2) Search for the practical, useful knowledge as the power to control nature. John Locke is considered generally as the founder of Enlightenment movement in philosophy. However, in England, both characteristics of Enlightenment, namely the defiance of the tradition and the search for the knowledge as the practical, useful power to control nature, were not so emphatically visible due to the nationality and the social conditions in England. So it is generally agreed that the philosophy of Enlightenment will be divided into a) the Philosophy of Enlightenment in England, that in France and Germany. Therefore, a) is normally called as the British Empiricism and it s development. Distinguished from this, we consider the Philosophy of Enlightenment and its movement with the emphasis of the phases in France and Germany. 1. The relation of Descartes to the philosophy of Enlightenment In France and in England, all the philosophical thoughts from the middle of 17th century through the 18th century were under Descartes's influences. Fontenelle (1657-1757) The admirer of Descartes' physics and his radical rationalism threatened the Christianity and the established Church. Fontenelle's philosophy did not accept the Cartesian spiritualism and overemphasized the positive elements of the Cartesian philosophy. Thus, Fontenelle merely criticized the Ancient oracles as superstition, but this was immediately applied to the miracles of Christianity. Bayle (1647-1706) Starting with the Cartesian rationalism, Bayle considered that to believe in Christianity means to abandon Reason and the human rationality and to surrender to the miraculous phenomena. The opposition between philosophy (rationalism) and religion set up by Bayle created an anti-religious movement against Christianity as well as prepared for the development of the 18th Century philosophy. The Enlightenment Movement in France is a synthesis of the Cartesian philosophy of the mechanistic understanding of nature and the British Empiricism. In the 17th century, British philosophers such as Bacon, Hobbes and Locke came to France and were strongly influenced by the French Philosophies. In the 18th century, the French philosophers visited England and were strongly influenced by the British Empiricism and advocated empiricism rather than idealism in France upon their return. 2. The influences of British Empiricism on the French Philosophies The most conspicuous example of the philosophers who were influenced by the British Empiricism was Voltaire.
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Voltaire praised Locke in how he was able to explain the origin and the process of the development of human spirit. which made fun of Leibniz' optimism.html Voltaire (1694-1778) Voltaire was a French man of thought who was most strongly influenced by British Empiricism and attacked the philosophers of Continental Rationalism. Voltaire attempted to refute Descartes' metaphysics on the basis of Locke's Empiricism and attacked Descartes' physics. rationalistic natural religion. upon his arrival in London he discovers that the same space is empty. Voltaire discussed on may topics such as on God. and attacked Pascal's Christianity. immortality of soul. a portion of matter changes its place in relation to the portion of the other matter which is immediately touched to the former) 2. too. Descartes did not recognize gravitation (=the weight as the unique quality) by reducing matter to extension 3.http://www. Following Locke. In contrast. Voltaire. On the other hand.csudh. Voltaire further maintained that while Descartes created a novel about the human spirit." Following the fashion of his time. motion is no other than the change of place. Voltaire was successful in making philosophy more popularized (journalistic). When he was in Paris. 2 of 10 5/1/2012 4:55 PM . Voltaire maintained that religion must be a moral. the better and true it becomes. Locke wrote the history of the human spirit. Voltaire holds that it is the true religion that one loves God and loves others like one's own siblings and that less dogmas it has. freedom. employing Newton's mechanics. the universe is full of something like turbulent ether. Voltaire was the author of Candid. "When a French went to London. In that sense he did not disagree with Copernicus. So are there a big difference in philosophy. Voltaire considers a systematic approach less valuable than a fragmental expression of insights. he discovers a lot of things different. Thus Descartes explained the motion of solar planets by a heliocentric vortex. Voltaire mocked Descartes' innate ideas by referring to Locke's theory of the empirical origin of ideas which refuted the innate idea. In his letter in 1728 Voltaire writes. Voltaire became Newton's follower in physics and astronomy. Against the universal gravitation being a hidden(occult) power. in other words.edu/phenom_studies/western/lect_8.e. considered man's desire to pursue one's happiness as inborn. Newton proposed the universal gravitation by which he explains all the motions of celestial bodies. Thus Voltaire fought against the traditional established Christianity. Voltaire argued that the cosmic turbulence (vortex) is more a hidden power than gravitation because the law is verified and the phenomena are explained. Influenced by British Deism. Voltaire accused of Descartes in the following points: 1. Descartes by failing in recognizing the universal gravitation had to explain by the celestial vortex the motions of the celestial bodies. He did not support the cosmological and teleological argument and yet considered the moral argument for the existence of God to be most useful. Descartes by reducing physics to geometry denied the absoluteness of motion and argued for its relativity (i. he criticized d'Hollbach's La Systeme de la nature.
