Notes On Enlightenment Thinkers Essay

746 words - 3 pages

The Enlightenment Thinkers and Their Major IdeasPhilosopherDatesImportant WorksMajor ideasThomas Hobbes1588-1679Leviathan“People need a powerful ruler like a sea monster”-All humans are naturally selfish and wicked.-Without government and order, people will fight.-You need a strong ruler, and in return you gain law and order-In favor of Absolute Monarchy because they impose order and demand obedienceJohn Locke1632-1704Essay Concerning Human UnderstandingTwo treatises on Government-People can learn from experience and improve themselves.-People have the natural ability to govern their own affairs and look after the welfare of their society.-Criticized Absolute Monarchy and wanted self government-All people are born free and equal and have 3 natural rights*life*liberty*property~The government has to protect these rights. If they don’t, the people can overthrow the government-Government power comes from the consent of the people.-Basis of modern democracy-Founder of empiricism - What is the extent of human understanding? - We can know God; we can know morality-Government is a covenant between the rulers and the governedMontesquieu1689-1755Spirit of Laws-Studied political liberty and believed in the separation of powers-Separation of power keeps any one individual from gaining total control over the government-3 branches of government with a checks and balance system is the basis for U.S. Constitution to prevent the abuse of powerVoltaire1694-1778CandideOver 20,000 papers and essays-Fought for tolerance, reason, freedom of religious beliefs and freedom of speech.-The most inhumane crimes have been perpetuated in the name of religion. Secular values should take precedence over religious ones.-Through reason and intellect mankind can create a just and moral society.-Did not trust the average person – not an advocate for democracy.-Supported monarchy and aristocracy, though he criticized bothJean-Jacques Rousseau1712-1778Discourse on the moral effects of the Arts and SciencesThe Social Contract“An agreement among free individuals to create a society and government”-Individual freedoms-Civilization corrupts people’s natural goodness-The only good government was one freely formed by the people, a direct democracy-Promotes equal rights.-Promotes liberty. Government should protect the rights and equality of everyone, not just the property of the aristocracy.-Everyone enters into a social contract in order to be part of society. According to that contract, they agree to behave a certain way.Copernicus1473-1543On the Revolutions of the...

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