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Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Philosopher1992, May 9, 2011.
What was existence and reality like during the Enlightenment?
For me, it all stood still
edit: let me explain this further. I realised that EVERYTHING came from the same initial source. So theoretically, we do not exist, and neither does reality. However, the initial source does exist, which is what creates our existence/reality.
I think OP is referring to the age of enlightenment in the 18th century.
Correct me if I'm mistaken though...
If I had to guess, I would say my "enlightenment" had a lot to do with theres, but I have no clue really. Sorry OP.
The enlightenment, from what I've learned, was all about using reason, and following it to its conclusions in terms of what is best for all. It's about moving past dogma, and empowering ourselves through our mind and for the betterment of all.
Of course, we've been improving upon this "enlightenment" since it's beginnings, and we are making great progress. We are moving into the fruition of this enlightenment in our age.
I refer you to Denis Diderot and his book "Rameau's Nephew". Diderot was a skilled writer, so his descriptions of 18th century France is enlightening , plus, he was instrumental in developing the ideas of the Enlightenment.
For Diderot, Holbach and the rest of the crew, i think life was generally good. The Church had firm control of the government and so most of their writings had to be published on the black market and if they were caught bad (very bad) things could happen. But, the philosophers that created the Enlightenment were rich.
The poor were really poor of course since the Church demanded tribute, but obviously never did anything useful for anyone.
As Diderot put it:
The naturally superstitious need their fetishes: The progress of Enlightenment is limited. It hardly reaches the suburbs. The people there are too stupid, too miserable, and too busy. There it stops.â€
\t\t\tDenis Diderot - 1759
When I think Enlightenment I think...
(A type of) Rationalism, finally, over Empiricism - logical breakthroughs
A new perspective on "radical" anything, differing viewpoints
Art! This piece, Experiment with an Air Pump cause' once a wise Art History professor I had told the class that this image was the Enlightenment period. People experimenting, doubting, conversating, sharing thoughts and emotions, and anticipating change. Wanting change... That's what the Enlightenment was about, after all.. No?
... But, patriarchal, for sure - and as much as it was a good thing to experiment and think, it was probably a bad time to voice your opinions: people were following religion and the breakthough philosophers of the time, I can imagine it being bound to a specific train of thought and manner...
Rationalism is very close...there are some things rationalists generally fail to follow through to their conclusions, though
Really? Obviously you generalize, but a couple of examples to flesh out your claim ...?
I think people like d'Holbart did follow the rational to its extreme he wrote of the human need and duty to party, and he and the rest partied their asses off.
Mostly though, they had an enemy and they threw everything that they could at the church. (Without getting burned at the stake.) Eventually, they did limit the power and corruption that was the church of that time, and so could look back and wonder if they really helped. Is the guillotine really better for the victim than hanging?
Of course, it was the ruling class that got the guillotine, so thats a step in the right direction.