Voltaire insisted freedom of reason. freedom of spirit. Otherwise. There are two poems of Voltaire. Voltaire held the freedom of will. universal principles. Du Bois-Reymond said. In his early period. freedom of consciousness and particularly the freedom of research which contributed the further development of the contemporary european culture. the degree of wealth and poverty. Voltaire was the representative of the 18th century Enlightenment Spirit and enormously influenced the intellectuals of the days.csudh. According to Voltaire. we must invent God!" Voltaire considers that it is not possible to theoretically demonstrate the immortality of soul and yet without the immortality of soul. Montesquieu attempted to explain the legal system of the each nation from the geographic conditions and the social conditions of the given nation. the answer is not. that is impossible. but after Lisbon's earthquakes Voltaire abandoned optimism. freedom is when one can do what one wants to do. Montesquieu tried to find the causes of the legal system of a given nation in the particular climates.(VERY KANTIAN) Voltaire contends that the basis of metaphysics consists in morality and that the obscurity and incompleteness of metaphysics will be clarified by morality. What Voltaire had fought and won such as culture. morality is also not possible. population and the 3 of 10 5/1/2012 4:55 PM . but abandoned it in his later years as meaningless and recognized only the freedom of action.http://www.edu/phenom_studies/western/lect_8. In stead of seeking the foundation of the legal system of a certain nation in the rational. we desire to do something without reason or cause. the nature of soil. the dignity of humanity and justice have become some of the essential elements of our natural everyday life today. "The reason why we do not consider Voltaire as a very important Enlightenment philosopher is because we unconsciously and implicitly have been a Voltaire ourselves. Regarding the problem of evil. he was optimistic. He was deeply impressed by Locke's three division of the government. the largeness of the land.Thus Voltaire proposed the psychological determinism. but what wants to desire is to necessarily desire.html Voltaire maintained that without God morality is not possible. according to Thomas Carlyle." Voltaire was highly treated by Friedrich the Great at Prussian Sansoun Palace as an important guest. therefore God must exist. His main work is L'esprit des lois (1748) Recognizing the peculiarity and uniqueness of each nation. Le mondaine Defense du mondain ou l'apologie du luxe He loved gambling! Lettres sure les Anglais or Lettres philosophiques(1734) Elements de la philosophie de Newton Dictionnaire philosophique La philosophie ignorant Candid Montesquieu (1689-1755) Montesquieu went to England and was also influenced by John Locke. In relation to politics and society. "If God did not exist. the living conditions of the people. religion. passions of the people. Whether or not what one wants is free.
" he was influenced by Descartes and distinguished experience into sensation (external) and reflection (internal) whereby sensation precedes reflection but the latter does not come from the former. once those ideas were transferred to the Continent. Many of the contemporary contributed to drafting the manuscripts. 3. The leading motives were 1) nature. was attempted for the first time in the West. The encyclopedists were considered the representatives of the Enlightenment Movement. The basic motive of this edition was the denial of the past and the resistance against church's authority. While Locke denied the Cartesian innate ideas' existence and considered our mind to be "tabula rasa. Condillac's major work is Traité des sensations 4. The differences of the systems of government are due to the peculiarity of the given nation. Sensualism.http://www.html historical conditions such as customs.csudh. Voltaire. that is a radicalization of Locke's thought about the origin of the internal perception. Rousseau and Helvetilus contributed. 4 of 10 5/1/2012 4:55 PM . they took up very radical forms. While in England the common sense plays an important role and balances philosophical ideas. Encyclopaedists In France the editing and publication of the Encyclopedia. Radical Empiricism in France Condillac (1715-1780) Condillac developed the Locke's empiricism to an extreme. He emphasized the uniqueness and the accidental nature of the legal system of a given nation. On the other hand. a comprehensive book of all the books about wisdom of all humanity. the republic = the subject has the right to govern all the subjects = democracy a portion of the subjects = aristocracy the monarchy = the government by one ruler based on the constitution the constitutional monarchy the despotism = the government by one ruler by his will There are the basic passions which motivate each of these forms of government the republic = virtue the monarchy = honour And the size of a country will affect the nature of the government. 2) reason 3) humanity. etc.edu/phenom_studies/western/lect_8. Condillac held that everything including reflection comes from sensation.
csudh. Diderot attacked both the atheism and the theism from the point of the deism. but let me behave myself as if You did exist!" At the period of naturalism. "I do not know whether or not You. imagination to reason. the official title of Encyclopedia is Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences et des arts Bacon did not recognize the value of mathematics. Diderot held monism and said that the rule of mathematics ended and the rule of the natural sciences will begin. Diderot was influenced by Bayle and became a skeptic. exist. At the first half of the eighteenth century. d'Alembert wrote the Introduction (Discours préliminaire) in which he made detailed distinctions among the human knowledge. Diderot was multi disciplinary and possessed a wide range of knowledge. Materialists 5 of 10 5/1/2012 4:55 PM . at the second half of the eighteenth century. This means that against the simplistic mechanistic view of nature. Diderot played the leading role. but he never had a consistent philosophical thoughts. too. Diderot sought to discover the principle based on the organism like Leibniz. Voltaire occupied the leading position among the intellectuals. d'Alembert was a mathematician and edited the Encyclopedia together with Diderot. that of deism. Diderot said that a stone senses. Diderot adored nature and considered that nature be the ultimately Divine. that of skepticism and that of naturalism. His main work (apart of Encyclopedia) is Éléments de philosophie. d'Alembert quit working for Encyclopedia as the co-editor.http://www. d'Alembert considered mathematics as a part of natural sciences. although in principle he got them from Bacon's distinctions. but stayed in Paris and lived the life of poverty. He regarded the observation of nature and experiment as very important and objected the distinction (like Descartes) between mind and matter. God. After Diderot became a naturalistic materialist and consequently the content of Encyclopedia.html Diderot (1713-1784) Pnsées philosophiques Trailté de l'interprétation de la nature Rêve de d'Alembert Lettre sur eles aveugles Lettre sur les sourds et les muets Diderot devoted himself to the editing of the Encyclopedia for more than twenty years.edu/phenom_studies/western/lect_8. became materialistic. At the first period. d'Alembert contended that the progress of human cognitive faculties goes from memory through reason to imagination rather than memory.(= rationalistic) At the second period. 5. d'Alembert (1717-1783) d'Alembert was Madame de Tencin's abandoned son. as Bacon did. We are not able to recognize both nature and spirit ultimately. D'Alembert was invited by Friedrich II. The major difference consists in the fact that d'Alembert made the faculty of imagination as that of fine-arts rather than that of poesy. His thoughts were usually divided in three periods. d'Alembert was skeptic regarding the nature of knowledge and its object.
