Age of Enlightment

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The Age of Enlightenment

The self-proclaimed Age of Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, was a period notable for its substantial cultural and scientific developments, that took place mainly during the eighteenth century. It was a time when the scholarly class of Western Europe left behind Church dogma in the process of formulating philosophical ideas as well as scientific theories. It was substituted with reason. Notably, political ideas that were extremely radical for the time propagated throughout Europe and eventually led to the revolutions of France and the United States. Also, modern science further implanted itself into the mainstream. The roots of the entire movement date back to the time of the great Ancient Greek philosophers and scientists, specifically to such great thinkers as Aristotle and Plato. In Western Europe, from the time of the Middle Ages until then, Aristotelian science had remained the extent of scientific knowledge. It had long been lost due to the chaos of the Dark Ages, but it was “rediscovered” in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries through contact with Muslim influence and Byzantine scholars. During the late years of the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment, scholars set out to improve upon Aristotelian and Platonic ideas. [1] The Renaissance gave a basis for the Age of Enlightenment to continue on. The Humanist movement during the Renaissance started to slightly move away from the Church. Although most Humanists were practicing Catholics, they believed that the Church’s depiction of humans as sinful creatures that had to constantly beg for forgiveness from a God who constantly seeked to damn them was inaccurate. Rather, they believed that human beings should be admired and that human talents were divine gifts that should be expressed and appreciated. For this reason they pursued careers in the arts,…...

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