Age of reason time period

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age of reason time period

The Age of Reason Begins by Will Durant

If there is a linchpin to understanding modern European history, it lies in the period of religious strife & scientific progress between the 1550s & 1650s. In The Age of Reason Begins, Will & Ariel Durant bring together a fascinating network of stories in their discussion of the bumpy road toward the Enlightenment. This is the age of great monarchs & greater artists: on the one hand, Elizabeth the First of England, Philip II of Spain & Henry IV of France; on the other, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Montaigne & Rembrandt. It also encompasses the heyday of Bacon, Galileo, Giordano Bruno & Descartes--the fathers of modern science & philosophy. But it is equally an age of extreme violence, a moment in which all Europe was embroiled in the horrible Thirty Years War--in some respects, the real First World War. Whatever the case, this is a chapter in cultural history one cant set aside.
Mr & Mrs Durant are admirably lucid...This is a book that can be commended very warmly.--The New York Times
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Science in the Age of Reason


The Age of Enlightenment also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment [1] [2] was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 18th century, the "Century of Philosophy". The Enlightenment emerged out of a European intellectual and scholarly movement known as Renaissance humanism. Some consider the publication of Isaac Newton 's Principia Mathematica as the first major enlightenment work. French historians traditionally date the Enlightenment from to , from the beginning of the reign of Louis XV until the French Revolution. Most end it with the turn of the 19th century. Philosophers and scientists of the period widely circulated their ideas through meetings at scientific academies , Masonic lodges , literary salons , coffeehouses and in printed books , journals , and pamphlets.

While the Enlightenment of the late 17th and 18th centuries was a time when science blossomed and revolutions in the United States and France occurred, it was also a time when millions of people were enslaved and transported from Africa to the Western Hemisphere. It can be helpful "to think about the Enlightenment as a series of interlocking, and sometimes warring problems and debates" wrote Dorinda Outram, a history professor at the University of Rochester, in her book "The Enlightenment: Third Edition" Cambridge University Press, The two have in common the idea of 'light,'" wrote John Robertson, a professor of the history of political thought at the University of Cambridge in his book "The Enlightenment: A Very Short Introduction" Oxford University Press, In this so-called time of light, several major ideas became popular. There was growing skepticism toward monarchs, particularly the idea of an absolute monarch — one who could make laws on a whim.

Centered on the idea that reason is the primary source of authority and legitimacy, the Enlightenment was a philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe in the 18th century. The Age of Enlightenment, also known as the Enlightenment, was a philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe in the 18th century. Centered on the idea that reason is the primary source of authority and legitimacy, this movement advocated such ideals as liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state. The Enlightenment was marked by an emphasis on the scientific method and reductionism along with increased questioning of religious orthodoxy. The core ideas advocated by modern democracies, including the civil society, human and civil rights, and separation of powers, are the product of the Enlightenment.

The Age of Enlightenment was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the Philosophers and scientists of the period widely circulated their ideas . the argument for deep time by the geologist James Hutton and the invention of .. Leading deists included Thomas Paine in The Age of Reason and by.
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The Early Enlightenment: 1685-1730

The Age of Enlightenment, sometimes called the Age of Reason, refers to the time of the guiding intellectual movement, called The Enlightenment. From the perspective of socio-political phenomena, the period is considered to have begun with the close of the Thirty Years' War and ended with the French Revolution The Enlightenment advocated reason as a means to establishing an authoritative system of aesthetics , ethics , government, and even religion , which would allow human beings to obtain objective truth about the whole of reality. Emboldened by the revolution in physics commenced by Newtonian kinematics, Enlightenment thinkers argued that reason could free humankind from superstition and religious authoritarianism that had brought suffering and death to millions in religious wars. Also, the wide availability of knowledge was made possible through the production of encyclopedias , serving the Enlightenment cause of educating the human race. The age of Enlightenment is considered to have ended with the French Revolution, which had a violent aspect that discredited it in the eyes of many.

Enlightenment thinkers in Britain, in France and throughout Europe questioned traditional authority and embraced the notion that humanity could be improved through rational change. The Enlightenment produced numerous books, essays, inventions, scientific discoveries, laws, wars and revolutions. The American and French Revolutions were directly inspired by Enlightenment ideals and respectively marked the peak of its influence and the beginning of its decline. The Enlightenment ultimately gave way to 19th-century Romanticism. Locke argued that human nature was mutable and that knowledge was gained through accumulated experience rather than by accessing some sort of outside truth.

Central to Enlightenment thought were the use and celebration of reason , the power by which humans understand the universe and improve their own condition. The goals of rational humanity were considered to be knowledge, freedom, and happiness. Historians place the Enlightenment in Europe with a strong emphasis on France during the late 17th and the 18th centuries, or, more comprehensively, between the Glorious Revolution in and the French Revolution of It represents a phase in the intellectual history of Europe and also programs of reform, inspired by a belief in the possibility of a better world, that outlined specific targets for criticism and programs of action. The roots of the Enlightenment can be found in the humanism of the Renaissance , with its emphasis on the study of Classical literature.

4 thoughts on “The Age of Reason Begins by Will Durant

  1. Reference Article: A brief overview of the Enlightenment period of the 18th century.

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