. d'Holbach (1723-1789) d'Holbach was born in Pfalz. Rousseau was certainly one of the Enlightenment philosophers.http://www. for example. equality and fraternity. on the other hand. E.g. he was purged from France. Hume helped found Rousseau a job. which he could not kept and fled for France again. Descartes mechanistic view of nature was extended to the entire universe. Germany. He went to Paris and was naturalized to France. This definition is the one in a wider sense.edu/phenom_studies/western/lect_8." Rousseau was the successor of the non-rational tradition of Pascal in which the way of thinking alternative to rationalism was developed in curving the power of the European Reason." (the exist out of the humans' adolescence which they had imposed upon themselves). As a consequence. The forerunner of the evolutionist before Lamarck and Darwin. His residence on rue Saint-Roch in Paris became the central salon of the free thinkers and the intellectuals. regaining the natural rights of "liberty. In ethics. This matter and its motion are governed by the strict natural laws. His main work was Système de la nature ou de lois du monde physique et due monde moral (1770) At his early years. he contributed to Encyclopedia on Chemistry. Rousseau occupied a very unique position in the history of philosophy in the 18th century: On the one hand. THE ANTI-RATIONALIST TREND AND ENLIGHTENMENT JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU (1712-1778) Jean Jacques Rousseau had a double relationship with the Enlightenment Movement. the Enlightenment means the almost blind faith in the almightiness of human Reason. He held that a living organism changes under the influences of its environment. La Mettrie published Histoire naturelle de l'âme (1745)(which advocated the materiality of spirit and its reducibility to matter) and lost the job. In this sense. but) and was constantly threatened by the prosecution phobia. On the one hand. but later he was deeply influenced by Diderot and became a materialist philosopher. Rousseau was born in Geneva in a protestant family (he was threatened by the catholic and later converted to Catholicism. Any supernatural thing exists only in our imagination. Three years later. Rousseau was a product of the 18th century Europe in that Rousseau with faith in the human dignity and intelligence was the philosophical father of the French Revolution. in its narrower sense. La Mettrie took the position of hedonism.csudh. called L'homme machine (1746). Buffon (1707-1788) Buffon was a natural historian and was also a materialist.html La Mettrie (1709-1751) La Mettrie was born in Sant-Malo and was a military physician. Kant defined Enlightenment as "der Ausgang des Menschen aus seiner selbstverschuldeten Unmündigkeit. Rousseau was against the Enlightenment in that Rousseau rejected the tyranny of Reason and advocated the return to nature and the revival of inner feeling. In this sense. Its motto was to return to nature. he published a more radical book. 6 of 10 5/1/2012 4:55 PM . On the other hand. Friedrich the Great warmly treated La Mettrie and appointed to the Academy and made him his personal consultant. What really exists is matter and its motion. and then from Holland and took refuge to Friedrich II in Prussia.
and radically criticized the social and political conditions of the time. Rousseau said in the prize winning paper. the nature of naivety. no distinction of the master and the servant. While Montesquieu dealt with the political institutions prevalent in the time. For sciences and arts only deal with the external elements of the human existence. according to Jean Jacques Rousseau. but he never kept any for any period of time worth mentioning. the academy of Dijon made a prizing wining contest for a paper under the title "Le rétablissement des sciences et des arts a-t-il contribué à épurer les moeurs?" (Did the re establishment of sciences and arts contribute to purifying the morals?) Looking at this title. The equality and freedom of the state of nature was destroyed by the social institutions of inequality and constraint. the same academy of Dijon publicized a prize-wining paper with the theme. Rousseau was 37 years of age. he got acquainted with Diderot and contributed to Encyclopedia. Rousseau advocated the society in the state of nature. Five years later. Now we are all chained!" Although Rousseau did not advocate that there were the state of nature historically in fact.edu/phenom_studies/western/lect_8. original human nature. while the other ignorant people believed them. Therefore. this is the world of our natural sentiment.html Rousseau sought many different occupations. "We were born free and equal. but also it harms the inner world of the human nature. : "Je cherche le droit et la raison. While these two articles criticized the spiritual conditions and the social institution of the time. the right