An analysis of the many of the philosophers that existed during the enlightenment

They wrote on subjects ranging from current affairs to art criticism, and they wrote in every conceivable format. The Swiss philosophe Jean-Jacques Rousseaufor example, wrote a political tract, a treatise on education, constitutions for Poland and Corsica, an analysis of the effects of the theater on public morals, a best-selling novel, an opera, and a highly influential autobiography. The philosophes wrote for a broadly educated public of readers who snatched up every Enlightenment book they could find at their local booksellers, even when rulers or churches tried to forbid such works. Between andthe Enlightenment acquired its name and, despite heated conflicts between the philosophes and state and religious authorities, gained support in the highest reaches of government.

An analysis of the many of the philosophers that existed during the enlightenment

The Nature of Philosophy Methods and definitions Philosophy has almost as many definitions as there have been philosophers, both as a subject matter and an activity. Its investigations are based upon rational thinking, striving to make no unexamined assumptions and no leaps based on faith or pure analogy.

Different philosophers have had varied ideas about the nature of reason, and there is also disagreement about the subject matter of philosophy. Some think that philosophy examines the process of inquiry itself.

Others, that there are essentially philosophical propositions which it is the task of philosophy to prove. The issue of the definition of philosophy is nowadays tackled by Metaphilosophy or the philosophy of philosophy. Modern usage of the term is extremely broad, covering reflection on every aspect of human knowledge and the means by which such knowledge can be acquired.

In the contemporary English-speaking academic world, the term is often used implicitly to refer to analytic philosophy and, in non-English speaking countries, it often refers implicitly to a different, European strain, continental philosophy.

SparkNotes: The Enlightenment (–): Key Terms

Until the Renaissance'philosophy' and 'science' were considered the same discipline. Many ancient Greek philosophers distinguished the desire for wisdom from desires for material things, vices, and the satisfaction of bodily desires. The definition of wisdom for many ancient Greeks would have been about virtue and the desire for knowledge as opposed to false opinions.

However, the term is notoriously difficult to define because of the diverse range of ideas that have been labeled as philosophy. The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy defines it as the study of "the most fundamental and general concepts and principles involved in thought, action, and reality.

However, these points are called into question by the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, which states: Philosophy as a Worldview A "philosophy" may also refer to a general worldview or to a specific ethic or belief that can be utterly unrelated to academic philosophical considerations.

This meaning of the term is perhaps as important as the classical definition, because it affects each human being. Virtually everyone, knowingly or unknowingly, lives and operates based upon a set of values and beliefs that are often unexpressed and even unconscious.

An analysis of the many of the philosophers that existed during the enlightenment

As a result, the may easily be incompatible and contradictory, leaving those who maintain them with a sense of uneasiness. However, it is most likely to be at odds with other convictions held by that same individual, such as a secret passion for art or love for his family.

Branches, schools and doctrines Branches The ancient Greeks organized the subject into five basic categories: This organization of the subject is still partly in use in Western philosophy today, but the notion of philosophy has become more restricted to the key issues of being, knowledge, and ethics.

There are many places where these subjects overlap, and there are many philosophical ideas that cannot be placed neatly into only one of these categories. Thus, philosophy involves asking questions such as whether God exists, what is the nature of reality, whether knowledge is possible, and what makes actions right or wrong.

More specifically, each branch has its own particular questions. How do we distinguish arguments from premises to conclusions as valid or invalid?

How can we know that a statement is true or false? How do we know what we know? What kinds of questions can we answer? Is there a difference between morally right and wrong actions, values, or institutions? Which actions are right and which are wrong? Are values absolute or relative?

An analysis of the many of the philosophers that existed during the enlightenment

What are natural laws? How is it best to live? Is there a normative value on which all other values depend? Are values 'in' the world like tables and chairs and if not, how should we understand their ontological status?

Do things exist independently of perception? Schools and doctrines Schools, with each their specific set of doctrines, have originated, evolved, and sometimes disappeared centered on specific areas of interest.Enlightenment philosophers from across the geographical and temporal spectrum tend to have a great deal of confidence in humanity’s intellectual powers, both to achieve systematic knowledge of nature and to serve as an authoritative guide in practical life.

He provides specific analysis of how climate, fertility of the soil, population. Many people cited the Enlightenment-induced breakdown of norms as the root cause of the instability and saw the violence as proof that the masses could not be trusted to govern themselves.

Nonetheless, the discoveries and theories of the Enlightenment philosophers continued to influence Western society for centuries. Newton was a Natural philosopher His book is called just that, and his natural philosophy principles inspired several generations of other natural philosophers in the 18th and beginning of 19th centuries.

-The Founding Fathers used many of the ideas from the philosophers of the Enlightenment.-One very important idea they included in this document was the separation of powers. Montesquieu believed the government should be divided into three branches and each branch could "check" the other branches to "balance" the power.

Many European and American Enlightenment figures were critical of democracy. Skepticism about the value of democratic institutions was likely a legacy of Plato’s belief that democracy led to tyranny and Aristotle’s view that democracy was the best of the worst forms of government.

Lecture 8 Greek Thought: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle: The political and social upheaval caused by the Persian Wars as well as continued strife between Athens and Sparta (see Lecture 7) had at least one unintended the 5 th century, a flood of new ideas poured into Athens.

In general, these new ideas came as a result of an influx of Ionian thinkers into the Attic peninsula.

Lecture 8: Greek Thought: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle