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A Brief Summary Of The Age Of Enlightment

1591 words - 7 pages

Age of Enlightenment

When Aristotle famously said: "Virtue is a state of character concerned with choice, being determined by rational principle as determined by the moderate man of practical wisdom", not many could fathom the message intended for during his time. In fact, his ideas of decisions based on logical thinking were largely rejected by the Greek public in favor for traditions. Fast forward close to two thousand years, the Age of Enlightenment arrived. Francis Bacon instigated a revolution in the human thought in the 17th century. The thinkers began to question the rigid traditional ideas and institutions in placed using reasoning and science. The principles of reasoning and rationalism behind the Age of Enlightenment were widely accepted by society and it was a product of the Scientific Revolution that started in the 16th century. More philosophers were born and further enhanced the idea of using reasoning and logic to substantiate decision makings. The Age of Enlightenment and its predecessor, the Scientific Revolution has brought numerous discoveries in recorded history. However, the Age of Enlightenment was thought to have ended when the French Revolution led to the rise of democracy and nationalism in the late 18th century [1]. Although the Age of Enlightenment has long passed us, its principles still remain unchanged to be the foundation of current our systems as it aligns humanity with science, prevents the use of unnecessary violence to solve conflicts and also encourages an educated society.
The period that preludes the Age of Enlightenment is the Protestant Reformation in the early 16th century. The Protestant Reformation initiated mainly by Martin Luther caused a major upheaval in the European countries as the Catholic Church became at war with the Protestant states[2]. In spite of the chaotic backdrop, the flaws demonstrated by the Catholic Church set the scene for the rise of a new movement that will change the course of Europe's history. Francis Bacon, a famous English philosopher indirectly instigated a major movement that was later enhanced by the likes of John Locke and Pierre Bayle [3]. This movement however is different from the movement that occurred in the past as it was movement that involves the revolution in human thought. The emphasis of decision-making was placed on reasoning and rationalism instead of the usual traditions practiced in the past [3]. Royal families began to endorse and foster the prominent figures of enlightenment and the principles of enlightenment played an important role in maintaining peace among the European countries [4]. The Age of Enlightenment was a product of the Scientific Revolution. The Scientific Revolution which provides the basis of the enlightenment principles led to numerous discoveries which shaped the modern world [5]. The work of previously unknown scientists were finally accepted and embraced by the people. Although the Age of Enlightenment lasted until the end of the...

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