of governance is not given to the monarch by the Divine Power advocated by Filmer. The nature here stipulated is the nature without corruption. His paper won the prize and Rousseau became instantly famous. the purity of the natural humans. there is a world of internality which is more precious and quite different from the world of externality. Quelle est l'origine de l'inégalité parmi les hommes. from this. the following two opera were so-to-speak to advocate the positive Ideals for reconstruction of culture and society: Émile Contrat social The Social Contract was one of the most influential publications in the social-political philosophy in the Contemporary European history. that the culture did not contribute. As he was in Paris. § 5 "Il faut savoir ce qui doit être pour bien juger de ce qui est. Rousseau was concerned about the Ideal conditions and the principles of what the government ought to be. Against it.http://www. Not only it is superficial. et si elle est autorisée par la loi naturelle? Rousseau responded with his article titled.csudh. Book V According to Jean Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau was extremely excited and immediately grasped by intuition that culture (sciences and arts) was the clusters of the meaningless Reason and merely the world of the forms. In the same year." (I search the right and the reason and do not dispute about the facts!)‹Contrat Social Book I. The selection of the monarch was done after the establishment of the nation by the social contract and it 7 of 10 5/1/2012 4:55 PM . discours sur l'origine de l'inégalité parmi le hommes. This paper did not get the prize. Discours sur les sciences et les arts. In the article. Rejecting the culture of Reason which the Encyclopedists advocated. Some people started to publicly demand their territories by setting up the fences. the right of property and its digression were brought into the society and the inequality of the rich and the power as well as the distinction of the master and the servant was established. The culture is the world of externality which distorts the genuine. et ne dispute pas des faits. toward which we must return and we must recover our own authentic being by recovering those natural rights of equality and freedom. nor is established by the contract between the despot and the subject like that of Hobbes' theory in Leviathan. the society with no class-distinctions. but the state of nature is the state of "ought" or that of the Ideal. The social inequality. was produced by the development of agriculture and its accompanying the concept of private possessions. but it is due to the social contract by which the people establish a nation. just as he did in the first paper the wrong culture and the culture of Reason.)‹Émile." (We must know what ought to be in order to judge what is. Jean Jacques Rousseau urged that we must Return to Nature.
carpentry. (Everything is good as it departs from the hand of the Creator. . Dans l'ordre naturel. Rousseau writes. The will of all is the aggregate totality of all the individuals' wills each of which seeks each individual's personal profit. then that of love for humankind.) This is Rousseau's ideal of education. Émile shall be trained for handwork. In La nouvelle Héloise.html means that the subject entrust one person to rule for their sake. not by books (only a little bit of astronomy. The possibility of the state religion is also considered. je le vois tous autour de moi. (In the order of nature. according to Rousseau. leur vocation commune est l'état d'homme. And virtue which is the power to control oneself is to be taught." (My regulation to depend on sentiment rather than reason is confirmed by reason itself. However. it sera premièrement homme. les hommes ´tant tous égaux. sitôt 8 of 10 5/1/2012 4:55 PM . And as long as one is properly educated. nor a priest.http://www. geography and chemistry are sufficient. but as soon as it enters in the hands of the human. Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote an article for Encyclopedia on the political economy.edu/phenom_studies/western/lect_8. tout dégénère entre les mains de l'homme.csudh.. We must not constrain the child. We must assist that the one who is to be educated will educate himself or herself. The genuine possessor of the right of governance is the subject. That is enough for training of reason. Each of the members of the society loses the freedom as the natural right. Émile is titled as Émile ou de l'éducation (Émile or on Education) and this opus deals with the problem of education. Vivre est le métier que je veuxx lui apprendre. He will be above all human. . Rousseau's religion may be called the natural religion. at the happiness of everybody in the society. all the humans are equal and their common vocation is to be human.Avant la vocation des parents. je le sens en moi. En sortant de mes mains. I am convinced that Émile leaving my hands. The general will aims. nature demands him (Émile) the truly human life. ni prêtre. there must be nothing being human which one cannot do. For the training of heart. Rousseau defended the rights of our inner soul and advocated the sacred nature of marriage.)