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THEME 6.Enlightenment philosophy. Western European philosophy of “New time”. Philosophy of Enlightenment period


. Although present throughout Europe, the origins of the Enlightenment are closely associated with France and its philosophers such as Voltaire, Rousseau and others. The Enlightenment has been fostered by the remarkable discoveries of the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. It was during this period that the ideas of the Scientific Revolution were spread and popularized by the philosophers (intellectuals of the 18th century).

Reason – was the word used the most frequently during the Enlightenment; it meant a scientific method, which appealed to facts and experiences. It was the age of the reexamination of all aspects of life, a movement of the intellectuals “who dared to know” and who were arguing for the application of the scientific methods to the understanding of all life. For these intellectuals it was also a recovery from the ‘darkness’ since all that could not be tested and proved by the rational and scientific methods of thinking was darkness. Blind trust and acceptance was darkness, while reason, knowledge and examination – was the ‘light’ that would lead to a progress and better society.

The Enlightenment philosophers such as Voltaire (1694-1778) or Diderot (1713-1784) went beyond Renaissance philosophers. They severely criticized traditional religion and actively called for religious toleration. Moreover, the Enlightenment philosophers, Voltaire in particular, championed, among other things, deism. Deism was based upon Newtonian world-machine, which implied the existence of a mechanic (God) who had created the universe, but did not have direct involvement in it and allowed it to run according to its own natural laws. These philosophers believed that God did not extend grace or respond prayers. Diderot, who advocated similar ideas, made a great contribution to the Enlightenment with creation of the famous Encyclopedia (Classified Dictionary of Science, Arts and Trades), which included works and ideas of many philosophers. Thanks to the Renaissance printing and the reductions in the Encyclopedia price, Enlightenment ideas became available to general literate public of the century.

In the Enlightenment art, the similarity with the Renaissance was that the Baroque style largely used in Renaissance continued into the eighteenth century. Also, Neoclassicism persisted to have a wide support. Neoclassicism was the revival of the classical style of ancient Greece and Rome. Nonetheless, by 1730s, a new style known as Rococo (a French innovation) began to gain great popularity. Unlike the Baroque, which accentuated majesty and power through the use of grand diagonals and games of light, Rococo emphasized grace and gentleness. This style could be seen in the works of important artists of the eighteenth century such as A. Watteau (1684-1721) and G. B. Tiepolo (1696-1770). In architecture, a combination of the Baroque and Rococo gave rise to some of the most beautiful architectural constructions such as Vierzehnheiligen church decorated by the great architect B. Newmann (1687-1753).





1.The Metaphysic of Space and Motion and the Wave Structure of Matter.

2. Montesquieu, J. J. Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot are the representatives of Enlightenment.

3. Analytical propositions and synthetic propositions.



Date: 2015-01-12; view: 168

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