‹Émile. then of gratefulness. Tout est bien. sortant des mains de l'auteur des choses.e. the people give up their original natural right of freedom for the spiritual unity as the civil state is born. whereby the civil law is the expression of the general will the sole object or purpose of which is the establishment and maintenance of freedom and equality. it ne sera. as the will of all people. la nature l'appelle à la vie humaine. Book IV Another important point for the education is that Émile shall not be educated for religion until much later an age. At its beginning. John Locke also influenced Rousseau in this respect. Rousseau said. each individual is guaranteed its right for property and the right for equality. this general will is to be distinguished from the will of all (la volonté de tous). i. It is the religion which believes in god and the final judgment. "J'aperçois Dieu partout dans ses oeuvres. Émile shall be educated by nature. At the initial social contract. first the sentiment of pity. the people are to be forced to be free.. ni magistrat. to educate him or her by freedom. j'en conviens. The only way to educate a child toward freedom is. To live is the very means which I want him to learn. everything degenerates. in stead he or she gains the civil freedom determined by the general will. In the genuine civil state.Before the vocation of parenting. And under the civil laws.. It is a story about the brilliant tutor's educating the child called Émile and later having him married to Sophie. a soldier. will neither a lawyer. et quiconque est bien élevé pour celui-là ne peut mal remplir ceux qui s'y rapportent. The ultimate source of the power of the civil state consists in the general will (la volonté générale). "Ma régle de me livrer au sentiment plus qu'à la raison est confirmée par la raison même. ni soldat. mais sitôt que je veux le contempler en lui-même.)..) Rousseau maintains that education must be left to nature and things themselves.
however. is not rationally comprehensible. He was a grandfather of Felix Mendelssohn-Baltordi. Book IV Thus. Lessing anticipates Hegel's philosophy. In this sense.)‹Émile. it m'échappe.csudh. to Rousseau. Wolff did not accept Leibniz' notion of monad which Wolff interpreted as material atoms. (Omitted) Tetens (1736-1805) 9 of 10 5/1/2012 4:55 PM ." (I perceive God everywhere in His works. He escapes me. Moses Mendelssohn was better known and more highly respected than his contemporary.http://www. The German Enlightenment Movement Thomasius (1655-1728) (Omitted) Christian Wollf (1679-1754) Christian Wolff is the most important philosopher in the German Enlightenment Movement and was known for the systematization and vulgarization of Leibniz's philosophy and an important bridge to Kant's early dogmatic period (Kant was a Wolffean). At that time. Robespierre made his system of Convention (National Assembly) on the basis of the principle of Rousseau's Contrat social. as soon as I want to search where He is. He was chased by the orthodox Christians. quelle est sa substance. What is His substance. was objected by atheistic materialists.edu/phenom_studies/western/lect_8. (Omitted) Reimarus (1694-1768) Reimarus fought against both atheism and the theology of revelation at the same time. the famous Romantic composer who revived Johann Sebastian Bach and his music. (Omitted) Lessing (1729-1781) Lessing is considered as the most beautiful blossom of the German Enlightenment. but He can only be intuitively grasped. Lessing's contribution in the philosophy of religion consists in 1) interpret the trinity-unity more speculatively 2) apply Leibniz' notion of development to the pre-established religion and theology. God. as well as Leibniz' the principle of pre-established harmony which Wolff admitted only to the mind-body relationship.html que je veux chercher où il est. Immanuel Kant. ce qu'il est. The Strum und Drang Movement in Germany (of Goethe and Schiller) was also influenced by Rousseau. (Omitted) Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786) is considered as one of the most beautiful intellectuals of Enlightenment. as soon as I want to contemplate Him in myself. I see Him in everything other than myself. too. I sense Him in me. The French revolution was motivated by the philosophical ideas advanced by Rousseau. what He is. Kant was also deeply moved by Rousseau's Émile.
http://www.csudh.edu/phenom_studies/western/lect_8. Senses and Will.html Tetens established the division of Thinking. (Omitted) 10 of 10 5/1/2012 4:55 PM .
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